Jump to content


Photo

Handheld with long lenses...


  • Please log in to reply
24 replies to this topic

#1 Yair Halper

Yair Halper

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Student

Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:10 PM

Hi,
I'm about to shoot a short and I've been thinking of using mainly long lenses (above 50mm).
Some shots are going to be handheld tracking shots and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with that sort of stuff and if there is any trick to keep it as steady (but still dynamic - no steady) and avoid making the audience nauseous?
I'm shooting with the C300 with Zeiss Primes using a Vokas shoulder mount and possibly an Easyrig...

Thanks,

Yair.
  • 0

#2 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3073 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:32 PM

I really like a 35mm for handheld work. 40 &50mm work well too, depending on subject. Once you get above 60mm it gets hard quickly. Following action is tricky but possible, but as soon as you start to move as well, it's going to to look like a Bourne movie. Some people like Easy-Rigs, but bear in mind they are designed to spread the weight of the camera, not stabilize it.
  • 0

#3 Daniel Klockenkemper

Daniel Klockenkemper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:30 PM

Hi,
I'm about to shoot a short and I've been thinking of using mainly long lenses (above 50mm).
Some shots are going to be handheld tracking shots and I was wondering if anyone has had any experience with that sort of stuff and if there is any trick to keep it as steady (but still dynamic - no steady) and avoid making the audience nauseous?
I'm shooting with the C300 with Zeiss Primes using a Vokas shoulder mount and possibly an Easyrig...

Thanks,

Yair.


I have done a handheld tracking shot with a zoom lens at around 100mm on Super 16. I used a Ken-lab KS-8 gyroscope to stabilize the camera; you can rent them from aerial photography companies.
  • 0

#4 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3073 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:49 PM

I have done a handheld tracking shot with a zoom lens at around 100mm on Super 16. I used a Ken-lab KS-8 gyroscope to stabilize the camera; you can rent them from aerial photography companies.


A gyro rig would be one way to go, although it does add considerably to the weight. It's also worth noting that 100mm on Super 16 is only equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm sized sensor, which is not considered long.
  • 0

#5 Daniel Klockenkemper

Daniel Klockenkemper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:08 AM

A gyro rig would be one way to go, although it does add considerably to the weight. It's also worth noting that 100mm on Super 16 is only equivalent to 50mm on a 35mm sized sensor, which is not considered long.


You have your conversion backwards. Use this converter: http://www.panavisio...lenseqvform.asp 100mm on "Super 16 1.78 HDTV TV Transmitted" has an angle of view 6.7° wide, which is equivalent to 179mm for 35mm 1.78 HDTV Transmitted (or 204mm for Super 35 1.78 HDTV TV Transmitted).

Edited by Daniel Klockenkemper, 20 September 2012 - 02:09 AM.

  • 0

#6 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3073 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:01 AM

You have your conversion backwards. Use this converter: http://www.panavisio...lenseqvform.asp 100mm on "Super 16 1.78 HDTV TV Transmitted" has an angle of view 6.7° wide, which is equivalent to 179mm for 35mm 1.78 HDTV Transmitted (or 204mm for Super 35 1.78 HDTV TV Transmitted).


You're absolutely right. it had been a very long day...
  • 0

#7 Daniel Klockenkemper

Daniel Klockenkemper
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 45 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:56 PM

Other drawbacks to gyros include the noise (they spin at 15k RPM or so, like a power tool), and the fact that you can't change directions quickly. If it's a linear tracking shot with minimal panning (which is a good idea with long focal lengths anyway) that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

You're absolutely right. it had been a very long day...


No worries, we've all been there. Best,

Daniel
  • 0

#8 Aaron Medick

Aaron Medick
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 17 posts
  • Steadicam Operator
  • New York

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

If you have a doorway, western dolly, or even a wheel chair you can do nicer hand held from them. No foot steps to hide.

I've also had good results using a cine saddle under my elbow to stabilize the camera while I walked with it and on a dolly hand held.

Also don't lock you knee joint when you step.

Hope that helps,
Aaron Medick, SOC
  • 0

#9 Victor Lazaro

Victor Lazaro
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 10 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

Steadicam?
  • 0

#10 Brian Drysdale

Brian Drysdale
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 5070 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:38 PM

You can do quite long focal length shots on a Steadicam, it depends on your operating skill and external factors like wind.
  • 0

#11 Chad Siegal

Chad Siegal

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 13 November 2012 - 11:41 AM

If you don't have big bucks for Steadicam, simply put a pillow under your upper arm to absorb the shock and help steady the camera. I learned this a few months ago at a workshop called Light & Shadow in NYC. They taught a lot of simple and practical tips for filmmaking which helped me a lot.
  • 0

#12 Anthony Kennedy

Anthony Kennedy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 47 posts
  • Student
  • Montreal

Posted 13 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

If you don't have big bucks for Steadicam, simply put a pillow under your upper arm to absorb the shock and help steady the camera. I learned this a few months ago at a workshop called Light & Shadow in NYC. They taught a lot of simple and practical tips for filmmaking which helped me a lot.


Chris Doyle style
  • 0

#13 Brian Stansfield

Brian Stansfield

    New

  • Sustaining Members
  • 5 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • DC/NYC

Posted 06 December 2012 - 11:50 PM

I'm shooting with the C300 with Zeiss Primes using a Vokas shoulder mount and possibly an Easyrig...


Easyrig will certainly help. Since you're shooting with the C300... canon makes some great image stabilized glass... the 70-200 2.8L II IS, is a work of art (pretty cheap to rent as well). You can literally go handheld (static) at 200mm. Gives you a good range to play with and the image stabilization will certainly knock down a lot of the unwanted jitters... that and warp stabilizer.
  • 1

#14 Neal Norton

Neal Norton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 35 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Tampa, Florida

Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:59 PM

My 2 cents: the easyrig is not a great solution with a pkg as small and top heavy as a C300. The easyrig tends to exagerate the top heavy oscilation of the camera. I really like the easyrig with a large camera like a Panavision Platinum when planted for dialogue - but even then when moving it makes for some pretty lively movement.

You might try the "softball" trick with long lenses. Bolt a softball to the bottom center of your camera and then rest the softball on a hard surface like the nose of a dolly or a Pancake attached to a stand with a pigeon. It ends up being quite "rock n roll" with out making for a nauseating shot. You should be able to go pretty long like this maybe 150-200mm.

Neal norton
  • 0

#15 Jaron Berman

Jaron Berman
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New York, NY

Posted 12 December 2012 - 12:44 AM

Balance and practice. Personally I despise the easyrig, but I'm sure there are tons of people who love them. For most of the guys I work with, it's about balancing the camera...and weight actually does help stabilize. If the camera is not balanced on your shoulder, no matter how smoothly you try to walk, you'll be fighting yourself and the natural tendencies of the camera - you're balancing both your own body and the camera separately. If the camera basically sits naturally on your shoulder, then it's "part" of you and you worry only about smoothing your own movements. It seems counterintuitive, but the LESS you can push/pull/muscle the camera to hold a frame, the more steady it will be.

Its pretty common in the doc/reality world to live at the end of a 13x lens (equiv about 150mm in C300 terms) while moving....and often sneak CU's at the end of a 22x (equiv about 420mm in c300 terms) while stationary. Handheld. And it's common to be expected to do this for hours on end if the content necessitates it. We love to be human tripods apparently. The key to staying alive is the same as the key to making the shot usable - relax. The more you can relax your body the less fatigue and strain - you're trying to only use the smallest inputs and muscles. And that includes your brain - don't stress about the mechanics of being stable - just look through the finder and worry about framing... use your inner chicken-sense (awesome youtibe video of chicken head stabilization).

You'll notice too that as a viewer - when you watch footage you get the same tunnel vision as a viewer that you get shooting - you concentrate on the object of interest. If you're leading a character (walking backward, shooting them walking forward), if you move roughly the same as them, the viewer will naturally forgive a lot of frame movement because they're concentrating on the character, not necessarily the background movement. Do the same shot without anyone in frame and it may look like a drunken Bourne op.

One trick to this is stepping with the same side foot as them...i.e. if you're leading a character and he/she steps on his/her right foot first, you step with your left foot first - it's eery how smooth this makes the frame seem, because you're bouncing up and down WITH them, not against them.

One thing that I learned from steadicam - try not to land flat-footed. You want to get in a habit of landing on one foot or the other. Let's say you do 3 takes, and on take 4 the actor lands 4" off their mark and you hit yours - now it's a bad frame somehow (lamp growing from their head, flare, anything) - you need to truck yourself one way in order to clean it up. If you're flat-footed that means shifting your hips before you step - which looks very obvious. Stand in a mirror and watch your shoulders - flat footed now take a step sideways. Do the same starting with your weight on one foot. Shoulders stay a lot more in plane. Land on one foot and you have more options in terms of moving without bumping the camera up and down.

But really - balance the camera and shoot. You'll be fine.
  • 0

#16 Peter Jensen

Peter Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 16 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 30 December 2012 - 12:47 AM

I've completed a small very light weight hand held stabilized head, works great with the C300 and it is a unique capability..
It is really good for long lens shots that are hand held, it can either be very stable or you can add as much expression as you want. It enables hand-held with long lens to be very "expressive" - and very dynamic.

www.EvoHeads.com

Peter Jensen
Los Angeles, Ca.
pj@evoheads.com
  • 0

#17 Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi Patra
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 72 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New Delhi/ Banglaore, India

Posted 16 July 2013 - 01:44 AM

Your EVO head looks interesting. However the gyros make a ton of noise. 

 

The 70-200 f2.8 L IS II USM lens works very well with the C300 for handholding due to the good image stabilisation. I have used it with 2x converters as well.


  • 0

#18 Andreas Kielb

Andreas Kielb

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 16 July 2013 - 06:54 AM

We plan to offer a handheld brushless stabilizer soon for cameras up to 5 kg, like the C300 or Red Epic. It's using similar brushless technology as the Evo Head or the Freefly Movi.

 

 

 

There’ll also be a smaller version for cameras around 2 kg and a larger one for cameras up to 10 kg. The mid sized version is the most advanced in the moment but the others might follow in one or two months.

 

We have first prototypes to test and improve step by step and plan to add small joysticks to the handles for better control of pan and tilt if one operator controls the head alone. Another way of operating the head is by two persons, one holding the head and leading it in position and the other controlling pan and tilt by a wireless remote control. For more information, upgrades and videos you might visit our website http://www.portahead.de.

 

Andreas Kielb


Edited by Andreas Kielb, 16 July 2013 - 06:59 AM.

  • 0

#19 Jon Rosenbloom

Jon Rosenbloom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 713 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 16 July 2013 - 03:28 PM

You could try a bungee rig, which actually uses surgical tubing. It takes some practice to get the "hang" of it, but the main thing is to make the pick point as high as possible.


  • 0

#20 Jorge Alarcon Swaby

Jorge Alarcon Swaby
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Hollywood, CA

Posted 30 July 2013 - 03:05 PM

Anything over 85mm gets really complicated when it comes to handheld, specially on all these cameras with crop factors. Even on full frame cameras I like to stay at 50mm and below.

I recommend shooting a bit wider and make sure it's stable, then crop it a bit in post.
  • 0


Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

CineLab

Technodolly

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

The Slider

Glidecam

CineLab

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Wooden Camera

Ritter Battery

Visual Products