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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:18 PM   #1
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Lanc controller recomendation?

Hi everyone,

I am not sure if this is the correct place to post this, but since it is related to doing wedding videos I figured it couldn't hurt too much. I am looking to purchase a good lanc controller for my camera. There are lots of very high quality (and very expensive) ones I've found, but I was wondering if I could get away with something udner $200. If anyone has a controller they would like to recomend please let me know.

My background is in broadcast television, I started as a studio camera operator and that is the kind of control I have grown accustomed to. I have found several inexpensive controls with tiny rubber buttons that just don't do it for me. I want something I can easily control with my thumb while keeping my hand on the tripod handle, preferably something that feels like the studio cameras I used to operate- with good resistance and smooth starts and stops at the start and end of a zoom.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 09:31 PM   #2
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The ease in and out versions that your hand has been climatized to will be a rare catch sub 200 bucks.

I use the Canon zr1000 which is nice with the variable speeds. Do a search here and you will find many opinions and the odd objective review.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 08:40 AM   #3
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Though a bit more than $200 ($350), I've been very happy with this one:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

I agree, you're going to be hard pressed to find a good controller, with variable zoom, for less than a couple hundred.

Maybe this one, but I'm not sure how "variable" the zoom is:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old April 7th, 2006, 09:22 AM   #4
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I use the Bogen 521 (2nd link above) - Love it! Very solid feel and variability similiar to a regular studio camera.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 11:33 AM   #5
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Bogen 521

Mike,

Does the Bogen 521 give you nice smooth starts and stops? What do you like about it? What don't you like? Does the speed depend on how far you press the rocker, or is there some knob or switch you use to set the zoom speed? Let me know....
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Old April 7th, 2006, 11:46 AM   #6
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Very smooth in my opinion. Speed is dependant on how far you push the rocker so it is variable. I will occasionally do a "rocket zoom" to reposition in something I'm going to edit around or do a nice slow crawl for effect.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Grunseth
Mike,

Does the Bogen 521 give you nice smooth starts and stops? What do you like about it? What don't you like? Does the speed depend on how far you press the rocker, or is there some knob or switch you use to set the zoom speed? Let me know....
I wanted to add my 2 cents, in saying:

1) Just remember that Bogen offers something like three varieties of the 521 controller. I have the Pro version and one specific reason I went with it was that it was known to support the Push Auto Focus in Manual Focus in an HC1.

2) Normally B&H has some very good prices. However, with the 521Pro I found that 4VideoEquipment was $80 cheaper and I received it promptly.

3) Another neat thing about the Pro (don't remember about the other 521 models) is that you can set the "max" zoom speeds: If you set it at the lowest speed, the controller will not zoom any faster than that. If you set it at mid level, for example, you can fast zoom up to that level (and no more).
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Old April 7th, 2006, 01:23 PM   #8
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One thing I've noticed using variable speeds: It's difficult to hold the rocker in exactly the same position to maintain a steady speed. That's what I like about the Canon unit - you can use it in variable speed mode or you can set a constant speed. When set to a constant speed, no matter how hard you push the button, that's the speed it will go.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #9
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Anyone use the low-end Varizoom model?

I was going to order the Bogen's for a project I have next Saturday, but B&H isn't taking any orders until next Friday (holiday) and everywhere else I look they either don't carry the Bogen or they are out of stock.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 10:29 PM   #10
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Travis - I don't know if you already purchased the varizoom, but if you haven't and your still interested in the Bogen, here are some links:

521:
http://www.bogenimaging.us/product/t...p3?itemid=2953

521 Pro:
http://www.bogenimaging.us/product/t...p3?itemid=2952

If you end up buying either of these (or the Varizoom), can you let me know how it works for you? I'm looking for a lanc zoom controller for my PD150.

Last edited by Boyd Ostroff; April 13th, 2006 at 04:12 AM. Reason: removed non-sponsor links
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Old April 12th, 2006, 10:41 PM   #11
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Hey, Matt, thanks for the links. I stepped up and ordered 2 of the VZ Rock model of the Varizoom line today. My shoot is in a week and a half, so you're right that 1-2 weeks would have eliminated those guys.

What's the deal with B&H closing for a week and half for Easter? I barely give myself a day or two for Christmas, and no time off for Easter. Is it a Catholic thing related to Lent? Just curious.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel
What's the deal with B&H closing for a week and half for Easter? I barely give myself a day or two for Christmas, and no time off for Easter. Is it a Catholic thing related to Lent?
Not a Catholic thing or a desire for a vacation. B&H is owned by Orthodox Jews. Their holiday schedule can be inconvenient, but we need to respect their traditions and beliefs. They post the entire schedule so you can plan in advance:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...fOperation.jsp

Matt: Sorry, but out of respect for our sponsors we don't allow discussion of other vendors here at DVinfo. For those times when B&H is closed, we suggest trying one of our other sponsors: http://www.dvinfo.net/sponsors/

Thanks for your understanding.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #13
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yeah passover is happening or sumfin like that.. either way, i noticed that noones mentioned BeBob...

theyve got some awesome gear and their customer service (even to customers from another country) is incredible.. oh and their gear kicks butt too.. i find the analogue algorythms used for their rockers are FAR more accurate than the manfrottos/bogens
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Old April 13th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #14
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Boyd - Sorry about the Adorama reference. I didn't realize there was a restriction to referencing sponsors.

Travis - Let us know how the VZ Rock works out on your shoot.
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Old April 13th, 2006, 10:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Troxel
One thing I've noticed using variable speeds: It's difficult to hold the rocker in exactly the same position to maintain a steady speed. That's what I like about the Canon unit - you can use it in variable speed mode or you can set a constant speed. When set to a constant speed, no matter how hard you push the button, that's the speed it will go.
Edward I too have the Canon LANC, and yes it does have the 1>5 options .. but, but having got the Frotti521Pro, with its "PUSH" Focus I'm over the Moon. PLUS it does have this,

"The 521PRO also has a progressive zoom speed (the further you rotate the zoom wheel, the faster the zoom), a fixed zoom speed (irrespective of the rotation applied to the wheel, zoom speed remains constant), or a customizable maximum speed, which you can set to exactly the level you want. To set a "custom"zoom speed, simply hold the zoom speed button until the LED flashes and use the wheel to record your speed. The LED shows you which speed you have selected.

Good eh?

Grazie
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