Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

style="margin-bottom: 0"> Geared Head For The RED

Published :

This looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. Someone check it out and let me know what you think :


http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/aadams/story/gear_head_for_the_red/

Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA
www.artadams.net
art.provideocoalition.com
415.760.5167



Art Adams writes :


>>http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/aadams/story/gear_head_for_the_red/


Much needed, though perhaps more for the EX's than the RED, which seems to me close enough in mass to some 35mm, though RED accessory marketing seems almost as rife as iPod accessories. I mean, does a RED 'Un look out of place on an ArriHead2 with a zoom, etc.?


And actually, I think there's a greater need for an even smaller gear head. I find it almost impossible to do an acceptably smooth pan on a fluid head with cameras in the lightweight prosumer/SI Mini/DSLR-V class (and it's not like little cameras and head-only are going out of fashion).


I've tried to get Manfrotto interested in such a thing - they have the bones of it already in their still camera gear heads, and sell a lot of gear in that weight class. IMHO if they could sell such a thing for around $1000 they'd make some money (their largest still camera gear head is about $800).


Tim Sassoon
Megachiropteran
Santa Monica, CA



Over the past 8-years or so, I've talked to no fewer than 5 people who all told me they were going to build a mini-mini-Worrall, and mini-me Worrall, Chinese-build-clone-mini-Arri 2..etc No one ever did. I'm glad to see someone took a crack at it. I look forward to turning some figure 8's at NAB.


Illya Friedman
Hot Rod Cameras
The Nuys, CA



Ohhhh pretty! I can tell you a "built" RED with Mattebox, FF, Prime, ET plates, Cables, Sound receiver, Lock-it, and Drive come in around 37-40lbs. I look forward to seeing a version when I'm back in NorCal next.


Love it!


Dane Brehm
310.710.2658
DIT : Data Supervisor
Phantom | Red | S.Two



I think any geared head that size is a mistake!


Put a Cooke 18-100 zoom, an MB-14, a dual on-board battery cage on, and you have a camera almost as big as a BL-4.


What good is a tiny head for a camera with that much weight?


Cheers,


Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
www.barklage.com
agent: TDN ARTISTS www.tdnartists.com
USA based DP



Jeff Barklage, s.o.c. wrote :


>>I think any geared head that size is a mistake! Put a Cooke 18-100 zoom, an MB-14, a dual on-board >>battery cage on, <SNIP>
>>What good is a tiny head for a camera with that much weight?

So use a normal size one for stuff like that!


I'm psyched to have the option of a little one for when it's appropriate!


One of my funniest gear memories, was visiting Matty Libatique, ASC on the set of "She Hate Me" and seeing an A Minima on an Arri gear head.


It looked so silly!


I shoot a lot of pro jobs with the EX1 (love that thing) and would totally love a small gear head. I own a "Mini" Worrall, and it's so heavy I can barely carry the case to my car without help, so I only use it on bigger jobs.


Jendra Jarnagin, DP, NYC, not at NAB
www.floatingcamera.com



What good is a tiny head for a camera with that much weight?


I would think that the weight wouldn't really matter. After all, it's not like the weight is on the gear - it's going on a bearing. I would think the quality of the gears, ratio would have a bigger effect.


Remember, Atlas with his lever....


Dale Launer
writer.filmmaker
Santa Monica



I remember the day I came back home to my Mini-Worrall after a 6 week picture with an ArriHead....


That was the day I decided to sell it.


The Technovision head was smooth as glass...someone stole it.My new ArriHead is beyond sweet. And, it is large enough to deal with a camera when it gets built to lengths over 24" long. Somehow, I am very skeptical about a gear head which appears to be about 10" long..the cradle seems to short & thus too small in diameter to work...but, I could be sadly wrong I admit that in advance.


PLEASE, if anyone has an opportunity to work with this new RED-Head, [and they build a camera on it with all the right stuff], PLEASE pass along their thoughts. To me, to invest in a head that is only good for a snap-on mattebox & a prime lens seems a terrible waste...you should go 'gunning for bear' and have a tool that will take on any circumstance that hits you. If the director suddenly wants a zoom, you have zero time to say: Hey, I need a minute to switch heads"..I mean think about it.


In a world where we hardly have time to get a break to use the toilet, who has time to swap heads per lens change?


Cheers,


Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
www.barklage.com
agent: TDN ARTISTS www.tdnartists.com
USA based DP



Whilst we have a full sized Worrall for the Mitchell BNCR which would obviously be too big, we also have a 10" Moy. I haven't thought of trying it on a Red yet as our Ronford F4 seems best, but we'll try it and see how it goes.


Cheers …


Franz von Habsburg FBFS
Director, The Brighton film School
www.brightonfilmschool.org.uk



>>our Ronford F4 seems best, but we'll try it and see how it goes.


I'd assume that would work fine with a 35mm stills lens (or cine prime)set up on the RED rather than a full Cine zoom when you tend to need a counterbalance.


BTW I've been using my old Ronford F4 for the prosumer cameras, combined with my Sachtler carbon fiber legs it's great and so quick to set up.


Brian Drysdale
DP & Steadicam
Belfast



Very interesting little head, but for the RED? sounds like a marketing ploy to me, isn’t the RED sans lens close to 10" long already add a lens mattebox and various iPod like attachments and it is just like all other cameras.


I can see maybe this in use with smaller cameras though, I guess it depends on price point, after all if your shooting hero on an ex-3 you’re not likely to be able to charge $350 just for a head for one shot. but hey that’s just how I think. I’d like to see the sucker work, that would be cool.


Jim Matlosz
DP, La, Ca



More On The Geared Head For The RED


I test drove a prototype yesterday and it's pretty cool :


http://provideocoalition.com/index.php/aadams/story/hands_on_with_the_gearnex_gear_head/


Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA
www.artadams.net
art.provideocoalition.com
415.760.5167



Art Adams writes:


>>I test drove a prototype yesterday and it's pretty cool:


Nice to see they've put heavier wheels on it than on the earlier prototypes.
But which way does the pan wheel turn?
Since it's mounted up front, do you think it should or shouldn't turn opposite to rear-mounted wheels?

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



>> But which way does the pan wheel turn?


I'm not sure what your question is, Dan. It's the same standard as all gear heads. If you change up the directions you're going to make a lot of operators unhappy.


The pan wheel is mounted a bit further up front than normal but that doesn't seem to make a lot of difference. Then again, there's a difference between trying it in a rental house and wrapping yourself around it on a shoot. I hope to field test it at some point.


Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA



Art,


They should 'give' you a free one for all the very positive PR you are giving the head!!


Cheers,


Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
www.barklage.com



>> They should 'give' you a free one for all the very positive PR you are giving the head!!


I'll just forward that on...


Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA



Is the head belt driven or direct drive?


Jim Matlosz
dp la ca



>> is the head belt driven or direct drive?


Worm gear for the tilt. Not sure about pan. No belts.
Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA



Art Adams writes :


>> It's the same standard as all gear heads. If you change up the directions you're going to make a lot of >>operators unhappy.


I asked because there's a certain logic to turning the wheel clockwise to pan left when the wheel is at the rear of the head. It's as if you're "tightening a screw" to the right, which drives the rear of the head to the right, giving you a left pan. With the wheel up front, that logic is reversed.


But then I'm not an accomplished gear-head jockey (don't ask me to sign my name on the wall with a laser pointer mounted on the head). Mainly I'm curious about whether putting the pan wheel up front ends up being confusing to the first-time user.


I'm also curious as to how they've been able to make a worm-gear system that's both friction-free and blacklash-free. Is there spring-pressure on the gear?


Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



>>Mainly I'm curious about whether putting the pan wheel up front ends up being confusing to the first-time >>user.


I'm not sure why. I know when I first started playing with gear heads I had no expectations. I just wanted to learn how to make it work.


>> I'm also curious as to how they've been able to make a worm-gear system that's both friction-free and >>blacklash-free. Is there spring-pressure on the gear?


There's a comment on PVC that says it's due to a liberal application of grease, but I don't know that that's true. I don't know the answer to that one.


Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA



Here's what I can say about this product...


It's pretty fantastic. Very well thought out. Very well built. Very nice form factor.


Operation? So, so slick. Details to back up the hyperbole:


1) You can actually carry the thing around... it is not a boat anchor... light for what it is/does, but not so light that if feels "fragile"... it strikes a fine balance in this regard.


2) The placement of the wheels is, in my opinion, spot on. The pan wheel is located on the left hand side, front. This means that if I was using the typical video camera layout/film camera layout, the arm record mechanism (pistol grip/lens trigger, etc.) is on the right hand side where I can still reach up to start/cut recording. I liked this layout a lot. And I say this not just because I'm ambidextrous... (I always pull focus with my left hand which, for a "right handed" person, is probably a bit odd...


3) Tilt wheel is in the rear, and they plan on having a swing away option if you don't like the placement. They want you to like this product. They care about your experience with this product. I personally thought it was fine the way it was because the tilt you could achieve without any issue in terms of where the wheel was located was fine for almost any "normal" situation. (Okay if you were tracking an airplane taking off from a runway, yeah you might want the swing away offset!)


4) Smooth, smooth, smooth; no lash, no "dead spots" no imbalances that I could feel. If I rented one, it would be hard to go back to a fluid head for sure!


So what is my role in this product? I don't make the product and I've only touched number "001" since it was brought to our booth on the Saturday just before NAB. We put it dead center in our booth in a year where our big product launch in the acquisition meant that this companion product would be placed dead center in our booth - literally. I had total confidence in the product after about 5 minutes of use. You don't say that often when you yourself are a product manager - you tend to be a harsh critic!
Maybe this information is helpful for those who did not get a chance to see it at NAB in our booth (AJA) or in the Panasonic booth.


Who knew you could get this excited about a geared head? But I am certainly excited about this product... and the people who make it are very, very nice folks too... (And no, there isn't any kickback or graft going on here... I gave the head back after the show was over!)


Jon Thorn
Product Manager
AJA Video Systems, Inc.
California



>>There's a comment on PVC that says it's due to a liberal application of grease, but I don't know that >>that's true. I don't know the answer to that one.


I've just finished cleaning and re-lubricating a couple of Worrall heads that I have [don't EVEN ask...] and, as with my NCE two speed head (currently holding up someone's television, as I understand it) the specs call for an EP (extreme pressure) grease with a sticky component. sure enough, the grease effectively tames the little teeny bit of backlash that one ends up with these relatively crude worm arrangements which depend on fixed distance rather than fixed tension in order to adjust the worm. I would expect with these little RED heads, that a grease with a good amount of "body" would do fine at this also.


Mark H. Weingartner



Although worm gears do wear (the gears on my 1968 Worrall could definitely do with some TLC...) I think a more pressing problem for this head is the lack of clearance on the tilt. From the promo photographs, it looks like there is only a couple of inches between the back of the platform and the tilt wheel. That's fine when the camera is centrally mounted, as the RED is in the photos, but what happens when you have a fully loaded 900R with a long zoom on it that needs to be seated way back on dovetail plate? From the looks of the current design, you would only be able to tilt about 20 degrees upwards without using a riser.


Stuart Brereton
DP, UK



>>From the promo photographs, it looks like there is only a couple of inches between the back of the >>platform and the tilt wheel.


That's one of the things they learned at NAB. The rear wheel is going to be lowered, and it'll also swing to the side.


Art Adams | Director of Photography
San Jose, CA USA