Alternative use for Brant's VLS
Posted 11 March 2007 - 07:47 PM
I wanted to share an alternative use of Brant Fagan's low mode system. I had a shoot today using the HVX200 and the RedRock M2 adapter, which as we all know, inverts the image into the camera. The Master monitor unfortunately does not have the ability to flip the image, and turning the CRT upside down is not an option. Going into the day, I was uneasy, not completely sure of how I was going to give myself a right-side-up image.
The solution was surprisingly simple, actually. One of those solutions to a problem where you think, "I guess I'll give that a try," and then when it actually works you're convinced there must be a catch somewhere. I simply mounted the VLS onto the camera and adapter, and then flipped the camera upside down on top of the Steadicam. Worked just fine. Solid as can be.
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Posted 11 March 2007 - 08:35 PM
My monitor on my Master will flip the X and Y axis with the flip of a switch. I have the Master Film, so maybe if you have the Elite or something that's the difference. I had always assumed that all Master monitors had this feature.
Regardless of that, it's good problem solving on your part.
Posted 11 March 2007 - 09:04 PM
Posted 11 March 2007 - 09:57 PM
Posted 11 March 2007 - 10:49 PM
Nice problem solving Afton. Although I would be worried about the "Bend" in the optical system, that lens looks like it's pointing down hill!
You are correct, sir. We noticed the phenomenon as well. Concerned, we triple checked the image into the camera and playback and it still looked fine so we didn't spend much time reconstructing to make the setup perfect. I don't know if the bend is caused by the weight of the system pulling in the opposite direction it was meant to. Perhaps carbon rods would've provided the stiffness we needed? I also wondered if perhaps I had tightened the VLS too much, squeezing something slightly out of alignment?
A majority of any troubleshooting for the day was spent on the follow focus - notice, still camera lenses - no gears. Arrrghhh.
Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:41 AM
Of course, when inverted it's nearly impossible to deal with buttons and menus on the camera with any virtuosity because you can't find anything, even if you are expert at the particular camera (and with the speed they come out these days, who really is!)
Posted 12 March 2007 - 10:51 AM
I also have a Redrock adapter. My set up came with these plastic focus rings for the still lenses.
Maybe you rented and they left this out?
I have used this same set up with my flyer, which has a flip funtion in the monitor so I didn't have to mount the camera upside down, but great idea and yes a time saver in post.
Posted 12 March 2007 - 02:25 PM
Here's yet another way to make the VLS work for you!
Afton--Even if you could make the VLS too tight, I can't see how you could affect the angle of the dangle of the lens.
Yes, this does make the functionality of an upright camera the way of the day.
I still have VLS units in stock and ready to ship to those in need.
Brant S. Fagan, SOC
Posted 19 March 2007 - 12:01 PM
we used a very similar setup also, using baerbel's "sushi server" low mode cage.
i think robert eder who did steadicam on this show posted them already here some time ago...
(i'm just an aspiring cinematographer who likes to lurk around steadicam forums)
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Posted 19 March 2007 - 03:29 PM
Herein lies the inherent problem with other low mode handle clamps; they rely on the "integrity" of the plastic handle and/or the undersized hardware used to attach them to the chassis.
Afton's solution to the problem at hand is yet another example of why I began R&D on the VLS almost two years ago.
Most video camera handles are far and away much less substantial than say a carry handle on a M60 machine gun or a NASCAR lightweight hydraulic jack. They are meant to lift the camera from the case and place it on a tripod or other means of camera support.
This is the elegance of the VLS in a nutshell: you can now grasp the camera without depending on the plastic handle or the undersized hardware with rigidity heretofor unheard of in the video camera world. This kind of bracketry was common for film cameras but not for video.
Now you can have your cake and lowmode too!
Brant S. Fagan, SOC