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EFP Upgrade


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#1 Per-Kristian Henriksen

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 04:25 PM

Hey guys!
Phew, my first post so far, after something like a year or more lurking, reading, thinking and observing.

So, hi guys. I'm a new young-one in this business and just got to borrow for a uknown-amount-of-time an good old steadicam EFP rig that has been laying around in a storage for the few last years. My question for you after a lot of googleing and searching here at the forum is, does anyone make a cable for HD, 12/24V and rods/any kind of way to be able to move the batteries position - upgrade, for the EFP rig?
If not, would anyone care to explain me the way, or at least who I should contact to make this happen?

Again thanks for all the knowledge spread on these pages, people! 

Best regards,
-P.K Henriksen


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#2 Janice Arthur

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:06 PM

Per-Kristian;

 

Welcome and thanks for doing lots of reading ahead.

 

1) EFP while a useful rig has a limited value to be spending money on upgrading it.

Don't get me wrong it has value but I'd personally only do a couple of things to it.

 

2) I would use it happily and make money with it.

 

3) here is where I think you're making wrong assumptions.

  A) running an HD cable down the post;  the expense and time involved not worth it.

 

    There is  no crime in just running a cable from the camera down the front of the rig and to an HD monitor you now have on it.

 

    If you want to spin balance it take the cable off for those 3 min and then put it back on.

 

4) 24 volt.  There is really only one camera, the Alexa that shows up 24 volts these days and it even runs 12 volts off its own onboard batts.  Again no reason to go to the expense and trouble to modify a rig that's 15 years older than you are I bet.

 

5) Most cameras you run into today have their own batteries.

 

6) Maybe, and this is a maybe put an HD monitor on it and figure out how to power it off its own camcorder battery or off the rig and you're done.

 

7) the junction box is ancient and most of the connectors not really useful.

 

8) top stage ok but will frustrate you so not great either but useable.

 

9) get to practicing with it asap and enjoy and learn but really don't spend much on it and after you've gotten some jobs and clients and figure out what you really really need like f-brackets and other stuff then you'll be much better off.

 

Good luck and use up what you can out of the rig and don't invest more than is really needed.  Above is a survey of that.

 

Janice


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#3 Per-Kristian Henriksen

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:28 PM

Thanks so much for an informative and useful answer, Janice!


Thing is I have been practicing on a GPI Pro rip-off or what I should call it, a Danish brand called ProGear. I don't think they ever got really into the game, but the rig itself did the job for me as for getting to try out, and I have used it 3 times now for DVD-recordings of live-shows, and one time for big-screen streaming. 
Hands on learned me more than I could dream of.

Anyways, as I want to work with live-TV and I have done my research, things point to the way of the EFP as the mosed commonly used rig withing scandinavia. So that's why I wanted to get to try it, and luckily I have a "step-grandpa(?)" that had one laying around. So here I am, trying to get something out of it.

I have already figured that the top-stage and plate will be a pain in the ass, as it doesn't seem to want to fasten very well, wich makes the camera move for about a centimeter sometimes, front- or backwards.

Oh, and about the age-thing.. You weren't way off. Thogh I think it might be even a bigger span between me and the rig, haha ;)

But bottomline is that you think this is a rig for just the "metals" purpose of keeping the steadicam-principle, and that after making some money I should buy another, am I right?

Anyways thanks for the respond, and so quickly! Honored to have it come from you. :)

Thanks again.
-P.K


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#4 JensSchroeder

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 11:20 PM

Per-Kristian;
 
Welcome and thanks for doing lots of reading ahead.
 
1) EFP while a useful rig has a limited value to be spending money on upgrading it.
Don't get me wrong it has value but I'd personally only do a couple of things to it.
 
2) I would use it happily and make money with it.
 
3) here is where I think you're making wrong assumptions.
  A) running an HD cable down the post;  the expense and time involved not worth it.
 
    There is  no crime in just running a cable from the camera down the front of the rig and to an HD monitor you now have on it.
 
    If you want to spin balance it take the cable off for those 3 min and then put it back on.
 
4) 24 volt.  There is really only one camera, the Alexa that shows up 24 volts these days and it even runs 12 volts off its own onboard batts.  Again no reason to go to the expense and trouble to modify a rig that's 15 years older than you are I bet.
 
5) Most cameras you run into today have their own batteries.
 
6) Maybe, and this is a maybe put an HD monitor on it and figure out how to power it off its own camcorder battery or off the rig and you're done.
 
7) the junction box is ancient and most of the connectors not really useful.
 
8) top stage ok but will frustrate you so not great either but useable.
 
9) get to practicing with it asap and enjoy and learn but really don't spend much on it and after you've gotten some jobs and clients and figure out what you really really need like f-brackets and other stuff then you'll be much better off.
 
Good luck and use up what you can out of the rig and don't invest more than is really needed.  Above is a survey of that.
 
Janice

Hi Janice,

I really often agree with your posts and even now I can agree but at the same time I have to argue with you a little bit because I have seen a very good EFP upgrade for a reasonable price. I'll try to get some pics, the upgrade consisted of a new upper and lower junction box with lemo connectors and HD cable, new battery hanger where you could move the batteries on a rod system, (I think even 24 V upgrade). Don't know if they were able to upgrade the EFP-donkey box.
I'll send Per-Kristian the contact data and hope, he's not too frustrated, having found such a great sled.
I hope, he has the 3A gimbal with it and not the weaker EFP-gimbal. As for me an important point whether to invest in an upgrade or not.
Just my 2c.
Cheers,
jens
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#5 Janice Arthur

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:59 AM

Jens

I'm all for good conversation so your points are well taken.

I wanted to keep PK from spending money first without understanding surface statements he might have read about upgrades. I see newbies dive for expensive when maybe there exists a fine choice they just don't know, like a cable outside the post the monitor works just fine.

As he figures out what niche and jobs he might get with the rig it might be worth updating.

Simple things like a kip handle in the top stage tiedown instead of that horrible little knob will largely stop the slipping of the top stage.
A drop of oil on all those points around the rig where a hex head exists will also do wonders. Replacing the screw in the gimbal (the one that you tighten to hold the gimbal in place) and a drop of oil in the screw hole will also do wonders for pennies.

A better monitor HD or SD would also help an awful lot.

Now once he's up and using it and really seeing whats good or bad like the gimbal he can now see if the upgrades are justified.

So yes if its a free rig and he's a young willing guy great to do the work but its got to be tied to what will he ever get paid or how many jobs will he get with it?

If he's in an area where he will make $300 a day max and may only have 15 days a year of work? That's the deeper stuff.

Janice.

Thanks
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#6 Per-Kristian Henriksen

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:08 AM

Thanks for the inputs both of you!

I got the PM's from Jens and I'll check it out. But as you say Janice, a cheap way is absolutely what I'm looking for. Of course, I've been incredibly lucky to get to use this rig now for free and possibly buy it later, but I still don't really want any big investments done in it yet. And already from the little you guys've said by now I have learned a few things. Originally I though the 24V conversion was a must for TV-cameras, but guess I don't necessarily need it now.

And about the "kip handle"? I'll have to message you about that, if it's okay, Janice!
Also about a monitor that doesn't cost a fortune but does the job. And even an bracket or whatever to mount the monitor. I seem to find a lot of info on the pro-rigs and other "new" ones, but I find it tricky to find anything about the EFP, and therefore this thread. So any presumptions doesn't really exist about the upgrade-part.

And for now, I see this as a training-year as I don't really feel like I should charge for my work yet because of the lack of experience and rock-solid operating. I have some clips to show if it's interesting but I guess not, so I'll just keep up the practicing.

Thanks again guys!
-P.K


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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:42 AM

Pk

Google kipp handles

Monitors other can add info on depends on what u want to spend

All over the place from $50-$3000.

You now get to do the next steps

Not being a butt just on a train and a phone. Now its your turn to do some research and come back with more questions

Janice
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#8 Per-Kristian Henriksen

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 12:06 PM

Pk

Google kipp handles

Monitors other can add info on depends on what u want to spend

All over the place from $50-$3000.

You now get to do the next steps

Not being a butt just on a train and a phone. Now its your turn to do some research and come back with more questions

Janice

Will do, Janice!
Thanks for the help so far!
And have a nice train-ride :)
I'll come back when I hit a bump.

-P.K


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