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DIY Video Assist for ACL


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#1 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 01:36 AM

My buddy JP just put together a $40 video assist for his ACL. I posted links to the gear and photos here: http://eclair16.com/...for-eclair-acl/ I haven't seen it in person but he tells me the image quality is definitely usable.
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#2 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 30 March 2012 - 04:15 AM

My buddy JP just put together a $40 video assist for his ACL. I posted links to the gear and photos here: http://eclair16.com/...for-eclair-acl/ I haven't seen it in person but he tells me the image quality is definitely usable.


Pretty cool thing to do, but quite bulky eh. There was a guy in Canada who recently sold a really nice ACL kit who had made a video tap with that idea, but I think it was a small camera. I lost the reference.

I have an AZ Spectrum B&W unit that I could only test recently as I didn't have a monitor. I ended up buying a Transvideo 5" monitor recently so I could test it. The image wasn't very bright, but it may be the monitor. Unfortunately testing an NTSC-only monitore down here in Neuvel Zealandia is less easy. Maybe I'll try borrowing a decent monitor and report back.

I asked Andrew at AZ Spectrum what monitor I should use and he basically said anything. But I'm wondering what people use. These systems are needed for basic framing, so the image needs high brightness and contrast.

For those wanting to build their own system there have been some used video taps sold cheap on eBay recently that one could adapt.

Cheers,
Gregg
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#3 Jason Hinkle (RIP)

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:08 PM

Yea if there was a camera without the base unit like that one it would be ideal. I'm sure there's tons of little mini cameras out there that would work.

For monitor I personally have a SmallHD DP6 monitor. Before that I had a fairly industry-standard Marshall LCD. Neither is really cheap, but they look pretty good. I know that more affordable Ikan monitors are popular with DSLR shooters and as long as it has a composite input it should work. Even with the marshal and small HD focus assist (red outline lines around edges) I still wouldn't rely on the monitor for focus, but it does look plenty good for the director to see what shot you're getting.
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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 03:25 PM

Some ingenious folk have been experimenting with iphones etc to make video taps for super 8 cameras.
http://www.cinematog...topic=59709&hl=

I tried a quick experiment with an ipod on a Kinoptik finder on an ACL. I needs a clamp to grip the ring that holds the rubber eye cup and a clamp to hold the ipod. This clamp/mount system needs some flexibility somewhere so that nothing is brocken when bumped.

Could be a great solution for hand held shooting where you can't have your eye on the viewfinfer.

Cheers.
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#5 Carl Nenzen Loven

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 12:33 AM

My buddy JP just put together a $40 video assist for his ACL. I posted links to the gear and photos here: http://eclair16.com/...for-eclair-acl/ I haven't seen it in person but he tells me the image quality is definitely usable.

 

 

Pretty cool thing to do, but quite bulky eh. There was a guy in Canada who recently sold a really nice ACL kit who had made a video tap with that idea, but I think it was a small camera. I lost the reference.

I have an AZ Spectrum B&W unit that I could only test recently as I didn't have a monitor. I ended up buying a Transvideo 5" monitor recently so I could test it. The image wasn't very bright, but it may be the monitor. Unfortunately testing an NTSC-only monitore down here in Neuvel Zealandia is less easy. Maybe I'll try borrowing a decent monitor and report back.

I asked Andrew at AZ Spectrum what monitor I should use and he basically said anything. But I'm wondering what people use. These systems are needed for basic framing, so the image needs high brightness and contrast.

For those wanting to build their own system there have been some used video taps sold cheap on eBay recently that one could adapt.

Cheers,
Gregg


I know I am waking an old thread but some years have passed and technology has gotten more advanced.
 

Me and my operator have been talking about a solution to be used on steadicam, for him to be able to work properly. We have shot endlessly on the SRs and the 416, but now since I am starting my own kit, we are trying to solve this ourselves.

A Spectrum video asists is out of the question because of cost. But the solution with a microscope camera is an idea I think might work.

http://www.amazon.co...ope camera hdmi

This microscop camera has HDMI straight out, as well as runs on 5V. So we are thinking of a solution that runs the actual video tap through V-mount battery, and then connect the microscope directly to our monitor. Thankfully we also have access to a 3d-printer through our school, so I will try to make a sort of adapter to attach the camera to the eyepiece as simple as possible. The beauty of this setup is that with a good monitor and a terradek this can be used for video village as well.

Best solution however would be having something that attaches to the acutal viewfinder, splitting the image so operator can use it when he shooting normally as well. But I think this is step 1.

Best regards

Carl


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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 01:51 AM

Hey Carl,

Does this mean you chose an ACL?

 

Hopefully you have some service history,  a tech lined up,  and are prepared to treat it with no less dignity than an interesting old car,  with maintenance requirements.

Just to help with perspective on the cost of taps/ vid assist,   I sold a couple of AZ Spectrum ACL video assists over the last year or two for 4-500 USD.  Supply and demand sets the price.  It is highish I know.

 

If you are using the tap for framing whilesteadicam or hand held or boom operation,  then I think the microscope/industial cam/Ipod ideas are the way to go.  You ideally need a high brightness monitor if outside.  The SD monitors coming on the market from the Steadicam guys etc are cheap. 

 

You don't need to have a video (village) tent if you are shooting film on a rootsy level, even if your operator is eye off the finder.  In the old days the director/DP might be crouched behind the lens axis,  visualizing the frame by instinct and sheer acuity of perception.


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#7 Carl Nenzen Loven

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Posted 02 May 2016 - 09:35 AM

Hey Carl,

Does this mean you chose an ACL?

 

Hopefully you have some service history,  a tech lined up,  and are prepared to treat it with no less dignity than an interesting old car,  with maintenance requirements.

Just to help with perspective on the cost of taps/ vid assist,   I sold a couple of AZ Spectrum ACL video assists over the last year or two for 4-500 USD.  Supply and demand sets the price.  It is highish I know.

 

If you are using the tap for framing whilesteadicam or hand held or boom operation,  then I think the microscope/industial cam/Ipod ideas are the way to go.  You ideally need a high brightness monitor if outside.  The SD monitors coming on the market from the Steadicam guys etc are cheap. 

 

You don't need to have a video (village) tent if you are shooting film on a rootsy level, even if your operator is eye off the finder.  In the old days the director/DP might be crouched behind the lens axis,  visualizing the frame by instinct and sheer acuity of perception.

 

 

Hi Gregg,

Yeah, the ACL is on the way to me now. Luckily I managed to get it sent to Mr Bosher before, so it will be in pristine condition as it arrives here.

Well, 4-500 is a good price, but when I spoke straight to Spectrum they said it was a 3 thousand dollar job because have to take the camera apart completly.  I would love a video tap, but A, I want someone that I trust to take it apart, and B, I don't have 3000

Monitor isn't the problem really, I have great equipment that I use with the Alexa/Sony F5 now, and that is actually what makes this a little interesting. The videotap would be in HD. I wish there was a way to have split on the videwfinder though so I don't have to reattach the camera every time we do steadicam. But that is a small time wast that I can deal with.

I know I don't need it. But selling film to our producers and directors at school is hard enough as it is. Telling them the shot looks amazing without showing is going to be a tough cookie...

C


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#8 Carl Nenzen Loven

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Posted 01 August 2016 - 10:46 PM

Update:

So I have found this microscope camera that can run of a 12v. It also comes with a HDMI built in.

Link:
https://www.amazon.c...pf_rd_i=desktop

Now thic makes it even possible to use an EVF with the ACL and by doing so, having a monitor coming out or that.

But question is this, is it as simple as “just” making an attachment for the camera to fit in the videwfinder groves, or do I need some typ of prism to make the image correct?

//C


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#9 Carl Nenzen Loven

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 04:01 PM

Anyone selling an broken viewfinder for future experiments?

I have the camera now but I need to focus the image for the digital sensor.
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#10 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 13 December 2016 - 07:17 PM

Carl,  if you go this route,  attaching a micro camera to the viewfinder....what about just taking off the rubber eyecup,  and fixing the micro camera to the finder in the same way that the eye cup did?.  Not so hard.  Find a workshop guy who will help.


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#11 Carl Nenzen Loven

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Posted 06 January 2017 - 06:27 AM

Carl,  if you go this route,  attaching a micro camera to the viewfinder....what about just taking off the rubber eyecup,  and fixing the micro camera to the finder in the same way that the eye cup did?.  Not so hard.  Find a workshop guy who will help.

I am considering this right now, I will scout for parts in february to see what I can do.

C


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