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Any operators/footage from the Tango out there yet?


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#1 Michael Hauer

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 03:39 PM

Hey All

I got a chance to play with one at my workshop and was really in love with the possibilities. So far it seems its only compatible with the Zephyr. Now that its been out for a few months, does anyone have one? So far i've only seen test videos on youtube, has anyone used one on an actual shoot? Would love to see footage.

Wondering also if it could handle a very basic dslr 'pro' configuration like the zeiss compact primes, mattebox, and a bartech (thats about 6 pounds no?)

Edited by Michael Hauer, 22 March 2011 - 03:40 PM.

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#2 Brian Freesh

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:26 PM

I imagine you'll be able to do that build depending on the mattebox and motor weight. I imagine you'll need an extra long motor cable to go down the tango and put the BFD Rx on the top of the Zephyr.

I think there's only a couple owners so far, maybe one of them will find this thread. :)
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#3 James Davis

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:50 PM

Hey All

I got a chance to play with one at my workshop and was really in love with the possibilities. So far it seems its only compatible with the Zephyr. Now that its been out for a few months, does anyone have one? So far i've only seen test videos on youtube, has anyone used one on an actual shoot? Would love to see footage.

Wondering also if it could handle a very basic dslr 'pro' configuration like the zeiss compact primes, mattebox, and a bartech (thats about 6 pounds no?)


Yes I would say you would struggle with much more than that weight wise though, I saw someone in optical support from feral equipment, with one which had a PL Mount canon 7D, in a cage, with preston, and a Hawk Anamorphics lense, and this was close to....if not over the limit of the tango, as there was noticable flex and vibration being transmitted through the image.

Maybe speak to thomas english, or look him up, he has been testing and shooting with one from what I have seen online.
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#4 Andrew Stone

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 09:28 PM

So what is the weight threshold when things start to get wiggly?
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#5 Jerry Holway

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Posted 19 April 2011 - 08:40 AM

Just a few updates to the discussion.

The Tango can now be used with the Zephyr and the Archer2 sleds. It was shown with an Archer2 at NAB (and brilliantly, I'm told, in combination with the new Steadiseg). It was, of course, a prototype Archer/Tango gimbal, so I'm not sure when it and the associated bits will be in production. It's a question for the Tiffen folks - I just help get the stuff from the sketches on napkins to the prototypes.

Right now, the recommended weight limit is about 10 pounds when the Tango is in its shortest configuration, 8 pounds mid length, and 6 pounds at full length.

These figures are approximate, of course. Very slow moves at full extension might be made with a 10 pound payload, and really vigorous moves at the shortest extension will benefit from a lighter weight.

Small tweaks to the design - some in play at NAB - have reduced the vibration issues at all lengths.

Even at the minimum length you have more boom range than normal high and low modes combined... at the maximum length (with a light camera set up, of course), you can about nine feet of boom range.

The design intent was to keep it light - and use lighter cameras (or separated camera head and electronics like the SI2K) and what is inevitably coming - to maximize the ability to get the lens and sensor both higher and lower without bulk and back strain.

The weight "compromise" comes with an amazing versatility and the good old feel of Steadicam operating with all its joys and challenges. Tango adds to our normal (and still amazing) repertoire the ability to make straight vertical moves of up to nine feet, huge horizontal sweeps (with auto back-panning), complete freedom to pan and tilt - even whip pan - at any height, the ability to poke through small openings or into confined spaces (like through a car window or into a refrigerator) and then LOOK AROUND!... and more.

Jerry
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#6 Michael Hauer

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 11:03 AM

Jerry, what's the aproximate boom range at the shortest configuration?
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#7 Jerry Holway

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 05:59 AM

Jerry, what's the aproximate boom range at the shortest configuration?


Michael,

I just did a test with the Tango at minimum length, but not with the heaviest possible master camera to get the most possible boom range. It makes a difference in the length of the spar to the "slave" end with the camera.

Regardless, With this arm and a long arm post, the lowest lens height was about six inches, and the highest 7 feet six inches. (rather more than I thought!!)

I'll maybe measure it at full extension later (at the end of a workshop, bit hard to find the time).

Jerry
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#8 Jerry Holway

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 07:12 AM

Okay, I just tested the Tango at full extension.. we got about 22 more inches at the top end, and hit the floor at the lower end (wasted some of the potential range) - new boom range is over nine feet and could be more with a longer arm post...

Jerry
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#9 Michael Hauer

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 03:24 PM

Thanks Jerry! Good to know. I'm hoping to help organize a test with Peter Abraham's tango when it gets back to NYC.

Some of the things i'm thinking about:

I'm really interested is seeing what camera and lens combinations are possible. Lenses to me are more important. For instance, I could see I a production agreeing to use a PL mounted 7d for a specialty shot, but not if it also had to rent lighter glass, or be restricted from using filters and a mattebox. Also was wondering about the weight of sonys new FS100 which is supposed to compete with the DSLRs but has more proffesional controls and looks more like a camcorder. It has a clean HDMI out also so it could work with a 3rd party recorder, and thus a better codec.

For broadcast applications are there any cameras out there right now, sort of on the HVX level that would work?

When I was playing with it at NAB, i noticed that judging horizon was particularly difficult, is there any way to incorperate a master slave buble (or digitial) level system?
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#10 thomas-english

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 05:00 PM

A 7D or 5D with Compact primes is the defacto setup with the Tango. You can tape ND filters on. I have not yet found a MattBox that can handle the CP2s that I am happy with. There will be a little 15mm mattbox out there. Yes.. You need to put the camera on a riser as the CP2s are bigger than the camera. I do believe they can take a screw in filter though.

The FS100 will be great because of the shear number of mounting points.


"For broadcast applications are there any cameras out there right now, sort of on the HVX level that would work?"
If you consider HVX as broadcast.. which I don't.. If then the Sony A1E is perfect.

Its not problem putting an XCS or Marrell bubble at the slave end powered by your follow focus battery and intercepting your video feed. Your best off though just operating with the horizon level using the ZEN which is easier than regular Steadicam because ROLL is not as fluid and has far more momentum due to the fact there are two sleds.

The Bartech or single chanel Preston is the perfect follow focus and it lives on top of the slave sled along with its battery.
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 10:35 PM

Since they are the same optical quality as the CP2's and share the mechanical hard stops, I would think it would be advantageous to use the lighter ZE's or ZF's with a 5d/7d combo on the Tango. Given the use of a Preston or Bartech, they will deliver the same feel to the AC. If a Preston HU3 is used, it can interpolate the marks and deliver exactly the same accuracy (i.e., can tell you when you are at 5'3) as the CP2's. Iris pulling is possible only with the ZF's, and only if declicked, and these require a Nikon to EF adaptor--but that's all part of the equation to consider.
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#12 thomas-english

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:21 AM

That is completely true Charles. However without any job prep its better to get the standard across the board CP2s. They are available is every rental house in London and you know exactly where you stand. Its a matter of what your going to put on the camera list whilst emailing from your blackberry from a different job stuck up a ladderpod.

If you were going to purchase Tango specific lenses the ZF's would be the way to go. There are a few sets of Contax around London and I've considered ordering them before. Sometimes facilities houses get clever. Hence the CP2 s are defacto and DoP s are happy with them on A-Camera.

If using stills lenses including ZFs with focus rings on I would say that the analogue Bartech was the only follow focus worth using. Otherwise you end up tearing the rings off the lens.
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#13 Charles Papert

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:46 AM

If using stills lenses including ZFs with focus rings on I would say that the analogue Bartech was the only follow focus worth using. Otherwise you end up tearing the rings off the lens.


Haven't had any problems with my ZE's and the Preston at the minimum torque setting. I have the Duclos cine mod with the press-fit gearing but I've also used the Redrock rings and Sam Moore's excellent Half Inch Rails zip tie rings which I have on my zooms, and they work fine as well. Again the advantage demonstrated by the HU3 is significant in that it extrapolates and maps all of the distances that an AC could ever want. Incidentally while the mapping process usually requires setting five (or six, I can never remember which) points on the barrel, since the markings are so vague you have to do it visually with a focus chart. Sounds like a pain but I've done it in maybe 90 seconds per lens, with a tape measure for the close three points and a Hilty or equivalent for the longer ones. But obviously this is best done at prep.

With the Tango it seems like every ounce counts, so I would think that the significant difference in weight between the CP2's and the still lenses would be enough of a factor to find a way to make it work, in that it would either allow for a longer extension or the possibility of additional accessory.

I do hear great things about the Contax lenses being something like "mini-Primos" but I haven't had any direct experience with them.

BTW if folks in LA are playing with the Tango and/or just doing DSLR shoots, I do rent my ZE set (21, 28, 35, 50, 85, 100).
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#14 thomas-english

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:21 AM

You are completely right Charles... But setting and rigging the Tango is complicated enough with so much going on you don't want to throw in another variable like unknown focus rings on randomn DoP s mates lenses. As soon as you get into that conversation you start getting calls back like.. can we use these lenses or these lenses. Your set up does sound perfect... but if you don't have ad-nauseum client management time CP2 s are my chosen de-facto lens. I know where I stand and the DoP knows where he stands. I'd like to buy a set of ZF's but I have a set of K35's and not interested in buying a set of lenses specifically for the tango rig yet...

Also the CP2's have a lens support point at the bottom. Once used this gives two anchor points onto the camera.. Especially when flying the camera upside down this helps. A Zacuto lens support needs to be in your kit as very few facilities houses have them.
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#15 joe mcnally

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 03:33 PM

If using stills lenses including ZFs with focus rings on I would say that the analogue Bartech was the only follow focus worth using. Otherwise you end up tearing the rings off the lens.
[/quote]
Hey Thomas
good to talk with you earlier. Thought Id just mention that you can adjust the torque setting on the newer digital receiver/motor driver from Bartech, the BDR, from 0 to 100% so in theory shouldnt damage the lens.
A lot, lot lighter than the analogue too
Hope to see you soon
Joe
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