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EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount

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Mark Rule
EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jun 30, 2010 at 5:09:46 am

I've been working on a camera mount for the EX-3 for a little while now (see pictures). I'd be interested to know what EX-3 operators think.

The idea was to have a mount that utilised the VCT-14 style of baseplate, was compact enough to be left on the camera, help with balance, power the camera/accessories via a V-Lock battery and allow mattboxes to be mounted - just like the big cameras!

Fortunately my brother is an engineer - and we've come up with this!

Planning to add some extra stuff - a bracket to hold radio mic receivers, extension rods on the back for other accessories etc.

We've made it so the shoulder pad has two postions - forward position to attach to the VCT-14 baseplate - rear postion for more comfortable operation on the shoulder (Viewfinder is in the right position and not jammed into the eye!).

Still working on some of the details, but I'd be interested in some feedback.

Thanks,

Mark







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Jim McNally
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 1, 2010 at 8:56:46 pm

That looks very interesting. Hard to tell but if this was on shoulder where does the viewfinder come to? It looks tight to the operators face? Like the concept. Pricing?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 1, 2010 at 10:45:38 pm

The shoulder pad and rear 'block' has 2 positions:

In the forward position, the front v-wedge and rear tripod plate stopper engage to the VCT-14 tripod plate as you would expect from a 'normal' Sony shoulder mount camera - so the mount (and camera) are locked solid to the tripod plate and not just held by the front v-wedge (as I've seen on some other systems).

It also makes the mount quite compact.

In this position, it is possible to operate the camera on the shoulder - but the viewfinder is quite tight to your face.

so...

by pushing the gold button in on the back of the mount, the whole shoulder pad and rear block will slide back to the end of the rods (about 50mm/2") - which puts the viewfinder at a comfortable position for operation on the shoulder.

The V-lock battery also moves back with the shoulder pad.

The down side is that the camera is effectively moved forward - but using a reasonable size/weight battery on the back helps keep the camera firmly on the shoulder and helps keep things balanced.

Hopefully these pictures might illustrate things more clearly:





As for pricing, we're working through that at the moment. I'm trying to gauge what sort of interest there might be - and what features/options should be standard.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Thanks

Mark






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Jim McNally
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 2, 2010 at 12:09:15 am

I like the concept a lot. I have shoulder mount now but it has to be fitted on and off the rails to be used. How do the rails fit on the front? I use the Sony batteries on the camera so wouldn\'t want to invest in new batteries just for counterweight.

Does the extra height off of tripod change feel of pan/tilt control?

Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 2, 2010 at 1:19:48 am

At the moment it is set up to use a Chroziel mattbox system. The front tripod wedge plate is replaced by the Chroziel version which allows the mattbox rails to be mounted.

What mattbox system do you use? I can look at other ways of mounting rails.

Another option I'll look at is just using a 'weight' - ie a block of Aluminium in a similar size to a camera battery to provide some weight for counterbalance. It really does need something over the shoulder to help balance the camera. The 'weight' could be attached directly to the battery plate - so the IDX V-lock battery mount wouldn't be required (saving cost).

In practical use, I don't find the extra height of the camera on the tripod to be an issue. Compared to my PDW-700 the camera lens axis is only 10mm higher.

I can take some more detailed pictures of the mattbox setup, but below you should be able to make out the Chroziel mounting plate which is attached to the front of the mount in place of the standard wedge plate.





Above is the EX-3 with mount, ACM-21 adapter, Fujinon HA13x4.5 W/A lens, Mattbox and V-lock battery. This is a combination I use quite a bit on a Jimmy Jib and Glidecam X-45.

Mark


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Jim McNally
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 2, 2010 at 4:08:11 am

I have the Cavision box and follow focus. http://www.cavision.com/pictures/EX3/EX3fullset_1.htm Using the standard EX3 lense.




Jim McNally
The Commercial Factory
http://www.commercialfactory.com


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 2, 2010 at 12:06:47 pm

I'll take a closer look at the Cavision mattbox - but I'm sure it will be fairly straight forward to attach to the EX-3 mount. I should be able to get hold of one Monday/Tuesday next week.

Mark


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Dave Jenkins
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 3, 2010 at 5:20:17 am

Mark, that looks like a great setup. Would be interested in buying this if it works as good as it looks.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 3, 2010 at 10:44:25 am

Thanks for the comments Dave. Its been a bit of an evolution over the last 12 months or so - but I think its finally getting to the finished stage - just a few tweaks here and there.

I just want to make sure it works with other accessories - ie mattbox systems (as discussed with Jim) - and to take on board feedback from other EX-3 users.

Mark


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Dave Jenkins
Re: EX-3 VCT-14/Shoulder Mount
on Jul 4, 2010 at 4:04:27 am

Would be happy to test it for you and give our feedback.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Mark Rule
Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 4, 2010 at 12:03:46 pm

Thanks Dave - I'll keep that in mind when we've got the design finalised.

I've been working on a plate that attaches to the base of the EXMount (in place of the VCT-14 wedge plate) and allows the Pan and Tilt head wedge to be attached to this plate.

It means that the EXMount can be attached to a Pan & Tilt head without the use of a VCT-14 plate - in much the same way as I have seen most people attach their EX-3's to a P&T head. The main difference is that there is no strain on the EX-3 1/4" mounting thread and no risk of twisting - the wedge plate can be fixed with 1/4" and 3/8" screws.

Balancing is limited to the amount of travel that the P&T head allows. I was able to balance the camera/mount on a Miller Arrow HD and Manfrotto 516 P&T head.

This could be another option if you don't have/want to use a VCT-14 plate.

I'll post some photos soon.


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Dave Jenkins
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 5, 2010 at 5:33:31 pm

Will be interesting to see your other design, but I really like that you are adapting to a VCT-14 plate. 25 years of using that plate makes it second nature for quick release.

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
MacPro Two 2.8GHz Quad Core - AJA Kona LHe
FCS 3 OS X 10.6 QT 10


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Mark Rule
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 6, 2010 at 6:43:05 am

Its basically just a plate that can be attached to the base of the mount instead of the VCT-14 type wedge plate. It allows a pan & tilt head wedge plate to be attached further back - so that the camera/EXMount can be balanced.

Just an option I thought could be useful in some cases.

I am planning to take some more photos of the various setups tomorrow night - so I'll post them here.

In the meantime, here's a picture of the mount with a Letus setup:



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Mark Rule
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 7, 2010 at 10:51:27 am

This is the basic wedge adapter plate I machined up a couple of days back. It replaces the VCT-14 wedge and allows the pan & tilt head wedge to be attached to this plate. The camera/mount can then be attached direct to the p&t head without the use of a VCT-14 plate.

With this plate attached, it is not possible to put the EXMount on the shoulder while the shoulder pad is in the forward position - the shoulder pad needs to be moved to the rear position to clear the plate.

Could be an option for those that don't have (or want to get) a VCT-14 tripod plate.







and on a Manfrotto 516 P&T head








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Will Salley
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 8, 2010 at 4:12:43 pm

Very nice design. I think your solution for mounting the camera with the large thumbwheel is unique but may add unnecessary weight to the front. If it's aluminum, it may not matter though.

One peculiar thing I have noticed about trying to shoulder mount the EX-3 is the tendency to pitch to the left because of the weight of the viewfinder. It could be remedied by offsetting the mount a little to the left. Ideally, it would be adjustable - but that would add weight and may make it less stable. Maybe a slotted screw hole oriented perpendicular to the lens?

Anyway, it's an interesting potential product and I think you could have a winner.

FWIW, I'm using the EX-3 with a Letus Elite and a KiPro mounted on the rear rails. I have a Redrock Micro shoulder mount but it elevates the camera a bit too much.

Mac Pro 2x2.8 Quadcore - 10.6.3 - QT 7.6.3 - 22 GB RAM - nvidia8800GT - SATA internal & external storage - Blackmagic Multibridge Pro - Open GL 1.5.10 - Wacom Intous2 tablet - AJA io
SONY XDCAM EX3 - Letus Elite - FC7.0.2 - CS4 Prod Prem.


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Mark Rule
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 10, 2010 at 12:03:52 am

The large thumbwheel is made out of Aluminium (as is most of the mount). Its a bit like a 'wagon wheel' in its design, so it is as light as possible.

We have tried to keep the front end of the mount light but strong - and put a bit of weight into the back end (the large solid block that holds the shoulder pad).

I understand what you mean about the large viewfinder and the camera pitching to the left. I think the easiest way to deal with that is to have some sort of counterweight on the other side - ie a radio mic receiver etc. At this point in time we won't be looking at off-setting the camera - just starts to make things too complicated.

The primary aims with the mount are:

- compatible with VCT-14 tripod plates
- can be used on the shoulder
- accept standard accessories (ie mattboxes)
- can be left on the camera
- quick, easy and versatile to use

I am happy that we have achieved the above with the mount that we have designed. I think there will always have to be compromises with this camera - the challenge is to find the best compromise!

Mark


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Ryan Johnson
Re: Mounting without the VCT-14 Tripod plate
on Jul 16, 2010 at 3:24:16 am

Well it looks great. What price range are you looking at ???

Ryan



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Mark Rule
EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Jul 17, 2010 at 2:43:38 am

Pricing is still to be determined.

We are pretty much there with the design now.

The basic options will be along the lines of:

- Main chassis
- choice of tripod wedge adapter plate or VCT-14 wedge plate
- basic angle plate (attaches to rear of EX-3) or angle plate with accessory bracket
- rear plate with basic counterweight system or V-lock battery plate and powering system

We need to work out the manufacturing costs of those options - and then see what the interest is and try and determine how many we are likely to make.

I'm hoping we can work all this out pretty soon - and get some more photos taken to show the options.

Mark


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Eric Corbin
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Aug 9, 2010 at 10:58:07 pm

Mark,
This may already be in your design, but if not, it would be very helpful for an ENG set up to have a place to mount a wireless receiver box (BEC) near the battery. It looks like there are already pre-drilled holes on the backside of the battery mount. Is that what they're there for?
Great design!
Eric


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Aug 10, 2010 at 9:08:34 am

Hi Eric,

The screws that you can see are the ones that hold the battery plate on. If the EX-3 semi-shoulder pad is on the camera, there isn't a lot of room between the pad and the battery plate, so mounting a receiver there wouldn't be too practical.

What we do have is an option for a plate on the side of the camera that could be used to mount accessories:



This shows the plate with mounting options (velcro/slots etc) and auxiliary BNC connectors mounted underneath the angle plate.

My cameras and 2 of the mounts are currently on a 4 week shoot - they are mounting a lockit box to this plate and radio mic receivers on the battery plate (and just using the camera batteries to power the camera).

This also shows the new shoulder pad.



and mounted on the Jimmy Jib hothead...





The Chrosziel mattbox is mounted using a standard Petroff Sony type plate/rod holder.

We are currently doing a short run of mounts - and will probably go straight into another run. I am hoping to post more photos of the finished mount - with all the various accessories/options very soon.

Mark


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Eric Corbin
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Aug 10, 2010 at 9:56:01 pm

Mark,
Thanks for the photos! Anton Bauer makes an adapter allowing you to power the EX-3 using one of their full size batteries. The adapter is called (QR-EX3). Could this adapter be used with your design or are you only using V-mount batteries?


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Aug 10, 2010 at 10:26:44 pm

The mount is designed to use either the on-camera batteries (BPU-30 or BPU-60) - or V-Lock batteries. An option will be for an Anton Bauer battery plate on the back (instead of the V-Lock). As well as powering the camera and other accessories, the larger V-Lock or Anton Bauer battery is useful for balance.

There will also be an option for a simple weight system - if the larger batteries are not being used.

The battery plate has been redesigned and will allow mounting of an accessory plate - an IDX type or similar - so that the battery can still be accessed.

There is also a module behind the battery plate that acts as a brace and has 3x 4pin hirose connectors - for supplying power to the camera and other accessories.

Photos should be coming soon!

Mark


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Eric Corbin
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Aug 11, 2010 at 10:11:04 pm

Thanks Mark,
I work at a news station in Utah and we are going to be using EX-3's as ENG cameras in the near future. Wondering if you will be demo-ing any of your shoulder mounts?


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Oct 13, 2010 at 9:12:03 am

Its been a while since I last posted re the EXMount - we have been hard at work making a few changes and getting ready for the production run which is currently underway.

We expect to be able to start shipping the mounts within the next 2 weeks.

The website - http://www.exmount.com - has been updated with more pictures, information and pricing.

Any questions - fire away here - or email me - mark@exmount.com


Eric - apologies for the delay in responding to your post. Its a bit difficult to 'demo' the mount. Hopefully as things progress, there may be a mount near to you that you can have a look at and try out.

Mark



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Marinko Kero
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Jan 3, 2012 at 3:29:24 am

Hello Mark - looks like a great design!!! I'm based in Sydney and have been wondering if there was a quick release system available? I am based in Sydney and have just recently purchased both a Triangle Jib and EX-3.I'll check the website out!
Kind Regards
Marinko Kero


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:55:10 am

Hi Marinko,

Using the EX3 on the Jimmy Jib was one of the main reasons we developed the EXMount (and for the Multicam system we operate as well). I've usually got my Fujinon 13x4.5 HD W/A lens on the front of the EX3 - so wanted a good solid mount to support the camera and lens. It works really well on the jib, tripod or on the shoulder.

I must update the exmount.com website with some new stuff we've been working on (rod system, extra mounting brackets etc) - plus some stuff not directly related to the EXMount.

Mark


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Mark Jones
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Feb 7, 2012 at 9:06:19 pm

Mark-
LOVE how this shoulder/accessory mount looks! I work in ENG market #41, Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo MI where one shop (not ours) is all EX-3 and the others are adding more of them all the time. (We have two in use as handheld studio cams but are waiting for a "usable" shoulder/tripod mount to rotate them into news). From the photos it looks like the best shoulder option made for the EX-3 and if it's as good as it looks- we'll want it! (As I'm sure many other news stations will!) I look forward to your product release and a chance to hear about it in the news field.

Mark Jones
Photojournalist
WOOD-TV


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Mike Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Feb 8, 2012 at 1:59:45 am

Thanks Mark, so far there has been 100% positive feedback from exm users which is really encouraging, there is some more product avail such as a rear accessory bracket that sits behind the battery and a rod system etc. the exmount is available and for more details on how it may help you check it out at- http://www.exmount.com


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Mark Rule
Re: EX-3 Shoulder Mount
on Oct 22, 2012 at 10:11:47 am

We have recently updated the http://www.exmount.com website - now with shopping cart. There are some new products - for the EXMount and also for larger ENG style cameras.

Our rod system is now available. This will work with the EXMount and full size cameras (using a VCT-14/U14 type baseplate).

We have 3 versions of the front wedge plate available including one designed to accomodate zoom connectors on Fujinon lenses when using a rod system.

The original EXMount is still going strong - we're coming close to the end of our current run and looking to do another batch soon. There are a couple more EXMount accessories on the website - and we're always working on new ideas.

Mark


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