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Now this is a Highly Anticipated new Product.


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#1 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 11:09 PM

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#2 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 12:41 AM

Sounds like a killer upgrade. Speaking of the Alien Revolution, has anyone in the Los Angeles area recieved theirs yet? I am curious because I still want to give it a try and I have heard nothing about it for quite some time. If anyone has drop me a line. I want to check it out.

BJ McDonnell




Last Monday after a hellacious ordeal with Fedex international (They seem to have forgotten to load the plane....) I received the first MK-V/Pro II conversion Kit. This kit is everything to allow you to retain your battery base and Donkey box but upgrade to a 2? Carbon four stage Center Post.

This center post has a built in superpost allowing it to go from 22.5? Collapsed to just over 6 feet fully extended. When in normal working lengths this is the most rigid post that I have flow. Having a combined wall thickness of almost 1/2? makes for an amazingly solid rig. Extended with a SR3, 3DM?s a Canon 11-165 zoom and a few other accessories it?s much more solid then the existing 1.5? pro Superpost.

The Center post is only part of the story; Included in the conversion is a new gimbal. This gimbal is slickest most rock solid gimbal ever. There is absolutely ZERO play in any of the axis. Finally a gimbal that feels the same in lo-mode as it does in High-Mode. This gimbal is so slick that there is a bit of a re-programming curve for the operator. I found myself overshooting fast pans and stand-ups the first few times due to the lack of friction. You will also find yourself constantly re-trimming as the slightest weight shifts in the camera. The gimbal has a built in wrap grip that is just right feeling in your hand, nice and chunky, with an aggressive yet comfortable knurling to provide excellent traction.

Included is a new monitor support that is the same strong two post and slider system that MK-V and XCS use.

Also included and this was a bit of a surprise basically because I gave it no thought is a new upper J-box. This is a beautiful, VERY thin and low profile J-box. Literally only as tall as a Lemo #2 shell (Power plug) And here?s a nice feature, it?s Pro Standard wiring that allows you to retain your existing cache of pro cables

How does it fly? Like a dream, totally invisible gone are post whip issues. The gimbal is so smooth and light that you simply forget that it?s there.

Even if your not going to upgrade to the Alien Revolution (These parts are required for the conversion) Pro Owners really need to look at this conversion kit and get it, it just makes the Pro Fly soooo nice.

If your in the Miami Area and would like to see it I?ll be there from the 27th until the 9th of Feburary on a feature and I will have the rig built all the time with a Panavision LWII if you want to give it a try. After that I will be in New Orleans (10th to the 28th) and Las Vegas (3/1 to 3/16). Los Angeles Folks you can play with it after the 16th of March when I wrap the feature that I?m on.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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#3 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 05:07 AM

Eric,
If you get a chance post some photos dude.

Cheers,
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#4 Howard J Smith

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 10:35 AM

Hi Eric

Thank you very much for the review of your New MK-V - PRO upgrade - I am so glad you like the system.
If anyone is interested in the New MK-V - PRO upgrade (1 or 2) please email me. (photos on the website very soon) www.mk-v.com
The Upgrade is basicly a 2" 4 stage super post, V2" Gimbal, V2" monitor arm (PRO compatible mount) and PRO compatible super slim J-Box. - Bolts striaght to the base system and the Donkey box.

Hi BJ - The AR's are shipping in the next few weeks, they are so sweet now! So you will get to see one soon.

Hi Stephen - I agree, let us see some photos Eric!

Thanks guys

All the best
Howard J Smith MK-V

(PRO is the trademark of GPI inc)
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#5 Christopher TJ McGuire SOC

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Posted 28 January 2005 - 05:56 PM

Nice to hear someone thats resonant about how the V2 gimbal performs with the slightest touch!
I, myself was quite nervous about using the V2, but after a couple of flys..I was pretty well down with how much you didnt have to do with it! as long as the sled was finely tuned for different shots, the V2 reacted how I always thought a 'free-floating Gimbal' should!

Also, after flying the A-R with the V2, thoughts were less on the "Steadicam" operation but, it allowed me to concentrate on the capabilities of the A-R...

All the Best to all you flyers!!!

Chris 'Shaftz' McGuire
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#6 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 01:48 AM

Hey Howard,


Let me know if I can try it out here in Los Angeles soon (the AR). Hey Eric, post some pics!

BJ McDonnell
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#7 Howard J Smith

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Posted 29 January 2005 - 01:50 PM

Hi BJ

How are you?

The AR's are on soak test at the moment and will be shipped shortly - I am hopeing to come out with them and do workshops and demos - I will of course keep you posted.

Regarding Eric and Chris's posts - I am very proud of the MK-V V2" advanced Gimbal and it makes me smile to see that all the hard work is noticed - thanks chaps!
As Chris and Eric have said there is a learing curve with the new gimbal, I found it takes around 1/2 a day to nail it.

If anyone would like anymore info on either the AR (Alien Revolution), V2" advanced gimbal or the 'PRO' Upgrade, or any MK-V products please give me a call or email.

All the best and fly safe!
Howard

www.mk-v.com
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#8 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 30 January 2005 - 05:49 PM

Its great to hear about all of Howard's gear, and I do believe that it is of good quality. In all fairness however, it should be noted that XCS has been making an outstanding 2" post for quite some time and it is compatable with PRO's rather excellent equipment as well. Additionally, both the PRO Gimbal and the XCS Gimbal are of the highest quality, one fitting both the 1.5" posts and the other only the 1.5" posts. Both these Gimbals are virtually frictionless, tool free and offer any operator wonderful choices. The XCS Gimbal can come with an ergo handle, which for my money is the best innovation in conventional steadicam since sliced bread.
I haven't used the Chrosziel or the other rigs out there, but it is pretty wonderful that there is so much choice for operators these days, not just in Rigs, but in monitors, vests and arms as well. So I salute Howard, George Paddock, Greg Bubb, the people at Tiffen, Chrosziel and Sachtler, and those like Jim Bartell, and Walter Klassen who make such wonder equipment for us to fixate over, endlessly discuss, angst about, save for and eventually, if lucky, use on the best jobs in the universe.
For any of you out there looking for gear, my advice to you is to take your time, see ALL of it, shop for what is best for your wallet, and your working situation, and plunge only when you think you are getting the best for the type of work that you do. Don't go on my word or any other until you have personally tried out as much as you can. Good luck!
So much choice, so little time! Aint life grand.
Jamie.
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#9 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 02:21 AM

So as many of you know the distinguished actor Ossie Davis died on Friday morning. Well I'm doing the film that he was on. We were told friday morning while the carts were being loaded onto stakebeds to shoot a scene on a gold course. Peter Falk decided that he wanted to do his scene scheduled for the saturday on that friday since we could no longer shoot the scenes that we were scheduled to do.

At this point your probally asking why is this in sleds and not journals, well let me get to that.

We were supposed to shoot '74, had 40 400's availble, the take ran 280 feet.... Unfortunally It was very overcast and the scene takes place in what amounts to an alley so the DP made the call for '18. Small problem we had 9 loads of '18 in 400's but 26 1000's......

I'm working with a DP that is a "little" tough on operators and he was constantly happy on this one.
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#10 Howard J Smith

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Posted 06 February 2005 - 11:09 AM

Hi Eric

Sorry to hear about Ossie.

Thank you for the post - Love to see some photos....

Hope the shoot is going well, I know what it is like on a picture trying to get photos done, but if possible it would be great to see your system in action.

See you soon.

Take care

Howard
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#11 Nicholas M. Chopp

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Posted 07 February 2005 - 09:53 PM

Dead sexy is definitely the right description. Beautiful rig.
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#12 RobVanGelder

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 01:27 AM

Beautiful indeed, I´m jalous!

Howard/MK-V really makes something special here. Congratulations.

One concern though: in your super low mode config I see a BIIIIG distance between the gimbal and monitor. I would not be able to see the monitor at all while holding my hand near the gimbal (i´m a shorty, I know). I guess you can.
Does this mean that the base could be in fact a bit too lightweight to compensate for the extention?

For sure I would mount a LCD on the camera here!
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#13 Howard J Smith

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 02:45 AM

Hi Eric/Rob

Eric - Thank you for the photos, it looks great!

Rob - (how are you?) - If you look at the first photo you can see the monitor is on 'post 3' (with post 4 coming from this) and it is quite near the top of this post, you can of course slide the whole monitor assembly down to join post 1 (the one with the gimbal on) - the monitor arm is 2" and has inserts in so it is possible to mount this as well on 'post 1'. - Also to get the sled shorter you could use one big Anton Brick on the base as well.

It is also possible to add an additional monitor arm to 'post 2' (this is in photo 1 - is below the gimbal, with the camera on) so you could have an LCD running low as well (powered from the spare 12v & Video from the Upper J-Box.)

Also this upgrade system is 'AR' ready and with a minor mod to the base you can have either - AR, 2nd Video or Aux12v - I know the PRO already has this, but to do the AR we use some of the connections)

If anyone has any questions please contact either me - or Eric.

Thanks again
All the best

Howard J Smith MK-V
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#14 RobVanGelder

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Posted 08 February 2005 - 07:20 PM

Hi Howard, (thanks I´m fine, still in the land of the smiles :) )

I like the possibilities of your system, where you can mount almost anything on any place.
Lowering the monitor even more would result in sliding the gimbal down again, so basically you need more weight at the bottom (is now the top in lowmode)

The best option for me is still the extra lightweight screen near the camera.
but as you tell me that can be fitted easily.

I wouldn´t mind trading in my master if I had the money..... :(
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#15 PaulSommers

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Posted 09 February 2005 - 09:53 AM

So how much, and how hard is it to do the mod? It appears to be four screws at the base, but what about the top stage?

This looks like a gimbal, post and monitor arm, does anything else change? Do I need a new docking bracket?

Paul
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