by Tim Fok | 6th February 2017
Starslider is a multi-axis motion-controlled slider with a pan/tilt cradle. Powered by a V-lock brain and an intuitive app, Starslider boasts an easy-to-setup and quick-to-use design, so check out their Kickstarter campaign. The Starslider system is built around a 32″ slider with height-adjustable feet, and a belted carriage with motor entry points on both sides. The heart of the motion control system is a V-lock-powered brain that connects to a series of Ethernet-connected motors, all controlled by an iOS or Android App. Whacking a motor onto your slider (via the brain) gives you mode 1 (or Starslider Linear). You then have options to upgrade your package into dual and tri (triple, treble? insert correct adjective for 3) modes in the Monolite package. All sounds pretty standard and familiar, right? There are plenty of these sorts of systems out there for filmmakers – multi-axis motion control machines with intuitive controller apps. So, what sets this one apart? I find that, generally, a drawback for these systems is ease of operation; the easiest-to-use systems are usually the most refined and expensive. Starslider seems to have aimed for that sweet spot in the market where affordability, refinement and ease of operation are at one. Take a look at the motors. Starslider has gone for a clever bolt-less bolt-on method attaching their motors via magnets. There are also multiple entry points for versatility throughout the system; the slider has a motor point on both ends (that you can mount on the top or the bottom) and the pan/tilt motors can connect from both sides of their respective plates. The app seems to operate as one would hope: set your start and your end points, add keyframes where you want and input duration/intervals/speed to suit: You have the ability to apply bezier curves for smoother moves, loop, save for repeatability, and bulb ramping. The Starslider is suited for both timelapse and live action, with its Stealth Mode for a silent motor aiding the latter. The Control Unit (or brain) is designed with versatility in mind, with power being provided via DC input V-lock, and motor connections happening via Ethernet. The decision to shy away from proprietary cabling or batteries is a huge plus in my opinion. Furthermore, the system features a shutter release port for camera control in timelapse mode, and 12v, 7.4v and 5V outputs for powering various accessories. Some useful spec info: Starslider (5:1 motor/14:1 motor) Horizontal payload: 50/>50kg Vertical payload: 6kg/16kg Upside Down 20kg/>20kg Min Speed 1m99h Max Speed 1m6s/1m21s Resolution 26000 step/m / 88000 step/m Monolite (5:1 motor/14:1 motor) Max Torque 4.5Nm/9Nm Angular Resolution 0.06°/0.02° Min Speed 360°99h Max Speed 360°1.4s/360°3.8s Backlash Gearbox <=1° There’s a few added extras available, such as a flywheel for smooth manual operation of the slider, optional extended slide length, magnetic feet for car-mount use, and the promise of a 4th axis in the future. The packages are priced relatively competitively, and as mentioned I feel this sits in spot where competitive pricing meets ease of use. Prices change according to when you place your pledge, so check out the Kickstarter page for more. As a guide, the Linear Bundle starts at €799.Read more
by Jakub Han | 31st January 2017
A few days ago, German optics manufacturer Schneider announced a new range of full-frame cine prime tilt lenses. This dynamic functionality allows for extended focusing possibilities and tweaking of the depth of field in your shots. Introduced on January 27th, these new Xenon primes from Schneider are the world’s first full-frame Cine Primes tilt lenses. In terms of design, they are basically regular Schneider Xenon full frame primes, just with the added tilt function. If tilt is left at 0°, there is no loss of image quality or sharpness compared to standard Xenon primes. Cine prime tilt test shot – Schneider optics You can tilt the lens element by ±4° while maintaining the field of view. It will be possible to achieve shots with unique focus and depth of field, such as the one you can see above. The tilt is controlled via a standard ring with 120° of rotation that’s operated just like the focus ring. Due to the use of common 0.8 module gear pitch, the Cine prime tilt lenses are compatible with standard follow-focus systems. These focal lengths that will be available from launch are: 25mm T2.1 35mm T2.1 50mm T2.1 75mm T2.1 100mm T2.1 The Cine prime tilt lenses will be available this spring either individually or as a set, and for now only in Sony E-Mount. Will you be tilting and shifting come this spring? Let us know in the comments below!Read more
by Nino Leitner | 8th July 2016
1A Tools have already made a name for themselves with their MøVi tripod adapter which we reported on here. Now they are back at it by reinventing the wheel, so to speak: Their new 1A Tools Alpha Wheels bring back the wheel controlled panning and tilting shots to modern devices like MøVi gimbals and remote heads. Contrary to actual mechanical wheels, the Alpha Wheels have electronics inside them which allow them to be reprogrammed for all kinds of devices. You can think of it like an input controller such a computer mouse, adjustable for all kinds of uses that allow for two axis movement or adjustment. 1A Tools say that the Alpha Wheels allow much more precise control of pan and tilt compared to the normal remote because you can’t accidentally pan or tilt when you using them, and they are surely right that the controls are not as fiddly. This seems to make sense particularly for narrative filmmaking where the same shot is repeated many times. I am personally not so sure of the argument about accidental pan or tilt because those controls are dedicated separate joysticks on the remote anyway. Although I can certainly see a market for this, the device comes at a price – it’s available for pre-order for $1,800 from their website now. Personally I will stick with my (MUCH cheaper) Freefly Mimic controller (our article / video here) when I need an operator, but I’ll definitely take the Alpha Wheels for a spin when I get a chance …. Check the Alpha Wheels out on the 1A Tools website.Read more
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