Varicam 35 and Movi Pro

Discussion in 'MōVI Pro' started by Philip lanyon, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. Philip lanyon

    Philip lanyon New Member

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    Hi, im starting a show in January and we are shooting on the Varicam 35. Has anyone balanced or heard of anyone balancing one on the Movi Pro?
    The plan is to use the extension cable to mount the recording module on a backpack making the sensor module small enough to mount on the Movi. We will be using Leica simmulx C lenses.
    My main concern is the stiffness of the Panasonic extension cable.
    Also, what focus system did you use.
     
  2. Graham Futerfas

    Graham Futerfas Well-Known Member

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    I did a shoot with the Varicam LT on the Movi Pro (Sigma 18-35mm lens), but haven't seen that particular config with the Varicam 35 and separated recorder. I think we used a Preston MDR4. It was a very heavy rig, even with the LT.
     
  3. Philip lanyon

    Philip lanyon New Member

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    Thanks Graham, I tested The LT but it seemed quite big and as it will be our main camera, I would like to shoot 444 or Raw. The 35 sensor module is about the size of an Alexa mini so it would fit quite well.

    The Mdr4 is a good call, what motors did you use?

    P.
     
  4. Graham Futerfas

    Graham Futerfas Well-Known Member

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    I believe we used a Preston motor, DM1 probably, but I don't remember and I don't have pics. I've never seen the Panasonic tethering cable, so I'm not sure how thick it is. I know Brett Harrison used the Arri M with a tethered back on 'Lion', so the cable thickness might be similar?

    If the camera body is 230mm high (looking at Panasonic's specs), then it's too tall for the full Movi Pro cage. Not sure if that sounds right, though -- maybe it includes the top handle? The Movi Pro can accommodate 175mm height. You could take the top bar off the cage but you'll lose a lot of rigidity.

    Not sure how you plan to use the Movi on your show, but this setup sounds like a pain, to be honest. If you have to disconnect the camera from the module when you want to set the gimbal down (or have the operator put on and off the backpack), then re-boot the camera, etc. It can probably work, but I've always liked to keep the Movi and camera isolated and self-contained from the Pan motor down, so it can be quickly re-configured from Handheld to Remote Head, etc. Are you planning to use a Ready Rig support vest or something like that?

    I was going to ask about power for camera and accessories, but if the MDR is on the camera, then the camera gets power from the Recording unit, and I guess you can then use the Movi Camera D-Tap for the MDR. Wireless video transmitter would be in the backpack? When we used the LT on the Movi, I think I had to power the MDR from a LiPo battery out of the old M15 kit.

    You might consider a set of Ignite Digi Tilt Offsets to help you, and maybe a Cinemilled counterweight system. Not that the lens setup may be too heavy, but because the camera may need to be pushed forward away from the Roll bar.

    Good luck. Please follow up if you do any testing with it and let us know what you find out,
     
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  5. Philip lanyon

    Philip lanyon New Member

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    Agreed, it’s not the ideal Movi set up but it’s what we have to work with. When I say backpack I mean we will be attaching the recording module to a ready rig type device. The extension cable is 5m long so plenty of slack to put the movi down etc.
    That height measurements must be with a handle, The camera module is no bigger than an Alexa Mini.

    I’ve ordered the weights and am looking into the offset arms.

    The weight will be 6lbs for the body, 4lbs for the lens, 2lbs for the extension attachment and another 1.5 lbs for motors etc with the MDR on the bars. So 13.5 total. Starting to push the limit a bit especially if I need to compensate for a thick cable.
     
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  6. Ryan Forte

    Ryan Forte Member

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    I may be using the Varicam 35 and LT in some future setups. Curious how the Varicam 35setup with the cable went?

    Any photos or feedback Phillip?
     
  7. James Davis

    James Davis New Member

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    I would strongly suggest you push for the LT, I think you are setting yourself up for a world of pain trying to make the 35 work well on the rig, the following things will help you out a lot.

    • Get the lightest matte box you can possibly fit on there, look at the Abracam system or a misfit atom, whichever you can make work
    • See if you can get the Arri cheeseplate on top, it's super useful for offering lots of options for Movi dovetail placement up top.
    • If you are flying a Cinetape get the display moved as far towards the rear of the body as you can without causing fouling issues, fair warning there is not a lot of free space to dual lock things on this camera without causing issues.
    • Potentially look into custom bracketry to get the horns mounted off the tilt cage to move the weight away from the front of the camera on a long build, ideally as far back as possible before the horns start detecting the matte box without the extenders on them.
    • I would consider going down the route of a WCU-4 with an AMC-1 and C-force mini motors of course, purely for the sole reason that the MDR unit itself is significantly smaller than the still rather large MDR4, if you can't then you can categorically need to look at an MDR4 and not a 3 otherwise you will constantly be having to move things around the camera when rebalancing eating away at your time.
    • If this is off the cards then your next best option is an MDR 4 combined with Hocus Reflex motors.
    • I would say the Tilt Offsets from Ignite Digi along with a Cinemilled counterweight dovetail are absolutely essential items when dealing with long/heavy awkward builds, I also find it useful to have some 5mm stainless steel or brass stock cut up into some small rectangles with dual lock either side to use as convenient stick on counterweights where possible when dealing with these kind of builds.

    My two pence.
     
  8. Rick Gerard

    Rick Gerard Active Member

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  9. Philip lanyon

    Philip lanyon New Member

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    Hi, I will second what James said. The Varicam 35 on MōVI is really not an ideal set up. We used the small Preston motors and wired the MDR, transmitter and the recorder to a backpack. The ignite Digi offsets were essential. It worked but It was still at the limits of the MōVI pro and I ended up going with a ronin 2. Still split to a backpack it was a heavy rig but the ronin worked well.

    The guys at ignite Digi were incredibly helpful.
     
  10. Brian Wennersten

    Brian Wennersten New Member

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    I'm resurrecting this old thread wondering if anyone has made the varicam 35 with extension bracket work on the movi pro. Looking at the specs, the cable aside, the 35 seems better suited than the varicam LT. The 35 camera head looks to be only 5 inches long and the extension unit is under 3. That makes the 35 a smidge shorter than the LT.
     

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