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RobVanGelder last won the day on January 31 2017

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About RobVanGelder

  • Birthday 10/20/1959

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    Bangkok, Thailand

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  1. Hi Martin, greetings from Bangkok, where I still work, though not much on Steadicam anymore.
  2. There are some things to improve, like headroom and level and more acute operating when he passes by the camera, but otherwise not so bad. If you feel that you see to much up-down movement, that often comes from a too tight grip on the rig, maybe in combination with a slightly forward falling rig which forces you to hold on and correct with every step. Try to loosen your grip on the gimbal, use the other hand to gently lift or push down. And walk as if you have a coin between your buttocks... keep it tight and stable in that area, is my experience.
  3. Yes, Cambodia is amazing and it changed my whole life after a 6 month stay there on a jungle /period movie. That's why I ended up in Thailand for 14 years now :). Prepare to sweat buckets! While working, sleeping, walking. This can give problems with rash under armpits, buttocks, etc. Always wear shoes, no slippers. I know the locals can do that but one little thorn cut, which WILL infect, can take you out. Be careful with street-food. Go only where other people are walking. There are still areas with mines... specially around remote temples. Cambodia has a young population, due to the Khmer Rouge era, so its relatively easy to connect to the locals but be aware. A lot of guys ended up staying in Cambodia after that shoot.... All the best, Rob van Gelder @ Lighthouse Film Service, Bangkok
  4. it's not a Axis PRO but the original roll axis out of a 3/4 axis set that I have. of course with my own modifications.
  5. I'm with you, I noticed the difference in aesthetic too, in fact , any tilt or pan errors seem to be enlarged because of the perfect horizon! A normal Steadicam shot has some roundness, because of the minute imperfections that make any movement; a tilt often has a minute pan as well, same for the pan which often has minute roll and/or tilt deviations. That makes the look of Steadicam, I think. But...many directors and the new line of DoP's are now used to that "perfect" Gimbal look, which is indeed often boring and imperfect in framing and timing.... But perfect in horizon! And then the roundness of Steadicam doesn't agree with their view. The good thing about this setup is that we as Steadicam operator with this stabilised roll-axis can still do a much better job at pan-tilt framing and timing, than any full 3-axis gimbal system! In fact, it forces the operator to perform more accurately!
  6. Since I got hold of my first rig, in 1992, a Steadicam III, I have tried to make something that could help stabilising the horizon. Of course, practice makes perfect, but a little help can be very convenient. My first tries involved a moving battery stage, with servos, with batteries that I designed myself and with a Futaba heli-gyro. That did hardly work, to slow in reaction time and I didn't continue after that. It was also at that time that the "Rollvision" came out with a similar design as the modern gimbals nowadays, but it was not reliable and cumbersome and needed 2 operators. ( familiar?) Fast forward to this time, about 2,5 years the Letus Helix came out and I saw that it could work, it has the right structure to become a useable addition to the Steadicam. I bought one and struggled for a long time to make it work with a normal but relatively lightweight camera package. Therefore the roll-ring ( made in China) was added to the front to support the weight of such camera package. But my problem was still that I needed to use a bare camera for a Red or Alexa Mini, hardly any accessory was allowed. That sucks because most of the time the productions I work with have only one camera and cannot allow me and the assistant to strip the camera completely, then rebuild again for a normal setup. So I was looking for a setup that allows me to use must normal accessories with a Dragon or Mini. Today I found a way to do that! This problem became even more pressing after I did a shoot last weekend with Anamorphic Hawks, mostly wide angle, on the sloping, (loose) sandy beach and the level became quite critical. ( many handheld shots from the DoP/operator had the level all over the place, but.....) At that time I could not use my Helix because the camera and lenses would be too long ( Red Dragon with Action Products accessories), so I search for a way to make more space for a common camera configuration. This is what works quite well: Results: rocksteady horizon, high to low mode in 5 seconds. Lens nearly in nodal roll axis. All rig angles in between still perfect horizon, very easy to reach the camera over tables, chairs, through doors. It's starting to be really promising!
  7. Though I do not have this Q-branch system, I have earlier bought a Letus Helix, which is also based on an Alexmos board. Initially, this had many problems too, but with the latest firmware 2.56 b6 I have addressed most of the issues. This version allows for a responsive stabilizing and - if needed - dutch angle by joystick control, without vibrating and twitching. it also holds position when tilting up or down towards 90 degrees, which was very difficult to maintain in the beginning (there is no defined horizon 90 degrees up or down, a problem all stabilized systems have to cope with) So, I am not saying this might help your particular system, but perhaps the same firmware might work on your boards. I have made a profile that can be downloaded: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qy35rseper5aqy5/Profile5-Large-camera-Roll-Steadicam-Joystick.profile?dl=0 Other than that, I think everybody has to accept that it is almost impossible to move a large camera like an Alexa, with Master-prime, focus-iris motor and some more muck, in a motorized cage that weighs only 1 kg. That will only happen when perfectly balanced, which is almost always NOT in the nodal point (not always really needed anyway) and almost always not within reach. With my own construction around that Helix, I have made the choice to be a bit more heavy on the bottom side, so that the camera-weight actually helps to keep the level. But luckily with the cameras like Alexa-Mini and Red Dragon, the nodal point is almost perfect and the balance as well. Adding the counterweights for my system can help to get even more balance in case Dutch angles are needed.
  8. Oh, I did not read that anywhere, though I noticed the high weight of on of the boxes. Then I think this is what I had in mind, but could not complete at that time due to inefficient level and gyro technology and too coarse servo drives. I made my system on the 3A that I had at that time. I still use a led level display that I made at the same time (1994) with the original electronic level in the J-box from the 3a. Ah, memories.....
  9. Ehh, almost, but not really. As I can read from the documentation it is only a very accurate display and sensor that measures the angle and it is up to the operator to control the actual roll. The big display will help with that. If this sensor is then coupled to a"weight in a box" that moves opposite to the roll level, you will get what I mean. This will work when the rig is in neutral balance, otherwise there will be a delayed reaction.
  10. Though this may sounds like I want to show off, when I started with Steadicam in 1993-94, I was seriously trying to get something like this to work, based on a mini-worrall or such head. Obviously, with hardly any miniaturisation of electronics available I was thinking of a steel wire pulley system, similar to hand brakes on a bike. I made drawings of the contraptions but did not go on with it as I focused on other systems. I did however try something else: with one of the first miniature futaba RC gyros and made a battery cage that would shift opposite of the roll direction. It did not work properly of course, the movements were erratic and too late since the sensitivity of the gyro was too low. But it might be an idea to work with new electronics. Instead of trying to balance a all day different camera configuration, why not a smooth moving counterweight at the bottom of the sled? Just thinking out loud,again.....
  11. Looking for a Cine Tape system. Rob
  12. That's because they (Chapman) basically do not want to sell, only lease to customers. Only if you are in a remote country they sometimes allow to buy.
  13. Is there anyone who as these lying around doing nothing?
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