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Low mode with weight plate; top or bottom of the camera?


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#1 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 10:51 AM

Last night I was shooting mixed martial arts UFC fighting, flying an HVX200 HD camera (8 lbs) plus weight plate (11lbs) on my Clipper 2 w/G50 arm.

They went on the mats into grappling work so I quickly switched to low mode with my low mode bracket and extra dove tail plate, leaving the weight and other dove tail plate mounted on the bottom of the camera. The HVX has a metal handle so I felt fairly confident it would be okay and it was.

My question is in retrospect from an operating point of view would I have been better off with the weight plate mounted to the top of the handle close to the mounting stage instead of the bottom of the camera? Of course that would have taken a while to rebuild. Balance wise in low mode the gimble was within an inch or two of the mounting stage so I had very little "grip" area and the G50 arm still had more travel than my left arm had the ability to reach for control. The tilting stage was a lifesaver and I'm happy with the shots but I really wanted to get about 6 inches lower.

Thanks!
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#2 paul magee

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 12:05 PM

Hey Robert,

When I have to work with either a cage or weight plate for the tiny cameras I employ a quick release device
on the said cage or weight plate. Erwin Landau has a picture of a manfrotto version on his posting about
cages a few sections down. I prefer the tiny Sachtler version as the camera drops in and out as opposed to sliding it in place. I have extra sandwich plates so I mount one at the bottom of the camera and use the second with whatever I need to mount to the top of the camera I can switch quickly and never have to touch the weight plate or cage, just a quick rebalance and I'm off.

An added benefit is having something extra to mount a follow focus motor on. Sometimes the weight plate below gets in the way and attacking the lens from above makes the most sense.


Paul Magee
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#3 Kevin Mueller

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Posted 12 December 2006 - 05:07 PM

They went on the mats into grappling work so I quickly switched to low mode with my low mode bracket and extra dove tail plate, leaving the weight and other dove tail plate mounted on the bottom of the camera. The HVX has a metal handle so I felt fairly confident it would be okay and it was.



I have an HVX200 as well, and you may want to be careful mounting the HVX by the handle with an additional 11 lbs attached to the bottom of the camera. There are reports at dvxuser.com from people that have broken the handle off when lifting the camera by the handle when it is attached to a tripod.

I personally would not lift the camera and a tripod this way, but it has happened. Do a search in the HVX200 section of dvxuser.com if you want to know more.

Apparently, it is not the handle that breaks but where the handle attaches to the camera.

I am getting a low-mode cage to use with the HVX instead of the bracket, just to be on the safe side.

Best,

Kevin
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#4 chris fawcett

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 05:48 AM

Hi Robert,

If you weren't adding weight for total inertia, a lighter weight mounted on the camera handle would achieve the same gimbal-stage distance, and hopefully not overstress the handle.

Without any added weight, the camera would pop up like a cork, the stage way above the gimbal to achieve static balance. Inverted for low mode, this configuration would get you closer to the mat without gorilla arms.

The lower and heavier the weight, in low mode, the higher the lens. No? These things seem so simple before the stand, and so theoretical sitting in a café watching a gale whip over the Giant's Causeway.

If you hadn't a G-50, you might have no choice but to use that weight just to trim the arm.

All the best,

Chris
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