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Sony XDcam Low mode with VLS bracket


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#1 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 08:52 PM

Hey all,

let me first tell you how great this forum is and how much it has helped me in learning about operating in general. I own a rather different set-up, that is not PRO by any means, but rather a learning curve. It was initially bought as a rig that compliments the camera operator (an extra item in the van) but has since ended up doing couple of odd jobs... of course i am talking about my Glidecam v20.

The rig often goes out to mates, who have practised with it as much as I have, and one of those mates is using it to shoot an indi feature with XD Cam soon. The XD Cam will be equipped with pro, 35mm primes and on board battery.

He has done the basic camera tests with the Glidecam v20 already, managing to get the balance correctly - thanks to my battery bricks that were counter balancing the heavy front of the camera, powering the 7inch LCD. Instead of using the Pro Pac AB batteries, he used my Super Cam Panasonics, which are much slimmer and lighter - apparently a perfect combination.

Anyway?s, I was told they wanted to do some low mode shots. Being that I am the owner of the rig it was up to me to come up with something, and since I never bought the cage from Glidecam I decided to make one up myself. (Having experience in handling aluminium).

Really long story short I have just completed the cage. It stretches from 250mm to 400mm high. It is 300mm wide insde the camera space, 250mm deep (but that doesnt really matter) and will handle a load of up to 30kg inside it. (Attached picture).

Posted Image

I was wondering if any of you ever used th XD CAM in the low mode and how you did it? Cage?
Also, do you know the dimensions of the camera itself, when fully rigged up?

Thank you!

PS> I also wondered, during the making of this cage, if there would be any market for such a product through this or any other forum. I am able to get them out of the shop rather quick (in only matter of days) and the finish is bloody fantastic - best powder coating ever. Just a thought...

PS2> I am not sure if I posted this in a correct section, I was searching the site for the better part of the day trying to think where I should put this question... couldn?t find a section just about low mode operating :)
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 05:38 AM

Lav,

First, moved your topic to "Brackets/Widgets" since you are talking about low mode cages.

Second, for video, I prefer not to use a low mode bracket at all - opting to invert the image in post. Just flip your monitors on set (including your rig) so you can see what you are doing. (Note: some video cameras, like the Varicam, can be done in camera via a menu)

Cheers,
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#3 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 14 September 2006 - 03:25 AM

Thanks Alec, Ive thrown the idea at the guys re: the flipping of the picture.
Cheers,
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#4 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 16 September 2006 - 01:58 AM

Lav, Alec and others...

I was about to embark on starting a new thread on this subject but this is the perfect opportunity to share this info.

Just a few days ago I got in a VLS low mode bracket from Brant Fagan, SOC. As it turned out 2 days later I landed on a Wal-Mart commercial. The Director told me the entire day would be in low mode and we were using a VariCam. This particular VariCam was from a rental house and even though I requested a flat top VF Gadgets after market handle it showed up with the not so great factory handle. On days that the HD Video camera is to be in low mode all day my assistants and the DIT (HD video tech) I often work with prefer the camera to be ?normal? or right side up so that it is easier for them to work on and they do not have to think ?up side down? all day. I also work with some old school DP?s that prefer to not flip monitors on the set. That said I often manage to get away with flipping the image in the VariCam but not always that lucky. This is a prime example.

On the morning of the Wal-Mart shoot and in just a few minutes my assistants and I had Brant?s VLS bracket on the camera and we were all amazed at how much rigidity it added. Right off the bat the first shot was a walking along side of talent start then run past talent with a switch (walking backward) then looking back at talent placing two body guards on either side in the exact center of frame. Not an easy shot to begin with let alone in low mode.

The thing that I noticed right away during the first few rehearsals was that I did not have to worry at all about the camera shaking side to side because of a bad low mode mount. Brant?s bracket held the camera so tight is was exactly as if I had the camera mounted normally. This totally allowed me to concentrate on my hand control and the switch as well as speed to hit all our marks correctly.

We nailed that shot then went on to finish the day, 11 scenes total, all low mode. It is a very nice bracket and I advise you get one for any work with ENG style 2/3? video cameras. I do not know all the models that this will fit but it appears to work with nearly all 2/3? style ENG cameras. Sony BetaCam, Cine Alta, Panasonic 900, VariCam and I bet it will work with the Viper when in 2 piece mode. I am sure Brant will chime in here and share more info. I am guessing that it will not work with the Genesis or Arri HD camera but it might. I have not been able to measure those to see if it fits.

Best regards to all.

Steven Fracol, SOC
Steadicam/VariCam Owner-Operator
New Vision Pictures, Inc.
816.213.0141KC
323.301.6790 LA
www.fracol.com




I forgot to attach photos.

Here you go.

Best,

Steve

Attached File  _MG_5787.jpg   122.3KB   289 downloads
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#5 Steve Fracol SOC

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 12:22 AM

I posted this yesterday in the Brackets and Widgets file as a response to a question about using a cage...but I thought I better post it under General Discussion so that more people might see it. I know how good a job you moderators do and I know you will move this but please let it live here for a few days as a General Discussion so more of the Steadicam Op's can hear about it. I think the VLS is a great item to add to the kit. It made my day the first time I used it. Story below.

Just a few days ago I got in a VLS low mode bracket from Brant Fagan, SOC. As it turned out 2 days later I landed on a Wal-Mart commercial. The Director told me the entire day would be in low mode and we were using a VariCam. This particular VariCam was from a rental house and even though I requested a flat top VF Gadgets after market handle it showed up with the not so great factory handle. On days that the HD Video camera is to be in low mode all day my assistants and the DIT (HD video tech) I often work with prefer the camera to be ?normal? or right side up so that it is easier for them to work on and they do not have to think ?up side down? all day. I also work with some old school DP?s that prefer to not flip monitors on the set. That said I often manage to get away with flipping the image in the VariCam but not always that lucky. This is a prime example.

On the morning of the Wal-Mart shoot and in just a few minutes my assistants and I had Brant?s VLS bracket on the camera and we were all amazed at how much rigidity it added. Right off the bat the first shot was a walking along side of talent start then run past talent with a switch (walking backward) then looking back at talent placing two body guards on either side in the exact center of frame. Not an easy shot to begin with let alone in low mode.

The thing that I noticed right away during the first few rehearsals was that I did not have to worry at all about the camera shaking side to side because of a bad low mode mount. Brant?s bracket held the camera so tight is was exactly as if I had the camera mounted normally. This totally allowed me to concentrate on my hand control and the switch as well as speed to hit all our marks correctly.

We nailed that shot then went on to finish the day, 11 scenes total, all low mode. It is a very nice bracket and I advise you get one for any work with ENG style 2/3? video cameras. I do not know all the models that this will fit but it appears to work with nearly all 2/3? style ENG cameras. Sony BetaCam, Cine Alta, Panasonic 900, VariCam and I bet it will work with the Viper when in 2 piece mode. I am sure Brant will chime in here and share more info. I am guessing that it will not work with the Genesis or Arri HD camera but it might. I have not been able to measure those to see if it fits.

Best regards to all.

Steven Fracol, SOC
Steadicam/VariCam Owner-Operator
New Vision Pictures, Inc.
816.213.0141KC
323.301.6790 LA
www.fracol.com






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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 10:22 AM

Steve,

"but I thought I better post it under General Discussion so that more people might see it. I know how good a job you moderators do and I know you will move this but please let it live here for a few days as a General Discussion so more of the Steadicam Op's can hear about it."

Not sure why you think more people will see it in general discussion. The forum keeps track of what you have read - if you click on "View New Posts" in the upper tight corner, all posts that you have not read will be listed. After you have read them all, click "Mark All Posts Read" before leaving. It will make your life much easier... and ours because you won't feel the need to post twice, etc.

The reason behind the topics is not to police our fellow operators, but to make searches down the road easier. I will grant your request Steven and leave this for a few days, but it seems rather unnecessary to me. I do request that no one post here regarding the bracket through - that should be done here:

http://www.steadicam...x...ost&p=20421

I'll edit that title to include Brant's low mode bracket too.

I'm leaving this thread unlocked in case someone has something specific to say about the "General Discussion" thing.

Thanks.
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#7 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 09:43 PM

Hi Steven,

Thanks heaps on the information you posted, including the photograph! Very helpful!

The camera department wasn?t too thrilled with the idea of flipping the picture and I am sure they will like this much better, if only I can chase down the bracket in the time before the shoot. I might actually try the cage I built first and then turn to the bracket, but keep my eyes open for it for future jobs - basically I don?t know if I have enough time to buy anything before we have to roll up the sleeves and get flying...

Thanks mate!
Cheers,
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#8 Brant S. Fagan SOC

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Posted 18 September 2006 - 06:31 AM

Lav--

The VLS brackets are in stock and ready to ship. I sent you an email off-board.

I'm sure this rig will make everyone happy, including yourself.

The VLS fits large chassis HD and SD cameras as well as truck or studio triax cameras.

Just remember, the camera handle need not be flat to make the VLS function properly. In fact, the curved handles of some actually get the lens axis headed in a more workable position for most low mode shooting.

Best,

Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Steadicam/Camera Operator
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#9 Charles Papert

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 02:02 PM

I am guessing that it will not work with the Genesis or Arri HD camera but it might. I have not been able to measure those to see if it fits.


The Genesis has the standard Panavision-protocol low-mode attachment points just like an XL (bracket that fits into the mag port). Someone else can chime in on the Arri but I'm sure there is a 435-style top plate also.
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#10 Kareem La Vaullee

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 05:24 PM

Someone else can chime in on the Arri but I'm sure there is a 435-style top plate also.


Hi Charles,

The D20 has an ARRICAM-like Low-mode plate.

Charles, too bad your web-page with the pictures of your setup with Genesis is gone.

Cheers,

K.
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:18 PM

Oh, it's still around, I just did some re-organization.

http://web.mac.com/c... 2/Genesis.html
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#12 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 05 October 2006 - 10:25 PM

Oh, it's still around, I just did some re-organization.

http://web.mac.com/c... 2/Genesis.html



great pics!
:D
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#13 Kareem La Vaullee

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Posted 07 October 2006 - 03:32 PM

Oh, it's still around, I just did some re-organization.

http://web.mac.com/c... 2/Genesis.html



Oh great, Thanks.

K.
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