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Ball head on a stage

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#1 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:49 PM

Does the idea of a putting a ball head on a stage make sense? I can see it being useful to achieve dynamic balance while being tilted much like a tilt head on the higher end rigs. I can also see it being useful for tilting the camera all the way back and shooting upwards. Of course every time the ball head was adjusted the tilt and possibly roll would have to be significantly rebalanced.
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#2 David M. Aronson

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

I consddered doing this, but the instability would kill it and it would raise the CG way to high for all but the lightest cameras. Unless you tightened it with a wrench, a ball head just wouldn't stay put well enough. A standard tripod head might work a little better, but those are heavier than ball heads and raise the CG up even higher. Betz-tools has one, but without knowing what rig you have, I can't recommend it. It may sound weird, but the best option is probably just to trim for headroom. You won't always be in dynamic balance and you often won't even be statically balanced and this freaks a lot of people out. It's actually better to be slightly tilted up or down and not touch the rig at all than to have the rig perfectly balanced and put force on it the entire shot. Hope this helps.
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#3 Brian Freesh

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:16 PM

No, it doesn't make sense, more or less for the reasons both you and David mentioned.

I'll just add that static balance has no set position. Static balance is simply the balance of the rig at rest (static). Essentially, the rig is in static balance when you say it is. "Perfect" static balance is particular to a shot and is subjective to the operator. You may begin with a static balance that has the post vertical, and then trim for headroom to get perfect static balance for the shot. Or you may decide you prefer to keep the post balanced vertical for a variety of possibilities. Dynamic balance requires the post to be vertical. I know ops with motorized stages who program multiple static balances for shots with lots of tilting so that they can change static balance during a take. It's all in what works for you and how you choose to use it.
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