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First job with a 535b


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 08:36 PM

Hi. I got a last minute call today for a job tommorrow with a 535b. I've never flown this camera before, so I'm looking for any in and outs that are specific to this camera. I've heard it's heavy, although I'm not sure exactly how heavy. They are getting lightweight mags and a clip on matte box and those types of steadicam goodies, so that should help with the weight.
Any tips, recommendations, or advice with this camera will be greatly appreciated.
Thanks.
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#2 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 08:45 PM

ask also for the video full top that will also help a lot ...besides been much heavier than others camera its very satable camera
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 08:53 PM

ask also for the video full top that will also help a lot ...besides been much heavier than others camera its very satable camera

Thanks for the tip, but that was the first thing that was asked for and denied. It's either a money thing or a time thing, since they only have one camera, but either way it's not happening.
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#4 RodCrombie

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 11:38 PM

The 535B is a well balanced camera. It doesn't draw a lot of power and if your batteries are full up you should be able to get quite a few mags per battery. By not getting the video tap only you are going to add a couple of extra pounds, (at the top of the camera). Changing taps takes literally seconds, so it must be a money thing.

Have fun.

Rod (it aint a BL4) Crombie
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 17 June 2004 - 11:39 PM

Brad,

I know it can get old having people say this, but...

No 100% video on that beast, fine; no Steadicam.

Not just a weight thing, that camera is tall. Even with the 100% video, your gimbal will be at the top of your post (and your post will be extended). With the additional weight of the optics at the top of the camera, it moves the C.G. even higher.

Time or money? Must be money (or the lack there of). The swap between optics and 100 finder is very quick (much quicker than a Moviecam, but obviously slower than a Panavision XL).

Other than that, the camera flies well (with 100% video). Power hungry on start up (amperage wise), but not as bad as a 435. If I recall, you have a Master Series, and still use a 12 to 24 Volt converter. You should be fine with this, assuming your batteries are in good shape, but having never owned a Master series, this is a bit of a guess. When I had a 3a with a DeRose converter, it would not turn this camera over, but the Master converter is much better. Power cable is the same as Arri's other 24 Volt Cameras (435, etc).

As for motor mounting, I usually use a Hill (or Cinewidgets, they both have a version) mount that slides into the shoe on the right side of the camera body. This allows a square to round rod to be anchored to the body of the camera and a motor to drop onto the focus ring, keeping gravity on your side. Of course, with optics attached, this will be trickier because they will get in the way. Likewise, mounting from the low mode bracket is not an option (nor is low mode) because of the optics. See why you should insist on the right tools? Oh, there is no rosette either. So, you'll have to come from the bottom (i.e. your dovetail plate) but this will be a pain because of the mirror housing, so makes sure you have some dog legs.

You will be able to do it and you will get through. Bright side? Good for lock offs. Brant Fagan calls it the BL-5.

Good luck.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 04:07 AM

Thanks for the tips Rod, and thanks for the detailed response Alec. It's always very much appreciated. The bummer is that I got a call from the UPM at like 7PM saying, "Oh, Brad I have to cancel you. The DP wanted his own guy and he already called him so we don't need you." Oh well, at least it's another operator I know and know is a nice guy and good operator that deserves the work. I guess I'll fly that camera on another day. Thanks again for the tips guys. They'll be just as informative when I do fly the 535 as they were today.
The upside of having a job go away is that I can stay up late, drink wine and play poker! At least that's something....
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#7 Ruben Sluijter

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 04:18 AM

The upside of having a job go away is that I can stay up late, drink wine and play poker! At least that's something....

Wouldn't it be great if you ended up winning your dayrate at poker!

The 535 is a bit of a beast but it does have a lot of mass, making it tremendously stable and great for sweet pans and lock-offs (as has already been stated)
Though to be honest I'd gladly work a little harder for my pans/lock-offs if it means I get to fly a lighter camera (can't wait to throw the new 235 around for a bit!)

Good luck in your poker game, let us know how much you won.

Peace, Ruben "Bluffing my way through life" Sluijter
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#8 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 09:55 AM

Brad,

Officially, with the 100% video top and in steadicam mode, the 535B is like .5 pounds heavier than the Moviecam Compact in steadicam mode.

That's according to the Arri website.

And it's probably not too far off from the truth.
And I would agree with Alec, if they "didn't want to pay" for the 100% video top, they "didn't want steadicam" bad enough either.

I think the "regular" optics adds about 5 pounds to the camera. That puts it in the Bl-4 neighborhood.
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#9 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:43 PM

I think the "regular" optics adds about 5 pounds to the camera. That puts it in the Bl-4 neighborhood.

Thanks Michael. That's very good info for the next time I get a call like that. It gives me a better idea of what I'll be dealing with.
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 05:53 PM

Wouldn't it be great if you ended up winning your dayrate at poker!

I'm not making that much yet, but I'm supplementing my income a bit. As sporadic as work has been for me lately it's nice to have something that I can spend time doing (and having fun with) while making a little money. And with all the poker rooms in LA, there's always a good game around. I hope to enter the World Series of Poker within the next few years (maybe more). Anybody want to stake me? :rolleyes: I'll advertise for you on my shirt and hat! :P
Maybe we should have a poker get together for the guild!
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#11 KarloTomic

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 11:19 PM

The BL5 :D Priceless, I love it!
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#12 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 18 June 2004 - 11:46 PM

The BL5 :D Priceless, I love it!

Actually the PS Technik Evolution is called the BL5...
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#13 KarloTomic

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 02:06 PM

Actually the PS Technik Evolution is called the BL5...

Right... anyways, I was referring to Alec' comment that another op refers to the 535 as the BL5 which I found humourous so :P
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#14 WillArnot

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 07:45 PM

Alec's points here are very valid. If they are paying you a day's wage and expect a good days work from you, then you absolutely should have the tools to allow you to do that. Otherwise you will severely compromise your performance, and therefore your reputation, just b/c they don't want to rent the right stuff. If they want the job done right, have them get the right gear. Simple.

Secondly, as a former Master owner, do you have the old converter (grey like sled) or the new converter (black)? If you have the new one you should be fine. If you have the old one, you are not fine. At all. Once the batts get below 75% capacity, ie.showing 3 lights, there is not enough voltage to turn over the 535. At this point, you may last another lights-worth if you power down your monitor before starting the camera, but that's only if your batts are in good shape.

The best way to not ever worry about voltage again with the Master... even the 435 in the cold at Hi speed, is to piggy-back a Proformer (any 12-14 v Nicd) in place of the converter - even w/ the new converter you can't run the 435 at Hi-speed for very long. This you can jerry-rig quite easily with two banana plugs soldered onto the black and red leads of a QR-Gold Anton Bauer plate. Get the wiring from Tiffen as to which two holes to plug into on the sled in place of the converter - I believe it's the top two...couldn't say which is pos or neg. I believe Lentequip in Toronto makes a special plug bracket to do exactly this conversion nicely.

Good luck,
Will
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#15 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 19 June 2004 - 08:17 PM

Secondly, as a former Master owner, do you have the old converter (grey like sled) or the new converter (black)? If you have the new one you should be fine.

Will,
I've got the new converter and it's worked fine with the 435 at high speed in the past, so I'm not worried about powering the camera. I did buy two extra batteries from Peter a couple of years ago after a job with the 435 at 150fps all day. My batteries weren't charging fast enough to keep up with how fast we were going through them. Luckily it wasn't a major issue on that particular job, but I got the extra batteries to avoid any issues in the future.
You're absolutely right about having the right tools for the job. But I am at that point in my career where I am getting calls, but I need every job I get, because I need the money and I need to keep working and getting more experience. I just can't be as selective as some of the more experienced and established operators. That's not to say that I just cave and do any job I'm called for, but I do have to compromise in one way or another on many of these jobs because, as we all know, there is someone that is willing to do the job if I don't, and for less money. So it's a bit of a predicament that I believe most operators have been in at some point in their career. For this particular job the rate was not great, but not terrible, so I was in the position of: Do the job and make the best of it, or turn it down and wait for another call for a better job. Of course it's a moot point now, because someone else did the job anyway, but you get the idea.
Thanks for the tips and advice.
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