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High Camera Support


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#1 Dan Durbin

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 09:30 PM

I also posted this in the Camera Assistant Forum, as I wasn't sure were it belongs. I need to mount a light weight HD video camera (Canon HV30 - weighs 1.2 pounds) 8 feet off the ground in a fixed positions in an indoor location. My plan was to mount it on a light stand using a Manfrotto 155 Double Ball Joint Head with 2933 Camera Platform (weight 1.4 pounds). When I started to test it, things just don't seem to be as stable as I hoped, and I am worried about vibration. The light stand is an Impact 3218 (max load 5 pounds).

Any suggestions? Do I need to move up to a heavier duty light stand? If so, are there any suggestions? Will a 5 pound sandbag solve the problem?

Thanks for any help.
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#2 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 11:44 PM

Hi Dan,
I am not familiar with the camera or the stand you are referring to, but, light stands were never designed to take cameras on board, especially not at full stick (8 ft) . Camera tripods and other support are designed primarily to provide an absolutely rigid support to the camera head. Light stands are strong, but the absolutely rigid lock off is not their biggest priority. Even if the stand is strong, the junior pin or baby pin that you mount to will have some amount of play. The best you can do is to get a very heavy duty stand that does not have to be fully extended to reach 8ft. Use a magic arm or something similar to hold the camera body to the last riser on the stand.

Hope that helps
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#3 Daniel Wallens

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:07 PM

Dan-
An 8-step ladder (or whatever will suffice), high hat, and a couple of c-clamps to clamp it to the top is all you need.


-DW

(For added rigidity you can add some 40" c-stand arms to the high hat base).
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#4 Chris Keth

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:59 PM

Daniel's way is pretty usual. If you use a light stand the camera won't be operable and will really be a lockoff only solution. If that is what you want, I'd use a heavier combo stand. Little lightweight stands are too rickety. Either a baby pin with a 1/4-20 screw into the base of the camera or (I don't know if that camera even has a top handle) a cardellini on the top handle work ok.
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#5 Dan Durbin

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:35 PM

Thank you for all the suggestions. The 8 foot ladder is a great idea. Unfortunately, the situation won't normally allow this. Let me give you some more details. We do some wedding videography. In some cases the churches have a balcony where I can set up a camera on a tripod and when rules of the church permit, man it with a cameraman. Otherwise, I have to set it up, start the camera and let it go (fixed angle, and zoom). Many newer churches do not have a balcony, so we need to set up a camera in the back, high enough to shoot over the heads of the people when standing. Eight feet should do it. My objective is to have one or two fixed angle cameras (start and stop remotely) in these situations mounted around 8 feet. Wedding parties aren't going to be too happy with us setting up ladders, but a tripod or stands should be fine. Are there any tripods that extend this high or other stands that might provide the stability needed, and be somewhat unobtrusive?
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 07:14 PM

Buy a good heavy duty C-Stand... that'll rise up height enough for you. And oh yes, Sand bags, Lots of Sand-Bags for safety.
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#7 Mike Lary

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 02:46 AM

Could you get away with seven feet instead of eight? Bogen 058B sticks go seven feet. The last foot goes up with a crank, which is pretty handy. You can clamp your ball joint head onto the center column via cardellini or mafer with baby pin, or you could screw a threaded baby pin into a quick release plate and clamp the ball joint head onto that for faster setup and takedown. If you need the extra foot of height you could probably clamp an arm onto the center column. The sticks would be pretty sturdy, but you could always hang a sandbag from the center for a little extra support. I agree with Keith that a combo stand is probably as light as you should go if you're using a light stand. The tops of C-stands are very susceptible to shake even when the base is heavily bagged.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 06:52 AM

I'd say a c-Stand'll be stable enough for a 1.2lb camera... even all the way up. Now that's just my opinion, but I'd say should be fine; give it a test though.
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#9 Tim Fabrizio

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 11:09 AM

I agree with Andre. C-Stand!!!! Bag the hell out of it.
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#10 Dan Durbin

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Posted 02 February 2009 - 10:07 PM

Thank you for all the comments. It is sincerely appreciated.

No one mentioned use of a tripod mounted crane such as a Glidecam's Camcrane 200 or a Cobra Crane 1. Does anyone have any experience with these or other tripod mounted cranes? They would need to be manned, but would seem safer, could handle a heavier camera and give some new capability to the shoots.
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#11 Warwick Hempleman

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 04:42 PM

Any number of jibs would work, and if all you want to do is lock-off, they won't need to be manned after you've set your shot (as long as you can block off the area around the jib arm and base). The Advanta-Jib may be useful for what you're trying to achieve as well.
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