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XCS Plates and camera screws


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#1 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 04:06 PM

OK So I have my lovely XCS plates, and have been using them for a month or so now. I also got a few extra camera screws at the time. The plates are great, very sturdy, and Greg was a pleasure to deal with.

My only beef with them is that I have to work pretty hard to make sure that they are on straight and aligned with the camera. On my old Betz plates, the holes were all set up to accept the camera screws, and there was no guessing as the holes were recessed to the head of the camera screw.

Everything just seems a bit sloppier with these plates as there is so much room for the screws to move about and for the plates to be twisted about in relation to the camera when attaching them.
I waste enough time making sure my post and monitor arm are aligned without having to worry about the camera being on the piss too.

Is this just the nature of the design, or am I missing something here?

Cheers in advance.

Rick.
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#2 Erwin Landau

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:48 PM

Hi Richard,

I have been using the various generations of XCS plates over the last 6 years. It is a different approach. I had 13 PRO and DeRose plates to accommodate the different hole spacings on the various Cameras and I replaced them with just two from Greg. I must admit, trying to squeeze all the different hole pattern on to one plate carries some compromises with it.

But also my biggest beef with my old plates was that I couldn't adjust them sideways. You could use the Arri plates that gave you three patterns parallel to each other but the biggest amount of side travel had to be compensated with the D-Box... I was envious that only when using Panavison you could slide the plate to find the CG with slotted holes... for the 3/8-16 screws you always had only holes and no slots, exempt for the Compact plates, but again very confining. Of course two holes or one hole in conjunction with the locating screw gave you a perfect alignment. The design of the Ultimate dictates that you can center the plate exactly on the CG of the camera as your side to side adjustment with the Ultimate is restricted. So don't forget that these plates were specifically meant for the Ultimate sled and only later made it's way to different manufacturers...

The XCS plate gives you only slots. Two along side and three lateral for the 3/8-16 and again three lateral for the 1/4-20 and one slot for a location pin. Slots make it easier to find the right hole pattern and of course harder to line it up straight. But you always have the camera that gives you a straight edge to line up the plate. Also make sure to use only Greg's camera screws that have a recess neck, it gives you these additional millimeters to reach a threat in the camera body.

I'll take these short comings in exchange for improved rigidity, three rock solid iris rod mounting places and space I gained in my case with getting rid of all the other camera plates... And of course for a couple of XCS Ultimate specific additions like the two 3/8-16 threats on the top for monitors or Cinetape, etc. and the dovetail on the back for the transmitter bracket...

I can live with the compromises... actually after so many years it does not really feel like a compromise.

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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 08:50 PM

And I like the color... one off's but still.

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#4 nick franco

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:33 PM

I'll second what Erwin has said. I don't have any plates other than the XCS anymore. Might bite me in the ass someday but I haven't been in a situation that I felt they were a compromise and 99% of the time my motors mount from the plate mounted rods.
For what it's worth, I'm using a PRO D-box III.

Erwin, what is the small dovetail cut into the the back of the plate for?

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#5 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:40 PM

Thanks for the reply Erwin, much appreciated. I do understand, and agree with your points.

Don't we think that if the screw head size was set (which it pretty much is), and the plate was a bit thicker and had a recess, you could still have the side-to-side slots, and the plate would still line up perfectly? Similar to the holes on the PRO or Betz plates... It would just be an elongated hole...

Or you could have a collar for the 3/8" screw that set the size of the neck to the size of the slot?

Rick


And I like the color... one off's but still.


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#6 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 09:46 PM

Hey Nick, the dovetail slot you see is for the transmitter bracket. It locks in there and keeps the transmitter at the highest point possible (if you have your second plate on top of the camera)

Rick.


Thanks for the reply Erwin, much appreciated. I do understand, and agree with your points.

Don't we think that if the screw head size was set (which it pretty much is), and the plate was a bit thicker and had a recess, you could still have the side-to-side slots, and the plate would still line up perfectly? Similar to the holes on the PRO or Betz plates... It would just be an elongated hole...

Or you could have a collar for the 3/8" screw that set the size of the neck to the size of the slot?

Rick


And I like the color... one off's but still.


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#7 RonBaldwin

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 10:33 PM

I had 13 PRO and DeRose plates to accommodate the different hole spacings on the various Cameras and I replaced them with just two from Greg.


I'd love to get one of Greg's plates, I've heard nothing but good things about them. But 13 different plates Erwin, are you high? When I bought my pro in '97 I got 4 plates -- long/short arri, long/short pana -- and have used two of the original 4 for 95% of everything for the past 12 years (video's the wildcard where I might have to actually dig out one of the longer plates collecting dust).

Now...how much is Greg's plate with a few rods?

rb
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#8 nick franco

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Posted 06 March 2009 - 11:09 PM

Erwin, are you high?

rb

Says the man who huffs lisagav.

XCS plates are $280? (maybe, i've been mainlining some antifreeze I got from Jim so I might be fuzzy on the price.)
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#9 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:03 AM

I'd love to get one of Greg's plates, I've heard nothing but good things about them. But 13 different plates Erwin, are you high? When I bought my pro in '97 I got 4 plates -- long/short arri, long/short pana -- and have used two of the original 4 for 95% of everything for the past 12 years (video's the wildcard where I might have to actually dig out one of the longer plates collecting dust).

Now...how much is Greg's plate with a few rods?

rb


Wait...
Two short Arri, two long Arri, two short Compact, two long Compact, one long Compact for heavy lenses, two DeRose for Panavison with offset, one DeRose for the Sony and training weight plate, two old XCS ones without screw holes for Antlers in Lowmode and one for Gyros for the Ultimate sled in lowmode with Goldmounts...

Sorry 14...


Erwin "High as a Kite" Landau
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#10 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:06 AM

Erwin, are you high?

rb

Says the man who huffs lisagav.

XCS plates are $280? (maybe, i've been mainlining some antifreeze I got from Jim so I might be fuzzy on the price.)



I have to check, but I think they are more like $325.- for the last run of plates... The iris rod's (Utility rods) are from Tom Gleason for $12.50 each. http://www.cinewidgets.com/
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#11 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:19 AM

And I like the color... one off's but still.


Erwin, you and your everything-RED! Too funny.

I have a bunch of plates because with heavier cameras I like to keep the CG as low as possible and the PRO plates afford me some valuable space/weight savings above the gimbal. I also have four of Greg's XCS plates. Two gen 1 (I think) and two gen 2008 (whatever that is). I would sell the old XCS plates, but my antlers don't quite fit on the new XCS plates. :( Also I have found it handy to have more options. On a feature I did last year I had a Pana LWT II all dialed in and then I needed to fly a 435 on the same show for a few days. This setup allowed me to keep plates, rods, and brackets all intact, which made conversions a snap.

Also of note:
I now fly a PRO DB-III, which is worth it's weight in gold.

and

Ron Baldwin is a Leprechaun-chasing crack-head.


-Matt
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#12 Erwin Landau

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 01:38 AM

Erwin, you and your everything-RED! Too funny.

I now fly a PRO DB-III, which is worth it's weight in gold.

Ron Baldwin is a Leprechaun-chasing crack-head.

-Matt




1. What... ???

2. I actually think that you get way more Gold for $4500.- with that lousy Gold prices these days...

3. That goes without saying...
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#13 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 02:01 AM

I have a bunch of plates because with heavier cameras I like to keep the CG as low as possible and the PRO plates afford me some valuable space/weight savings above the gimbal.


The stiffness of the XCS plate far outweigh's the 1/4" rise of the cameras CG
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#14 Matt Petrosky

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 03:25 AM

The stiffness of the XCS plate far outweigh's the 1/4" rise of the cameras CG


Maybe on a DB-II... but DB-III is so much longer it makes contact with most of the plate. I agree that if the camera is mounted way to the back or to the front of the plate (especially the long plates), but with a secure attachment at multiple points across a flat camera like a LWT-II, plate rigidity in high-mode becomes a non-issue. That being said you are talking to someone who owns several XCS plates so you are preaching to the choir. Also, I have yet to see any iris rod attachment that is more rigid then using an XCS plate.
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#15 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 07 March 2009 - 11:31 AM

The stiffness of the XCS plate far outweigh's the 1/4" rise of the cameras CG


Maybe on a DB-II... but DB-III is so much longer it makes contact with most of the plate. I agree that if the camera is mounted way to the back or to the front of the plate (especially the long plates), but with a secure attachment at multiple points across a flat camera like a LWT-II, plate rigidity in high-mode becomes a non-issue.


I had a DB-III (#011) and it benefitted greatly from the XCS plate. ANY Top stage will benefit from the I-beam construction of the XCS plate
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