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1st AC - Equipment to own


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#1 Mikko Suomalainen

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 12:28 PM

Hi all!

 

I've been working for some years now as focus puller, operator, DP, etc. Ranging from low budget shorts and commercials to features. I'm located in Finland.

 

I'm now shifting my career more towards focus pulling, and I'm thinking of buying some industry standard-equipment for that job.

 

I already own equipment, from PL-mount Lomo's to HMI-lights. Most of my shoots I'm prepared with my own equipment and don't really need to rent anything.

 

I do have all basic tools for the job, and a camera-van with shelves, so for most of my AC-geeks I try to bring as much of my own equipment as possible. There is still some things I need that are occasionally rented, and I would like to invest in these:

 

-TV-logic 058w -monitor. I've had a SWIT 7" which was top-notch 4 years ago, but it has started to fail a lot. Is the 058w best choise for focus pulling monitor? Here it's the industry standard.

 

-Wireless follow focus. I've used only a rented Chrosziel Digifox, and I'm not very happy with that. Single channel is what I need for 95% of situations, so that's what I'm looking for. I've narroved it down to Bartech and RTmotion. Bartech is a little bit more expensive but it has a good reputation. What are your thoughts?

 

-Directors/clients monitor. Here I mostly see the Panasonic BT-LH1700 and a TV-logic 17" one (not sure about the model). I wouldn't like to invest a lot on this, so under 2000€ would be great. There is some TV-logic models for that and also from local seller I could get a SWIT 22" for a good price. Any thoughts on this?

 

 

Do you have something else in mind? That a AC could use and bring to most of the jobs?

 

All the best,

Mikko


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 10 October 2015 - 02:50 PM

If you're renting out your gear to productions, you should buy whatever is the industry standard in your market. If you have a preference for something that isn't standard, then just know that you may not be able to rent it out very often.

On board monitor - the TVLogic 56 and 58 are workhorses, but I'm starting to see a preference amongst ACs for larger 7" monitors these days. I personally can't stand the SmallHD monitors but it works for some. If you like the larger size, I would consider the new Pix 7".

Director's monitor. Again, 17" Panasonic is the workhorse. The 24" Panasonic is nice. I've been using the Flanders 21" a lot over the last few years and I like their light weight, ability to power off v-lock, size, and full HD resolution. And they are cheap. The downside is the really noticeable frame delay, about 3-4 frames. Comms from sound dept for director and client are pretty much mandatory if you are using the Flanders, especially if you are shooting with a Red camera, which has its own delay in addition.

17" and 24" Sony OLED is the other way to go, but they are rather delicate and expensive for a field monitor. Would hate to see directors punch their fingers into the screen day after day (don't know why they all tend to do that?!). 17" Ikegami is too big and loud, 17" TVLogic is just meh in my opinion.

Wireless follow focus: I would go with either Arri or Preston since they will rent anywhere and last forever. Not a fan of the Chrosziel Digifox either. Digital Bartech is ok, have had it fail before but it is small and you can use digital motors. Analog Bartech is rock solid but I wouldn't want to deal with its quirks every day. Also the M5 motor is huge and noisy. No experience with the RT Motion. Have used the new Heden Carat and it is ok. Really though, just go Preston or Arri.

Others: Cinetape, Light Ranger 2, 4x5.65 and 6.6x6.6 ND filters (Mitomo TrueND or Formatt Firecrest), Rota Pola, OConnor 2575D, Arri FF4, LMB-25, Ronford Baker RBQ, Tilt cheese plate, Tango head.
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#3 Mikko Suomalainen

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 03:07 AM

I am renting the equip for productions, mostly when I'm on board too, but also to others.

 

I'm pretty confident about getting the 058W, I really like the size/resolution and price is not too high either.

 

A used BT-LH1700 would be great find, but then again it's old. Do you think it would be better to invest on a 1080p panel display nowadays? Would it then serve for more years? What do you think about the size, normally what I see here is 17", but I guess nobody would complain about having a few inches bigger? (except the one who carries it)

 

On the wireless FF I can't really afford a Arri or Preston. I was first considering Cinegears, but I think I need to buy something more professional. How about a C-motions Compact ONE, A Hocus AXIS-1, or the Heden Carat you meantioned?

I'm topping my budget for this around 5000€.

 

For all of these, I'm not looking to get the best of the best, but a professional solution. For a lot off stuff I have professional gear, but very old ones, for example a Sachtler 25 head from western germany, which works perfectly and I just had serviced.


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#4 Simon Bengtsson

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 09:12 AM

I have no experience either with bartech or RT motion but i like the idea that the RT motion system is upgrade able in the way that it supports three channels from the start even if you buy the one motor package. Altough Arri and Preston are industry standard the price is ridiculous. In sweden you can rent it for 100 euros/day so you can rent it for a while before you get up in the range of 10 000 euros. My two cents


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#5 Mikko Suomalainen

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 11:01 AM

Does anyone have experience of RTmotion AND Hocus AXIS1?

I see a lot of good reviews of both, and both are from UK with similar pricing.

 

And what about the directors monitor? I've seen used Panasonic BT-LH1700's for 6-800€, which would be good deal (incase it's good condition), but that aside it's old technology. I'm not sure if that's something I want to invest on, what are your thoughts? 

There is sale on TV-logic LVM-176W and LVM-182W at local dealer.


Edited by Mikko Suomalainen, 11 October 2015 - 11:15 AM.

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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 01:14 PM

Are you going to to use the Panasonic 1700 for focus pulling? If not, then it might not be an issue. There are also the newer 1710 and 1760 monitors which are better, though still 720p.

Anyway, if you are looking to buy used equipment then you will be investing in old technology no matter what. So the question is, will productions still rent it from you for the next few years? That's not really something we can answer because it really depends on your market and what producers and DPs value there. But generally, the standard brand name equipment will rent for longer even if it is old - most producers are conservative and will rent what they already know works.
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#7 Mikko Suomalainen

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 02:58 PM

Well, buying used equipent doesn't always mean old technology. For example my 40 years old Sachtler head is a lot like their current models :) 

 

With monitors it's obviously not the case. I got an offer from a friend who would sell a Flanders 17", so I'll test it next week.

Also for my current work, most times the client/producer/etc doesn't really know/care what equipment I bring, as long as it works and is affordable. So I'm trying to find the best price/quality ratio.

 

I'll find more info about the focus-units, if someone has pros/cons about AXIS-1 or RTmotion MK3, please share.

 

Thank you!

Mikko 


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#8 Jani Häkli

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Posted 12 January 2016 - 09:18 PM

I don't know if you're still looking for wireless focus unit but Im selling my digital bartech on steadicam forum:

 

http://www.steadicam...showtopic=23409


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