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19mm Bridgeplate Options?


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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 08:14 AM

Hi guys,

 

I want to move up to 19mm studio support for my CZ.2 zooms, and I'm wondering if I could pick your brains for the best way to go. This would be for an F5 that currently has the Element Technica Micron 15mm LWS Bridgeplate system on it.

 

I've encountered the cheap Chinese knockoff bridgeplates before, and I have zero interest dealing with issues those seem to inevitably cause.

 

The obvious standard would be the Arri BP-8, and baring strong feedback on the more esoteric options, that's probably the way I'll go.

 

However...

 

The other options I come across trawling the net for the past few hours are the ActionProducts QR Bridge Plate (http://www.actionpro...r_bridge_plate/) which looks like an ingenious way to speed up the entire process of moving the camera from one piece of support gear to the next. So I'd love to people's thoughts on it (if you've encountered it).

 

 

Another option, which would be a budget alternative to the BP-8, but looks quite decent, is Peter Gosen's UB1 Bridge Plate http://petergosens.com/products/ub1/

 

Has anyone had any experience with these (or other good alternatives that you'd recommend) that you could share your thoughts on?

 

Cheers,

 

Mark


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#2 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 09:16 AM

Hi Mark

 

Just wondering why the need for 19mm bars..  I have an F5 with the Canon CN7.. just shy of 3KG ... with Zacuto universal base plate.. with Vocas lens support..15mm rods.. it works very well.. helped by the F5 having PL mount too of course.. 

 

Not saying anything wrong to go with 19mm.. just wonder the need for CZ 2 zooms .. out of interest.. 

 

Thanks


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 15 February 2016 - 09:17 AM.

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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 09:29 AM

Hey Robin,

 

15mm LWS is fine for supporting the lenses (albeit a little fiddly and tight-fitting for squeezing the follow focus and lens support onto the rails), my larger issue is that all-up (camera/battery/lens/mattebox/follow-focus/monitor) my setup seems to be right at the limit of what the Element Technica Micron system I'm using, can handle, and it's causing my ACs and I considerable grief in repeated slippage/tightening up.

 

Nothing grates on me more, than time lost on set to fiddly or problematic equipment. I just want things to work, each time, every time, all day long. And conventional 19mm bridgeplates don't budge (in my experience), and the extra space under the lens makes fitting the follow-focus and lens support quicker and simpler (so less time lost to lens changes).

 

All of this irks me, because I have a considerable investment into the ET Micron system, with their smaller dovetails for my shoulder pad, and other support gear - so everything would be fast and homogenous. So having to re-buy the whole lot in a "Size Up" (so to speak) is rather painful. I also have NO desire to cop the increased weight of moving to 19mm. But sadly, I can't see another option that's going to save me from slippage issues, and still give me the dovetail capability that I want with all of my support gear.

 

Cheers


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#4 Freya Black

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 03:07 PM

It sounds like you are conflicted Mark. Has the ET baseplate been good until you added more weight recently?

Is there a way you could mount stuff somewhere else on the camera rather than right onto the base plate rails?

On the Red One you can even have rails on the top and bottom of the camera at the same time.

Could you try at least moving the monitor onto some kind of top mounting? Maybe a top cheeseplate?

 

I don't have any answers to your core problem but I just am trying to help by throwing some ideas into the mix.

Those Zeiss Compact Zooms don't look all that big to my eyes, so I'm also surprised that you are struggling with the 15mm stuff.

Having said that it sounds like you have had better experiences in the past with 19mm stuff.

What 19mm stuff have you used previously?

 

Freya


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 04:22 PM

Honestly, I would just get a BP-8. Standard AKS tend to make ACs more comfortable so it will be one less thing you need to constantly hear about.

Having used their camera plates and modules, I think that Action Products make excellent stuff but that side load quick release would make me nervous because it's not a standard feature. I could see an AC who is not being careful thinking the plate is secure in the sliding position and having the camera fall off. A lot of silly stuff can happen after 12 hours on set.

The other one you posted looks pretty good, but I have not used it. As long as it is the modern short-style baseplate like the BP-8/9 and not the older long-style like the BP-3 it could be good. I think a long baseplate would block the shoulder pad on your F5.
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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 04:43 PM

The other one you posted looks pretty good, but I have not used it. As long as it is the modern short-style baseplate like the BP-8/9 and not the older long-style like the BP-3 it could be good. I think a long baseplate would block the shoulder pad on your F5.

 

The UB1 looks interesting.

I really like the idea of swappable plates for Arri or Red on this one. I hate having to throw out everything for a new camera or even using a different camera and having a bunch of stuff that is incompatible from your other camera. I would prefer if everyone didn't keep inventing their own special standards for stuff tho.


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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 06:43 PM

Actually, looking closer at the UB-1, it does appear to be the old-style long baseplate.
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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 07:30 PM

Hi Mark

 

Ok got it.. I dont have FF etc hanging off my rods..  and yes I totally agree.. I just want things to work .. its worth just about any cost gear wise to just make life as easy as possible, with the least amount of extraneous stress..   thats why I bought the CN7.. 

 

Good luck with the 19mm set up


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#9 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 15 February 2016 - 11:17 PM

Honestly, I would just get a BP-8. Standard AKS tend to make ACs more comfortable so it will be one less thing you need to constantly hear about.

Having used their camera plates and modules, I think that Action Products make excellent stuff but that side load quick release would make me nervous because it's not a standard feature. I could see an AC who is not being careful thinking the plate is secure in the sliding position and having the camera fall off. A lot of silly stuff can happen after 12 hours on set.

The other one you posted looks pretty good, but I have not used it. As long as it is the modern short-style baseplate like the BP-8/9 and not the older long-style like the BP-3 it could be good. I think a long baseplate would block the shoulder pad on your F5.

 

I've actually just realised that the F35 I've spent the past week scrambling to get battle ready for a shoot, has the UB-1 Bridge Plate on it!  :P My assessment would be that it's solid, but a little stiff compared the Arri. I'd rather old reliable (BP-8), so I don't think I'll go for the UB-1, it also feels a bit heftier than ze German.

 

My main reason for going with the ET Micron system in the first place was to allow me to have a dovetailing shoulderpad on the F5 ala Amira - the Micron system makes it really quick and simple to both balance the camera on the tripod head, then just slide it off and slide on a shoulder pad (with full adjustability). Moving to 19mm, I want the same functionality, so I'll move my shoulder pad on to a lightweight dovetail that I can just slide straight on to the BP-8/ActionProducts.

 

It's a good point about sticking with Arri simply because everyone knows it, and knows what to expect. The speed of the ActionProducts one is awfully tempting though...

 

 

It sounds like you are conflicted Mark. Has the ET baseplate been good until you added more weight recently?

Is there a way you could mount stuff somewhere else on the camera rather than right onto the base plate rails?

On the Red One you can even have rails on the top and bottom of the camera at the same time.

Could you try at least moving the monitor onto some kind of top mounting? Maybe a top cheeseplate?

 

I don't have any answers to your core problem but I just am trying to help by throwing some ideas into the mix.

Those Zeiss Compact Zooms don't look all that big to my eyes, so I'm also surprised that you are struggling with the 15mm stuff.

Having said that it sounds like you have had better experiences in the past with 19mm stuff.

What 19mm stuff have you used previously?

 

Freya

 

Unfortunately I already have the camera about as barebones as it's gonna get. And I don't think redistributing the weight is going to do much, it's just the total weight that seems to be beyond what the ET bridge plate is happy with. It's a shame, because it's a great bit of kit, just not made for 10kg of camera rig. The 15mm rods are totally fine with the weight, it's only the smaller bridge plate that's struggling.

 

 

Hi Mark

 

Ok got it.. I dont have FF etc hanging off my rods..  and yes I totally agree.. I just want things to work .. its worth just about any cost gear wise to just make life as easy as possible, with the least amount of extraneous stress..   thats why I bought the CN7.. 

 

Good luck with the 19mm set up

 

Cheers, how's that CN7 treating you? I've had a couple of barebones doco shoots recently and would really have preferred just having the Canon over carting round a 28-80mm  CZ.2 a 70-200mm CZ.2 and a 21mm CP.2 just to cover the same range.


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#10 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 12:12 AM

Hi Mark

 

Yes exactly why I bought it.. one lens.. glued onto a decent PL mount the whole shoot.. I have a couple of primes now just gathering dust on the shelf.. I would only use them in some horrible environment where I would be worried about screwing up the CN7..!

 

For doc,s I,d be totally lost without it.. for the corp shoots that have more time and budget I also just use the CN7 now.. its just quicker to get the exact frame you want than moving the camera around.. its 4K spec.. and tiny for a 35mm zoom of that range ..

 

My F5 is now also 10kg with lens mattbox  etc.. so I did have to get an easy rig last year for any long HH shoots.. had a 6 week shoot with alot of HH and for the first time ever..had to tell the dir I just had to have a break..  with film you got a break every 10 mins,then tape 30/40 mins.. now I can shoot for ever on 128GB cards !!


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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 02:47 AM

I've had a couple of barebones doco shoots recently and would really have preferred just having the Canon over carting round a 28-80mm  CZ.2 a 70-200mm CZ.2 and a 21mm CP.2 just to cover the same range.


I suppose you may have already investigated this, but if not then you might consider shooting those jobs in 2K center crop mode and using a S16 zoom like the Canon 7-63mm.

I like the range of the CN-E 17-120mm but for me personally, a front-heavy 6+ lbs lens is just too much to handhold all day. Even my 4.8lbs Cine Zooms are rather front heavy on the F5. And I'm mostly shooting cine style short takes where I can hand off the camera to an AC after a few minutes. Don't know how you pull it off Robin!
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#12 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 03:30 AM

Hi Mark

 

Yes exactly why I bought it.. one lens.. glued onto a decent PL mount the whole shoot.. I have a couple of primes now just gathering dust on the shelf.. I would only use them in some horrible environment where I would be worried about screwing up the CN7..!

 

For doc,s I,d be totally lost without it.. for the corp shoots that have more time and budget I also just use the CN7 now.. its just quicker to get the exact frame you want than moving the camera around.. its 4K spec.. and tiny for a 35mm zoom of that range ..

 

My F5 is now also 10kg with lens mattbox  etc.. so I did have to get an easy rig last year for any long HH shoots.. had a 6 week shoot with alot of HH and for the first time ever..had to tell the dir I just had to have a break..  with film you got a break every 10 mins,then tape 30/40 mins.. now I can shoot for ever on 128GB cards !!

 

Nice. The Easy Rig's become hugely popular down here too. And after having (for some stupid reason) decided to shoot 60% of a feature handheld on my shoulder with the CZ.2s last year, I can confidently say, I rather understand why.

I could certainly put one to use, however the Easy Rig floating + super-shallow depth of field aesthetic that has become so predominant at the moment, isn't really to my taste.

 

Those long record times are a bastard. Thankfully I'm doing mostly narrative stuff, so have ACs there to throw the camera off to.

 

I suppose you may have already investigated this, but if not then you might consider shooting those jobs in 2K center crop mode and using a S16 zoom like the Canon 7-63mm.

I like the range of the CN-E 17-120mm but for me personally, a front-heavy 6+ lbs lens is just too much to handhold all day. Even my 4.8lbs Cine Zooms are rather front heavy on the F5. And I'm mostly shooting cine style short takes where I can hand off the camera to an AC after a few minutes. Don't know how you pull it off Robin!

 

S16mm glass is very much on my to-buy list for precisely that reason. I want the Canon Zoom, and a set of S16mm Superspeeds too (might have to settle for Optex over the Zeisses :/ ) to handle my HFR work with the camera (everything over 60fps I'm shooting in crop mode these days (to avoid the nasty aliasing and mush you cop otherwise).

 

I figure it would also be better for my own sanity to have cheaper glass that I can shoot with when clients aren't paying enough to justify bringing out the CZ.2s, but I still want proper cine lens mechanics.


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#13 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 05:29 AM

I suppose you may have already investigated this, but if not then you might consider shooting those jobs in 2K center crop mode and using a S16 zoom like the Canon 7-63mm.

I like the range of the CN-E 17-120mm but for me personally, a front-heavy 6+ lbs lens is just too much to handhold all day. Even my 4.8lbs Cine Zooms are rather front heavy on the F5. And I'm mostly shooting cine style short takes where I can hand off the camera to an AC after a few minutes. Don't know how you pull it off Robin!

 

 

Hi Satsuki    

 

 Yes its a trade off for sure.. . Ive done my best to balance it with the Zacuto base plate.. the camera is way back.. my shoulder is basically under the mount.. and the plate has really nice gel filled sacks for comfort..( I dont have shares in zacuto BTW !).. but anyone using this lens should really look into this base plate.. I had others before.. and really looked into it.. its the only one that you can get the camera way back with..  but even so yes its just plain heavy.. but I can get all my shots quickly.. rather than changing primes,and often in places I dont want to be doing lens changes.. eg on that shoot -30C seed vault in the arctic circle ! with a clock running.. and a guy with a gun.. actually that was to ward off polar bears..  :)..  hence the easy rig .. takes a bit of getting used to and best really for people talking shots ,rather than general B roll (GV,s).. 

 

Re the s16.. in CC mode.. yes good alternative and for sure lighter.. but you would be getting less shallow DOF .. and so much stuff is now 4K.. 


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#14 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 05:33 AM

 

Nice. The Easy Rig's become hugely popular down here too. And after having (for some stupid reason) decided to shoot 60% of a feature handheld on my shoulder with the CZ.2s last year, I can confidently say, I rather understand why.

I could certainly put one to use, however the Easy Rig floating + super-shallow depth of field aesthetic that has become so predominant at the moment, isn't really to my taste.

 

Those long record times are a bastard. Thankfully I'm doing mostly narrative stuff, so have ACs there to throw the camera off to.

 

 

S16mm glass is very much on my to-buy list for precisely that reason. I want the Canon Zoom, and a set of S16mm Superspeeds too (might have to settle for Optex over the Zeisses :/ ) to handle my HFR work with the camera (everything over 60fps I'm shooting in crop mode these days (to avoid the nasty aliasing and mush you cop otherwise).

 

I figure it would also be better for my own sanity to have cheaper glass that I can shoot with when clients aren't paying enough to justify bringing out the CZ.2s, but I still want proper cine lens mechanics.

 

Yes if I was just doing commercials or drama I wouldn't get the easy rig really.. its much nicer to just be on the shoulder.. and if I could palm off the beast to an assistant after 30 seconds it would be heaven.. ! 


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#15 Freya Black

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 03:31 PM

People have been raving about the CN7 for some time.

Everyone I've known who has used it extensively has very good things to say about it.

 

Freya


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#16 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 06:05 PM

Hi Satsuki    
 
 Yes its a trade off for sure.. . Ive done my best to balance it with the Zacuto base plate.. the camera is way back.. my shoulder is basically under the mount.. and the plate has really nice gel filled sacks for comfort..( I dont have shares in zacuto BTW !).. but anyone using this lens should really look into this base plate.. I had others before.. and really looked into it.. its the only one that you can get the camera way back with..  but even so yes its just plain heavy.. but I can get all my shots quickly.. rather than changing primes,and often in places I dont want to be doing lens changes.. eg on that shoot -30C seed vault in the arctic circle ! with a clock running.. and a guy with a gun.. actually that was to ward off polar bears..  :)..  hence the easy rig .. takes a bit of getting used to and best really for people talking shots ,rather than general B roll (GV,s).. 
 
Re the s16.. in CC mode.. yes good alternative and for sure lighter.. but you would be getting less shallow DOF .. and so much stuff is now 4K.. 


Gotcha, yes the Zacuto plate works well, heavy though. I have been ordering the Shape VCT plate from the rental house since it has some front to back movement, but Zacuto would be better. Anything is better than that Arri Cine plate that digs into the shoulder. One DP I used to work for swears by the Arri VCT plate, which I think is ok. It is certainly lightweight.

That Arctic shoot sounds brutal. Hope you didn't have to hop in and out between warm and cold with that camera! Condensation sucks.
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#17 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:04 PM

Luckily it was only the seed vault that was that cold.. but it was pretty cold outside too.. depended on the wind alot.. yes we were pretty good with the condensation .. I would leave the camera in a bag for about an hour  .. before shooting inside after being outside.. alot better than tape camera,s .. were the sensor would just shut the camera down ,for up to 3 hours I had once !!

 

Totally agree re the Arri cine plate.. before i got my camera i used one with that plate.. 100% useless for HH.. would dig right into my shoulder.. one shoot was an operation so only had surgical gown on.. no tripod allowed.. I think my shoulder was in worse condition than the guy being operated on !  and the shoulder pad way too far back.. Arri can get it wrong !


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#18 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:43 PM

For a reference point, here's a thread on how my F5 is currently rigged with the ET Micron system:  https://community.sony.com/t5/F5-F55/Building-your-F5-5-into-an-Amira-Lite/td-p/368912 

 

With primes, and lightweight lenses, the whole system works a treat, and provides the dovetailing that you need to make on-the-shoulder handheld properly balanced. Moving to 19mm studio, I'll be looking to construct the same thing again with the larger dovetail standard. Proper balance (and comfort!) is just too important to neglect when it comes to handheld work.


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#19 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 12:01 AM

Mark.. your link is not working for me.. ?  incorrect parameters or some such error message sir 


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#20 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 17 February 2016 - 05:28 AM

Hmm... that's odd. I'm getting the same thing now. Try copying and pasting the url into your web browser instead. Seems to work find copied and pasted, just doesn't like being clicked into.


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