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Aaton LTR video assist ideas


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#1 Brian Wells

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 08:42 PM

Hi everyone.

I've brushed up on some available options and wanted to hear your thoughts. The thread at CML was very helpful, however, no mention of the Visual Products video tap was offered. It looked very attractive given the low profile installation and I wonder what tradeoffs may (or may not) have been taken to achieve this type of compactness. Has anyone used this mod? How would you rate it compared to other options? Any D-I-Y methods that have worked for you?

Aaton LTR-54 Video Tap
http://www.cinematog...R54VideoTap.htm

Visual Products Internal Video Tap for Aaton
http://www.visualpro...ctID=741&Cat=11

Thanks,
Brian
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#2 Nathan Milford

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Posted 05 June 2005 - 11:20 PM

The CML thread is probably dated. The Visual products tap is fairly recent.

Avoid the old Aaton VR30 tube tap like the plague... it's old electronics and it's costly to repair and very bulky.

The Visual roducts tap is very attractive. It's a single CCD and they'd be very happy to talk about it over the phone. They're great people there.

I don't really come across the A-Z spectrum taps that often and I don't really like 'em.

The other, more expensive, option is the top-handle tap (we call it the Addie tap). We send it to this guy in Long Island (Addie) who machines a new handle with a sony lipstick camera in it. It works very well, and the color model is fantastic (but it's like 6 grand). You can easily judge focus with it.

If you want to build your own tap, thats been done many times... if you go in from the top handle (like Addie) you will have to replace the prism in the handle (just before where the view finder extends out) with a custom beam splitter. If you go the just above the batter VR30 port route you need an Option R and a Pellicule (relay optics and a beam splitter). We have some old, used Option R's but a new pellicle is very expensive... I'm not near my price list now but I think it's around a grand... maybe it's seven hundred... it's a lot. But, perhaps your camera already has them installed.

- nathan
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#3 Brian Wells

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 01:56 AM

Thanks, Nathan. I guess I'll have to think about my options some more. I know that many of the catalogue optics retailers (edmund, thorlabs, etc.) offer beamsplitters and wondered if you would be able to tell me what type to look for. If there's a way to do this mod as a hobbiest-type project, then I'd kind of like to give it a shot.. So far as a camera, I don't exactly have a camera. While I'm bidding on one right now, there's no guarantee I'll win the auction. Trying to explore all options at the moment and this eBay one looked alright for the money. It's #751, and I'm doubtful that it has an Option R or Pellicle, but I will contact the seller to find out.

Thanks.
Brian
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#4 Nathan Milford

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Posted 06 June 2005 - 09:21 AM

The Abel Database shows #751 was last in here in 1998... so expect the camera to need a major servicing, like an overhaul (factory says they need them every 4 years and that one is due). The overhaul can run between $1440 to $2500 depending on parts and camera condition ($1440 for a brand new XTRprod with no broken parts that gives me, or another technician, no pain to disassemble and reassemble... an LTR with a low serial number that hasn't been in a shop for 7 years... *cringe*).

You should work out who pays for what from the seller before you buy it... thats the problem with eBay. A lot of people get screwed like that, they have just eough to get a camera body, but no funds to service it and make it usable so they end up running it regardless and bring the camera closer to a bearings ceasure... which is a VERY expensive service... so I'd e-mail the seller and ask him if it's been serviced anywhere else and if now if he plans to help out with the cost of service.

- nathan
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#5 Rik Andino

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 03:18 AM

If you want to build your own tap, thats been done many times...
- nathan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Wait...hold up--you mean WE can build our own video taps?

Please pray-tell how?

This thought never occur to me.

Is it complicated? & is it worth it?
Or should we just let someone else install it.

Another question Nathan...why is the AZ spectrum video asst. so bad?
They make a color video asst. for the LTR which Visual Products does not.

Anyways I'll talk to you later...thanks for the advice.
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#6 Nathan Milford

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 09:23 AM

Rik,

All you need is a lipstick camera and the optics. Usually it'll end up costing you more in the end fabricating your own through trial and error...

Next time your LTR is in for service, Rik, I can take a gander and see if your body has the Option R optics and a pellicule. If it does all you need to do get a lipstick camera, and somehow put it in the port above the XLR4 and Amphanol 9 ports. You can fabricate a fitting or have someone else do it.

It won't be flicker-free, mind you, unless you want to invest in some more electronics and modification.

Visual Products went for a slim, compact and affordable solution, which is why it's a single B&W ccd. I guess I'm prejudiced against the AZ-Spectrum taps as I've never seen one in good condition.

- nathan
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#7 Rik Andino

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Posted 08 June 2005 - 04:08 PM

Next time your LTR is in for service, Rik, I can take a gander and see if your body has the Option R optics and a pellicule.  If it does all you need to do get a lipstick camera, and somehow put it in the port above the XLR4 and Amphanol 9 ports.  You can fabricate a fitting or have someone else do it.

- nathan

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I've got a pellicule...I dunno if it's an Option R...but it works with my VR30...
I'm guessing it work with any other video asst. but I'm not totally sure.

& speaking of Lipstick cam...it's funny you say that... :)
Me and Roy have a running gag involving a ferret and a lipstick cam... :D
We call it FERRET CAM! ...when you can't afford a production crew
It involves attaching a lipstick camera to a ferret and letting them run wild. :)
It's a low budget kinda thing...

So now anytime one mentions a lipstick camera I can't stop laughing. :lol:
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