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Guerilla jib arm
  • A while back I connected my blackbird to a painters pole to do a very quick and dirty jib shot.

    Anyone else tried it? I've got another job coming up this week and I want to give it another shot. the rotational movement of the blackbird makes it a very hit and miss affair

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  • I have, with the Blackbird. I used a mic stand and attached it to the end of the boom arm and sort of held it there while trying to control it. Sort of worked but not a great success. I used the boom arm to control the path of the camera a bit more predictably but it wasn't great really.

    Interested to know if you find any Blackbird / pole combo that works. For example, could you kill the rotation with rubber bands somehow?

    However, for controlled movements I think you could do better by having the camera on a standard tripod on just 2 of its 3 legs, then tipping it in a controlled way while moving the head to keep the right framing. I think the Blackbird is just too unpredictable when attached to anything else (great on its own, of course, where you can control it with two hands).

  • I've tried the tripod pan thing - probably lack of technique on my part but couldn't get it smooth. I have tried attaching rubber bands to the gimbal (between the rubbery parts above and below the gimbal). Whilst not much use for anything else they were really good for tilts - you could move the handle right back for instance to tilt down. The more elastic the rubber the better.

    I think for the jib you'd want to avoid it rotating freely - as you said - but you still need some rotation as its key to the smoothness of any camera move. So I was thinking of connecting elastic from the gimbal to the handle - allowing a few degrees of movement only. I'll post the results (good or bad :) )

  • I'd love to see them! I know the Blackbird also has a dampening screw thing at the bottom of the gimbal, but on mine at least, it doesn't seem to make any difference whatever setting it's on. Does yours? To be honest I don't use mine that much but must dig it all out again because it does work really well on the GH2 (I've tried it with much heavier cameras and it's impossible to hold it after a few minutes, but that's down to the camera weight, not the Blackbird). So really interested in your experiments.

  • Mark yes the gimbal screw is great. I have mine set with a tiny bit of Friction so that pans slowly come to a stop. I found adding mass above the camera really helps with stability. (I use the hotshoe and a mini flash ball head)

  • Try turning it from one extreme to the other and spinning The bb. Once you found the point the friction kicks in small turns make quite a difference

  • @Gethinc Thanks for that - I'll have a go with it later. Cheers!

  • I made one, just simple , it needs some fine tuning but it works OK ... might test with some stabilizer, btw nice idea ...

    1500 x 1125 - 155K
  • @feha cool. Hows it working? The thing I like about the blackbird idea is that if I can get it to work it means I can just take it with me whereever I go and theres very little setup time (like I can use it on my realestate walkthroughs where I only have 15mins-1hour to shoot a whole house). BUT, its uses are limited...

    Just had a go with the Guerilla Jib arm. A friend suggested I call it the Gibbon Arm :) I'll post some video I shot with it later. I tried it on a painters pole and it was VERY difficult to use, Needed a counterbalance on the end of the pole really, and even with it attached to my camera bag it was hard work. Also the elastic I'd added to the head did stop it rotating but also made the head tilt, so all that footage is useless.

    So instead I made an adaptor for my monopod and took off the elastic. THis was much better - and I could still get it a couple of metres over my head. Without the elastic though the head movement was pretty random. I'd say this is hopeless for drama (or if its at all windy - even a breeze will make it sway).

  • At about 2 minutes in there is a section that shows in this instance a handycam .. a little bit more weight than the gh2 on the end of a Rode Mini Boompole, the rig has a Small HD DP6, attached at the base, I use it such that I can with my arms extended get the camera up about 12 feet from ground.