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Old June 29th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #16
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Hi Ofer -

I'm just going to put this out there as something to look at. Our tripod and head (K-Pod and Hercules 2.0) are built to withstand the weight of a camera crane setup, so they may be an option for you. I do not think you will have any issues with our K-Pod flexing on you.The drawback for you may be the weight (26 pounds), so it won't be as easy to carry around as a set of carbon fiber sticks.

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Old June 29th, 2008, 12:51 PM   #17
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Hmmm... I wonder if the miracle rubber band trick posted somewhere here may help you?
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Old June 30th, 2008, 08:01 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ken Campbell View Post
Hmmm... I wonder if the miracle rubber band trick posted somewhere here may help you?
Thanks Ken !! This is what I was looking for ! (-:

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Old July 4th, 2008, 05:40 AM   #19
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It seems to me that the problem isn't just the rigidity of the legs but the mass of what you're moving and the nature of it. The long lens is not unlike a tuning fork and will vibrate.
These lenses have a longer focal length than the box lenses used on big broadcast cameras and those things are very heavy and very rigid.
What you ideally seem to need is a heavy unit on a low friction bearing. The inertia provides the damping. Increasing drag in the head increases the force on the legs and hence the windup, not what you want at all. A frame around the camera and lens made of steel or lead filled pipes would seem the solution along with some damping of the lens perhaps to stop/dampen vibrations.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 05:16 AM   #20
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Ofer, I would definitely suggest a beefier head. Also, I've never thought of the Vintens as being particularly good quality all round. I'd go for a Ronford Baker or an O'Connor. If you want to go light (ish) then a Ronford 2003 or O'Connor 1030 are both 3.5kg. Both are super smooth and with a good counterbalance system. Step up in weight a bit and the Ronford 2004 at 6.5kg or O'Connor 2060 at 7.5kg will be even better. Sachtler CF legs are nice, sturdy, light, but I'd only use the HD ones as the lightweight versions are pretty flimsy.
In the end though, you are never going to eliminate these shakes completely as your focal lengths are so huge, but a better head and legs will DEFINITELY help.
Hope this helps.
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Old July 5th, 2008, 05:21 AM   #21
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Also, shorter pan handle will help, or even holding onto the section where the handle attaches to the head, this'll give less leverage.
Just looked at some of your stuff on Vimeo by the way - quality looks excellent!
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:00 PM   #22
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Have you tried a remote control to reduce vibration?

I am interested as to whether you have tried a remote control device for panning and tilting in order to reduce vibration in your images?

We have the same problem when filming backcountry ski descents from across a valley at full zoom (20X) on the Sony V1U. We are concerned that our vibrations will become even more intense upon adding a Letus 35mm adapter and nikon lens to enhance zoom.

Our vibration issues continue from the moment we touch the arm until we release it. Paning and tilting at the same time cause the greatest problems. Does your vibration problem continue after your initial touching of the arm through pan/tilt or are you more stable when moving?

(We are considering capitulating to physics and resorting to post production software solutions to remedy our camera shake issues.)
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:29 PM   #23
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I don't think there's any remote system to help you, otherwise nature cameramen would have done it ages ago. What head do you use? A 20x zoom on a V1U is not an extreme magnification at all, should be well within the capabilities of Sachtler 25, Ronford 2004 etc., and certainly no problem for Sachtler 60 or O'Connor 2060/2575.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 05:57 PM   #24
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Ofer, I can second the suggestion of using a rubberband or elastic band of some sort. I use a medium size rubber band to pan with an XH-A1 at full telephoto and a Canon 500D closeup lens on it. I am basically panning in macro mode. Just barelly touching the handle sets off a wave of very visible vibrations. With practice and experimentation with the drag settings, and where you place the rubber band on the handle, the rubber band can help you get rid of all of the shaking during the filming of your clip. Getting a Lanc remote (I just started using the very inexpensive Digital Concepts RC800) will give you more flexibility and reduce shake from starting tape roll and zooming.

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Old November 17th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #25
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I have found 2 things that can help me. The first one is to pan the camera without using the pan handle at all. I grab the base of the head and move it from there. The second I think is an improvemnet on the rubber band trick. Use an old coiled telephone handset cable (from the "old days" before cellular phones) and attach it to the pan handle. It completely isolates most of your irregular movements from the pan handle and allows you to keep a pretty consistant pan going.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:54 PM   #26
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Thank you for your suggestions. We will be using the EX1 with Letus adapter and Nikon 500 reflex lens to shoot our descents from across the valley this Dec. 27 - Jan. 4.

We are increasing assembly weight and using a flexible attachment to try to resolve this shake issue.

I will do the following to reduce camera shake per your suggestions:
1. Use tele cord and/or rubber band attachment to the arm
2. Increase drag on tripod
3. Increase tripod head weight (from Monfrotto 501/503 to 516 head)
4. Increase tripod legs weight
5. The camera assembly will be heavier than the V1U which I had been using

(We may also have to wrap the tripod to help keep it warm in the low outdoor temperatures.)

I will make a follow-up post to this link to let everyone know about the results.

We have been using the Manfrotto 503 head primarily. It seems that part of our problem is that our whole camera assembly with the V1U and Manfrotto 503 was simply too light. A little wind on the ridge, heavy breathing, (or shivering) really translated through the assembly to the shot.

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Old December 15th, 2008, 10:37 PM   #27
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I have been trying to reduce the weight of my video gear by making a smaller fluid head. It is hard to make a small fluid head with as much fluid drag as a larger head, however there is a trade off, as you do not have to apply as much torque to achieve pans and tilts you can use a lighter tripod also. The next problem is that a lighter set- up is more affected by tremors and vibrations caused by the operator. To overcome this problem look at the coupling between operator and tripod head i.e. the pan handle. Normally this is rigid but if a flexible linkage is used it becomes very difficult to transmit tremor. For a tripod handle on my mini fluid head I use a10” length of 1/4” nylon rod that bends alarmingly during pans and tilts. I control it with the tip of one finger. It gives my very smooth stops and starts. Another very successful means of eliminating vibrations is to drag the pan handle with a rubber band.
In my design I have aligned the tilt axis with centre of mass of the camera, i.e. the head is mounted to the side of the camera rather than underneath. This means I do not need counterbalancing springs that can be a source of “bounce” and if I set it up well I can park the camera in any tilt position.
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Old February 7th, 2009, 11:43 PM   #28
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upgraded tripod and assembly - significant difference

I reduced camera shake significantly by using a much heavier tripod. the Sachler Video 30 or 60. The camera assembly was upgraded to a EX3 with a 36X zoom lens attached. All this additional weight made a tremendous difference. It's a really heavy assembly for shooting backcountry ski descents however. At full zoom there was a little shake when first touching the handle, but once in motion the camera shake was not a factor. Remember, this was at 36X zoom.

This gear was hard to move around in the backcountry on a 1000cc snowmobile on trails that were not groomed well do to their weight and the weighing down of the back of the sled. We were continuously getting stuck!

So, the solution was a not a perfect fix given the logistical issues.
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Old February 15th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #29
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Cardiac footage

I sympathise with the problem which was why I did all the tests I've posted before.

I have many minutes of "cardiac footage" where my heart rate can be calculated by counting the oscillations of the image and the rarity of the bird, or the climb I've made, can be assessed by my heart-rate.

Watch long stationary shots of a test match, you know, when there's nothing happening and the bored cameraman shoots seagulls in the outfield, and you'll see lovely examples, and their gear weighs a ton!

Certainly in most cases the greater the weight of the sticks and head usually, but not if the locks are wobbly, the less micro movement there is.

But taking the hand of the handle makes the most difference in stationary shots.

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