I’ve been trying out different shoulder rig configurations the last couple of months.
We’ve filmed 3 episodes of an item in a daily human interest show on national television with the Ikonoskop.
Why did we use the Ikonoskop for something that needs a very fast workflow? Well, the cameraman wanted to have some extra practice on the Ikonoskop because we’ll be working as a camera team on a short in Ireland in September and frankly because we love a challenge. I’ll write more about this challenge in a later post.
The network’s prerequisites were: only hand-held, no zooming. As this was filmed during a very busy rental season, I had to really puzzle to get all the gear together, so I tried different combinations.
The first rig I bought for the Ikonoskop was from Lanparte. I don’t own it anymore because I’ve sold it to a customer who bought a Panchromatic, used the rig and loved and wanted it straight away.
Lanparte stuff has great build quality for a budget friendly price. I used it in combination with the ARRI MBP-1 Adapter Plate and the MBP-1 Baseplate, but you could use as well with the Vocas Adapter Plate on the original Lanparte baseplate.
This was my configuration:
- Double Handle Rig with Follow Focus DHR-01
- Top Handle TH-01
- C-Shape Support CA-01
- ARRI MBP-01 Ikonoskop Adapter Plate
- ARRI MBP-01 Base Plate
In September at IBC I held the Vocas rig configuration for the dII, for the first time, and immediately loved it for its great balance. And I love the aesthetics of it as wel (I’m a sucker for anything that comes with brown leather handles).
It’s basically the “Vocas Handheld Kit Pro for midsize cameras” (Item code: 0255-3600) you want for the Ikonoskop with their custom Ikonoskop dII Adapter Plate. In my opinion a shoulder rig always needs a top handle (Topside Handgrip for 15mm rails - item code: 0350-0400).
You don’t need the offset bracket for shoulder support that’s included in the kit, as the viewfinder sticks out on the left of the camera and not centrally on the back of the camera.
One thing I’ve learned though is that if you use a Vocas MB-430 Matte Box with this rig in a rail mounted set-up (i.s.o. clip-on) you’re better of with the Rail Support DSLR (Item code: 0350-300). You’ll need it to rise the plate high enough to get the lens perfectly centered in the Matte Box.
Vocas only has one type of follow focus. And I like it a lot, although some might find the knob too small and it is adviced not to use them on very big lenses.
So my ideal configuration is this:
- Ikonoskop dII Adapter Plate
- Rail Support DSLR
- Shoulder support for 15mm rails
- Weight attachment plate
- Weight 1kg for shoulder support
- Handgrip kit, with two handgrips
- MFC-1 Follow Focus
- Drive Gear M0,8x46
- MB-430 Matte Box
- 15mm LW swing away bracket for MB-430
- Flexible adapter ring for MB-430
- Topside Handgrip for 15mm rails
I also tried an Edelkrone rig, but not my cup of tea and impossible to get a good balance with the Ikonoskop, because of that top handle that starts at the back. In the picture below you see me rigging the cam and looking quite unhappy with it ;-)
And last but definitely not least a new additon to our collection of rigs: Wooden Camera.
I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks, but am absolutely loving it. It’s the ideal rig solution for the lone shooter that travels light. Superb build quality, lightweight (so not for everyone) and very compact. So for the travelling cameraman this set-up is the best price/quality solution you’ll find.
My ideal combination:
- The Quick Kit for Ikonoskop: includes Quick Base (Ikonoskop), Top Plate Kit, NATO Handle Kit and the A-Box for Ikonoskop (XLR break-out box).
- The Cruiser: a shoulder rig. Of course I took the one with brown leather handles, but it’s also available with black leather and rubber handles.
The Top Plate gets a bit in the way of the top scroll wheel on the camera. For me personally this is not an issue, because I don’t use the top scroll wheel. But if it bothers you, just know that you don’t need the top plate to connect the NATO handle to the camera as you can do this directly.
It’s ideal to use in combination with a CineBags Backpack and I’m sure you can transform the Cruiser into a crossbow so you won’t get hungry on your next nature documentary.