>I ordered one these for shooting some ECU's of tiny insect larvae in the water- both running and still. Due to a previous rental I'm only going to have a couple hours to play with it before using next week.
>I ordered the straight lensing barrel with the fibre optic light.
>Anyone offer any warnings, gotchas or good ideas for this
>I'm worried about supporting cam for smooth pan/tilt moves. It's filling the frame with an 1/8 inch so I plan to move the subject not the cam. Will have copper wire for clapping onto small aquatic twigs & such. Smooth movement is my concern.
>Somewhere along the way I picked up a trick for smoothly moving objects. Take 2 pieces of plate glass and spread some petroleum jelly between them. Anchor the bottom glass to a copy stand and gently push the top layer of glass with your hands. The Vaseline generates enough friction to smooth out the move nicely.
>I've used this technique many times for filming still photographs. It's been a while though since I use After Effects and scanned photos for those shots now.
>I haven't had the pleasure to shoot with this lens but I do shoot little bitty critters often. I use a homemade probe type jobbie made by Les Bosher.
>I would suggest you try and use the best head you can and would urge you to move the camera - it may will give you more flexibility than an x/y stage for your subject. Panning will give a mini track look to the shot that has a fresh prospective - using the widest lens on the tip and wiping past foreground dingle accentuates this. Just great for following a column of army ants for example! Tilting on such a scale looks like a techno crane up. On small (4mm) mossy larvae I will slide the camera on the bridge plate so its just off balance and let the weight of the camera minutely tilting up or down do the move for me.
>For aquatics we build mini aquaria out of old 6x7 anti-Newton glass slides, harder to come by these days but 6x6 are still available. Just a short length of surgical tubing sandwiched between the slides held together with paper clips does the trick. Its slim profile assists keeping them plate parallel as DOF is always an issue. The background can then be dressed accordingly. For BCU's of wee things many nature cameramen swear by Zeiss Luminar microscope objectives, they are outstandingly crisp. Used for Hassy and Rolli 6x6 photography they cover 16 and 35mm. They terminate in RMS (Royal Microscope Society) thread so you'll need to make a PL adaptor. The 63mm will give you room to light, and with a homemade hood you can make the lighting interesting.
>Microscope fibre optic lights work well in the studio, for location I favour a small 5600K Joker 200 or 400. My reflector cards are often silver coins or washers wrapped in foil help in position with alligator clamps. Its all great fun and at times challenging from both a practical photography and operational POV. It gets even better as micro shots like this require 48-75fps to look right when screened. A tilt wedge is very useful as you can use it as a mini set of wheels to add even more movement.
>CML brother Brian Heller makes a fine one in his machine shop.
>Hope some of that is useful. Good Luck on your shoot.
Producer / Cameraman
BBC Natural History Unit
Bristol BS8 2LR
>Caleb, had another thought about your job over the weekend. I've used a mini jib with a scope/pinching lens to do moves on tiny subjects, once balanced up you can get some very smooth shots on small scale, for aquatics you get a floating move that looks correct for underwater.
>It might be useful as you track with your subjects.
BBC Natural History Unit
>Thanks for the tips on Innovision.
>Used it yesterday on many shots and it came out great.
>What a fantastic lens! The people at Innovision were super on getting me up to speed- very good service.
>I was prepared with wire and plexi glass but didn't use it. The thing I couldn't believe was that you could get in that close and have so much "forgiveness" in the movement. I was able to handhold alot of shots and use on sticks while panning and tilting.
>One thing I noticed on monitor: we needed a regular shot (wide) of our hero walking. rather than switch lenses (and put the zoom back on) I tried to just grab it with Inno but noticed a blue chroma halo around the head and shoulders of the subject where direct sunlight was hitting him. I switched back to zoom so as not to risk it. But other wide shots looked right later in the day.
>I'm going to use it again soon - also thinking about a Revolution. I'll go back and do some CML searches on Revs.
>Again thanks gentlemen.
>Caleb Crosby, s.o.c.
> also thinking about a Revolution.
>Who isn't in this political climate!!!
>Sorry, no politics, I know. Seriously though the Revolution is really, really nice.