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Sony F3 on a Pilot?


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#1 Andy Nicholls

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 02:26 AM

Has anyone flown a Sony F3 on a Pilot rig?

Usual story, the client doesn't have the budget to hire my larger rig. The weight of the F3 plus a CP2 lens seems to come out under 9 pounds, but I suspect that with wireless focus, rails and matte box it will all be a bit too heavy. I managed to almost max out the arm with a 5D setup a few weeks back.

Has anybody flown this type of setup on a Pilot?

Thanks,


Andy
www.apntv.com
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#2 Nick Tsamandanis

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:24 AM

No way all that will fly on a Pilot
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#3 Haris Pallas

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:50 PM

Hi Andy..

As Nick said..I would'n try it!

I am wondering from time to time - from my own experience mostly - what king of wierd things some clients ask for...He's got money for the F3 but not for a rig to hold it??

Last week a director asked me if I can immitate the handheld camera shake while I was already loaded with my rig and waited for the slate..!!!...(and the worst part is that it was the second time in my 5year experience that I heard that thing...)...!

- Haris -
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#4 Andrew Stone

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 12:46 AM

A Flyer can barely handle an F3 once you load it up with essential accessories. You will be north of 15 pounds and closer to 20.
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#5 Joe Lawry

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 06:57 AM

I've done it on the flyer with light weight stills lenses - Thats a 24mm Nikon. My Heden is on the other side.

No wireless link, no mattebox, no external recorder. Just an Audio Link & BFD, so yes all very basic.

There still was room to move on the arm though, I almost added a 3kg weight plate, but I ran out of time (48hour film comp)

Wouldnt want to do it with a Pilot though.

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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 09:28 AM

Andrew, Joe, and I are off topic to an extent, apologies.

Joe, yours appears to be a Flyer LE, I believe Andrew was speaking of previous models with a 15lb camera capacity. And your lens situation certainly makes it easier to accomplish. I recently did an F3 on my Flyer 2nd Gen. Not accounting for the extra strength in my arm, I agree with Andrew, I think my final weight was about 18lbs. The only weight we could have removed was one rod if we'd had a clip on matte box. I forget what lenses we used, probably standard or super speeds.

Joe, I managed to keep all my added camera weight lower, so I only needed one battery to balance the rig. Not really a big deal, but I like to do it when I can cause the bottom is more evenly balanced with that light monitor.

I imagine if one used super light lenses, no follow focus, no mattebox and no transmitter, you might be able to fly it on a Pilot. But any standard set up will require a larger rig.
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#7 Andrew Stone

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 11:38 AM

Brian you are right. I should have referenced the Pilot in my post. This was my intention.

I own an F3... Unless one is flying ultra wide angle lenses you will have to kit it out with a motor, rails and all the other stuff that goes along with it. Although the F3 body is relatively light compared to other large sensor cameras, when you get it "ready" the camera is close to 20 pounds and easily higher if you start to put a transmitter on it and the batteries to power all the gak.

The Tokina 11-16mm f 2.8 using the MTF adapter is probably the best "light" solution going, if you want to set it up for a smaller rig and probably be able to avoid using a motor, rails, etc. Without batteries that lens plus the naked F3 will be around 13.5 lbs but this is an extreme wide angle lens. There is also the Nikon 17-35mm f 2.8 which is about 7 ounces heavier than the aforementioned Tokina. Both a very good lenses for what they are.

Another solution would be to use an EX1/EX1R or maybe the EX3 (heavier than the EX1) which would be able to closely match F3 footage. I would give this serious consideration given your circumstances.

-Andrew
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#8 Andy Nicholls

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:59 PM

Update: Well today I met the DoP and Director at the rental house and we gave it a try, it reminded me of playing Buckeroo as a kid, adding one bit at a time and waiting for it to go twang. We stripped off everything we could, from the EVF eye piece, mic holder etc, fitted a small Sony battery, 1 S*S card and single lightweight rail for the motor, powered from the rig. To my surprise it didn't bottom out the arm but it was heavy. The post had to be set full length making it very cumbersome but I got it balanced and actually I still have a couple of little bits in reserve which I can remove, 1 small weight, the quick release plate oh and the rubber band. The fully loaded sled weighed just under 16lbs, I believe the maximum is 15lbs but the arm hung just below level. I suppose I was hoping for it to bottom out the arm so they could easily see it was over weight.

I am more concerned now about damaging the gimbal and having to boom up just to get headroom. I think the latter will be what actually convinces them to pay a bit more for the upgrade as I think they realise it is only going to compromise the performance and maybe wreck the shots they want. I have now agreed to take both the Pilot and the Archer on set so that we have both options.

What do people think are the chances of the gimbal bearings disintegrating during an 8 day shoot, almost a pound over weight?


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#9 Andrew Stone

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 12:18 AM

Nice work Andy. I didn't think it was possible. Can't comment on the weight stress on the gimbal.

Cheers,
Andrew
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#10 James Davis

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 11:10 AM

I think it would be an ill advised thing to do, I would tell them that it is simply not within safe operating parameters to put this camera on that rig with accessories and that they will need to stump up the extra.
Otherwise it is highly likely their insurance will be voided should an accident occur because of this and in any event you could well be held liable as the operator should they be able to prove you consented to knowingly loading the rig above the safe maximum rated limit.
I know you are taking both on set but I would state unequivocally that it should be done on the archer for the reasons stated above, health and safety + insurance issues will often get them to listen to you more.

Edited by James Davis, 30 July 2011 - 11:13 AM.

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#11 Andy Nicholls

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:02 AM

Thanks for the feedback everybody, common sense prevailed and we are now shooting on the Archer with a fully loaded F3. The insurance issues certainly clinched it in the end.
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#12 James Davis

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Posted 01 August 2011 - 07:04 AM

Glad to hear it all worked out for the best!
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#13 Haris Pallas

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 12:58 PM

Wise choise Andy,

It's better to have your mind clear from all the security issues and be concentrated on the framing!

Greetings!

- Haris -
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#14 thomas-english

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:54 PM

You need to be far more serious about what kit you want to use on the job not what kit they'd like to squeeze onto their budget. You need to be able to say your simply not interested in pushing weird boundaries to save them money. Need to ask yourself more important questions about how in the negotiating process you found yourself in such a debacle wasting so much time squeezing an F3 onto a pilot. If you only owned a Pilot I could understand but since you have the archer you should of just said thats the rig I am using.. lets talk money.

Its weak and devalues yourself as a negotiator to pussy foot about with excuses like.. it won't fit on this rig or the insurance might not cover the equipment failure. Or EVEN I have two rigs and one can't carry certain camera weights. As an expert you decide what rig is suitable for a job and how much you quote. Messing about only devalues your expertise.

The gimble would be fine and might just wear faster; It won't fail. So many things are more borderline though and prone to catastrophic failure. Low mode?

Good on you for squeezing an F3 onto a pilot.... but
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#15 Andy Nicholls

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:57 AM

Well, this only really came about because I originally quoted for a shoot with a 7D and therefore recommended the Pilot rig. It was only later they upgraded to an F3 and my first reaction was it will need the bigger rig, by which time their budget was fixed. Their hire company then quoted the camera weight with one lens as being under 9lbs and within the Pilot spec, obviously without any other accessories. I haven't used an F3 before so I thought it would be useful to see how heavy it was with the basic accessories. We all thought it would be too heavy for the pilot and now we know for certain. I'd like to think I took it seriously enough to ask for your advice in here and report back my findings.

The upshot was that I got 3 days work instead of 8, used the proper rig for the job, got them some great shots and still met their budget. I am sure we have all learnt something in the process too and I hope others will find it useful. It is just a shame that the Cmotion remote focus unit let us down, losing wireless connection and forcing us to go tethered a couple of times.
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