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preston gimbal zoom control


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#1 roger tooley

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Posted 13 May 2007 - 10:23 PM

Ladies/Gentlemen

I wonder if anyone has an opinion on using the Preston "steadicamised" microforce. That is Preston product no. 2001, mounted on the gimbal handle. I'm sure it's marvellous but any thoughts before I buy one?

Thanks - Roger Tooley
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 11:52 AM

Roger:

I have had one for some years and it does of course work very well, the classic Microforce sensitivity and response.

The plastic box with all of the circuitry in it is a bit bulky but there's usually somewhere you can bung it. It has the LED position display also found on late model Microforces, but it doesn't help while operating as it's not likely to be able to mount the box anywhere where you can see it (like the monitor). I have spoken to Howard about a remote LED panel, but that never happened.

Order two of the skinny cables that attach to the button, they are obviously prone to damage (can easily catch on the dock and rip out, for instance).

You might need a little tape on the inside to get a good grip on your gimbal.

I believe the stock version has a straight connector on the motor cable, at least that's what I got. I generally prefer the right angle connector, so if you feel the same, you should specify this to them when they make yours up.

I recently switched from the PRO gimbal to the XCS with ergo handle--the diameter of the handgrip is the same but the foam cover for the XCS made things a bit funky. I had to peel it back to mount the Microforce and it ultimately split the foam. Greg of course took care of me, but I am still trying to suss out a proper solution.

Good luck, I think you will be very happy with it.
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 10:06 PM

Howard called me on that and I brought in my XCS Gimbal. We found that if you loss one side of the split bushing, on the knob clamp, it will fit nicely onto the gimbal without the need to loss the anti-slip plastic... and the plastic basically replaces the need for the bushing.

Erwin
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#4 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 09:03 AM

Hey Roger, I have to tell you, I bought one of these a few years back and ended up returning it. I found that for Steadicam, I liked a more manual/analog, feel. The pressure sensitive control was hard for me to feather a slow creep zoom while I am using the same hand for boom height. The better solution for me was the ZOE III. I like the larger area of movement it uses. I modified the mount for my XCS ergo handle with a soft rubber microphone mount, for quick and easy on and off. I love this little set-up. Try before you buy.

good luck,
Jeff

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#5 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:53 AM

<< The better solution for me was the ZOE III. I like the larger area of movement it uses. I modified the mount for my XCS ergo handle with a soft rubber microphone mount, for quick and easy on and off. I love this little set-up. Try before you buy.>>




But...You can't use a Zoe III for film. Strictly a video solution. I carry both. For video the ease, price and feel of the ZOE is hard to beat, but when you need to zoom (and not have the dis-connect of the AC doing the zoom) the preston is there. As you said "try before you buy."

Best,

Richard Davis
Los Angeles
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#6 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 01:37 PM

You can use the Zoe & similar for film if it is used in combination with Jim Bartell's BUZ system - designed to allow the use of conventional video zoom demands on cine lenses. This leads to the next questions - who has bought the BUZ, and how does it perform?
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#7 roger tooley

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 03:37 PM

Hey Roger, I have to tell you, I bought one of these a few years back and ended up returning it. I found that for Steadicam, I liked a more manual/analog, feel. The pressure sensitive control was hard for me to feather a slow creep zoom while I am using the same hand for boom height. The better solution for me was the ZOE III. I like the larger area of movement it uses. I modified the mount for my XCS ergo handle with a soft rubber microphone mount, for quick and easy on and off. I love this little set-up. Try before you buy.

good luck,
Jeff


Interesting Jeff, I know exactly what you mean. The thing is, I need to zoom my Preston motors, of course normally the AC would do it but I want the flexibilty of doing it myself if I choose to. So, another question is - does any company (other than Preston) manufacture a gimbal mountable zoom control that will drive Preston motors?? I'd like to give my money to Preston cos they are the best but is there an alternative?

Thanks - Roger
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#8 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 08:17 AM

So, another question is - does any company (other than Preston) manufacture a gimbal mountable zoom control that will drive Preston motors?? I'd like to give my money to Preston cos they are the best but is there an alternative?

Thanks - Roger



Roger, to the best of my knowledge, I think you?re stuck with Preston, which is not a bad thing... But if you would prefer, as I do, using a more zoom friendly set up, I would consider the "BUZ" with a traditional zoom control as used in the video world. You would need to buy a dedicated zoom motor that works well with Jim's box. It's funny, working in both Film and Video, I feel that the video zoom controls are far easier to work with then microforce type controls (both on or off Steadicam). The Video world has utilized the zoom far more then film so it makes sense that they have created a better concept in my opinion. It could be, simply, that I am more used to it...

Of course, there is always, the LCS or Preston unit in the hands of a good AC. The down side of an operator controlled zoom is it is harder to hit a precise lens size. (Some video cameras give you a super imposed graphic of lens size)

good luck, let me know what you end up with.

Jeff
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