Thread: Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held"

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  1. #1 Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held" 
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    Accidentally I found this video few days ago. Mostly it is not about Sony cameras, but about camera ergonomics for documentary shooting. Worth to see: https://vimeo.com/72344423

    In this Cine Gear 2013 presentation, Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held" with various camera systems, and focuses on his experiences using the PMW-F5, F55, and NEX-700 in various configurations.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    The Buddhist Photographer says: "Find your balance."
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    Here is attempt to fit all that ergonomics theory to BMMCC shoulder rig. It still looks like tiny toy camera when placed on the shoulder

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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Frank Glencairn's Avatar
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    I disagree with pretty much everything he says.

    For me, there are only 3 situations where I use handheld/shoulder.

    1. POV shot - to suggest you "see thorough somebodies eyes" like in somebody is stalking a person behind a bush for example.

    2. Close up fight sequences with super fast camera movement (under 2 seconds) - for super fast cuts.

    3. you don't have the room for anything else.

    In every other situation, I find it very distracting, cause the camera screams in my face " look I'm a camera, and this is what I see".

    I just returned from 3 weeks of shooting a high glossy docu in Arfica for Arte (German/French national broadcast) - not a second of handheld/shoulder in the 45 min program, and no need for it too.
    If you think you are not fast enough with a tripod or gimbal - overthink your planning or get faster. IMHO there is no excuse for shaky material, where it should be rock solid.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    Few years ago some dudes ask me to shoot their music performance at the festival. They have old large shoulder VHS camcoder and ask me to shoot with it. I never use same camera before but after few minutes of shooting i love that style. I was walking in the center of crowd here and there and shoots where always looking ok. Sure it is not super steady as tripod or steadycam, but same time it don't have too much micro shake feel, similar when you hold camera with hands in front of you. Also it was very fast and easy to do manual zoom and focus by left hand on the fly. So yes, it all depends of situation.

    P.S I done one more render of the minimal documentary shoulder rig.

    Last edited by shijan; 06-02-2019 at 07:28 AM.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    Earlier i attempt to use this sort of shoulder support but it appears not too useful for long time operation. Too many weight on top, you still hold all weight mostly only by hands, hand gets tired quickly, camera tilt a lot when you rotate focus ring. Also it scares people because you look like gun shooter with it

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  7. #7  
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    But I stiill like a setup like this. Because it is maller than a shoulder rig.
    And a "chest support rig" in combination with an easyrig is a pretty good combination.
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  8. #8  
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    Hi Shihan! I love my BMMCC. I shoot documentary with it. But I'm faced with this situation where when I want to use my BMMCC shoulder, with a big zoom & mattebox, all the weight of the rig leans forward. After a few minutes, it becomes unbearable. To be able to balance the camera, I would need an articulated arm that puts the electronic viewfinder (mine is Kinotehnik but I hope to buy soon Portkeys one) very forward, as in your drawing. I have not yet managed to find the solution but I am working on it. So, after trying out several configurations with Smallrig accessories, I will buy the SMALLRIG EVF Mount / Extension Arm base and the SMALLRIG Shoulder Support / Shoulder Pad for Sony VCT-14. By placing the camera and battery on it, I hope that the camera will be far behind my head and that the weight of my zoom and the matebox will be on my shoulder.

    Otherwise, during shooting of my documentary, while I planned to work with my tripod and a Ronin, I changed everything to work on the shoulder. For the question of weight but also and especially because we work with a small team and we must follow children with disabilities. They move all the time and in all directions. Impossible to follow correctly the protagonists with a tripod. so I installed instead of my super 16 zoom of 2kg a small Angenieux 17,5-70 and I did very light configuration. This vintage zoom does the job, waiting for better.

    By the way, I would have to order some stuff, unfortunately, your battery solution came out too late for me, I was already shooting!)
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member shijan's Avatar
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    I see few problems with SmallRig NATO EVF parts i use in earlier drawings - they are too heavy, too overcomplicated, and too expensive.
    https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-sa...lamp-1856.html
    https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-du...ount-2141.html
    https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-si...itor-1899.html

    So i done some research and found these:

    15mm Rod Clamp Attaching Mount (spacing: 100mm)
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/15mm-Rod-Cl...B/173897729503

    5cm 2" Inch Long M12 Thread Micro Rod
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Inch-Long...a/171079550409

    To mount the monitor i use modified CAMVATE 15mm micro Rod Mount.
    https://www.camvate.com/camvate-15mm...nut_p1543.html
    CAMVATE 15mm micro Rod Mount is not perfect. It is impossible to tight it enough, so it always unscrews when monitor body became warm. So i disassemble this mount and replace that tiny thumb screw with normal hex key screw. It seems also this mount is not manufactured anymore.
    Currently i try to contact some factories and ask to manufacture this part in the way i like. It may be really useful rod mount.

    Looks very simple and lightweight. It also folds very well.



    Last edited by shijan; 06-03-2019 at 12:51 PM.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by shijan View Post
    Here is attempt to fit all that ergonomics theory to BMMCC shoulder rig. It still looks like tiny toy camera when placed on the shoulder

    Nice. Now we need to wait until BMD update the Fairchild sensor for the BMMCC4K
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