Shouldering the BMPCC4K

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

Dean Fisher

  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:48 pm

Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 3:24 am

So I've got a jury-rigged shoulder setup, which consists of two long 15mm rods, a baseplate, shoulder pad, and an arm/handle. Also on the rails is my follow focus and tilta boom arm holding my SmallHD FOCUS monitor.

My problem arises when I try and center the camera's weight over my shoulder, because then I have the HDMI cord and (when the cable is released) power wire poking me in the face. I can make it work if I slide the camera forward, but then that puts more strain on my arms as my body is not helping to support the weight.

Any workarounds on this? I suppose a right-angle HDMI adapter could be attached, but I'm not so sure that a right angle 2-pin power connector will exist, at least not any time soon. I would prefer to use the 2-pin for power as opposed to a dummy battery.
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 9367
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 4:45 am

Dean, care to provide a detailed shot of your rig and perhaps one on your shoulder?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 5:00 am

I've put together a rig like this:

Image

The shoulder pad attaches to the rails where the V-Lock battery sits (off-set), but I'm not using it yet until I get the BM cable pack. Like with yours, it's front heavy, but once I have the power cable, I'm going to see how this balances with the battery attached to the shoulder pad. That's 1kg transferred to the shoulder.

Once on the shoulder, I can also remove the field monitor, as I'll be able to look directly into the camera's LCD. At the moment, this configuration works reasonably well as a waist-level rig and, ideally, some form of pad attached to the main rail would help to hold it against the body. I kind of like the waist-level view, as it gives a different perspective and reminds me of my medium format film days with waist-level viewfinders.
https://australianimage.com.au/
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 9367
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 1:40 pm

Ray, the matte box with filters looks like it might be heavy if it’s not carbon fibre. If you push the heaviest battery to the end of longer rear rails, you may be balanced. If you ditch the matte box and use screw on filters, you could be balanced, but not likely if you think you’ll be able to use the camera’s rear monitor. Doing that puts the camera too far forward. I’d add counterweights to the rear rails, perhaps a kilogram will do it.

The total weight on your shoulder is not as important as your need to balance it on your shoulder without using your hands. After seeing Marco Solorio shoulder mount his camera years ago, I managed that stunt with the URSA Mini 4.6K with BM Viewfinder and the big a Cinegears 250Wh battery and the very light Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom. Oh, and I used a bag of rice and hand weights as a counterweight hanging from the battery plate!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Rick Lang
Offline

Dean Fisher

  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:48 pm

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 5:54 pm

rick.lang wrote:Dean, care to provide a detailed shot of your rig and perhaps one on your shoulder?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Logic says I should've posted a picture originally, eh? I've just loaned my camera for the weekend, so of course I can't snap one with the BMPCC4K on it, but I'll post a shot of the shoulder setup a bit later today.
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 9314
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 5:58 pm

Ray, that is a nice looking rig for use on a tripod and som hand holding, when well braced. But for a shoulder rig, all that is missing is the shoulder pad and a EVF.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 7:26 pm

the matte box with filters looks like it might be heavy if it’s not carbon fibre.


The matte box isn't all that heavy, as it's mainly plastic and I can remove the flag and filter inserts without losing the shading capability, given how deep the matte box is compared to a regular lens hood. The 12-60mm lens has lightened the rig considerably (by 375g) and it's noticeable when I hold the rig. If I take off the field monitor and audio recorder, the weight drops again.

I just have to consider how much is going to be tripod, waist-level or shoulder work. I'm still on a steep learning curve, not just learning to use the camera and rig, but thinking like a cinematographer. The latter is the hardest bit.

But for a shoulder rig, all that is missing is the shoulder pad.


I have the former, but didn't add it to the rig when I did that photo. I'm going to have to play around with configurations to see what will work and what can be easily set up in the field. This is the shoulder pad I have:

Image
https://australianimage.com.au/
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 9367
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 8:47 pm

Ray, good news about the matte box. Remember for shoulder mounting, you want it to balance regardless of the weight even if you need to add a counterbalance, unless it’s only on your shoulder briefly. Good luck.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 8:53 pm

Yes indeed. That may end up being the major issue with this rig setup.
https://australianimage.com.au/
Offline
User avatar

Toby Nies

  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:50 am
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Real Name: Toby Nies

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 10:28 pm

Ray, that shoulder pad is the camvate, yes? How do you like it?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J327A using Tapatalk
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 10:30 pm

Yes, it's the Camvate one and it's very good and well priced. Camvate and SmallRig both make very similar gear and it's all excellent.
https://australianimage.com.au/
Offline
User avatar

Toby Nies

  • Posts: 17
  • Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:50 am
  • Location: San Francisco
  • Real Name: Toby Nies

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 10:35 pm

Great, thanks. I'll be going with mostly Camvate for my shoulder rig.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J327A using Tapatalk
Offline

Dean Fisher

  • Posts: 51
  • Joined: Tue Sep 08, 2015 10:48 pm

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostThu Nov 08, 2018 11:59 pm

rick.lang wrote:Dean, care to provide a detailed shot of your rig and perhaps one on your shoulder?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
ImageImageMy P4K and lenses are not here at the moment, but I've approximated with the old pocket camera. This is where I'd like the camera to sit, and you can see that any connections would be poking me in the face. Is it just a matter of sliding the camera forward and adding weight to the back? I've had a weighted rig before, and I don't think it really helps unless you can let go of the handles and it stays somewhat balanced on your shoulder as you mentioned before, Rick. In this case I feel like I'd need to add rails at the rear and really have the weight protruding far behind me.

Of course, an EasyRig would solve the front loaded problem but that's just another expense and impractical for throwing it on/off the shoulder.
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostFri Nov 09, 2018 12:13 am

The fork is an interesting counter-weight. :D

I think you're going to have all manner of issues with the likes of wide angle lenses if you choose that configuration. You will just need proper counter weights at the back if you want it to be balanced on your shoulder.

But if that's all you plan to have on the rig, then it should be reasonably easy to hold without too much at the back. Compared to my setup, yours is weightless. Also, I don't know how well they work, but I've seen chest supports that supplement the shoulder rig.
https://australianimage.com.au/
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 9367
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostFri Nov 09, 2018 2:51 am

Dean, I love the big fork. You have the camera back well so it depends on the lenses you have in front. It should balance fairly well easily unless you use a large zoom. A Kg of weight or so may do it. The major issue is plugging anything into the ports on the side of the BMPCC4K. Are you sure you have the right camera? Maybe next year when they do that $3,999 camera we are talking about in another thread, you’ll use that one for your shoulder-mounted camera! You’ll have lots of time trying with the BMPCCK before then.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by rick.lang on Fri Nov 09, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

Ray (that's what it is)

  • Posts: 222
  • Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:08 am
  • Location: Mirboo North Victoria Australia
  • Real Name: Ray Pollanen

Re: Shouldering the BMPCC4K

PostFri Nov 09, 2018 10:07 am

I just did a bit of an experiment with my rig by attaching the shoulder pad and then placing the battery pack on the end. By moving the shoulder pad inwards, leaving the battery pack behind my shoulder, the rig was surprisingly balanced. Not perfect, but not too bad either.

However, I now couldn't see the camera screen nor the field monitor, as both were too close. To make this work I'd have to move the field monitor forward to sit above the follow focus wheel. This is where an EVF that could be attached to rig would be ideal.

The perfect placement of an EVF would be where the field monitor sits, but hanging down from the 15mm rail. This is where we need some innovative company to make a simple and lightweight EVF (not stupidly large) that runs off HDMI.

I have one of these external EVFs for some of my older Olympus cameras and it connects to the hotshoe and a port that looks like a mini-HDMI (it's very small):

Image
https://australianimage.com.au/

Return to Cinematography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Jim Giberti and 23 guests