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O'connor overkill?


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#1 Tobias French

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 01:38 PM

Hello All,
I have a fairly weighty JVC HD camera kit, yet it's nowhere near the sheer tonnage of a full scale film camera. What kind of performance should I expect from an old O'connor 50 or 100 fluid head loaded with this relatively lightweight camera outfit? Silky pans or woolly pants?! Slick tilts or saggy tits?!
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#2 chuck colburn

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:19 PM

Hello All,
I have a fairly weighty JVC HD camera kit, yet it's nowhere near the sheer tonnage of a full scale film camera. What kind of performance should I expect from an old O'connor 50 or 100 fluid head loaded with this relatively lightweight camera outfit? Silky pans or woolly pants?! Slick tilts or saggy tits?!


You can always add a heavier base plate between the head and you camera body to put it into the sweet range for a given head. The model 100 is way over kill though.
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#3 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:28 PM

Silverlido,
Please change your user name to your real first and last name. It's a rule here, and we like to know who we're talking to.
Thanks.
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#4 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 02:41 PM

Hi.

I'm presuming Silverlido isn't your real name, i think the protocol here is to use your real name. Anyway a lightweight camera on a heavier
head shouldn't be a problem as long as you mount it properly, on the contrary it should give you better results! I've done digital productions
where I've rented a Ronford head specifically to give me smoother pans and tilts. My point is it's only an issue when you have a heavy camera on a lightweight head.

Hope this helps!

Kieran.
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#5 Tobias French

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 03:18 PM

Ooops! Sorry! Please excuse the growing pains of this cack-handed Newbee. For the record, my name's Toby, and I'm an alcoholic -I mean, I'm a filmmaker from the wilds of Bedford, England. Please to meet you.

Thnx for the speedy response. I've spent the past few months struggling with a very basic friction head and all the stiction problems that came with it. I've perfected what I like to call the jitter-pan - a jerky left to right move that induces sickness in the viewer and an experience similar to that of an earthquake.

Not being made of money, the old O'Connor heads do seem like a really cost-effective option. By all accounts, the build-quality is outstanding and there's always the option of an overhaul, should the mechanism go wrong. I was concerned that operating the head would be like working in treacle, but Chuck's idea of adding some ballast to the camera plate should sort out any balancing problems should they arise.

Given a choice, would you fellas recommend the O'Connor 50D or the 100 model? And what about a choice set of sticks?
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#6 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 11:35 PM

Given a choice, would you fellas recommend the O'Connor 50D or the 100 model? And what about a choice set of sticks?



I would look for a 50D and a set of peter lisand sticks they were a popular set together and the 50 is good for a camera in the weight range you a using, I have a 50 and a 100 which is too big for a smallish hd cam like the jvc.

-Rob-
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#7 Tobias French

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 04:33 AM

;) Cheers Robert. I shall act on your advice and go for the 50D and the Peter Lisand sticks, provided I can source a decent second-hand set at a reasonable price.
Sorry to drag on, but does the O'Connor head have any quirks and foibles I should be wary of when looking to buy? I know fluid leaks can pose a problem, but is this just an inconvenience or the first symptom of a deeper fault elsewhere?
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#8 Phil Savoie

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:03 AM

My first head was a 50D - I still have it and still use it on occasion. The drawback is the older heads are quite heavy. Once you weigh your kit you?ll be in a better position to shop and compare specs.

A fluid leak usually just means a seal needs replacing and the fulid needs changing - no real harm done.

O'Connor designed the first fluid head and IMHO they are still the best. They are very well thought out and have (in most models) a greater tilt range than other heads. Every few years when I'm flush and want to buy a new head I prove this to myself again by lining up the completion, putting a 800mm Canon with a teleconverter on the SR and operating. The O'Connor always beats the other heads hands down. There?s a reason Sachtler bought them a few years ago.

You can always contact O'Connor and get their advice. By giving them the serial number they should be able to tell you the last time the head was serviced ? good to know when buying used. And they are very agreeable folk
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#9 Tobias French

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:32 AM

Many thanks, Phil! Sage advice, once again. You've really helped to settle my mind.

P.S. There's some truly beautiful sequences on your site. You take you life in your hands, out there. Those black bears seemed far too close for comfort! Inspiring stuff.
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#10 Phil Savoie

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 06:13 AM

You take you life in your hands, out there. Those black bears seemed far too close for comfort! Inspiring stuff.


Cheers for the kind words. As for the bears they're relaxed and lovely. I'm much more wary of many of the two legged creatures I meet!

;-)
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#11 Tobias French

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 04:14 PM

Is there any significant difference between the O'Connor 50 and the O'Connor 50D? Details are thin on the ground.
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#12 chuck colburn

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:24 PM

Hey Toby,

Since you got the jerky pan thing down, you could get a job in th U.S. shooting one of the many cop and detective shows here that seem to specialize in that type of camera movement. Toss in in a bunch of jumpy zoom shots and your there. I like to call it "Barf Cam". I think it helps if one has an extreme hangover and a case of the DTs.

The little O'Connors are nice and you can buy parts for them.

Chuck
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#13 chuck colburn

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Posted 01 June 2007 - 08:37 PM

Cheers for the kind words. As for the bears they're relaxed and lovely. I'm much more wary of many of the two legged creatures I meet!

;-)


Hi Phil,

HOLY FONG!
Your Mandrill footage is amazing. The wide closeup of the male picking berries is something else. Those puppies have some big teeth and I would be alot more concerned about them then a bear. (Grizzlys and Polars excluded) Very nice site you got there.

Chuck
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