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Steadicam & XL2


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#1 Sampson Rolen

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 04:03 AM

I'm a manual focus user by nature; however, when using the steadicam I'm having one heck of a time getting the shots I want.

There are a bunch of remotes for the XL2, but during action sequences (even though I measure and tape actor marks) I'm the one drifting, or the scene takes on a new life and I'm scrambing to get the shot - again.

Any recommendations on a remote or other method to lock in a higher % of great shots from the steadi/XL2 combo? -- Thanks --


Tools I'm using:
~ steadi ~ 7" 16x9 ProMonitor ~ 3x lense ~
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#2 Walter Graff

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:43 AM

I'm a manual focus user by nature; however, when using the steadicam I'm having one heck of a time getting the shots I want.

There are a bunch of remotes for the XL2, but during action sequences (even though I measure and tape actor marks) I'm the one drifting, or the scene takes on a new life and I'm scrambing to get the shot - again.

Any recommendations on a remote or other method to lock in a higher % of great shots from the steadi/XL2 combo? -- Thanks --
Tools I'm using:
~ steadi ~ 7" 16x9 ProMonitor ~ 3x lense ~



Part of your problem is that DV cameras like the XL2 are difficult to focus in many situations. How about taking advantage of the CCD size by using more light in combination with wider lens lengths. Prosumer DV cameras normally have a very deep depth of field which you could take advantage of a few ways. Instead of shooting wide open you can try lighting with more light which will close down the lens and hence create an easier time of focus. Secondly or in combination you can try a wider angle on your lens. Shooting tight with a DV camera can be difficult if not impossible especially the XL2 which I find is unforgiving with focus. Try using a wider lens setting and you'll have an easier time with focus.

Walter Graff
bluesky-web.com

Edited by Walter Graff, 14 December 2006 - 11:46 AM.

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#3 Sampson Rolen

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Posted 14 December 2006 - 02:40 PM

Thanks Walter.

I'll do this.
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:48 PM

My first question would be: Do you have a manual lens with gears on it? If you do, then you can use a remote focus system such as a Bartech, but this requires that someone else pull focus for you. If you want to pull focus yourself Stanton makes a gimbal mountable system that allows you to pull focus and zoom while you operate. There may be some cheaper options out there, but I'm not familiar with any.
If you don't have a lens with gears you're pretty much out of luck. Light to a deeper stop and shoot on a wide lens.
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#5 Sampson Rolen

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Posted 18 December 2006 - 01:32 AM

Thanks Brad.

I'm using a canon without a manual lense. I have the 20x and 3x that I just push into manual every chance I have. But on the steadi, I'm a solo guy and no assistant for remote focus ops for me (I'd like one though).

I just got back from a 3 day ice fishing shoot for a local TV show and used everything you guys were talking about and I GREATLY appreciate it!

Thanks a lot.

I'm going to be working up to the manual lense and remote... it just may take a few more jobs...
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#6 Stephen Press

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 01:48 PM

Have you turned off the anti shake? I find it delays the focus so even if you do work out a way to manually focus you go through sharp before you see it? if that makes sense.

Light to a deeper stop and shoot on a wide lens.


That?s the best advice.
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#7 Sampson Rolen

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Posted 19 December 2006 - 05:19 PM

Great point. Yep, I always keep the antishake off. But, I rechecked it to make sure... Can never be too sure.

Thanks guys for the advise. I'm a newbie, but I love this work!!
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Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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