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Support setup for a back-heavy camera?


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#1 Nima Khazaei

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:01 PM

Hello all,

 

I've got an Aaton XTR Prod I've been shooting with. I'm looking to buy a tripod and fluid head for it. Trouble is, the magazine makes it VERY back heavy. I tried putting it on a Sachtler DV-10SB at a rental house but it wouldn't get anywhere close to balancing. I ended up renting an O'Connor 1030D. It would balance on that, but it didn't feel as sturdy as I would like. I think having the baseplate extended that far forward simply isn't within the head's optimal range.

 

I'd like to buy a tripod that can support both this camera comfortably, and my much lighter digital setup. I'd really appreciate any suggestions. I'm wondering if this even possible without a bridge plate. I'd like to avoid the added complexity and weight.

 

Thank you!

—Nima


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#2 Albion Hockney

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 10:07 PM

can you put the camera on a dovetail and slide it farther forward? that is generally what I do to balance a rig.


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#3 Nima Khazaei

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 03:18 AM

That's an option. I'd like to keep the setup simple and have just a quick-release plate on the camera, if possible, so I can easily go from tripod to handheld without a screwdriver. What do you think?


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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 03:36 AM

Most tripod head used for an Aaton have a sliding plate that allows you to balance the camera. Commonly these also have quick release plates. 

 

The tripod screw is well forward under the motor on an Aaton, so this needs to allowed for on the tripod. I used a Ronford quick release plate to extend the position forward on my Sachtler Horizon head because the release plate on the head was too far back for it to balance the Aaton.


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#5 Albion Hockney

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:31 AM

I just base all my setups on dovetail usually and have dovetail on the handheld rig too or if I have a shoulder pad put the the dovetail on my shoulder with no need to switch rigs but im not familiar with aaton's at all.


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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 02:28 PM

Can you estimate how far forward the camera needs to slide in order to balance properly? If it's only a few inches then as Brian says it may be as simple as mounting another quick release plate on top of the existing one. That plus the few inches of travel on the top plate of the tripod may be enough. Something like a 120mm Ronford Baker Quick Release Plate (Large RBQ) could be long enough for what you need.
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#7 Nima Khazaei

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 07:06 PM

Thanks for the input everyone! I really appreciate it.

 

I just loaded up the camera, and it seems like with the 400ft mag and a lens, but no FF or matte box, the balance point falls about 70mm back from the 3/8 inch tripod mount screwhole.


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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 18 August 2015 - 07:33 PM

 

I just base all my setups on dovetail usually and have dovetail on the handheld rig too or if I have a shoulder pad put the the dovetail on my shoulder with no need to switch rigs but im not familiar with aaton's at all.

 
The Aaton 16mm was designed to feel like a cat your shoulder (etc). If you mount a dovetail to solve a "rear heavy" problem it is probably sitting so to intersect space with your shoulder. Designer (Eclair then Aaton) Jean-Pierre Beauviala may laugh or squirm.

Mounting with a matte box and zoom vs primes the small axial adjustment allowed by the tripod top plate may be enough. That was probably the intention. The 1030 top plate may feel a bit light, but I don't think it will break.

With the 1030 top plate screwed to the camera, was it digging in to the shoulder at the rearmost position? If not, then maybe 1030 with the normal axial range with the top plate is the way. The best compromise.
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