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Shouldering an Arri 16BL


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#1 Marc Roessler

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:37 PM

Hi,

I'm thinking about shooting a short film with an Arri 16BL.
The largest parts of the movie will be shot from the shoulder (so the 16BL obviously
is not the best choice).
I've shouldered the camera for a test, it is not as heavy as I had expected, and the fact
that the weight is more towards the front (the blimped zoom!) also didn't bother me too much..

BUT... the problem is that there's no shoulder pad available from where I get the camera.
Holding the camera like that so it is level with the horizont is VERY hard, because the
base is flat, and your shoulder is not. Also the camera seems to sit a bit too deep.
What shoulder pad will fit for the 16BL? Are those still available? Is there any clever
way some of you have worked around this? Thought about using some towels on the
shoulder, but this may be awkward as well..

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Marc
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 01:41 PM

I saw a shoulder bag on filmtools for like $50 (http://www.filmtools...ushion-com.html), basically a beanbag you strap on, but should conform the bottom of a camera to the shape of your shoulder on the cheap.
Visual products also offers a ken hill rig which I use on my SR3 from time to time; should probably work for a BL too.

Edited by Adrian Sierkowski, 11 December 2007 - 01:42 PM.

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#3 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:39 PM

I saw a shoulder bag on filmtools for like $50 (http://www.filmtools...ushion-com.html), basically a beanbag you strap on, but should conform the bottom of a camera to the shape of your shoulder on the cheap.


The Camera Comfort Cushion is a must have for any serious camera op who does much in the way of handheld work. It'll save your shoulder and the longer you can hang without physical discomfort the more you can concentrate on what you're seeing in the viewfinder. It's not a bean bag, though I guess it could be if you wanted. It uses layers of dense foam inserts of various thicknesses you can adjust through a zipper on the side. The bottom has a no-slip grip on it so it's not sliding around on your shoulder as well. I use it with the thin insert even with cameras that have a shoulder pad.

If you have a mattebox or set of rods for the BL you can use them as grips or rig something to them to give you a place to grab and help you keep the camera stabile.

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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 02:57 PM

You definitely need more than just a pad. In the old days, we had brace type rigs that would hook over the back of your shoulder, with a prop in front down to belt level. If you can't find an old one, maybe try hacking up a backpack frame or something like that. The gut level prop stick introduces a lot of breathing motion, so set it low, and just use it to rest your arms between takes. Take the weight of the camera on your hands when actually shooting.



-- J.S.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 12:54 AM

You definitely need more than just a pad. In the old days, we had brace type rigs that would hook over the back of your shoulder, with a prop in front down to belt level. If you can't find an old one, maybe try hacking up a backpack frame or something like that. The gut level prop stick introduces a lot of breathing motion, so set it low, and just use it to rest your arms between takes. Take the weight of the camera on your hands when actually shooting.



-- J.S.



Yeah, it's been a while but that's what I used and I have to say that the brace rig worked pretty well. The 16BL is
a good camera, especially to keep your rental costs down. I bet you could for sure rig up some kind of brace.
Think of a triangular type design. As John says, it's great for resting between takes and then use it as a support
for your bearing most of the camera while you roll. Have fun.

It's funny. The 16BL is unwieldy but it sure is cool looking.
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#6 James Baker

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 01:45 AM

It's not a camera for shoulder mounting that's for sure. I used one for some time and bought some of that memory foam (the material in TemperPedic mattresses) which I placed under the flat part for my shoulder. But it's still not a perfect solution. I don't think the camera was designed for shoulder use (unlike the Eclair, which is one of the best, IMHO.)

But the memory foam did conform to the shoulder and the camera. You might want to try it.....
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 December 2007 - 03:54 AM

I was on a shoot a few weeks ago where the operator basically sliced off a 4 to 5 inch portion off one of those contoured posturepedic memory foam pillows, and it was perfect and so very comfy.
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