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operating with swing and tilt lens system on steadicam

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#1 Wei K. Pun

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:02 AM

Hello, how is everybody, haven't been posting or read any posting for sometime now... Hope all is doing well. I recently got this very interesting offer to do a steadicam with a swing and tilt lens system mounted on a SR3.... I just curious does anyone on the forum done anything like that before? any advice or suggestions? Any comments or suggestions are mostly welcome. Looking forward to hear from you guys.
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#2 RobVanGelder


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Posted 13 April 2007 - 02:32 AM

Well, first of all, a swing/tilt lens works limited on 16mm, due to the small negative. 35mm has a better result.
2nd: swing/shift of focus is mostly visible on low F-numbers, meaning your focus puller is going to have a fun time...... not!
combined with the fact that the calibration might have little accuracy...... (if you can manage your focus motor on the control)

It is possible but the problem is in my opinion, that with these lenses you really have to see and know what you want in focus in your shot.
since you are not looking through the lens but on a low resolution video screen, you don't really know if what you see on your monitor is really in focus, and when it is wrong it is really not nice to look at.
so it might be a bit of a guess, when you get the rushes back things that appeared in focus on tv might be just that annoying bit off.
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#3 bobgilles


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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:03 AM

I did the Claritin spots with DP Gil Cope witn the swing and tilt rig prepped at Clairmont. The rig added allot of weight to the Moviecam Compact and we had 2 prestons controlling it, there were marks on the floor where I had to "park" the post over when the lens move happened at the beggining and end of my moves. Swing and Tilt went through a fad phase for a while and it got overused in Ads, but the effects in the Claritin spots were beautiful. I had to clamp 2 Mayfers to the lower post to balance all that crap, so I am glad S/T lens on Steadi is rare!
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#4 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 11:07 AM

Hi Wei,

Depending on the swing/tilt package you have , you might need some rods to hold the lens so think about the bridge plate that add weight. If the lenses don't need the support, putting a motor on the iris should be fine but a lot of complications for focus. First problem is the lens will probably be "crooked" and I have not seen a "dutch" motor bracket yet, then if you can actually put a motor on, the references are different with every move you make on the lens, so calibrating will result in a very painfull experience and time consumming. The 2 times I have used Swing/tilt lenses were on music videos and we all agreed not to try to pull focus and live with the "artsy" results.

There is one picture of me with the ARRI swing/tilt lenses on a 435. You can see I had to link the camera to the sled by using the "studio mode " accessories like the sliding plate, bridge plate and 15mm rods to use the lenses. And no motor on. Sorry if the picture is not very relevant.Posted Image
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#5 Wei K. Pun

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Posted 13 April 2007 - 12:11 PM

Hi All, thanks for the reply and your valueble comments and thoughts... when I was in Hong Kong many years ago, the local machine shop modified these wonderful Canon 35mm til& shift lens on for 35mm Arri, I noticed TCS on east coast has them, I'll try to let the production company rent those to use with Steadicam... it is much smaller and make the A/C life more easier. Will see.... :)
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#6 Kenny Brown SOC

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Posted 30 April 2007 - 10:03 PM

Hi there

I tried with once with a band connecting the focus motor to the knob on the swing of the lens - it quickly worked it's way off and I ended up pulling focus myself on a whip. Not too bad actually, you look through the viewfinder and get marks (don't take your hand off the whip) then memorize hand positions with foot/framing ones and it kind of works. Worth a try when they want that 'dreamy' look and it doesn't have to be too steady.

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