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Geoff Owen

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Geoff Owen last won the day on March 3 2019

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About Geoff Owen

  • Birthday 08/02/1963

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    Ultra 2, G70x , Master Series
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  1. Hi Osvaldo, thanks for your input to this thread. Great story. I'm curious to the cost for the surgery, naturally it will be quite different over here in Oz. I imagine that it was a few thousand dollars. With this Covid thing I might not be able to get to Miami for some time, plus the lack of work over the past few months, spare funds for a trip and surgery may be some time off as well. I'm now into a few months of using the multi-focal contacts and they seem to be working really well. As you and your wife would have discovered, not having to put glasses on to see is really worth the Cons that come with contact lenses. As mentioned in the earlier posts, the contacts I have can stay in for a month at a time, So far at the end of the month I wear my old glasses for a day or two to give my eyes a break. The cons are my eyesight is not as good with the contacts as with glasses, depending what I'm looking at. Some times a lens will fall out during sleep, bad dream I guess. I was lucky that I found it in the basin when I washed my face in the morning. At times if I look up it will feel as if the lens gets caught in my eyelid and seems as if it will fall out. I might see if the make them slightly bigger for the next batch I buy. As mentioned eyesight is mainly pretty good, particularly during the day when my pupils are fully closed, night time vision is not great with a dilated pupil as the lenses are set up in concentric circles, hence multi focal, so the brain has to work hard to work out clear sharp vision. Wearing sunglasses can have a similar effect. Night driving with them isn't great but ok. Still a laborious job putting them in, as I only have to do it once a month I don't get practiced at the task. I'm so relieved when I get them in I'm not tempted to take them out and try again, plus my eye is sore enough at that time. I contemplated just getting single vision contacts similar to you, however I would need to have lenses for both eyes as my distance vision isn't great anymore. I thought that with dependence on one eye or the other I would loose some of the inherent 3D effect that seeing with both eyes gives us may be an issue. But over all I'm glad I've gone down this road and perhaps in the future I'll explore the Lasek procedure that you had. Thanks again for your post, good to know there are other options. best Regards Geoff Owen
  2. Hi Guys thanks for the replies. Addressing the comments. Stephen, glad your bi-focals work for you, as I mentioned above, I found these good for every day use around the house etc. I did have some issues with stairs, going down in particular, we tend to use our peripheral vision I guess to gauge the stairs and the junction of the two powers of the lens seems to be around the 45 degree down mark, that's about the angle stairs are set at. So if you simply look down as you approach the stair you look through the magnified section of the bi-focal and the image is totally blurred, very hard to be confident with that first step. once on the stairs then your muscle memory takes over for the most part. But for the judgement of that first stair you have to consciously look down with your head to see the stair clearly. Often our use of peripheral vision is seeing the stairs and our brain makes its judgement from the peripheral image but if your peripheral vision is seeing through the higher magnification (reading section) of the lens, which results in an blurred image to the brain, our brain can only have a poor judgement of where that stair is etc.. Hi Alex, as john has added below your post, these are called a progressive lens. John, thanks for your comment. I have tried these progressive lens glasses too, I chose the cheaper option which has a narrower field of vision. I can't remember exactly how it worked, a bit like an hour glass shape in the way the different powers of magnification are transitioned. The more expensive lens gives you a wider transition. So again for me I found that looking around with just my eyes without moving my head gave the world a bit of a wobbly sensation. So up to now I have found that single vision glasses have been a good option. I don't have any real problems of astigmatism or more complicated eye dysfunctions so although not perfect I can use off the shelf reading glasses, and have several powers to suit particular situations. My distance vision requires about 0.7 diopter and my reading is about 2.5 , so mostly I tend to use a 1.5 magnification reader for the Steadicam work. These give me pretty good vision/focus for my surroundings and pretty good focus for my monitor when in high mode, low mode not very good focus. Another point regarding the bi- focal and progressive lens glasses, for regular camera operating, these days we're all blessed with field monitors on the camera, a great tool for operating in those physically difficult setups. But with the bi-focal and progressive lens with the reading (close-up ) section at the bottom of the lens if the monitor (generally mounted on top of the camera) is above your head you have to tilt your head back a lot to view it through the reading area of the lens. Naturally this can be quite uncomfortable even after a short time. Anyway, I've recently have been to the optometrist for a checkup and have explored again contact lens. Since last trying these some dozen years ago, mentioned in my first post, technology has advanced and you can now get them as a "Progressive" lens and you can now leave them in your eyes for a month at a time, you don't have to take them out each day. So I have now got what they call a "tester" pair. These have been set up as, both eyes have a distance prescription and one eye has a close up reading prescription and the other eye has a mid distance prescription. The Right eye is close up reading/ Low mode operating, so 2- 3 feet focus plus distance and the Left eye is mid distance, 3-5 feet focus plus distance. These are not perfect as yet and may need a bit of refining, additionally they say it can take a few days to a couple of weeks for your brain to retrain itself to process the image and to workout which section of the retina is in focus. That being said I'm blown away with the result. The liberation of not having to wear glasses is so good, as said not quite perfect just yet. Not having the frame of the glasses in your peripheral vision is great, not having to look through a specific section of the glasses is just fantastic. Life just seems to be in focus, the distance vision isn't quite right with these at this point but the close up world is really good could be a little better for reading a book with small print. I guess that I could get some additional glasses to wear if I really needed for reading small print. Even if this is as good as it gets I will stick with them as it's pros far out weigh the cons for me at this time. One big pros that I was thankful for this weekend, digging a hole under a house, very hot and humid day, a lot of sweating, normally I'd have drops of sweat on my glasses and having to put up with it or cleaning them every couple of minutes, wow just fantastic, no cleaning required. Digging under a house and sweating as much as I was, I would have had to take the glasses off and dig blurred, it was like being in a rain storm. I can see this as a huge bonus when operating Steadicam on those hot days, nothing worse then drops of sweat on your glasses in the middle of a shot. My eyes in general aren't so bad that I'd wear glasses all the time particularly during the day, night-time is quite different. I've only done a half a dozen Steadicam shoots in full rain or rain effects, admittedly your cap can keep your glasses generally clear but not always. These contact lenses will be a huge benefit in those circumstances. I haven't used the rig since getting these lenses but the confidence I now have in seeing the world more naturally like when I was a young man gives me great hope. To be honest I had been thinking that I would soon have to give up operating as I simply didn't have the confidence in my balance due to not seeing the world in proper focus. For me these are a game changer. Cons, the $400 prescription sunglasses I have are now useless unless I take out the contacts and I'll have to get used to putting the contacts in and out at some point. Not sure of the cost at this time, I don't think they are super expensive, I believe the ones that can stay in for a month are a bit more than the daily ones and it may work out a bit more then regular glasses. I hope that my health fund will cover most of the expense but I think they will be well worth the expense. Another Pros, they're hard to break, not easily lost ( I presume ), I'm not sure about swimming, maybe you have to keep your eyes closed a little bit so they don't wash out, but I don't swim a lot these days. I can always wear goggles. Plus I don't have to have several pairs of glasses around my neck. I've only had these for a few days now so I guess time will tell. I did ask the dumb question at the time of getting them, "how do you know if they're the right way up ?" . The answer is that there isn't a right way up, the prescription is set up in concentric circles, like a bulls eye apparently, the distance in my case is in the center and the more powerful magnification for closer distances is on the outside. I believe that they can create these lenses with more than 2 bands so potentially you can have a few levels of magnification in each lens, so that may be the next tester. Again it will take some time for my brain to reorder itself to process the information. I'm not sure if this technique can be created in laser surgery but I would doubt it. As for people who have cataracts and get their natural lens replaced with a artificial lens I'm not sure if they can do the multi focal version for them, I don't see why not. My mother had her lenses replace a dozen years ago and she has one lens for reading and the other eye for distance single vision for each eye. She does very well for a 91 year old, reads the paper without glasses and drives the car. Yes we would all prefer she didn't, but like Charlton Heston, we couldn't pry those keys out of her dead cold hand. So perhaps they have the multi-focal option for that surgery now. An interesting fact that the optometrist told me about why we need to get glasses after the age of 40. Apparently the lens in our eyes is one of the few things in our body that continue to grow as we age. In turn as the lens grows it become much more difficult for the mussels that control the lens to adjust its shape to focus the image in our eyes. Anyway, I'll post another report in a few weeks time or reply to any questions. Many thanks for your interest. Seeing the world more clearly. Geoff Owen
  3. Hi folks, particularly the ones over 50. I'm now in my mid 50s and like many of this age have been suffering the eye condition called Presbyopia ( needing reading glasses, lose of close up vision) my distance vision isn't that great anymore either these days. Oh to be young again. Younger ops may get some benefit from this too, even though now your eyesight is 20/20, in the years ahead many of us combat this problem. So I'm posting this to find out what other older ops have employed to combat this situation outside of giving up the rig altogether. I have tried multi focal glasses but found that as our eyes are constantly darting left and right, up and down whilst navigating the terrain as well as watching the monitor the different powers of the lens can make one feel a bit disorientated. I haven't tried bi-focal glasses for Steadicam work, I guess I'd need the similar magnification as the mid distance single vision lenses I use. but still the situation of eyes darting around and seeing through different powered parts of the lens can be off putting. I have a pair of these reading /distance and find them sometimes dangerous particularly going down stairs (not operating). Mostly up to this point I've been using single vision reading glasses, generally less magnification than what I need for reading, this gives me a pretty good focus on both the monitor and my immediate surrounds. They give you a similar visual result when looking through all area of the lenses. This is fine for "high mode" operating but not very good for "low mode' operating as the monitor is much closer to ones eyes. For low mode I need to go to stronger magnification but naturally this means that my surrounds are pretty fuzzy. I haven't tried mounting a 2nd monitor below the stage as it would need to be fairly large to be completely useful. I've read that the degeneration of our eyes slows after 60, so perhaps i'm getting to the point where it won't get much worse then I'm at already and I get along pretty well. Some time ago I experimented with different power contact lenses, they seemed they would have been a great solution, I never got to try them with steadicam operating but the worked well driving and seeing the speedo on the way home from the optometrist . The failing came down to putting them in and out of my eyes, naturally needing reading glasses for close focus I couldn't see the contact lens on my finger, often just poking myself in the eye with a bare finger to find the lens on the bathroom vanity. This was a time when you had to remove them each day and re-insert them the next day. I believe that you can get them now and leave them in for weeks at a time. I have an appointment with the eye doctor in a couple of weeks so I might ask about them again. Perhaps I should have persevered and got the hang of it. Apparently this technique only works with contacts, I don't believe that you can do the same thing with regular glasses. But I believe this may be possible with lazer surgery. Has anyone done this? I've seen on Face Book ads for glasses that you can dial in or adjust the magnification strength , has anyone tried these? Anyone come across eye drops to help this condition. I ate lots of carrots when I was a kid, is there any real proof that carrots work? Anyway, you get the gist of what I'm trying to find out. I look forward to read some of your comments. Geoff Owen
  4. Have just spoken to Tiffen about this problem. They tell me that they've only heard about this happening a couple of times before. Apparently these rings are only glued in place if the fit isn't sufficiently tight when assembled. An easy fix with some adhesive. If you have this same problem it may not present itself until you go into low-mode. Maybe the temperature did cause some expansion of the encoder ring for it to become loose so cold weather operators may not encounter this issue. So for all you Volt owners perhaps a quick check of your encoder ring may save you an embarrassing moment on set. Regards Geoff Owen
  5. Hi Lawrence, Thanks for your comment. Yes you're correct, it's supplied as one complete component from the factory that you fix in place with the double sided tape, but it seems that this assembly is made up of 2 components, one is the main body of the assembly and the other is the ring that has whatever technology in-bedded that the encoder/sensor reads. In my case the main body is still in place, the double sided tape has not let go, just the ring of smart material has slipped off the main body. I would expect that they aren't intended to come apart but in my case they have. Perhaps a call to Tiffen is the best bet here. Regards Geoff Owen
  6. Hi all, I had to do a lo-mode shot the other day and after inverting the rig I hear a noise, I look down and see that the encoder ring has slipped off the gimbal. A relatively quick fix with some electrical tape to hold it in place. To be clear this wasn't the whole encoder ring assembly just the encoder ring. The rest of the assembly was still in place. Has this happened to anyone else? I couldn't detect any glue residue one either component, how are they mated together in the factory? Are they just a press fit? It was a hot day but could the encoder ring expand in the heat enough to simply slide off the collar? So, looking for the best suggestions of the best glue to make a more permanent fix. I thought that perhaps a few drops of nail polish may be a good way to go so if needed I can un-fix it with some acetone. Any suggestions or similar stories most welcome. Thanks Geoff Owen
  7. Hi Brennan, Chris Fawcett did a video on Dynamic balance a while back, so you might be able to search his posts to find it, or perhaps a general search in google may find it. DB in most cases is found with the trial and error method, yes there was a document published, I think Jerry Holway was one of the authors, it was developed to be used with a palm pilot many years ago and I think it was more designed to work with the tiffen product of the time so some of the elements weights were a know factor in the actual program. I never used it but I think that you had to know the weights of all your components for the palm pilot to give you an answer. I doubt that it would help you much if you found it. DB is all about the relationship between your battery and Monitor and the force they exert on the post as they are rotated. Trial and error is your best bet as each rig will differ slightly with different weight monitors and batteries etc, some people have their monitors higher up the post some keep the monitor low, some people have 150 amp batteries some have 90 some have vlock some AB. So it's difficult to give you any suggestions on how to configure your rig. I don't know much about Pro rigs but the tiffen rigs give you a lot of ability to change the battery/monitor relationship as the battery and monitor are independently adjustable being able to move each component closer or further away from the center post. In Chris's video he suggests that you position your monitor where you want it and adjust the battery in or out to find DB. The important part is to understand what DB is, Chris's video does a fair job of doing this so it's worth watching. Here is the video. Good luck. Geoff Owen
  8. Thanks Deke, Not a particularly good solution is it, but I can understand why it's taking Tiffen so long to come up with a suitable cover. Perhaps they should make them rain proof to start with.
  9. Hey Jerry, any news on the rain cover for the volt?
  10. Hey everyone, thanks for all the words of advice. Job is now done and working. A big thanks to Jerry Holway and Rey Reyes. Regards Geoff Owen
  11. Hi all, after a 4 month wait the Volt Gimbal upgrade for my Ultra 2 has arrived. Unfortunately I wasn't made aware that it required the rig to be dismantled to fit it. My local Tiffen tech hasn't done one of these conversions before and is telling me that it may take 8 hours to fit it, ouch $ . So hoping that I may be able to get some advice from folks who have gone through this process. First of all, is 8 hours a fair estimate for the installation? Whats involved with removing the top stage? Could I do this myself? How long should it take? I have a 3 stage post, so I expect that the lock-off clamp has to be removed too in order to slide the gimbal off the post. Any tips of how to do this? I'll keep this short and see what comments come back. Many thanks. regards Geoff Owen.
  12. Hi Enrique, What price for the kit? PM me with some details, geoffowenis@gmail.com Thanks Geoff Owen
  13. Thanks for all your replies and contacts, A cable has been found and bought. Many thanks Geoff Owen.
  14. Hi Jerry and others, I have a few questions about the Volt system. Unfortunately I haven't the opportunity to get to a trade show to ask some questions and try it in person. 1. I notice that the Volt gimbal doesn't have the remote control for the motorized stage, I think I understand why but can you clarify that the functions that the remote (side to side, for and aft and GoTo buttons) gave you previously are now no longer required with the Volt gimbal? 2. Understandably having a dynamically balanced sled is preferable but to what extent can the Volt gimbal handle a sled that is not dynamically balanced when panning? 3. What is the un-assisted speed or virtual drop time the tilt function of the gimbal can give you? . So for example, How many seconds does it take to tilt from a 45 degree tilt to vertical? Can this speed be varied? 4. Reading a previous comment above from Gregory, re Resting position on the shoulder, at what degree of Tilt does the system switch off ? 5. In relation to the above question, at what degree does the Roll function of the system switch off ? Does the tilt and roll function switch off simultaneously? 5a. If a shot begins by looking straight up a skyscraper and then tilting down to find a person exiting the building, how long does the system take to engage and realize that you are not resting the rig on your shoulder but doing a shot? 6. I can see that the amount of strength the gimbal motors can exert can be varied, what is the maximum strength ? How many pounds of pressure from say wind blowing on the rig can the system hold the rig stable? 7. Can the system become confused in any way? As an example, if the system is in the tilt and hold setting and you have to do a slow switch with the rig tilted up, the tilt bearing of the gimbal progresses to be the roll axis and back to the tilt axis, similarly the roll bearing progresses from roll axis to the tilt axis and back to roll axis. 8. Can the motors be damaged if the Volt is set to hold the rig vertical and you hold the rig in a non-vertical position for an extended period? 9. Maintenance? I notice that the two drive gears with toothed belt is exposed, why is this component not covered? Does it need constant adjustment? How susceptible is this system to dust and moisture? How many hours of operation can we expect before having to replace motors, belts etc. 10. What is the power consumption of the system? 11. Gimbal centering, it would seem that the simple system of previous gimbals to center the gimbal isn't obvious in the Volt gimbal, can you comment on how this is done in the Volt or is this now a non essential adjustment? 12. Is it foreseeable that future versions of this Volt system could offer a virtual Pan inertia as well, which could be an alternative to using gyros? Many thanks for your time to reply Regards Geoff Owen
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