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Thoughts on the Element Technica Mantis


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#1 Afton Grant

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 06:59 AM

Is there a better handheld system for a camera like the Arri LT? Even with Super Speeds, it is quite front heavy in HH mode, using the standard Arri HH config with the fixed shoulder pad nested between the body and the magazine. Throw on some S4s or, god forbid, a zoom and arm fatigue sets in quickly. I thought perhaps the Mantis, with its sliding baseplate, would help balance the camera out a bit better, but this brings up concerns about the eyepiece now being unreachable. Perhaps the 1000 ft mag, although heavier, would balance things out better.

Anyone have thoughts, suggestions, or solutions? I know there's the EZ rig, but for purposes of this discussion, I'm more interested in non-wearable options.

Also for purposes of this discussion, let's pretend film actually has a bit more life left in her.

Cheers,
Afton
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#2 RonBaldwin

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

bong bag with neck strap...I know you have one
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#3 Matteo Quagliano

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:13 AM

bong bag with neck strap...I know you have one



AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHA
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#4 Afton Grant

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 10:23 AM

So helpful, as always Ron.
Eric, you want to chime in here about how Tiffen rigs suck?
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#5 William Demeritt

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:32 AM

Like you said: if you have the long Arri sliding dovetail, keep the camera on that and put a pad on your shoulder (tape it to the bottom of the dovetail) and operate off an onboard LCD. Eyepiece location becomes irrelevant, move the camera where you need, use both eyes for the LCD, hands on the matte box or iris rods. Or, if the eyepiece isn't too far and its close to balanced, go that route.
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:39 AM

Afton,

Sliding base plate as well. It can make you look up a tad to the eye-piece and even contort your head a little to get to it depending on the set-up, but its balanced.
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#7 Afton Grant

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:41 AM

If I had the HD tap and a good HD monitor, I might consider this route, but there's no way I'd trust an SD tap and monitor to show me accurate focus - especially for handheld work.
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#8 Afton Grant

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:44 AM

Previous response was intended for Will's comment. Alec, this is exactly the concern that made me question if something like the Mantis is a good idea.
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#9 Pedro Guimaraes SOC

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:19 PM

The mantis is "tall" it puts the camera higher above your shoulder than I like. makes it a bit top heavy.

I'm also with the shoulder pad crowd...
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#10 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:25 PM

Have to agree about the Mantis being too tall. I seem to remember taking the ball socket thingy to the shoulder pad out in order to lower the camera the camera and using my own shoulder pad. Just put a 1000' mag on the LT and it will balance nicely.
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#11 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 03:17 AM

I did the same as Lawrence. 1000ft mag is way to go.
Remove the shoulder pad so the body of the camera can rest freely on your shoulder for balancing. Using a piece of thin foam for the shoulder pad.
Holding and controlling the camera from the matte box rods.

Cheers,

Ken Nguyen.
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#12 James Davis

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 06:57 AM

Panavision make these really nice little strap on shoulder pads for handheld work:

http://www.panavisio...ult.asp#pdct556

Just put some moose bars on the front of the rails and you are good to go :)
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#13 RonBaldwin

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:10 AM

actually I was half serious...an assistant I work with has a bong shipping bag she stuffed with foam. The strap goes around your neck and your elbows rest on the bag. Low tech is sometimes a good solution. Lifting the camera up too high with a gadget, pad, baseplate, or paycheck is a bad thing.

With all these front-heavy cameras nowadays I also recommend the shake-weight that James Puli mentioned in the "what the hell is that?" thread. I also use the weight when watching Pedro's videos.
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#14 James Davis

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 10:40 AM

Thing is I reckon, by the time you've bought one of these:

http://www.everyoned...p_Chocolate.cfm

the foam and paid for the postage, you're not far off the price of the purpose built pad....although the shake-weight probably trumps both of our ideas.

Edited by James Davis, 25 April 2012 - 10:42 AM.

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#15 Andrew Stone

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:21 AM

Simiilarly, I've been looking for the ideal handheld setup for sometime and always come back to the fixed bridgeplate idea as opposed to a baseplate where you can adjust the height to accommodate a rod mounted mattebox. Shoulder pad options available are not plentiful but there are a couple of options. I'll place links to systems that use strictly a rods based setup and ones that incorporate an ARRI dovetail plate. Unfortunately, if production isn't picking up the tab -- once you add up the bits including grips, bridgeplate, shoulderpads, rods and other adapter bits, battery hanger and maybe a riser -- you are generally into it for 2 grand and possibly/probably more unless you own a bunch of the bits already.

Most here would know about the Element Technica stuff, so here are a couple of other solutions to consider.

Simple Baseplate:

http://www.innocinem...products_id=109

Baseplates and shoulder rig system bits & pieces that relies largely on an ARRI dovetail as the basis of the system. (site is not well organized you have to dig a lot):

http://allstar-cine....sories/A_Mr.htm

Shoulder pad that is close to the rods but it is a 15mm block (not studio spacing):

http://www.bhphotovi...y_Shoulder.html

Some stuff at the Baer-Bel & Cam-Tec sites may be of use as well:

http://www.baer-bel....Highlights.html

http://shop.strato.d...ories/Dovetails
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