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  1. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2006
    Location: United States
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    Hi all,

    I have the Canon HV30 and love the picture quality and manual control. The only drawback to HDV for me is the amount of video wobble that comes with even the slightest vibration in the tripod.

    I recently bought a Velbon 7000 and love it. It's quite sturdy and the head is extremely smooth.

    I film freight trains and become extremely frustrated by the fact that these heavy monsters send shivers up and down my tripod resulting in shutter roll. I have tried moving further away from the trains but the vibes come right along the ground to the camera. To be honest, in some situations it doesn't even seem like the vibrations are anything that should create problems. I have tried mounting the tripod on rock and get the same results.

    Can someone please offer some advice? How good does a tripod need to be to get rid of this problem? Does anyone have experience with store-bought or hand-made add-ons that can help?

    Thanks!

    Mike H.
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  2. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
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    at a whopping 7.5 lbs, the velbon 7000 is a lovely toy...a perfect addition to a child's tricycle or skateboard

    try adding a weight to the center column and getting as far away from the train as you can...with your little camera on full zoom...it's all I can think of at the mo

    good tripods cost more than the cam...
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  3. Member gadgetguy's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2002
    Location: West Mitten, USA
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    No experience, just some thoughts...
    I have my doubts about a heavier tripod being more effective, (unless the tripod is so light it's dancing around when the train goes by). Likewise, I would expect a hard surface like a rock to transfer the vibrations. What's needed is something that will absorb the vibrations and keep them from transferring to the tripod. Try putting sandbags or thick foam rubber pads under the legs of the tripod. Might not work, but should be cheap enough to be worth a try.
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  4. Member Ethlred's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2008
    Location: United States
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    Moving back won't help much if you zoom in to compensate. Zooming in just magnifies any vibration. Putting the feet on sandbags sounds good. The weight idea is a classic solution.

    If carrying the weight of heavier tripod is an issue. You might try something I just thought of. Get a bucket, or bag with an open top plus three plastic bowels. If there is dirt or sand available on the site you won't have to carry it. Put enough in the bowels to support the feet and as much as you can get away with in a bucket hanging from the bottom of the tripod.

    Sand has been used for years to isolate the base of holograph imaging setups.

    Basically a seven pound tripod is plenty for still photos if you aren't using a strong telephoto. Video would be less tolerant because the camera doesn't just sit there while one shot is taken.

    Another trick you might try is a technique for still photos where tripods may be against the rules. Get a chain with a tripod attachment at one end and drop the other end on the ground, step on the chain to lock it down and pull up while using the camera hand held. It might work better than a cheap tripod with practice for short clips. You mileage will vary with the magnification and your own ability to move smoothly.

    Ethelred
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  5. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
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    you're probably on the right track...
    I just remembered...I shot a train with a tripod like yours on a cement pad about 30 feet away
    I shot without extending the legs at all...keeping it short and strong...those flimsy legs shake when extended
    Mine fell over in Europe and broke
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2006
    Location: United States
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    Hi All,

    Thanks so much for the replies. I can always count on Videohelp for quick and thoughtful answers.

    I had heard about the sandbag idea before. I think I might give it a try. The gel or foam also seems good. Running through my mind is the idea of trying memory foam below the legs of the tripod. I think I will end up creating some Frankenstein type getup before I'm through. How about gel pads resting on sandbags!?

    Thanks again!
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  7. Member gadgetguy's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2002
    Location: West Mitten, USA
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    Originally Posted by pooty13901
    I think I will end up creating some Frankenstein type getup before I'm through.
    Make sure you post back (with pictures) on what works.
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  8. Member Snakebyte1's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2002
    Location: Ontario, Canada
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    Years ago some friends and I were trying to film a movie and in one scene we needed a closeup of a steam engine going by. There was a tourist steam train that ran during the summer nearby so we found a point along the route where the train comes out of a turn and set up our cameras. We were using full sized VHS camcorder on a light weight tripod set up on gravel about 10 - 12 feet from the tracks.

    The first time we filmed the train blew its whistle just as it passed and scared the bejeezus out of us causing the camera to nearly fall over. The second attempt we were ready for, but, as has been pointed out there was some serious camera shake going on. Ultimately what we did was to place a 1" foam cushion on ground, place a square piece of 1/4" plywood on top of the cushion, then position the tripod on top of the plywood without extending the legs. As the train approached we pushed down on the camera.

    The end result was pretty good, at least we thought so. We never did complete that movie, but that first train shoot, with the whistle going off and all of us scattering while yelling "Holy S---!" often got played!
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  9. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
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    Originally Posted by Snakebyte1
    The first time we filmed the train blew its whistle just as it passed and scared the bejeezus out of us causing the camera to nearly fall over....
    Ha ha...Powerful air horns, aren't they? The wind from the train almost knocks you over...
    I remember one summer I lived next to the tracks. I heard the train coming & blowing it's horn about midnight...The force of the wind that the train made when it passed came in my bedroom window and blew the sheet right off me...
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: United States
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    I shoot steam trains and know what you mean about ground shake.
    Have you thought about a steadicam? that way your body would absorb the vibration.
    You can make one for $14 of Home Depot parts...
    see here:
    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2009/05/not_so_lazy_sunday_14_video_camera.html
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  11. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
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    putting any weight on the cam will steady it
    folding up the tripods legs or tying a rock to the cam will do it
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  12. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    I think Snakebyte1 has the right idea. You don't need to weigh down the tripod to anchor it or put it on concrete as the ground itself is shaking. Try a thick foam pad under the tripod, or better yet, a small air mattress, to keep the ground vibrations from getting to the camera. A piece of plywood on the mattress should work well to support the tripod legs. You will have to watch out for wind, as that can make the camera sway if it's on a soft surface. I'm guessing you have to pan as the train passes, but as long as you have a heavy or weighted tripod, that shouldn't make the air mattress move around or shift during the pan. You might have to play with the inflation pressure and the weights on the tripod, but it may be very effective for dampening ground vibrations.
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  13. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    I'm envisioning a helium balloon suspended tripod. A hot air balloon may work.

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  14. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
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    ha ha
    or just shoot a little model train?
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    I've put together a special "sandwich" pad the has a layer of sandbag, layer of water, layer of air, water, sandbag. and rubberized plywood platform on top, and rubber grips on bottom. NOTHING gets through that!! But it's heavy as shit so you can't lug it around very much. Only special shoots.

    Scott
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