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Best method for mounting a very large zoom lens


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#1 Daniel Rainer

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 09:14 PM

I just got on a shoot with a camera package including an Angenieux Optimo 24-290. I've never personally worked with any cine zooms close to that size, and I've heard that there is a proper way to mount one without risking dropping the lens or damaging the mount. Could anyone elaborate the best way safely mount a large zoom? Thanks.


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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 01:31 AM

My method is to first get the camera on a big tripod head like an OConnor 2575. Level it. Bring the lens cases over to the front of the camera and open them. Remove the matte box and follow focus. If there is a lens on the camera, remove it now along with the short studio rods. Close and lock the prime lens case.

Remove the camera from the head and switch the short Arri dovetail to a long 24" dovetail. Remount the camera. Mount the long studio rods from the zoom case. Slide the camera further back on the dovetail so that when the zoom lens is mounted the load will be roughly balanced. Lock the tilt and pan. If there is a safety lock for the tilt, engage it now.

With the zoom lens still in the case, attach the lens support to the lens with the rods clamp loose. Ideally, the support is an Arri LS-9 or LS-10 that can drop straight down onto the rods. Remove the rear PL cap. Use the top handle on the lens and lift out. Support and guide the lens with your second hand so the lens support drops onto the rods. Then slide the lens back toward the PL mount. Remove the camera's PL port cap. Slide the lens along the rods into the PL mount, lock the mount, then lock the support. Pull off the front cap.

Close the zoom case and send it back to the cart. Re-attach follow focus and matte box, changing backs or donuts as necessary. Engage the zoom motor, plug in the Microforce cable, rebalance the head and adjust counterbalance. Ready to go. Should take less than a minute once you and your 2nd AC have it down.
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#3 Daniel Rainer

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 10:53 AM

My method is to first get the camera on a big tripod head like an OConnor 2575. Level it. Bring the lens cases over to the front of the camera and open them. Remove the matte box and follow focus. If there is a lens on the camera, remove it now along with the short studio rods. Close and lock the prime lens case.

Remove the camera from the head and switch the short Arri dovetail to a long 24" dovetail. Remount the camera. Mount the long studio rods from the zoom case. Slide the camera further back on the dovetail so that when the zoom lens is mounted the load will be roughly balanced. Lock the tilt and pan. If there is a safety lock for the tilt, engage it now.

With the zoom lens still in the case, attach the lens support to the lens with the rods clamp loose. Ideally, the support is an Arri LS-9 or LS-10 that can drop straight down onto the rods. Remove the rear PL cap. Use the top handle on the lens and lift out. Support and guide the lens with your second hand so the lens support drops onto the rods. Then slide the lens back toward the PL mount. Remove the camera's PL port cap. Slide the lens along the rods into the PL mount, lock the mount, then lock the support. Pull off the front cap.

Close the zoom case and send it back to the cart. Re-attach follow focus and matte box, changing backs or donuts as necessary. Engage the zoom motor, plug in the Microforce cable, rebalance the head and adjust counterbalance. Ready to go. Should take less than a minute once you and your 2nd AC have it down.

Thanks so much. This is exactly what I was looking for. Appreciate it.


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#4 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 11:29 AM

Remove the camera from the head and switch the short Arri dovetail to a long 24" dovetail..

 

Speaking of which, there are two base-plates on ebay right now:

 

Base-plate 1

 

Base-plate 2


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 11:55 AM

With the 24" dovetail, you ideally want rod mounts on the front for extra support. Element Technica used to make one as an add on. Most 24-290 lenses should come with their own dovetail in the case.
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#6 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 07:15 PM

If the PL locking ring is stiff or hard to turn over the lens mount, the lens is not perfectly perpendicular and will be putting strain on the mounts.

Even 19mm rods can flex under the weight of a 24-290, if the lens support has an adjustable height it may need setting.

 

I always check that the PL mount lock ring can open and close easily after mounting a supported zoom. Don't assume that the lens support height is always correctly set.


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#7 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 10:23 PM

That's a good point. The lens should slide easily in and out of the PL mount when unlocked. After seating the lens in the mount, I usually slide the lens out a few inches and then back in to make sure the height is good.
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