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Canon 7D on a Pilot


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#1 Robert McGowan

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Posted 14 June 2010 - 11:49 PM

Hello everyone. I certainly am a Steadi-newbie, lol. I would like to know if it's possible to successfully mount a Canon 7D with a 14mm lens to a Pilot. I don't think it would be hard to accomplish but is it a good combo in terms of weight? I've seen footage from this setup and it looked pretty good although it had some type of cage and matt box AND it was on a Flyer. Many thanks.
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#2 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 08:23 AM

Hello everyone. I certainly am a Steadi-newbie, lol. I would like to know if it's possible to successfully mount a Canon 7D with a 14mm lens to a Pilot. I don't think it would be hard to accomplish but is it a good combo in terms of weight? I've seen footage from this setup and it looked pretty good although it had some type of cage and matt box AND it was on a Flyer. Many thanks.


When you say 14mm, I'm assuming you mean a Canon Prime EOS mount. Yes, is the short answer. You can even fly that on the Merlin. But focus is going to be the killer, I suggest you do a search on the forums for 5D, HDSLR, DSLR
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#3 Robert McGowan

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:21 PM

Hi Elfeo,

I've done a lot of searching as well as speaking (a little) with a couple of people flying with a 14mm prime. They say it's easier to capture a greater depth of field if you close the aperture on that particular lens. It seems it's not an unusual combination if using an HDSLR. I've seen the results and it looks amazing. I was hoping to get another perspective by posting here where the experts are. Thank you.
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#4 Brian Freesh

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 05:39 PM

Alfeo,

I'm going to assume your assumption was correct.

Also, thinking about calling you Elfeo from now on.


Robert,

14mm isn't a lens, it's a focal length. There are many manufacturers of lenses and many different 14mm models. Alfeo was assuming you're speaking of Canon's EOS 14mm, cause in this case size matters.

If you're not going to use a remote focus device (that seems to be the implication), then yes, having deeper depth of field will help you keep things in focus. The one word of warning will be that you are essentially removing what people love about the HDSLRs, the shallow depth of field. As long as you know why you are shooting with that camera, with that lens, with that aperture, I say do what works. I've just seen so many people get excited about those cameras for the shallow depth of field, only to shoot with as much depth of field as they can so they can solve the practical issue of everything being out of focus!

As Alfeo said, use the search function, there has been much discussion on the HDSLRs, and a lot of people are using them with the Merlin, Pilot, and Flyer.

Technically there is no such thing as too light for any steadicam, cause you can always add weight. There is only too heavy.
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 15 June 2010 - 06:57 PM

14mm holds a lot of depth of field. Use charts (you can get them via iPhone apps) when you do your set-and-forget, don't do the old school "leave focus on infinity" routine. Unless you get quite close to your subjects, you should be able to hold a decent set of ranges at that focal length without having to stop down too significantly.
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#6 Robert McGowan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:48 AM

My apologies to ALFEO (sorry for the typo).

Robert - I was referring to the Canon 14mm prime. I've been shooting with the 7D since it came out. I haven't given-up any of my other cameras but I do like the shallow depth of field like most other shooters. However, just because it can capture shallow depth doesn't mean you have to use it that way. I did do some more searching (incidentally thanks Brian and Charles for your replies). A couple of very talented shooters (and flyers) seem to be leaving the focus to infinity. Since I'm in this section of the forums I am no doubt a newbie. In the context of shooting a corporate piece, event or even a wedding why would it NOT be a good idea to set to infinity and keep at a specific distance from the subject? Thanks again.

Edited by Robert McGowan, 16 June 2010 - 01:55 AM.

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#7 RonBaldwin

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 09:14 AM

My apologies to ALFEO (sorry for the typo).

...why would it NOT be a good idea to set to infinity and keep at a specific distance from the subject?


sounds like a good idea, as long as your distance will always be infinity. Why on earth would someone leave the focus on infinity -- I'm new to the whole dslr thing but I imagine the basic principles of lenses are the same? I read about this thing called hyperfocal distance once in film school though...maybe that will work better than always being deep?
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 01:43 PM

My apologies to ALFEO (sorry for the typo).

...why would it NOT be a good idea to set to infinity and keep at a specific distance from the subject?


sounds like a good idea, as long as your distance will always be infinity. Why on earth would someone leave the focus on infinity -- I'm new to the whole dslr thing but I imagine the basic principles of lenses are the same? I read about this thing called hyperfocal distance once in film school though...maybe that will work better than always being deep?


Exactly. With a 1/3" camera, which is what a lot of people using DSLR's have come from, you could easily achieve 5' to infinity or better at quite a range of focal lengths, so the old wisdom was to set it to infinity. Once you start playing in the 35mm or larger sensor sandbox, understanding the concepts of depth of field, hyperfocal and the like become very important. If you are going to use very wide angle lenses on a Steadicam without remote focus, you can "get away" with leaving it on infinity a certain amount of the time, but some of those people who do may actually be shooting slightly soft images and not realizing it (the subject may be such a small part of the overall frame that because the background is sharp, they can be very slightly soft without it being too apparent).

Get a depth of field chart or app for your iPhone if applicable and start playing with the numbers. If you do it right, you can even give your subject enough range to stay in focus, and possibly even throw the background out a little bit (kind of a win-win).
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#9 Robert McGowan

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 07:47 PM

Charles,

Thanks for your expertise. That's why I decided to post to try to figure out everything before I take the plunge.
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#10 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:26 PM

Hi Elfeo

Elfeo is the bad ass second cuz to El NiƱo!
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#11 Bart Wierzbicki

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 05:48 AM

hey guys,
I just bought a Tokina lens 11-16mm (f2,8) for mounting my
Canon 7D onto my Pilot.
The reason I want to do this is because at this moment I'm filming with several 7D's
and I have the Canon XHA1 on the Pilot (Dynamically balanced ... Jeeijj !) ;o)

But the problem is that the look of the images are totally different and I'm losing so much
time trying to match the looks of the images and it's still visible.
So now I want to use the 7D onto it.
I haven't tried it yet, while I'm looking for a way to connect the 7D to the monitor of the
Pilot.
What cable are you using for this ? HDMI - COAX ?
I have not a clue ! :o(
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#12 Alfeo Dixon SOC

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 07:12 AM

I'm looking for a way to connect the 7D to the monitor of the
Pilot.
What cable are you using for this ? HDMI - COAX ?

The 7D has a special analog cable that will send out a NTSC video signal via RCA connector, just plug that into the back of the top stage of the Pilot.

-Alfeo
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