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jrouse

Putting together first Tandem video Helmet

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Hey guys just wondering if I could get some help on things I need for a good Video and stills set up. This is my first set up. I am going with a decent helmet, thinking Bone Head Narrow, and a Sony Handycam HDR-CX150 that I already had laying around. Wondering what additional things I need. So far I know I want and should have a ring site and controller cable for the Sony Camera. Also wondering do I need another lens for the camera as well. Is there a specific mount that I need to get for the camera for this particular Helmet? I haven't chosen a Still camera yet as I wanted some opinions from you experienced guys. I'm assuming I will also need a shutter controller with that as well which may be specific to the camera? Any and all information any of you could help me with would be greatly appreciated!
Lovin every second of it!

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First, I'd suggest re-thinking the Narrow. FTP is a great helmet, but if you ever get the urge to jump professional camera gear, you'll not be able to use the Narrow. The whole point (IMO) of having a pro camera helmet is to be able to mount pro gear.

A Tonfly CC series is a great helmet for tandems. Lightweight, it'll hold a still and a small video camera, depending on the route you're planning on taking.

You'll want a .5 lens, and most of the lens adapters come with the 37mm ring adapter necessary to mount the lens to the camcorder.

All that said, go slowly. You'll assuredly make some mistakes along the way. I'd recommend taking your CX camera for now, jump with a bunch of 'spec' tandems to get the hang of what you're doing, and then make decisions. You'll be able to do this with any helmet for now. You can purchase the HypEye from gethypoxic.com, and install it on any helmet with gaff tape or drilling it in (I'd gaff for now).

You'll eventually decide whether you want a tongue, bite, or blow switch. I prefer tongue switches, many here prefer blow switches. Bite switches are great if you get a good one, but they fail fairly fast if you're not taking care. Blow switches get fouled from spit. Tongue switches have lasted longest for me, and give me the least amount of movement (for non-skydiving use). Talk to others, play with their switches, see what you feel seems best for you.

Ringsights are not necessary for tandems. They're necessary if you're doing professional work, and have a solid knowledge of focal lengths of your lens. The ringsight can come much later in your skydiving career.

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My setup, with notes of what I would consider optional and not-

Flatop Pro
2 cookie flat lock mounts on top (optional)
1 Xshut front mount (optional)
2 hypeyes (1 optional)
Adapter for my olympus camera plug (not all stills need an adapter)
Bonehead L bracket for still cam with xshut (cut down to size and comes with the FTP)
Conceptus tongue switch
Ring Sight (cross)
Articulated mount (non removable and optional)
N3 audible (optional/use what you have)
Gopro mount (optional)

Edit to add- Bonehead cx150 box (optional)
Cookie cx150 box (optional)
Sony .8x lens and Centruy .55x

Cameras supported- 2 cx150's, olympus EPM1 (soon to be sony nex3), canon DSLR, gopro.

I agree with DSE; I might as well get a larger platform. It isn't that big of a difference for weight/flying size, but can give you a lot more options as you grow and try new things.

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DSE



Ringsights are not necessary for tandems. They're necessary if you're doing professional work, and have a solid knowledge of focal lengths of your lens. The ringsight can come much later in your skydiving career.



If you do have a ringsight, having it installed and lined up correctly is as much, if not more important than just having one. I have seen some really goofy (bad....) installations and setups that probably do more harm than good.

While you don't have to have one, I do think it helps. Some people have a hard time really understanding what looking straight forward, and on the same parallel line of the camera lens is. Being off 15-30 degrees on what you think is straight forward and where the cameras are pointing isn't unusual. having a site can help make sure you are putting your helmet on consistently and accurately every time, and help make sure you are looking on a parallel line with the cameras. As you become more advanced and comfortable you can start to use it for distance/range finding and framing. So...not a must have...but can really help you out and start with good habits.

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I submit that for the extreme wide angle lenses that most tandem photographers use, a paper asshole or marking on the goggles is just as effective. If I'm shooting a 35mm, 50mm, or 85mm lens, a ringsight is critical.
However, everyone has their own thing; I'm just not a believer in ringsights for tandems.

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Thanks for the input guys! I ended up going with a used Rawa helmet that a friend of mine had set up and was using for tandems. Has a mount for the Sony CX150 and a GoPro for stills. Came with the Sony, the GoPro, the Hypeye, and the lens DSE was recommending for the Sony. Also came with 4 memory cards for the Camera and GoPro. I know this isn't the set up for pro use but for now it gives me a platform to start practicing shooting video. And the fact that I got all of that for the price I would have paid for just the new Bone head helmet itself helped me in making the decision. Im sure once I get some experience I'll want to move up to a larger platform and start shooting with better still camera's and equipment. Thanks again!
Lovin every second of it!

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Blow switches get fouled from spit.



Nope, in my 8000+ jumps about half are video and all with blow switch and never this issue.

The only reason I have an ultimate switch now and not the old blow switch that I got second hand that already had 1000's of jumps on it, is that I sold my flat top helmet with it mounted in.

Who has had a fouled up blow switch? I have never heard of it.

And OP, get an ultimate switch, it will most likely be the last one you will buy.

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I'm just not a believer in ringsights for tandems



I am, the guys that are too good to use them often drop the frame, a dot on the goggles does suffice but is a pain in the ass under canopy.

A removable schumaker (spelling?) and an inexpensive ring site is the best. as you can get the thing out of your face for a safer canopy flight.

My ring sight is very basic, cost me a box of beer for a local engineer to make.

I feel the ring sight is most useful in the door and during the exit phase. a dot on your goggles can be too close to your eye to be accurate enough.

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cryptocoin

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Blow switches get fouled from spit.



Nope, in my 8000+ jumps about half are video and all with blow switch and never this issue.

The only reason I have an ultimate switch now and not the old blow switch that I got second hand that already had 1000's of jumps on it, is that I sold my flat top helmet with it mounted in.

Who has had a fouled up blow switch? I have never heard of it.

And OP, get an ultimate switch, it will most likely be the last one you will buy.

Quote

I'm just not a believer in ringsights for tandems



I am, the guys that are too good to use them often drop the frame, a dot on the goggles does suffice but is a pain in the ass under canopy.

A removable schumaker (spelling?) and an inexpensive ring site is the best. as you can get the thing out of your face for a safer canopy flight.

My ring sight is very basic, cost me a box of beer for a local engineer to make.

I feel the ring sight is most useful in the door and during the exit phase. a dot on your goggles can be too close to your eye to be accurate enough.



So to clarify your points:
You've never once maintained your blow switch? Never cleaned it, never taken it apart? That would be shockingly difficult to believe.

As far as ringsights, you don't shoot with very wide FOV then? I'd guess you're shooting a .5 on a standard 38mm FOV camera, such as a CX.
I do use a ringsight, and explained why. It has nothing to do with "being too good to use one" but rather using tools necessary for the job.

Bottom line is that if someone needs a ringsight for a 180 degree lens, then they suck at what they're doing.

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You've never once maintained your blow switch? Never cleaned it, never taken it apart? That would be shockingly difficult to believe.



well you had better believe it.

I have cleaned it once, not due to any sort of fault but just for hygiene reasons when i let someone else use it for a bit because their (relativity new) tongue switch fucked out.

My previous blow switch (the spa pool type) had many thousands of jumps, no problems. I put like 3000 jumps on it and it as used with a few thousand when I got it. They are simply the best. No metal fatigue to worry about like with bite and tongue switch.

The only thing I have ever done to either of my blow switches was increase the sensitivity with the small sensitivity adjuster screw (ultimate switch) when it was quite new as it was not sensitive enough for my liking. I must have over 1000 on my ultimate switch now.

If you are concerned about spit, you can turn the sensitivity right up and put an eye dropper thingy on the end and use it as a tongue or bite switch...

I use a CX760 with BOSS and no lens, only a UV filter. I like to frame nicely so I use ring sight. Those that do not seem to drop the frame more often, just an observation not a stab at you. Those guys more often than not seem to have the opinion that they don't need one...

They are good insurance for everyone, if you care about your product that is. If you have a dot on your goggles or sunnies, then if they move you are out of frame...

If anyone uses a 180 degree lens for outside skydiving footage in any place with any sort of scenery, then they suck and are ripping their customers off.

Just saying..

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If anyone uses a 180 degree lens for outside skydiving footage in any place with any sort of scenery, then they suck and are ripping their customers off



That seems like an odd statement. Wouldn't a lens with a wider FOV offer more of the 'scenery', more of the time as opposed to a narrower lens?

Beyond that, how does the FOV of the lens relate to the 'suckiness' of the camera flyer? As long as their framing is good, what difference does the FOV make?

Truth be told, there are quite a few aircraft or step/handle configurations that do not allow good pictures in the door prior to exit without a wide angle lens. Sure, if you have an Otter with a large step and camera rail, you can climb way back and be able to frame them up nice in the door without a wide angle lens. but short of that a wide angle lens offers you a more complete FOV in the door, and like I mentioned above, provided you adjust your flying to the lens and your framing is good, what difference does it make?

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davelepka

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If anyone uses a 180 degree lens for outside skydiving footage in any place with any sort of scenery, then they suck and are ripping their customers off



That seems like an odd statement. Wouldn't a lens with a wider FOV offer more of the 'scenery', more of the time as opposed to a narrower lens?

Beyond that, how does the FOV of the lens relate to the 'suckiness' of the camera flyer? As long as their framing is good, what difference does the FOV make?

Truth be told, there are quite a few aircraft or step/handle configurations that do not allow good pictures in the door prior to exit without a wide angle lens. Sure, if you have an Otter with a large step and camera rail, you can climb way back and be able to frame them up nice in the door without a wide angle lens. but short of that a wide angle lens offers you a more complete FOV in the door, and like I mentioned above, provided you adjust your flying to the lens and your framing is good, what difference does it make?



I don't think a 180 degree lens has much to say about the "suckiness of the camera flyer" but rather, if someone can't frame relatively well with a 180 degree lens...then yes, they suck. That's not the lens' fault.:P That said, I don't believe a ringsight is at all necessary with a 180 lens, and if it's not necessary, it's an unnecessary risk.

Cryptocoin is flying a CX series with no lens adapter, and that speaks highly of his skill as a flyer, no doubt, and a ringsight would be very important/useful. And well beyond the skill of newer skydivers/camera flyers.

*most* people today (it seems) are going for the cheap POV camera, most of which are 170 and 180 degree views, so to stay on track; *my opinion* is that a ringsight is not at all necessary for these types of camera setups. And if it's not necessary, it likely shouldn't be on the helmet.

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That seems like an odd statement. Wouldn't a lens with a wider FOV offer more of the 'scenery', more of the time as opposed to a narrower lens?



Quality over quantity, a 170 degree lens (go pro etc) is terrific for handcam and inside skydiving footage. easy to get the shot.

For outside, it is of my opinion that narrower is better.

The scenery does not seem so far away and is more crisp and less distorted. I use a sigma 15mm with the CX760 and the CX is only marginally narrower. I would prefer to use my 10-20 sigma as it distorts less and I could match the width better but we all use the same stills lenses.

I am not photography expert. But I know good framing in skydiving videos, those without ring sights more often have poor framing.

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