job in Africa requires some 'El cheap-o' aerials, no Wescam mounts
or helicopters for this budget. The camera mount is quite secure and sits
eye-level attached to the strut - the plane is a Cessna 182 Hi-wing. The
camera sits just out of prop wash. The problem is bugs on the lens. We
don't have a video tap on the SR and some runs are trashed by bugs
committing suicide on the front element. Yeah I know I'm usually film'in
the critters and "what do you expect in the rainforst over Gabon"-
however, its a problem I would like to solve, with your input, hopefully.
When rods are on the camera they just vibrate the heck out of the rig
and make shots unusable.
Hence just a stripped down body with a prime, usually a 12mm, is what
we use. Most of the flights are very early morning before the air currents
add bounce. Gosh I wish the bugs would just sleep late for a change.
ideas would be most welcome. Any jokes should be accompanied by useful
'waiting for the abuse' Savoie
BBC Natural History Unit
#1 - Can you mount a piece of glass in front of the lens
but at a sever angle so that it acts not only as a sort of filter but
as a bug and wind deflector. If the glass is mounted at a steep enough
angle then the air current should carry the bugs up and over the lens
- may be hard for you to obtain, but the TV networks have a neat
rolling piece of acetate in front of the lenses on cameras mounted on
race cars. When you watch a big race, you will inevitably see at least
one shot from a race car where the image is first obscured from road grime
then as the acetate is rolled along a clear shot. Considering how fast
these cars are going - I'd bet it would work for you as well.
another CMLer could enlighten us on where this device can be found.
problem is bugs on the lens.
a small air scoop above, below, or along side the camera that deflects
air from the front across the face of the lens. I made one once for a
vehicle shot with a plastic scoop used for feeding grain to horses, but
anything that will create a sufficient air flow across the face of the
lens should be sufficient to deflect the bugs. i've also seen it done
with a right angle section of 6" dryer vent pipe and a lot of gaffer
American Interactive Pictures
Phil, you won't get abuse from me at least! A couple of suggestions
though. Would a rain deflector work? The bugs might - just might - get
thrown to the side before sticking to the glass.
Another idea. On first thoughts, you need to slow down the wind hitting
the lens, or better, deflect the wind stream. This is one for your friendly
airframe engineer. I'm thinking of some kind of 'wing' for
want of a better word that could produce a partial vacuum aronf the lens,
les pressure, lower airspeed, less bugs.
Absolutely knackered by three day at the Production Show!
you want the camera IN the prop wash instead of OUT of it.
Or it may be possible to rig an "air spoiler" just out of frame
to deflect the bugs around the lens instead of into it. We see such things
on American trucks on the highways - a clear plastic vertical fin on the
front edge of the hood ("bonnet" for you Limeys) that deflects
the bugs upward away from the windshield.
Your post does not mention what direction the camera is pointing - straight
ahead? forward and 45 degrees down?
First Camera Assistant, NYC
about reversing the Camera and shooting through a spinning Mirror. Any
bugs would hit the Mirror instead of the front Element. A spinning Mirror
would be adequately out of Focus that any bug that did stick to it would
not significantly affect your shot. Of course African Bugs may be the
size of turnips for all I know.
Mount the camera facing to the rear...if seeing where you have been is
less desirable than seeing where you are going.....reverse it.
experience with a variety of motorcycle windscreens would lead me to believe
that rain deflectors won't work on this sort of thing. Unlike water
droplets, bugs which have splatted will leave glue, goo, and worse on
the glass...the deflector will cause it to act as a distorter/ND rather
than a soft matte, but I think you will end up with a severely degraded
image. I would favor either the acetate roller device or the airscoop
device, depending on airspeed and expected bug density. You can also protect
yourself with a lenscap on a string which you yank off for the first shot...but
it won't help successive ones unless you are athletic enough to climb
out and replace the cap between shots)
far as the acetate roller device goes, you might well be able to find
a small Wybron Scroller or Great American Market sc\roller (made for changing
gels on theatrical lights by remote control)
hrun on mains voltage, they may well have 12v. motors - you could probably
gimmick one to do the job for you.
Look for one designed to work on Source 4 Leko's - should be about
the right size to poke your lens into
us know what you find!
don't know about the direction in which this advice is going. When
I did my shooting out of a biplane last year I was given very good advice
from David Samualson regarding his experiences. He indicated that the
wind will be excessive and to completely secure everything necessary to
the camera and the camera with a safety to myself or the plane. He further
suggested that I take off any needless accessories which I did, including
the rubber sunshade. He also stressed the safety needs for myself being
securely strapped into the plane.
was totally right in his advice. It is really, really windy in a plane
even at the slowest of speeds. I'm not sure that a scrolling device
would survive even the takeoff! I don't have a solution to the problem
but that's my $.02 regarding the plane environment.
about the deflector idea but with the deflector treated with something
to make it very slippery like rainex or something of that nature?
sould have been clearer - One of theses scrollers would be a starting
point - I did not mean to suggest that youcould just bolt it on and go.
It would have to be faired somewhat so that the acetate didn't flutter
and it would have to be mounted to the smae plate as the camera - not
to the camera itself. It would be a bit of a fabrication job, but less
of a deal than some we have undertaken.
am anticipating the same problem with ground based flies in central Australia
any suggestions? The camera will be based on sticks and I would like to
stop the buzzing in shot as the place is riddled with flies.
Director of Photography
Brisbane Qld Australia
you could try the rolling mylar matte idea, except using flypaper. It
might add a bit of a tobacco-colored diffusion, though.
how about a bug-zapper ringlight? Noisy, occasionally smoky, but effective
unless the purplish eyelight is a problem.
perhaps try a DEET based repellant on a filter?
year I did a shoot in the Northern Territory during a fly plague.
There were literally billions of the suckers. We wore nets over our heads
and they still got in. People wearing a white shirt would have a solid
black crust of flies crawling over their back. Don't even mention
trying to eat food. It was very stressful after only a few days. But flies
are attracted to moisture so the camera and lens was not of great interest.
They were much more interested in the crew. Yes flies did fly through
shot but if you keep people away from the camera the flies wont be too
bad. We did try fly repellent but they would just lick it off and ask
Unless there has been some recent rain and green grass growth you should
be able to avoid a plague. Lets hope !!!
see you are working for the Australian Tourist Board, Tom... trying to
lure us foreigners there so we can experience the wearing of the flies.
"there's a Qantas commercial on the TV right now" Kreines