Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Ever used a gyro stabiliser?  (Read 2127 times)
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« on: January 19, 2013, 02:19:05 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I am looking into using a gyro kit like this Kenyon Labs KS-4 gyro stabilizer for hand held shooting in low light and/or with long lenses on my Contax 645 MFDB system as an alternative to investing in a separate DSLR system with a telephoto lens that has an optical stabiliser built into the DSLR body (aka Sony) or the lens (Canikon).

The Kenyon system seems to be quite portable and not exceedingly heavy (maybe somewhat similar to walking around with a big flash and belt-up battery pack?) But would like to hear from others who have used this unit or something similar about what it is like to actually use in the field as opposed to in theory.

How easy is it to hand hold, does it make a lot of noise, can you really shoot with shutter speeds as slow as one second as the marketing material claims, and how long does the battery last... whatever advice you can give most welcome


« Last Edit: January 19, 2013, 02:21:19 PM by lowep » Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 07:26:41 PM »
ReplyReply

At NAB I hand held an 800mm lens on a DSLR with what I think was one of the top-of-the-line versions.

It was unreal!  Whereas in-lens stabilizers give you a good percentage of the shots, that thing would never miss.  Right up until the photographer physically collapsed which wouldn't take too long because of the horrific weight which was at least 20 lbs for the whole setup.  All the advantages of a tripod, except for relief from the weight.  The demo system was suspended by bungees, which was definitely a lifesaver.

The rental company was pitching it for video shoots and specifically virtual reality work.  The biggest plus was simply that I could keep looking at a recognizable image the whole time, not just when the stabilization was kicked in as with most IS lenses.  That could be a pretty useful thing for a sports photographer, additionally because it lets the autofocus stay close all the time.

If there was noise I didn't notice it over the loud room noise.

That's the kind of equipment where you can think about renting it out to recover the costs.

I notice the one in your URL mentions 115V 400Hz for runup.  I wonder if you can run it up on the battery as well.
Logged
Peter McLennan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1678


« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 10:14:01 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
author=bill t.  All the advantages of a tripod, except for relief from the weight.  The demo system was suspended by bungees, which was definitely a lifesaver.

They work very well, with some caveats.  Any time I've used them has been for aerials and I didn't have to worry much about how much they weigh since they were attached to the Tyler mount..  For full stabilization, you need three - one for each axis of roll, pitch and yaw.  I've heard of people using them in pairs or even singly, but you'd get one-axis stabilization only.  They need to be firmly attached to the camera or its support system.  Once I'd used them, I specified them for all future shoots.   Film camera lenses had no stabilization in those days and the gyros really do work, in spite of their complexity, weight, install time and rental cost.



Quote
I notice the one in your URL mentions 115V 400Hz for runup.  I wonder if you can run it up on the battery as well.

Aircraft electrical systems are usually 400 Hz.  Since they were primarily designed for aerial shooting the Ken-Lab gyros conform to this spec.  The power supply may be smaller now, but when I was using them a few years ago, the power supply was substantial. It was a 10" cube and weighed probably 10 lbs.  I imagine that the power supply for land use would conform to normal battery voltages like 12VDC.  Contact Ken-Lab for more info on this.

They do take a while to get up to speed.  A few minutes.

 
Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 12:23:01 PM »
ReplyReply

Now I'm glad I kept those old hard drives.  Be sure to check the multiple axis version.  No promises.  Geeks rule.

http://www.mikesenese.com/DOIT/2009/09/build-your-own-camera-gyro-stabilizer-with-a-spare-hard-drive/
Logged
Colorado David
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 585



« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 07:53:21 PM »
ReplyReply

I had one that I purchased from Boeing Surplus Sales.  It has since been stolen, but it was great while I had it.  I would spin it up using 120V AC and then put it on the battery power.  It takes a while to spin up.  I wish I still had it.
Logged

Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 09:53:56 PM »
ReplyReply

I've used a KS-4 for aerial shoots and some industrial shoots where a tripod would be practical or advisable. You have to let them spin up to speed and then move them very, very slowly. After you switch it off it takes a while to spin down as well. They need to be handled with delicacy  or you can damage the gyros.  You lightly cradle the KS-4 "egg" in your palm but do not grip it as it needs to move freely. 
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 11:08:48 PM »
ReplyReply

then move them very, very slowly

does this mean it is difficult to walk around with one without having to nurse it like a baby?
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 12:10:39 AM by lowep » Logged
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2013, 03:01:30 AM »
ReplyReply

I have 2 ks6, 2 ks 8, and one ks12. I dont think one ks4 on a mf setup will give you enough stabilisation.
I would go for 2 ks6's mounted at 90degrees to each other (or Kenlabs new system which has this built in) or one ks8 mounted along the lens axis.
I used a KS8 mounted below a camera in the days of film for night aerials and I would get decent results providing I shot enough.
You might actually get better results with a DSLR, higher iso and a gyro depending on what it is you are after .
You could hire the Tyler portable system.

Kevin.
Logged

Kevin.
Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 02:55:30 PM »
ReplyReply

then move them very, very slowly

does this mean it is difficult to walk around with one without having to nurse it like a baby?
I would nopt advise running with one. You just have to be careful and move it slowly.

Having used a KS-4 on a Pentax 67, one is fine.
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 05:32:13 PM »
ReplyReply

A Contax, low light and long lens will need more than a KS4, I'm not sure a Gyro on camera handheld will give you 1 sec exposure capability. Yes they do make a noise. You want the rig balanced and to float free if you can for maximum effect. A light touch is better than a vice like grip.
What exactly do you want to achieve?
Logged

Kevin.
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 10:49:38 PM »
ReplyReply

wildlife from a stationary vehicle

streetscapes with a long lens

high IQ
Logged
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2013, 07:44:08 AM »
ReplyReply

wildlife from a stationary vehicle

streetscapes with a long lens

high IQ

I can see where you are coming from.
I think you are creating a lot of problems, rent some gyros first. I still think you will get better overall quality from a Nikon or Canon in low light.

A ks 4 if you are handholding is not going to put up much resistance to your input, if in a vehicle you could rig up a bungee cord to hang the rig from that would help. The more you can let the gyro get on with it the better. Suspended would leave you to use finger tips and easier to use something like the heavier ks 8 or a pair of ks 6's. Mount the camera on a sliding plate so you can balance it with different lenses.
I've spent many 's building rigs for video to use in helicopters and a good 18months building the rigs. I've reached a design that is a good compromise for my needs. On the ground it's a hundred times easier, stationery easier still. A bungee to hang it all from or one stretched across an open window to rest the rig on will do a good job for you, the better balanced it is the more effect the gyro can have.

Kevin.
Logged

Kevin.
Lightbox
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 118


WWW
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2013, 06:53:05 AM »
ReplyReply

Some good info in this thread, so if I wanted to mount a camera at and above the rear end of a boat to do some filming of the boat in motion in calm to moderate seas, would a twin axis KS-6 setup be decent enough for a small DLSR setup? Failing that would it hold a GoPro in decent stead?

I'm looking at stepping up the documentary of my personal trips on my boat and understand the benefits of a gyro setup, just not sure exactly what gear I'd need...
Logged

Ellis Vener
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1766



WWW
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2013, 09:20:36 AM »
ReplyReply

Some good info in this thread, so if I wanted to mount a camera at and above the rear end of a boat to do some filming of the boat in motion in calm to moderate seas, would a twin axis KS-6 setup be decent enough for a small DLSR setup? Failing that would it hold a GoPro in decent stead?

I'm looking at stepping up the documentary of my personal trips on my boat and understand the benefits of a gyro setup, just not sure exactly what gear I'd need...

Unless your mount  is a free moving (ideally a set of three gimbals, one mounted on the other with pivot axes at right angles to each other (orthogonal) sys tem I wouldn't use  KenLab gyros for this. Go with GoPro or one of the smaller Steadicam (http://www.steadicam.com/) stabilization systems. What is the mass and size  of the camera/lens you intend to mount?
Logged

Ellis Vener
http://www.ellisvener.com
Creating photographs for advertising, corporate and industrial clients since 1984.
Lightbox
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 118


WWW
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2013, 07:41:52 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks Ellis, probably more inclined to build a setup for the GoPro otherwise the camera would be 5DMKII and Zeiss 35mm lens. Is it simply a matter of building/buying a two axis "cage" for the camera like the use to hang cameras below RC Helis? With the GoPro shooting at a wider angle could I use a gyro that has a slower response time ie. KS-4?
Logged

KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 10:34:44 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks Ellis, probably more inclined to build a setup for the GoPro otherwise the camera would be 5DMKII and Zeiss 35mm lens. Is it simply a matter of building/buying a two axis "cage" for the camera like the use to hang cameras below RC Helis? With the GoPro shooting at a wider angle could I use a gyro that has a slower response time ie. KS-4?
The best thing around at the moment is the Zenmuse, it's designed for the remote 'copter. But used built into a rig (i've seen the results) the results are silky smooth, Cineflex smooth. You need to use the prescribed cameras with it, all because of the balance.
Sony do a  camcorder with I believe very good optical stabilisation, that plus gyro's, plus something like After Effects warp stabiliser, will most likely do the trick. Building gimbal systems that you can balance and use in confined spaces, take out vibration can drive you bonkers.
Zenmues http://www.dji-innovations.com/products/zenmuse-z15/overview/
I think Kenlabs new double axis devices could work well.
I've had success with a metal bar a gyro at each end and the camera mounted balanced in the middle, a bungee cord from the centre looped around my neck. Not something you would want to do for hours on end, but helps a lot with stability plus given you freedom to shoot at just about any angle. You will need another screen to view.

Kevin.
Logged

Kevin.
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 10:42:13 AM »
ReplyReply

The best thing around at the moment is the Zenmuse, it's designed for the remote 'copter. But used built into a rig (i've seen the results) the results are silky smooth, Cineflex smooth. You need to use the prescribed cameras with it, all because of the balance.
Sony do a  camcorder with I believe very good optical stabilisation, that plus gyro's, plus something like After Effects warp stabiliser, will most likely do the trick. Building gimbal systems that you can balance and use in confined spaces, take out vibration can drive you bonkers.
Zenmues http://www.dji-innovations.com/products/zenmuse-z15/overview/
I think Kenlabs new double axis devices could work well.
I've had success with a metal bar a gyro at each end and the camera mounted balanced in the middle, a bungee cord from the centre looped around my neck. Not something you would want to do for hours on end, but helps a lot with stability plus given you freedom to shoot at just about any angle. You will need another screen to view.

Kevin.
Also if you mount gyros under your camera in a rig and it's bottom heavy when you move it will tilt and when you slow down it will come back to upright. Constant speed changes will cause it to pendulum. It's all about balance.
Providing you are not after great long sequences from the back of the boat. A go pro would do fine if you select the good bits. Vibration most likely will be the biggest curse, other movement software can work well to reduce. Vibration will kill it beyond recovery.
Logged

Kevin.
lowep
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 415


WWW
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 03:57:26 PM »
ReplyReply

I've had success with a metal bar a gyro at each end and the camera mounted balanced in the middle, a bungee cord from the centre looped around my neck

ouch, there goes the neighborhood...
Logged
KevinA
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 898


WWW
« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2013, 04:51:18 AM »
ReplyReply

I've had success with a metal bar a gyro at each end and the camera mounted balanced in the middle, a bungee cord from the centre looped around my neck

ouch, there goes the neighborhood...

Ho ho :-), it works quite well, I've also developed a mount for it.
When around the neck you have it under the arm, less of an ouch!
Logged

Kevin.
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad