Any LCD converts out there?
Posted 26 November 2006 - 11:10 PM
I was LCD from the beginning and I really like it - that's my preference. Maybe because that's what I started with and got used to, but I have a Marell monochrome green as a backup and still prefer the LCD. Ok, my backup isn't a PRO or TB-6, but I think I would still prefer the Transvideo.
Dan "In Full Color" Coplan
Posted 27 November 2006 - 09:59 AM
Dan you may have started yet another thread which causes boiling and wailing from contributors alike!
I am proud to say that I have been an LCD monitor convert since 1995!
Way back when I got started with my trusty Model II, I was immediately in the hunt for another option, not just as a backup to the petite Model II screen, but as an alternative to the whole electronics package.
Since going "flat" and in color, I have been happy in all but the most ridiculous glare situations. Most times, a simple change of viewing angle, up or down, is sufficient to clear things right up. Currently, I depend on the Panasonic 7" 16:9 monitor. Hey, at US$489 from B&H in NY, I feel it's a hard-to-beat deal.
To be fair, I have sampled the wares from Tiffen and many others but at this time, the price point of the Panasonic is tough to beat. Sure, I love the image quality and "depth of flavor" of the Tiffen UltraBright, but the current price is tough to swallow. Perhaps if the right show demanded HD viewing for me and a wandering director, I would take the plunge.
For my needs, slight and light works best. Since I shed the bulk of the PRO I monitor, I have designed and built a monitor bracket which allows dynamic balance with out adding weight and hence saves my sled some 3 pounds!
Just my .02
Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Posted 27 November 2006 - 02:23 PM
I have designed and built a monitor bracket which allows dynamic balance with out adding weight and hence saves my sled some 3 pounds!
Got pics and a description? Something you made for yourself or something offered for others as well?
Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:40 AM
I just got rid of my TB-6, never thought I would, but, I did...)but, wanting to not targeted as being bia-assed by a certain Moderator).
I cant tell you what I've plummed for! I loved the Green screen for a long time, especially the TB-6, but recently I tried an LCD with a very particular Director and he basically stated that he would not work with another Steadicam Op. without this Specific LCD...the clarity is fanatastic! I'm still missing the TB-6 but no-one paying the bills is!! Also, the TB-6 was an awful drain on my batteries... but, I still miss the sucker!!
Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:03 AM
I second Brant's opinion. However?I think that if a green screen works for you?stick with it.
I first started in 93 with an EFP (LCD monitor version)...later had an SK II for a short time (green screen) then faced the tough decision of Pro VS. Ultra. I went with Ultra for many reasons but one of them was because of the HD UltraBright. I know a lot of operators do not like how large it is but I have had no major issues with that (probably just got used to it) and I consider the 8.4? to be an advantage 90% of the time.
I use a Panasonic 7" similar to Brant's (mine is a NebTek) as a back up and I have a Tiffen Steadicam Flyer 7" monitor as an additional back up for my Ultra. I have had only a few shoots where the LCD proved to be a bit problematic. One was when I was shooting in very, very cold temps (+8 deg). Most LCD monitors that I know of are only rated to +32 deg F. They actually work fine for a long time in below 32 (as long as you keep them powered up) but eventually what happens is the monitor begins to actually freeze (LCD = Liquid Crystal Display). It seems to begin with the blue chan. First (it gets real chunky). On the cold weather night I kept a Mighty Mole on it (back side of monitor, 2' away or so) next to my stand in between takes and also wrapped it around the sides with coal hand warmers. The hand warmers need oxygen to work properly so make sure you tape them so they can breath. I got through my gig OK but that started me on a hunt for a 6" green screen back up. Since then I have had several +20 deg outdoor gigs and had no issues at all. Just long term exposure in ext. cold temps seem to be the issue. Just plan well and keep stuff warm or covered...you know...the usual stuff most of us know to do.
The other reason I think would be smart to have a green screen is when shooting very low light level night scenes with bad old video taps. Because I base home in the midwest we often end up with old Arri cameras with really old taps. Of course I have a ton of control with my brightness and contrast on my UltraBright but I believe you can get much more range from a green screen than an LCD. I had to shoot a scene from a movie last summer that was so dark I could only see a few practical street lamps in the frame and had to use them as a guide. I spoke with some of the long time ops from back in the day and they said that was the only way to view things at night back in the day. You know....candle light at thet Last Supper and all. Tough to do quality work. So....I have no problems with either system but because I learned on LCD I am an LCD lover.
Another slight (very slight) argument can be that you can get more into the story or a particular scene by seeing what is going on in color vs. green. I am sure that statement will stir an argument but because I come from drawing, painting and sculpting background I am all about THE STORY. What is happening in each scene I am shooting and how close can I get to understanding how I can help tell that part of the story by my operating. Sometimes just the slightest movement at the right time can reveal something special in a character that might otherwise go unnoticed. Shooting a steadicam shot while in color and by looking at an 8.4" monitor I believe has helped my operating. Now, that said....Larry McConkey (THE MAN) has done a HUGE BODY of incredible work with a TB-6. I find it very hard to argue with that. So....all that I said can be taken as FLUFF and BS or?just for what it is?another operators opinion. Many, many great operators far better than I only use and love green screen monitors. My advice is to stick with what works for you. I love my UltraBright and I am sticking with it.
That is my .02.
Steven Fracol, SOC
Posted 28 November 2006 - 10:09 AM
I tried an LCD with a very particular Director and he basically stated that he would not work with another Steadicam Op. without this Specific LCD...the clarity is fanatastic!
Well, obviously he's got his priorities in the right place. Like so many directors these days. (It IS more important to be text messaging than figuring out the next setup, right?)
There may be something in there about "No man shall be judged by the color of his monitor" but I don't have time to figure out the funny.
Me, I'll be more than happy to go LCD fulltime (I use one as a backup/running rig) when the technology improves so that there is no compromise in daylight visibility, viewing angle, features etc. I'd really miss not being able to perfectly size the image as I can on the TB6.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 11:37 AM
I Can't agree with Charles more. ( although I do own a Transvideo Cinemonitor III Ultra Brite as my back up monitor and a Nebtek/Panasonic 7" as a b/u b/u. )
I have also had to do video jobs where I had to gauge exposure in run and gun on the fly things(ie. Cribs where assistant pulls iris from an lcd , but I am the quality stop gap) ) I can judge a decent exposure on the TB-6 where an LCD fails (to me) as the exposure changes according to your viewing angle...
Finally I prefer a shorter rig and an LCD doesn't give me enough bottom weight for the sled size I prefer...exception might be Tiffen 8.4".
The great thing is we can all work the way we prefer...options are awesome.
preferred kit of the moment:
PRO II w. DBIII
Tiffen Ultra Vest(frontmount
Preston MDR II w/ 3 motors and Digital Microforce
flying an Aaton XTR Prod 75 % of the time
Posted 28 November 2006 - 01:54 PM
Richard - The light weight of the LCD (Transvideo CineIII for me) is an issue, but Transvideo sells a battery bracket that attaches to the back. I'm considering going that route, but in the meantime have a 2 lb. lead weight I got at a SCUBA store that with the help of a couple o' cheap L-brackets at the local hardware store, have screwed into the top of the monitor. Makes a big difference.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 04:02 PM
If you would like to try the MK-V Hummingbird LCD then I think you will find it will answer all your questions as it did for Chris.
We have some demo models available and also have these in stock. It is availble in either PRO or CP mount, so if you would to try one please email me - firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been using this monitor for over 3 years now and everyone who has seen it (and bought it) loves it.
For more info please see - www.mk-v.com
All the best
Howard J Smith
Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:17 PM
Here is a look at my first ACME Monitor Bracket.
I have made several units of this style and plan to make a beefier version that would suit many larger more HD format and size range items.
Very light and rigid and it allows me to maintain dynamic balance without adding bogus weight whether in the form of a battery or depleted uranium.
Just like Rich, I prefer to have the post in the shortest configuration whenever possible. I rarely telescope my post more than four inches from the most compact length. And then it's usually for some diabolical low mode death squad shot!
Here's my take on light and long.
Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Posted 28 November 2006 - 08:47 PM
Just my 2.
Posted 28 November 2006 - 09:17 PM
My thoughts from the last time this came up in 2004: http://www.steadicam...x...dpost&p=992
And dead on Rich with the video exposure thing - my thoughts continued - http://www.steadicam...x...post&p=1027
And, of course, the entire topic: http://www.steadicam...x...dpost&p=941
Now see, wasn't that easier than rethinking or typing it all over again!
Posted 29 November 2006 - 01:55 AM
Why are CRT's green anyway? I understand it's a special phosphor. For the resolution? The clarity? The ability to see clearly in direct sunlight? How much worse would a color version be? Would it necessarily be more expensive?
Dan "Hey, There Are No Stupid Questions, Right? Right?!" Coplan
Posted 29 November 2006 - 01:58 AM
I found out today that the Hummingbird has a built in heater. Now that IS a smart idea.
Also, you can size the UltraBright image horiz and vert, mirror, flip, etc. Very extensive menu.
Sorry Alec...about the posting. Re-hash old info yet again.
Steve Fracol, SOC