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Everything posted by PharmerPhil

  1. I would ask the DZ you are at for their blessing, and plan on cutting them in on the profit. Most places of business don't let other people just walk around making money on their customers without prior arrangement (and a piece of the pie). And for good reason. It is their overhead, their advertising, their liability, and their customers you are making money off of. Make a plan that cuts them in and present it to them first or you could find yourself unwelcome at "your" own DZ. And ditto to everything Lazlo said. Don't let someone effectively buy unlimited rights to your shot for $20. BTW, I've bought two photos of myself from Lazlo while I am working video.
  2. I just replaced my TRV-38 camcorder with a Sony HVR-A1U. I had to replace my old camcorder anyway (it was worn out), and I can't imagine getting a new cam that isn't at least HDV. The reality is that I will down-convert to SD for tandem work. This is both because SD is the standard at my home DZ, and because there really isn't a viable mass-market medium for HD delivery (yet). But in the meantime I will be archiving HDV footage, and why buy a new camcorder that is on a downward slope technology-wise?
  3. I dunno. Personally, I think most boxes from whatever manufacterer are over-rated and a waste of time (and money and space). With the exception of side-mount cameras (I haven't seen a side-mount flash mount yet, but I do use a bonehead box for my old PC-1 on my NvertigoX), I think you are just better off mounting top-mount stuff without boxes. I've never had any damage to a properly mounted top-mount camera from riser slap or whatever. And personally, I prefer to be able to have full access to all the controls on my camera stuff (Settings, LCD, auto/manual focus, etc.). I also can't imagine jumping camera without being your own one-man machine shop. Even if you get custom boxes, you still have to mount them to your helmet, so when I mount anything new, I always end up making something custom. With my flat-top style helmet (prototype Vapor), there is plenty of space. I made an aluminum L-bracket for my flash next to my video camera that attaches using a standard 1/4-20 screw. I'll try to post photos some day, but it is really pretty simple.
  4. It is probably better (and less agravating) to bring it to someone who has decent soldering chops. Like maybe Jim (lots of computer geeks can solder)? Or bring it to safety day in Pepperell and I'll do it for you...
  5. There are lots of differences, and as Icon said, the 10D is several years old. However, one thing that may not show up in the review is that the 10D isn't compatible with Canon's EF-S, or APS sensor sized lenses. It was developed before they came out (I think they were introduced with the original Digital Rebel), so you can't use the 10D with the cheap 18-55mm kit lens, or the highly touted 10-22mm lens. I think the 10D has a much smaller buffer too (i.e. shorter burst mode), but the dpreview site gives pretty comprehensive reviews for stuff like that if you can wade through them.
  6. I'm still old school, using CDs with my playlists burned to them for most vids. But a guy I work with uses his iPod and swear by it. I don't have an iPod, but I do have my Powerbook hooked up to my system so I can access to my whole iTunes library when I need to. Plus, if a customer brings their own CD and really wants to use it a song on their video, I rip it to my PB first so I can mix it with other songs on my system without having to do a CD swap.
  7. Yeah you CAN do this, but you have to crop so much you lose the advantage of using a 15mm in the first place. That's one reason I like my 17mm Tokina (which I believe is available for Nikon as well). And last I knew it was a little over $00 which is cheaper than the 15mm Canon. I have heard good things about the 10-22mm and would love to try it in the air. I used one for a week, but it wasn't for skydiving. With my current set-up, I have to worry about too long a lens also. To keep it out of the frame of the video, I would have to move my video camera forward, and that seems to amplify my openings. This original post was questioning Canon vs. Nikon. And I believe there are some nice, small 14mm or 16mm lenses available from Nikon. If it is just for skydiving, that may be reason enough to go the Nkon route. The glass you use is more important than the body anyway. And ditto on the Rebel 2000. I have one with a 24mm f2.8 Canon that I use on most of my tandems. Great glass and a light body.
  8. Personally, I use the Canon 15mm fisheye (a little more money than the Sigma, but a great lens with slightly less weight) or a Tokina 17mm non-fisheye (great lens, but kinda heavy). I hate using fisheye all the time, it is kinda like lots of echo-effect all your songs. If you are shooting RW from above, the fisheye effect isn't as annoying because there aren't many straight lines to get messed with, but if you are on level (like filming a tandem) it gets pretty obnoxious (horizon gets bent if it's not right in the middle). Like any effect, it is best used rarely if at all. I'm sure I'll catch hell for saying that, but that's how I (and most non-skydivers) feel. As far as filters, I am guessing you are referring to filters for lens protection like a UV or haze filter. Unfortunately, they don't fit on the Canon or Sigma 15mm lenses because of the extreme curvature to the front element. If you are using a cheap kit lens (18-55mm), it is comparatively expensive insurance for a fairly cheap lens. Any of my more expensive lenses have UV filters on them though. $20 is a chea way to protect a $600-1200 lens. Other filters aren't that useful for skydiving IMHO. You can achieve the same effect as colored lenses (warming, etc.) in the computer. And the Polarized or graduated ND lenses that would normally be helpful need to be rotated precisely which precludes their use in freefall. Just my too sense...
  9. Aw hell,...I'll bite. Camera flyers love getting their picture taken. Here's one from last year. The story's pretty good. Some NY TV show called "Ultimate Road Trip" (the YES network?) sends these Yankees fans to different games, but they have to meet some sort of challenge to get the tickets. These guys really didn't know they were going skydiving until they turned down the driveway at Skydive Pepperell. And of course, being a bunch of Red Sox fans, we informed them how much the Yankees suck. We put up two camera flyers on a couple of them to get more footage for their show. Here I'm videoing KJ (who almost chickened out) and giving him the finger while my buddy Keith Murray takes him on a tandem. Photo taken by Bill Purdin.
  10. I looked at a photo of the new one (394) on B&H, and I think you are right. That looks like an improvement. I had the older version; the one without the bubble levels, and its button pushed straight in. I could never get those bubbles level in freefall anyway...
  11. Both times were whacker openings. I'm reasonably sure the riser struck the lever. The geometry of that lever is such that the same direction of force that depresses the level is the direction that pushes the lever to the side to release it. There was no way that that lever didn't stick out some direction (side or front) on my helmet. Maybe it would be different with another helmet. I did keep my Bogen on my freefly helmet for a while. I retrieved both cameras (one film, one DSLR), and nothing was broken on the plate, and all screws were secure. My hook-up procedures include a double check of the mechanism latching. (That is one thing I did like about the Bogen is that you knew it was latched.) But the Stroboframe is smaller, slightly shorter, and completely covered by a normal SLR so it you have to stick your finger under the camera to release it making an accidental release unlikely (I think it is lighter as well, but I'm not sure on that one). Well over a thousand jumps with my current Stroboframe without a problem.
  12. I have used the predecessor to this bracket on a couple of helmets. As I recall, there is one tripod screw hole (1/4-20) that is in the center that goes all the way through. I drilled and tapped my own secondary holes to keep it from rotating as well. I don't recall if there were other holes stock though. If you have taps, it is soft metal that tool well. It is a well-built bracket, but I don't recommend it for skydiving. I did lose two cameras using this bracket though. Real sick feeling watching your SLR bounce off your foot on opening. So I now use the Stroboframe bracket on my main (Vapor) camera helmet. I dug up an old photo that kinda shows how I used to mount it.
  13. Well, you did ask for advice. My first advice would be to re-read what you just wrote very carefuly. To say you "hope something plays in your favor" is a pretty cavalier way to address emergency situations. Particularly with multiple new things to deal with (new to skydiving, new to camera flying, a new helmet set-up). Others have mentioned (repeatedly) that you have a set-up that has snag points on it. Dragging a line over your helmet is good advice, but it doesn't guarantee that your helmet and lines can't tangle (make a simple loop over your lens and you could pick your whole helmet assembly up. What if your head is still in the helmet?) YOU NEED A PLAN TO DEAL WITH THIS!!! It is just like any other emergency procedure. You have a plan, and you practice the plan. Can you take your helmet off in a hurry? If you can't, I'd leave it on the ground. It may suck to throw a couple thousand dollars worth of equipment away, but it sucks worse to die. I do not have a cutaway system on my camera helmet, but I do practice releasing it and jettisoning it every day I jump. Here is my abbreviated emergency procedure: 1. Cutaway. 2. Look and/or sweep over my head to ensure nothing is attached. 3. If something is attached, release the helmet. 4. Pull my reserve ripcord. Note that there are two additional steps, and that these things take more time than a non-camera person's emergency procedures. This is one reason camera flyers often open higher. Note also that they require that you do not have an RSL connected. PLEASE, for your sake and the sake of our sport, you must have a plan, and you must practice it. People have died because of camera entanglements. My too sense. P.S. Hot glue can work well to fill in depressions and snag points.
  14. I had a 15mm fixed lens on my camera, so the plane didn't look as close as it was ('obects in mirror are closer..."). But several people had point-and-shoots on that load and were able to zoom in and good shots. I know Ian MacDonald got a much better shot. Don't know if he is online or not. P.S. Howard, I actually don't know where you live.