Home of Professional Cinematography since 1996

class="Paragraph" Pan Handle Controls

class="Paragraph" Published : 5th June 2004

class="Paragraph"
Hi

Can someone refer me to a site or manufacturer of a high quality but simple pan handle grip with zoom/rec control. The samples I've seen seem to be of poor quality. I need to minimize movement around the camera to avoid any shaky shots from 500 mm - plus.

This is for environmental productions and I'm using Fujinon lenses. The Fujinon option available is to cumbersome for me.

I thank anyone,

Jacques Nortier
Wildlife cameraman, South Africa


class="Paragraph"
Jacques,

I think you'll find the Preston Microforce to be just the ticket. It is a common unit used in film production and with the appropriate cable mates successfully to either Canon or Fujinon video lenses. In addition they manufacture zoom motors for cine-style HD lenses.

Check their website at:

http://www.prestoncinema.com/index.html

And then order from your local supplier or rental company.

Regards,

JOHN SHARAF
Cinematographer/ IA600
F900 Owner-Operator
Pacific Palisades, Ca.


class="Paragraph"
I've used several and there's no doubt in my mind the best option is Micro Force. Solid construction, great flexibility for use with a variety of lenses, and the best zoom control. However, if budget is an issue, that could be a problem.

In lieu of a Micro-Force, the Fujinon SRD-52 zoom controls aren't bad.

To make them more convenient, I've had Precision Camera in Toronto modify them to attach them permanently to my pan arms - the cable is run internally through the pan arm, which makes it convenient for run-and-gun situations. Something like that might work for you.

George Hupka
Director/DP
Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada


class="Paragraph"
Jacques,

I use a Micro Force for this type of my wildlife work. They are low profile and I'm sure others will recommend them too. They are a must have for long lenses. I also use Fuji lenes so make sure you get the correct cable for that lens manufacturer.

Good luck.

Larry Curtis


class="Paragraph"
Take a look at the Vocas Z-10 controller. Very nice, ergonomic design. If you want something smaller and simpler, the Zoe-II from 16x9inc.com might be more your speed.

Mitch Gross
NYC DP


class="Paragraph"
The Microforce is certainly the standard of the industry for this function.

We make the Oppenheimer Panhandle which is available in a handheld configuration which can mount onto most professional video cameras. The best tough for zoom and an easy REC/STOP switch.

Marty Oppenheimer
Oppenheimer Camera Products
Seattle, WA USA


class="Paragraph"
Thank you very much for the response.

After visiting the Preston Cinema site, I believe the Micro Force does seem to be the tool I'm looking for. I do hope its water resistant.

I thank you again

Jacques Nortier
Wildlife cameraman, South Africa


class="Paragraph"
>"...we make the Oppenheimer Panhandle which is available in"

Where can I view (internet) some of the Oppenheimer products - ?

Jacques Nortier


class="Paragraph"
Jacques,

As a specialist in underwater, wildlife I can honestly say that nothing (except for my Amphibico housing) is "water resistant". Think of the salt corrosion as a badge of courage and it gives your new gear character!!!

Actually, don't underestimate the power of a "Ziploc" baggie. If you are in salt spray on a boat or on a shoreline, etc. Wrapping the control in a plastic bag is the best tip I can give. You will still be able to use it and it may even give you a better grip depending on how you tape it up. As I'm sure you know, covering the lens, camera is most important. Also, don't forget the connectors going into the lens and the control unit. That's where the damage will occur.

Happy shooting.

Cheers,

Larry Curtis

CURTIS PHOTOGRAPHY, INC.
P.O. BOX 900
NAPLES FL 34106 USA
www.curtisfilms.com