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Author Topic: Camera sound blimp  (Read 1930 times)
BernardLanguillier
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« on: March 31, 2014, 08:17:36 PM »
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Team,

I am looking for a way to completely silence my D800 + a variety of lenses.

I have found references to the Aquatech blimp. I was wondering:
- whether someone had experience with this product?
- whether there are some superior alternatives.

Effectiveness and ease of use are more important than price.

Thank you.

Cheers,
Bernard
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bill t.
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 09:41:29 PM »
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I'll be the guy who says "underwater housings" for about $2000.  At least that gives you something over which you can wrap blankets if you need more isolation.

And I see Aquatech has some sound blimps, although it looks to me like the underwater version give you better access to controls.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=996762&gclid=CNugn7mivr0CFVKFfgodFGkApQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details
« Last Edit: March 31, 2014, 09:45:37 PM by bill t. » Logged
rmastro
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 09:47:16 PM »
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I use the aquatech blimp on a D4 and it is silent enough to use in a small chamber concert hall with patrons sitting right next to you. I have a lens barrel for to 70-200 and the 24-70. It is not possible to change lenses during a concert. You'll need to make sure your controls are set before you start shooting. Once you're locked in you won't be able to change anything until the end of the concert. I do use fabric mufflers in larger halls and they are only good during loud segments, but I can use longer lenses and change lenses and settings as often as I want.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 09:50:50 PM »
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I use the aquatech blimp on a D4 and it is silent enough to use in a small chamber concert hall with patrons sitting right next to you. I have a lens barrel for to 70-200 and the 24-70. It is not possible to change lenses during a concert. You'll need to make sure your controls are set before you start shooting. Once you're locked in you won't be able to change anything until the end of the concert. I do use fabric mufflers in larger halls and they are only good during loud segments, but I can use longer lenses and change lenses and settings as often as I want.

Thanks, would you have links to the fabric mufflers you are using? I would probably need to use a 300mm f2.8 for some parts of my project, where I'll obviously be farther away from the subject, and mufflers may be enough.

Thank you in advance.

Cheers,
Bernard
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 09:51:35 PM »
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I'll be the guy who says "underwater housings" for about $2000.  At least that gives you something over which you can wrap blankets if you need more isolation.

And I see Aquatech has some sound blimps, although it looks to me like the underwater version give you better access to controls.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=996762&gclid=CNugn7mivr0CFVKFfgodFGkApQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details

Yep, control seems to be better with the under water housings, but do we know to what extend they reduce sound as effectively?

Cheers,
Bernard
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rmastro
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 10:00:06 PM »
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I have a variety of soft blimps that slip over the camera. The only one that is still on the market is the camera muzzle

http://www.adorama.com/CZM.html



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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 10:12:52 PM »
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I have a variety of soft blimps that slip over the camera. The only one that is still on the market is the camera muzzle

http://www.adorama.com/CZM.html

Thanks a lot!

Cheers,
Bernard
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bill t.
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« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 10:27:16 PM »
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How quiet do you have to be? And what will you shoot?  Have seen a lot of point & shoots on set in the last few years, paint that flash port black!

This'll make you look like F-stop Fitzgerald in the 80's:  http://www.dantabar.com/diy-sound-blimp-assembly/

Just turn that dial to "Auto" and cross you fingers.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 11:39:41 PM »
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How quiet do you have to be? And what will you shoot?  Have seen a lot of point & shoots on set in the last few years, paint that flash port black!

It is a mix of Japanese disciplines where very quiet is mandatory. But for some images, I would be pretty far, so a muzzle may be fine.

This'll make you look like F-stop Fitzgerald in the 80's:  http://www.dantabar.com/diy-sound-blimp-assembly/

Just turn that dial to "Auto" and cross you fingers.

Hum... yes I have seen that... find it a tiny bit bulky! Wink

Cheers,
Bernard
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 11:56:37 PM »
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There are two main movie set sound blimp cases to my knowledge, the Aquatech and the original Jacobson Blimp

http://www.soundblimp.com/

I have an older model...  I would show you but it won't let me share links or upload images from tapatalk (how I access the forum) Sad

They both essentially function the same and cost the same.

Jacobson has been at it for like 50 years and Aquatech only started coming into the market a few years ago. I hear mixed reviews and I've seen a lot of people go back to Jacobson  because the Aquatech had some issues where buttons wouldn't line up.

It's essentially a box and some foam and a cable release...

You can do it yourself for a few bucks with some foam, cardboard tubes, and a pelican case.... And lots of time and testing... Or you can spend the money.

Hope that was helpful to some degree.
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Petrus
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2014, 12:05:56 AM »
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I have shot in concerts with my D4/D800e simply wrapped in a heavy, black Mountain Hardwear fleece jacket. Not the fluffy kind, but sheepskin bomber jacket heavy sort.
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 12:08:16 AM »
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I have shot in concerts with my D4/D800e simply wrapped in a heavy, black Mountain Hardwear fleece jacket. Not the fluffy kind, but sheepskin bomber jacket heavy sort.

Concerts are very different from meditation rooms...
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Petrus
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 02:13:26 AM »
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How about Fujifilm X100s then...
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 02:35:42 AM »
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How about Fujifilm X100s then...

Even the rangefinder click could be heard if it's the kind of place like where monks are meditating or something. The sound blimp can be heard SLIGHTLY, but is very very toned down and the sound doesn't travel far.

You really need a dedicated blimp for some set work.
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Petrus
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2014, 02:43:26 AM »
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Even the rangefinder click could be heard if it's the kind of place like where monks are meditating or something.

Leaf shutter in X100s is so quiet that even the photographer has trouble hearing it. It actually has an artificial shutter click (which can be turned off).
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StoneNYC
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« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2014, 03:27:31 AM »
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Leaf shutter in X100s is so quiet that even the photographer has trouble hearing it. It actually has an artificial shutter click (which can be turned off).

I had to look it up, are there other lenses available for it?

It's a very nice prosumer camera but I wouldn't use it for any professional shoots personally. Especially if it only has that one focal length it would be hard to satisfy the demands of a serious shoot.

But yes I can see it being very quiet.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2014, 03:40:12 AM »
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Thanks for all the inputs.

I already have a Nikon V2 that is 100% silent like in zero noise whatsoever, but the image quality is not at the right level for the application I am considering.

Cheers,
Bernard
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Petrus
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« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 03:43:24 AM »
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I had to look it up, are there other lenses available for it?

It's a very nice prosumer camera but I wouldn't use it for any professional shoots personally. Especially if it only has that one focal length it would be hard to satisfy the demands of a serious shoot.

But yes I can see it being very quiet.

Fixed lens, only attachments. So it is quite limited, right. But when a mid-wide WA is needed for reportage style stuff it is quite perfect.

Prosumer or not, picture quality is stellar. On par with Canon EOS-5D mk2, but more DR and better high ISO.

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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 09:33:02 AM »
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"I have a variety of soft blimps that slip over the camera. The only one that is still on the market is the camera muzzle"

I used to have a camera muzzle: even with rags stuff in it it did a lousy job of muffling camera noise and was unsuitable for photographing in situations ( movie sets, concert halls, courtrooms, etc.) where the still camera needed to actually be silent. I ended up throwing it away. For  situations where a still camera needs to be made as quiet as possible  use the Jacobson Sound Blimp instead: http://www.soundblimp.com/

I have also seen people build their own camera blimps out of a small Pelican case and make their own lens tubes. A surprising amount of  an SLR type camera's mirror and shutter noise   is transmitted through the front of the lens.
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 11:03:24 AM »
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Yep, control seems to be better with the under water housings, but do we know to what [extent] they reduce sound as effectively?

I have successfully used Aquatica aluminum housings for concert photography. These are heavy housings -- at least they're heavy when they're not submerged -- which is why they are pretty good at dampening the sound of the camera's shutter. They're not 100% effective; with a Nikon D3, you hear a low-frequency clunk when you release the shutter, and you can feel the housing tremble in your hands. Substantially all of the high-frequency -- say, above 1 KHz -- acoustic energy is absorbed.

With the right selection of lens ports, you can use lenses up to the 200mm Nikon Macro, but you can't use the 200mm f/2. Although you want to use dome ports for wide-angle lenses underwater, you want flat ports for all lenses on the surface. Manual focus is available with the right focusing ring and gear extender, but the fitting gets fiddly with the 200mm lens since the gear extender has to be so long. Some ports that are perfectly usable underwater are not good enough for use on the surface; small pits and scrapes on the outside of the port are filled in with water and don't cause problems when you're down, but do when you're up.

Because you want to use flat ports all the time and the people who build the housings think that you'll be using dome ports for wide lenses, you'll find that wide lenses are vignetted by the port. There's no much you can do about that without machining a new port. The wider the port, the better; the Aquatica housings that I used had four-inch ports.

A camera housed this way is too heavy to handhold for any length of time; you'll need a monopod at a minimum.

You will be able to access most controls with a housing designed for your particular camera. If you try to use one that was designed for another model, some things probably won't work. You can get housings that let you access both the focusing and zoom rings.

Good luck!

Jim
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 11:05:01 AM by Jim Kasson » Logged

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