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Finest contrazoom - Alec Jarnagin


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#1 thomas-english

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 04:58 PM

I am a big fan of doing steadicam contrazooms and I have just been watching your reel Alec and I have to say that contrazoom at the top of the B+W promo is simply awesome! How did you do it? vehicle mount? trade secret?
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 08:27 PM

Thomas,

Thanks for the compliments. Good timing too, as I've been editing a new reel (long overdue at three years) and that video is on the chopping block (new reel should be up at the end of next week?). While I love that shot (as well as the long lens stuff) I realized that video has been on my reel in one incarnation or another since 1998! (we shot it in '97). I'll also take a moment and thank Davis Ellis for his editing skills as he has been doing the new version with me.

I'm almost embarrassed to tell you how that shot was done. In those days, I was still using a Seitz (the BFD wasn't even invented yet). The zoom was accomplished by a Heden motor (old style - horizontal) hooked up to the zoom (16mm; Canon 8-64). We started at 64mm & I ran full speed at them while the AC used the iris slider to snap out the zoom. Crude, but effective. I think they may have played with it a little in post (speed, etc.) but I can't remember.

More amazingly the VERY slow & subtle zoom on the reel ("Make a Wish Foundation") was also done with the Seitz. The AC used two rotary knobs (versus the slider). That was the Cooke 20 to 60 (35mm), also starting all the way in & ending on the wide end. I'm still amazed at the job the AC (Joe Cristofori in Boston) did considering we were wide open (which is only a 4 or so) and right up on the card to start. Hell of a pull; hell of a zoom, but combined a miracle.

Cheers,
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#3 thomas-english

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 03:11 AM

I find my bartech jumps a bit due to the lower resolution on slow zooms when using Iris/focus on the zoom. The seitz must be much higher resolution! Fast zooms are fine though on my bartech.

Cheers
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#4 JimBartell

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 07:39 AM

I find my bartech jumps a bit due to the lower resolution on slow zooms when using Iris/focus on the zoom. The seitz must be much higher resolution! Fast zooms are fine though on my bartech.

Cheers


Guess again. The Seitz had, at best, 512 steps of resolution. Fewer once you calibrated the motor since you calibrated by throwing away steps. Your BFD always has 4096 steps.

Jim "touchy" Bartell
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#5 Benjamin Treplin

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:31 AM

Jim,
what's about your zoom control/BUZ and the the pressure sensitive control?
Any news pro-zoom?

Best
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#6 JimBartell

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:17 AM

Jim,
what's about your zoom control/BUZ and the the pressure sensitive control?
Any news pro-zoom?

Best


Just finished a week of testing on "Invasion" and a few issues need to be looked at but pretty minor stuff. I will have units at NAB for people to look at and comment on.

Initially, to get things going I will be selling it with the VariZoom VZ Rock controller as the development of our thumb control was holding us up for too long and I wanted to start shipping ASAP. I would still like to pursue a pressure sensitive control at a future date but I didn't want to hold things up any longer.

My biggest problem right now is trying to stay ahead of demand on BFD's. Last year was my best ever and this year, so far, is even better so trying to squeeze out time to finish the BUZ units is tough. The good news is I finally have everything in house to get the first 10 out there and that is what I plan to do immediately after NAB.

Jim "having a tough time squeezing it out" Bartell
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#7 PeterAbraham

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 02:42 PM

It may well be time for we subscribers to vote on our Top Ten Jim Bartell Names.

Me, I give this a 99. It is right up there. :)

Back to the OP: I owned two if the first BFD's made. Both executed painfully slow zoom moves with nary a twitch. If your unit is twitchy, send it to Jim !! :)

Peter "I Miss My B.F.D. " Abraham
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#8 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:38 PM

[quote name='JimBartell' date='Apr 7 2006, 11:17 AM' post='16416']

[/quote]


I would still like to pursue a pressure sensitive control at a future date but I didn't want to hold things up any longer.


[/quote]


Jim, Please dont waste your time with pressure sensitive stuff, this system just is not very good for Steadicam, the analog feel of a rocker is much better if this unit is to mounted on a gimbal-yoke. We use to much force with the zoom hand while controling boom height and the rocker thing is easier to feather. In general, I dont think the pressure sensitive units, such as microforce, have good feel. I should send you a photo of the mod I made for the Zoe, I mount with a rubber microphone clamp instead of the supplied long screws. This give a nice clean feel, easy on and off, no silp.

You know my order is in, I cant wait.

Jeff
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#9 Benjamin Treplin

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 03:03 AM

Jeff,
maybe we chould move this to Follow Focus and you could attache a picture of your mod for all of us?

Jim,
does your zoom unit work with all whatever-rocker-style-zoom controls?

Best

I have moved it to Follow Focus - The Rocker Zoom Style
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