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Everything posted by DcD

  1. So I went and rented a 1030HD today just to try it out. It's a bit banged up and it definitely needs some servicing. But it cost $50 to rent for the day, so I figured what the hell, I'll try it out, even if it is a bit rough around the edges. In retrospect, I kind of wish I'd just rented one in pristine condition. The euro plate was a little sticky on this unit. And it was not confidence-inspiring. The plate didn't snap into place effortlessly with the first try. It took some wiggling and multiple attempts. That kind of soured me. Many times it would appear to be locked, but upon further inspection it would only be halfway in. Scary stuff with a cinema camera and pretty unacceptable for a rental item. I will be speaking to the rental house about this. But I also have to wonder if Oconnor's euro plates all get like this after some abuse. Maybe their euro plate mechanism is a little janky by design? I also didn't like the large plastic cylinder covering the internal components on the rear (see attached photo). I didn't expect that to be made of thin plastic and be so flimsy. In all the photos it looks like it's metal or something, so that surprised me. Lastly, the tie down on the 1030HD needs to be ratcheted down with a lot more muscle than I'm used to with my other heads. The metal dome on the Oconnor seems to like to slip inside the Flowtech's bowl a bit when pressure is applied. But that may also be due to the head just being bigger and bulkier, and therefore it has a taller center of gravity. Now, having said all that, I get what everyone says about OConnor's motion. It really is like butter. It moves better than any tripod head I've ever used in my life. All the starts and stops are completely effortless. It's subtle but it's addictive. Gonna try to find a Sachtler to play around with next.
  2. Yeah, that's one of my hesitations with the 1030. My current Miller Compass 25 weighs 6.3 pounds and the Oconnor sits at 8.2 pounds. So it's about 1.9 pounds heavier, though it is much larger in size. But that doesn't seem like a huge weight difference to me. I think it more has to do with whether the 1030HD head is just too beefy for a camera the size of the C300 III. I like the compact size of my current Miller, but the counterbalance sucks on it, and I've never been able to dial it in properly. It's only got 4 positions of counterbalance and it always drifts up.
  3. OConnor rates the 1030HD with a minimum payload of 0 pounds. But I’ve read that cameras below 10 pounds, such as mirrorless, don’t do very well on it, which your post kind of verifies. I think that’s where my hesitation with getting a 1030HD might lie. I just got a C300 III and I’ve got a bunch of shoots lined up with it (which is weird since the United States is utterly falling apart at the seams). Much like the C500 II, the C300 III can be stripped down to nothing or built up into an Amira/V-Lock type system. I kind of see myself shooting with it somewhere in the middle right now. Camera body, rear EVF, 4” touch screen for focus and scopes, a 7” smallhd touch for a clean image, and the larger BPA 60 batteries. Lenses could range anywhere from small EF to big ol’ Tokina Vistas.
  4. That’s a very good point about the SpeedLevel. I never thought about that, but I do the same thing. I’m guessing it would require retraining some muscle memory when it comes to moving the rig. The Flowtech 100’s have that nice handle, so I would probably just start using that. I currently have a Miller and it doesn’t work with my head. I just assumed Sachtler uses their own, unique thread size since I have never seen a SpeedLevel on anything but a Sachtler. But you’re right, might as well check. Maybe I’d get lucky.
  5. Yep. Depending on how brutal the day is, a heavy rig can start to wear you down over time, resulting in a little less energy put into getting the best shot. This is especially the case once you get older and start to really feel the abuse you've been putting your body through all those years operating a camera. If the rig is on sticks all the time, it's no big deal. But if you're getting creative, running around, getting on the ground, running up hillsides/slopes or going up and down stairs, a heavier rig does start to tax you towards the end of the day, no doubt. I love the Amira and I've shot with it a lot. I think it's probably the easiest camera to use, ever. Everything works on it. Footage looks gorgeous. It's just a total workhorse and it delivers in spades. But I will say, I don't go climbing onto rooftops with it much. I use it when I know things are a bit more controlled. I was about to get an Amira when the C300 III was announced. I just grabbed one of those and tossed the Arri LUT on it. I'm as happy as a clam. After using this camera for the past two weeks, I could easily see the C300 III become the new industry standard for docs. It's that good. Also, I think Arri is going to update the Amira pretty soon. There are rumors they'll be releasing a new 4k sensor by the end of the year. And I bet your bottom dollar we're going to see prices on the current Amiras become verrrryyyy appealing.
  6. Yeah, I realize they are very different heads. I guess I am comparing them because when the OConnor is purchased used and the Sachtler new, they are somewhat comparable in price. I keep reading that the 1030HD is not really a run-n-gun head. That it takes longer to balance and that it's much, much larger and bulkier. I kind of do a variety of shooting. I shoot docs and editorial one day, and then I'm off shooting commercials/music videos/shorts the other. Sometimes I've got large crews and sometimes it's me +1. Sometimes I'm using a C200 (or now a C300 III) and other times I'm using an Amira or a loaded Mini. The Sachtler appeals to me due to the quick counterbalancing, the SpeedLevel and the weight. The OConnor appeals to me because it's an Oconnor, will last forever, has their patented continuous drag and buttery smooth operation. I can get either of them for just about the same price.
  7. I’m considering get a new Sachtler Video 15 tripod head or a used O’Connor 1030HD. Has anyone used either of those heads before? I really like the Sachtler Speedlevel clamp that they make. Seems like it would be an awesome addition to the Flowtech sticks (which I have). The O’Connor head, which is almost 10 years old, is still in great condition though and has the continuously variable drag and counterbalance that makes O’Connor heads so nice. I haven’t gotten to try either out so I’m flying blind a little bit. Has anyone used those systems before? Thoughts?
  8. Thanks. That is helpful.
  9. Does anyone know how much battery life you get with the SmallHD 702 touch when running on two standard Sony NP-F970 batteries?
  10. Matt you mentioned your DoP soft box for your Gemini fits this Luxli Taiko. Do you have the DoP rabbit ears by chance? Just wondering if those fit this light as well.
  11. DcD

    Aputure Nova P300c

    Aputure themselves compare the Nova to a Skypanel S30 not an S60. The output won’t be anything close to an S60.
  12. Does your Chimera have an inner baffle? I’ve seen a lot of Chimeras without them. A baffle should distribute the light evenly across the rag on the softbox. For example, a Lupo Superpanel 60 only has a 40 degree beam and would definitely cause a hot spot. But the inner baffle on an Octa 5’ softbox diffuses the light before it hits the rag and allows the beam to fill the entire box...
  13. This is the light I've been waiting for. It balances that perfect line between output, power consumption and size. Push a couple of these into an 8x or a 12x and you've got a soft source that is more powerful than an M18. Throw the spotlight mount on one and you have a legitimate Jo-Leko. Attach a 5' soft box to the front and you have a clean, portable setup that can be moved by a single person and is larger and softer than anything you'll find on a Skypanel. Once you start working with decent output, it really is hard to go back. The more power, the more versatile it is, the more you can diffuse the light and the larger and softer you can make the source. This allows you to keep the light farther away from the talent and do things you could never do with smaller fixtures. If the spectral distribution and color rendition is good on this light, I think we're about to see a new industry standard.
  14. I have a Miller Compass 25 tripod head. Does anyone know if the Sachtler SpeedLevel Clamps work with other tripod heads? Or only on Sachtlers?
  15. As someone that was able to get your hands on one of the precious few C300 III cameras out there, I imagine you have a decent connection with a Canon rep. Is there anyway you could pass off that feedback to them? That timelapse mode is a feature we miss? The best I can do is fill out an online feedback form which I imagine goes straight to the trashcan on some server.
  16. DcD

    Aputure 600d

    Yeah, honestly equipment purchases are probably not the wisest thing to do at this point in time, considering the circumstances. I think we’ve really got some rough times a head. I told myself if I don’t work very much for the rest of this year, then screw it, I’ll just make a low budget movie. I’ve slowly collected equipment over the years and I’ve got everything I need except one, big, bright focusable light like a Joker or an M18. I’m hoping the 600D (or two of them) will fill that space for me.
  17. DcD

    Luxli Taiko 2x1

    Would it make sense to also throw the Lupo Superpanel 60 in the mix?
  18. I think being able to dial in the frame rates in the increments shown in that picture is great and totally fine with me. I wonder how low the frame rates will go? I'd love it if you could shoot down to 3 or 5 fps which would provide a great work around for time-lapse. The only thing with these new Canon cameras that I'm not too keen on is the removal of the interval mode. I loved that feature on the original C300. When the C200 came out, Canon reduced the available interval rates you could shoot in, but they at least kept that option. And while I was happy you could still shoot time-lapse with it, the lack of frame rate options got me concerned that Canon was about to ditch that feature. And they did. It appears the C300 III and the C500 II do not have time-lapse recording now. I really do wish they'd add it back in. It was such a great option for shooting quick time-lapse b-roll, especially in conjunction with the Slow Shutter mode.
  19. Yeah, I'm really thinking I may have gotten a bad unit with my Intellytech. Earlier this week the ballast started going haywire like it was picking up a separate radio frequency (which it may have been). It started dimming itself and the color temperature would begin to shift on its own. Of all my lights, it seems to be acting up the most and I've only used it 3 times. Sometimes when I strike it, it will just flicker like a bad fluorescent and I have to restrike it to get it to stop. I've been doing table top shoots since the lockdown and in between takes I did a quick (unscientific) test between all my cheapest lights to see how they interpreted 5600K. I shot everything on a Fuji X-T3 in 422 running the feed to a Blackmagic Video Assist. I set the camera's white balance to 5600K and then each light to 5600K and pointed them at a neutral white seamless. After this test, I really want to get a Sekonic C-800 color meter now. These lights are all over the place, lol. The only two that match are the 120D II and the 300D II. And while they might not be true 5600K lights, they definitely look the cleanest to me (through the eyes of an X-T3)...
  20. So just to be clear, after 1 hour you cannot delete or edit a post?
  21. Cool. I think I'm gonna take the leap. I've been talking to some folks across the internet and they all seem to like them a lot. It sounds like you just need to maintain them and clean periodically to keep them functioning at 100%. I also have a pair of 3 stage Miller Solo sticks which I have taken with me all over the world. I've been beating those things up for almost a decade now and they still work the exact same way as when I bought them. And admittedly, I've never serviced them or cleaned them once! They always seem to work perfectly. They've been in -30 degree weather up in Alaska and Minnesota and out in 120 degrees in the Mojave desert. They've been in water, sand, mud, dust, etc. Those sticks are proving themselves to be the most reliable piece of video gear I've ever purchased.
  22. I know you're looking for a 3rd party lens, but I believe the Canon 85mm 1.4 IS L is the last EF mount lens that Canon made, and it is right up there with the 35mm II 1.4 L as one of the best Canon EF lenses of all time.
  23. I have some old, used Miller Sprinter sticks which are supposed to operate in a similar fashion to the Flowtech 100. You can flip the leg latches from a single position on the sticks and the legs will extended to the ground via gravity. But after a bit of abuse my Miller Sprinter sticks do not work like they're supposed to anymore. I had them serviced by an authorized Miller rep here in Los Angeles and they couldn't get them to function like they were originally designed to do. So now I have to manually pull down each leg, and each stage, after I release them, which is rather frustrating and time consuming. I have been eyeing the Flowtech 100 sticks for a long time, as they seem to be a better design. But I wanted to wait and see if they actually stand the test of time. Has anyone out there been using the Flowtech sticks for bit, either the 75 or 100? Do they still work as they're supposed to?
  24. I think a lot of things will change with production until there is a vaccine out. That being said, some of those changes could be for the better, especially for those of use that are used to smaller crews and have experience working fast & cheap. Being able to adapt to this new reality will be especially important. As soon as this thing hit, I built a small shed in my backyard, moved everything in my garage to the shed, and then built a small product studio in my garage with a 10' white seamless. I've been shooting product spots for the past two weeks in there, almost nonstop. This new strategy has worked rather well for me. Product cinematography is not something that excites me a great deal, but I'm doing whatever it takes, and I'm learning a lot in the process. But if I wasn't working, I'd be cutting a new reel, redesigning my website and doing multiple tutorials to brush up on my Resolve and After Effects skills. Best to use this down time to expand your skillset so you can open yourself up to more jobs. Learn things that can be done at home, like animation, retouching, etc. I just hope that when this is all over, there is a middle class left with spending power and there are businesses left to market to them. That is the one thing we don't have control over. It seems like digital content and streaming services are taking off, and they will want more content. So that's a good thing. But will people have enough money to keep paying for these services? Lots of questions out there. Lots of unknowns. The best we can do is try and better ourselves and be prepared to be as flexible as possible in the future. There are so many free tutorials out there for almost every craft imaginable. It's a great time to make use of them.
  25. That's true Matt. I don't have a spectrometer so I can only make an educated guess based on how my lights match each other. I also have an Aputure 120D II, two Aputure Tri8s panels, and 4 nanlite Pavotubes. I set my Pavotubes to 5500K and they seem to match my 300D II rather well, as does my 120D II and the 2 Tri8 panels. The odd man out is the Intellytech which also appears to have a slight green cast to the light in my opinion. I don't doubt they make good products (though the way the baby-in is attached to the frame on the LC-120 leaves much to be desired), perhaps I just got a bad unit or perhaps my controller is not functioning properly? Not sure what the issue is. If I get a moment, I'll post some photos of how drastic the color difference is when all these fixtures are pointed towards a white seamless. May I add, wonderful job on the addition of this forum. I love the clean design. I think this place will become a fantastic global hub for these types of discussions.
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