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post #451 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
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"Reasonable price" is the important term. Pro gear is always outrageously expensive. If pros need the feature, they'll pay for it, whether it's expensive or cheap for the manufacturers to implement it. What bugs me so much is the practice of crippling consumer gear that's fully capable of doing more, so that they can charge to "unlock" the pro features at a much higher cost. I understand why they do it, and it's not illegal. That doesn't make it any less frustrating.

But things are getting better. I learned recently that one of our local stations acquired new HD studio cameras that cost less than $8,000 each. If pro studio cameras had been available just a few short years ago at a price like that, my school wouldn't have had to settle for an SD upgrade to its TV studio.

The great thing is that we have people like you, Frank, who like to invent. I hope you're able to come up with a solution for the problem. It has the potential to save someone like me a lot of time and irritation having to make such adjustments manually. You might not make a ton of money with the invention, unless you sell it to a pro company and sit back while they deal with manufacturing and customer support issues that I doubt you'd want any part of.

And that's part of the understandable reason that pro gear can cost so much more. There's not a huge market for something like this outside the pro community. You don't often hear someone say, "Honey, while you're at Target today, would you pick up some milk, AAA batteries and a push button, automatic camera leveler. And make sure it'll support my 10 pound 3D rig. Love ya."
At this point in my life, I'm not particularly interested in getting back into the design and manufacturing business.
However, my friend and I are both very excited about this project.
He is already ordering one of these.
I will be building a heavy duty unit that will support my 3 foot long bench with up to six cameras on it.
I haven't located the servos I'm going to need as of yet but should be able to find some soon.
Hopefully I can do much of the work on my living room couch.
I can do computer aided design from my couch but it's getting more and more difficult because of my eyesight.
Hopefully I'll be able to do it from my theater chair soon if some company will produce a 3D projector that meets my minimum standards.
(checkerboard 3D mode support, in case you were wondering)

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post #452 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 11:34 AM
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Joe, Frank- I had planned on doing some extensive testing of filters, 26" I.A. and the new 701HDV out at my favorite dock along the river. But as my luck would have it the weather turned against me and we had very high winds for good shooting. I did get some shots of distance using 26" IA, UV filtering at full wide, medium telephoto and maximum telephoto. My shooting range was most forward object about 300 ft. and most distance was about 3 miles according to my map. I could not test my dual matching polarizing filters because with cloudy overcast there was no glare on the water to filter. I could not get very stable video because the wind gusting pretty bad gave the video a constant wobble. I'll see how well it syncs up. Calibration at full telephoto was achieved at 100 ft and at 1 mile. Not a problem. The UV haze filter did improve the contrast in the shot considerably.

Joe the 701HDV performed very well in the pans and tilts I did following a jetski about a mile away. Was pretty smooth although I did get ahead and behind a bit when he slowed down or speeded up. Still it was much better than the older 701 with friction head.

It will be a good test to see how bad things can get when the wind is whipping. Frank- how has your video performed when you had high winds on the lake? Did you have trouble keeping the sync with the camera image vibrating? I'm wondering if the tripod needs a center weight.

Joe- the tripod already has rubber feet. I believe Manfrotto sells flat pads and spikes as accessories but not sure they fit the little tripods we have. Let me know what they do for you.

Need to get this video dumped to the computer now to evaluate it on the Vizio.


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post #453 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 01:05 PM
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At this point in my life, I'm not particularly interested in getting back into the design and manufacturing business.
However, my friend and I are both very excited about this project.
He is already ordering one of these.
I will be building a heavy duty unit that will support my 3 foot long bench with up to six cameras on it.
I haven't located the servos I'm going to need as of yet but should be able to find some soon.
Hopefully I can do much of the work on my living room couch.
I can do computer aided design from my couch but it's getting more and more difficult because of my eyesight.
Hopefully I'll be able to do it from my theater chair soon if some company will produce a 3D projector that meets my minimum standards.
(checkerboard 3D mode support, in case you were wondering)
That's great, Frank. I can tell you that I'm very excited about the device. I don't know how much sweat dripped onto my camcorder this summer as I struggled to see the bubble level while adjusting tripod legs. It wasn't pretty.

There's nothing like a big screen. I'm typing right now with a 110" screen in front of me, ready to switch back to football when I'm finished with this note.

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post #454 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 01:11 PM
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Don,

I have an older Bogen with a fluid head that's actually smoother than the little Sony I use most of the time now. But it's heavier and it doesn't have a smooth crank. I'll still use the Sony on occasion for those micro-booms I've become so fond of. I discovered them by accident. One day I forgot to lock down the center column and the camcorder started descending on its own. I was surprised at how smooth it looked, and I've been using it ever since.

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post #455 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 01:44 PM
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If I had more use for it, I'd get a CobraCrane Jib. Best bang for the buck with small camcorders. I have an EZjib for the big cams. Looking to sell it.

I just paired my clips from today's shoot and the video is amazing. The IV filtering did the trick for those 1-3 mile full zoom shots. The 26" IA gets very nice separation even between 2-3 miles away. I'm ready to pack my bags for a trip to the Rocky Mountains. Since I can't test the jiggle until I render the jury is still out on the wind cam shake. I saw it in the monitor so that bothers me.

Hey Frank- I'm not having any trouble at all syncing the two TD10's using the clap board method. Will be easier to have the zoom sync working though. I'm getting along with doing it manually using the grid on screen. Is your guy still working on the Frank Lanc?


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post #456 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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That's great, Frank. I can tell you that I'm very excited about the device. I don't know how much sweat dripped onto my camcorder this summer as I struggled to see the bubble level while adjusting tripod legs. It wasn't pretty.

You are hereby invited to be a beta tester.
My associate is going to be out of town for a week but we'll be working hard on getting you one to test when he returns.

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post #457 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 03:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Frank- how has your video performed when you had high winds on the lake? Did you have trouble keeping the sync with the camera image vibrating? I'm wondering if the tripod needs a center weight.

I'm not sure if you're asking me about my success shooting from a tripod in gusty winds but if so, I don't have much trouble with it. Sync is never an issue.
When shooting hand held in gusty winds I have excellent results with my gyro stabilized rig.

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post #458 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey Frank- I'm not having any trouble at all syncing the two TD10's using the clap board method. Will be easier to have the zoom sync working though. I'm getting along with doing it manually using the grid on screen. Is your guy still working on the Frank Lanc?

The "Frank LANC" is currently being used for extensive testing. We are using it to create a timing database that hopefully will eventually be used to make it practical to start even dual SONY camcorders in sync.

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post #459 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 04:49 PM
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You are hereby invited to be a beta tester.
My associate is going to be out of town for a week but we'll be working hard on getting you one to test when he returns.

Fantastic!!!

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post #460 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 05:34 PM
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Here's the test results

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz2iaHqMZWQ


I'm pleased that the stereo worked even with the wind shaking the dock I was shooting from. Can't wait for a calm day to do another test. But this test tells me that with wide angle the shake wasn't too bad and with this strong gusting I was able to keep the left and right together enough to try some surfing video at the beach soon.
I'll be shooting from the pier at the beach too. It will shake in even less wind, from the surf, but I'll be shooting with under 1000 ft distance so the IA will be around 8" and zoom less than 50%.


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post #461 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the test results

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yz2iaHqMZWQ


I'm pleased that the stereo worked even with the wind shaking the dock I was shooting from. Can't wait for a calm day to do another test. But this test tells me that with wide angle the shake wasn't too bad and with this strong gusting I was able to keep the left and right together enough to try some surfing video at the beach soon.
I'll be shooting from the pier at the beach too. It will shake in even less wind, from the surf, but I'll be shooting with under 1000 ft distance so the IA will be around 8" and zoom less than 50%.

I find it hard to watch because it has too much negative parallax.
The deep background seems to have about zero parallax and I think it should have at least 4 or 5 percent. I bet if you re-rendered it with more positive parallax it would help a lot.
The shaking is pretty severe but it doesn't bother me near as much as the parallax.

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post #462 of 1097 Old 09-18-2011, 09:35 PM
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Yes, 26" IA is a very large stage depth. I can deal with most of it here and only find the scenes with some foreground objects in the 300 ft range a chore to keep in place. The jetski shots are easy on my eyes as those are a good 800 to 1000' and more away with nothing but water at the bottom of the screen in the negative region. The street and parking lot lights on the other side of the river have plenty of depth separation from the different buildings. Let me see if I can shift the scenes negative parallax back more.
When you shoot with large IA, what settings do you use that work for your vision comfort?


Here is one clip that I adjusted for you. I moved the scene back in space so that the foreground is at zero parallax and nothing negative. I also moved the title and set it's position at the screen plane ( zero parallax )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOrJVqSIprE


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post #463 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 05:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, 26" IA is a very large stage depth. I can deal with most of it here and only find the scenes with some foreground objects in the 300 ft range a chore to keep in place. The jetski shots are easy on my eyes as those are a good 800 to 1000' and more away with nothing but water at the bottom of the screen in the negative region. The street and parking lot lights on the other side of the river have plenty of depth separation from the different buildings. Let me see if I can shift the scenes negative parallax back more.
When you shoot with large IA, what settings do you use that work for your vision comfort?


Here is one clip that I adjusted for you. I moved the scene back in space so that the foreground is at zero parallax and nothing negative. I also moved the title and set it's position at the screen plane ( zero parallax )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOrJVqSIprE
The adjusted clilp helps but then there is way too much divergence in the distance. I would adjust the parallax so the most distant objects have a consistent divergence using the "rule" of not more then three inches on the largest screen.
Did you notice the large vertical disparity in the opening shot?
It appears that the cameras optical axis is not parallel throughout the zoom range.
By the way, I never use that large an IA unless I'm at full zoom otherwise there is too wide a range of parallax values.

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post #464 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 06:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Another advantage of tethering a laptop to the dual camcorder bench rig is the ability to view the 3D output in anaglyph. This makes it easy to see if the setup will produce too wide a range of parallax values. When it does, I just move the cameras closer together until it looks right. Minor corrections can then be easily done in Vegas for example.

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post #465 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 07:46 AM
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The adjusted clilp helps but then there is way too much divergence in the distance. I would adjust the parallax so the most distant objects have a consistent divergence using the "rule" of not more then three inches on the largest screen.
Did you notice the large vertical disparity in the opening shot?
It appears that the cameras optical axis is not parallel throughout the zoom range.
By the way, I never use that large an IA unless I'm at full zoom otherwise there is too wide a range of parallax values.
Thanks, Frank. The opening shot with the PIP insert and title CD. That could be. I stuck it on the front at the last minute and I see it was never run through auto correct in Vegas and the camcorder was at full wide. The clips shot at full telephoto were corrected.
I haven't rendered any of this out to view on my large screen yet. The full telephoto clips have about 3 inches of divergence at screen plane objects on my Vizio32".

In the special adjusted clip I did for you, the green bridge in the background looks fine to my eyes on the Vizio 32"

I agree with your final statement now that I ran the test. As rules go, there is a part of the formula that requires you to specify the final viewing screen size to determine the proper IA. In this experiment, I started with two givens, the IA was preset to 26" and the shooting scene was the river and buildings at distance except for some unintended foreground objects like the dock positioned closer than 300 ft. ( opening shot).

I'm thinking that since my viewing audience here will be on a screen size range between 32" and 110" I need to develop my own chart on what looks comfortable for those screens, then use the chart adding the objects distance range for the scene and get an IA to set the cameras up on the bench. Ultimately I hope to know before I travel to the mountains, what IA to use shooting across a valley at a mountain range in the distance.

The pros use the Stereographic analyzer to quickly determine the optimum IA AND included angle of the cams for the scene. I'm beginning to appreciate the need for this feedback but not the price. You have your system with the laptop. I'm thinking to save cost and weight/equipment complexity, I may need to shoot the scene I want with several IA to get a range to select the best clips in post.

Going to a smaller IA is a good thing if that improves these very large stage scenes. Makes one part of the kit easier to travel with.

I've added another scene to my shot list in Las Vegas that due to weather, I may be able to get on my January trip. It is a shot taken from the Stratosphere tower. That should also be a much smaller IA. I already have two other mountain top locations scouted out and shot in 2D. As I see what the wide IA can achieve, I keep adding new location challenges to my shot list. At this point I seem to be establishing the limits of the range that will work.


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post #466 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 07:49 AM
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I think it's hard to tell because of what YouTube does to video quality, but I'm still seeing a lot of cardboard cutout effect for much of the distant subject matter. Shots like the one with people casting a net have convincing depth and roundness, but in more distant shots buildings and boats and docks still go very flat for me. Is this an issue of adjusting the interaxial (and parallax) just right for the distance of the subject matter, or am I just seeing this differently?

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post #467 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 07:52 AM
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I didn't see your post, Don. We must have been composing at the same time. Sounds like you're working on getting the math down before your trip. Good luck. I'm looking forward to seeing your results.

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post #468 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 08:05 AM
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I didn't see your post, Don. We must have been composing at the same time. Sounds like you're working on getting the math down before your trip. Good luck. I'm looking forward to seeing your results.
Kind of, Joe, but math is not my goal here as you know. In fact it really doesn't enter into it other than reading it in the books to understand what the variables are. One thing I have learned about shooting to create this illusion is that the math is extremely complex with far too many variables that affect everything else. So, my goal is to find similar locations to my intended scenes and then shoot experimentally to see what works. Hopefully to zero in on the kit and know-how before I make the trip. The river with buildings in the distance and high bridges is similar to shooting across a valley at ground level at a mountain range in the distance ( bridges) with some hills and smaller objects ( hills, and sand dunes ) in the center stage. All this to shoot Death Valley and try to capture it from a couple scouted locations.

Re: Cardboard cutouts- Yews, on my Vizio 32" I see the extreme distant scenery ( buildings and bridges )as cardboard cutouts. I don't necessarily see this as a negative thing, however, like some people do. In those shots, the jet ski at center stage is quite solid looking and the water spray all look about as good as the 3D can get. As the IA gets larger, these object ranges become too diverged and will appear uncomfortable. As the IA gets smaller, the jet ski object distance becomes flatter. The more I work with ranges of IA, the more I'm convinced there is no perfect lens, IA combination that achieves perfection for an infinite size range of the viewed stage. Rather we have to pick the target range and expect the ideal illusion will fall off ideal from the target. It appears by experiment that a jet ski moving about the stage at a distance between 1000 ft to 1 mile is good for my 26 inch IA at full telephoto.

Yesterday if the weather had been better I would have stayed most of the afternoon and had intended to experiment with 14" IA, and 6" IA at 0, 50% and full zoom ranges. But I got out of there just in time before the wind really picked up and the rain started. As such the experiment did allow me to evaluate how effective the system can be at full telephoto and strong wind. I was pleasantly surprised it was as good as it was. Also I was extremely pleased with the haze filtering and the color contrast at those distances. Lack of direct sunlight caused me to abort the twin polarizing filters. Nothing to filter! Have to wait for another day.


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post #469 of 1097 Old 09-19-2011, 12:42 PM
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Yes, my eyeballs are the best "book" for me. I don't mean to undermine the importance of understanding the complex math behind 3D, but I too learn a lot more by simply shooting and seeing what works and what doesn't.

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post #470 of 1097 Old 09-22-2011, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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My Thing-O-Matic has shipped via 2nd day UPS!!

Did IQ's suddenly drop sharply while I was away?
I enjoy 3D in spite of HDMI 1.4!
Full screen only 3D doesn't cut it!
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post #471 of 1097 Old 09-22-2011, 07:03 PM
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My Thing-O-Matic has shipped via 2nd day UPS!!

I wasn't sure if you were serious about this or just kidding. You really ordered one? The machine from the video?

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post #472 of 1097 Old 09-22-2011, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I wasn't sure if you were serious about this or just kidding. You really ordered one? The machine from the video?

Of course I ordered it. Why wouldn't I?
I'm just glad I didn't order the first one I saw back in 1990. That one was slower and costs over $500,000.

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post #473 of 1097 Old 09-22-2011, 07:24 PM
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Of course I ordered it. Why wouldn't I?
I'm just glad I didn't order the first one I saw back in 1990. That one was slower and costs over $500,000.

How much does it cost today? And I assume you'll be using it to create the body parts of the leveler prototype?

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post #474 of 1097 Old 09-22-2011, 11:33 PM
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Frank- does that use a thermosetting polymer? Had a friend up in Charlotte who used one of those for design work. He told me you make a positive to create a mold that is then used for the mold here you pour the metal or other final material. The polymer has no real strength. He also had a 3D scanner in his lab. As I recall he said it cost the company $35,000. That was about 8 years ago.

Joe, did you get the tripod in yet? I'm curious how that ball leveler works out for you.


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post #475 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
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How much does it cost today? And I assume you'll be using it to create the body parts of the leveler prototype?

$1300.
By far the cheapest CNC machine I've ever bought and I've bought plenty.
I will be using it to make some parts like covers, compartments, clips, retainers,etc.

Did IQ's suddenly drop sharply while I was away?
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post #476 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 05:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Don Landis View Post

Frank- does that use a thermosetting polymer? Had a friend up in Charlotte who used one of those for design work. He told me you make a positive to create a mold that is then used for the mold here you pour the metal or other final material. The polymer has no real strength. He also had a 3D scanner in his lab. As I recall he said it cost the company $35,000. That was about 8 years ago.
.

I first inquired of this use 20 years ago. I was interested in using it for both investment casting and injection molding dies.

It uses ABS plastic which I have lots of experience with. It will be just fine for the applications I have in mind.

Did IQ's suddenly drop sharply while I was away?
I enjoy 3D in spite of HDMI 1.4!
Full screen only 3D doesn't cut it!
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post #477 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 06:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Frank View Post

I first inquired of this use 20 years ago. I was interested in using it for both investment casting and injection molding dies.

It uses ABS plastic which I have lots of experience with. It will be just fine for the applications I have in mind.

Interesting! I used to work for a chemical company in NY where we made several of the ingredients for that. Acrylates, ethyl benzene and various other acryllic monomers. Acrylonitriles, Poly Methyl Methacrylates etc. Of course you'll be using the raw ABS thermosetting styrene resin. Companies who made that bought the raws from us. I was a junior process engineer at the time.


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post #478 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 06:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting! I used to work for a chemical company in NY where we made several of the ingredients for that. Acrylates, ethyl benzene and various other acryllic monomers. Acrylonitriles, Poly Methyl Methacrylates etc. Of course you'll be using the raw ABS thermosetting styrene resin. Companies who made that bought the raws from us. I was a junior process engineer at the time.

Maybe you were one of my customers?

Did IQ's suddenly drop sharply while I was away?
I enjoy 3D in spite of HDMI 1.4!
Full screen only 3D doesn't cut it!
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post #479 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 07:08 AM
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I just got the Manfrotto gear yesterday, but haven't even had a chance to open the box yet. It's been kinda crazy around here with family related stuff. I should be able to get to some testing in a couple of days.

Frank,

I have zero experience with such a device, so I thought its cost might be much higher.

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post #480 of 1097 Old 09-23-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I just got the Manfrotto gear yesterday, but haven't even had a chance to open the box yet. It's been kinda crazy around here with family related stuff. I should be able to get to some testing in a couple of days.

I have the same Manfrotto equipment including the ball head and it works quite well except for when I have to level it. Then I have a problem which is seeing the tiny bubble level while trying to move it around until it's level.

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Frank,

I have zero experience with such a device, so I thought its cost might be much higher.

I also have zero experience with such a device.
My grand daughter is the one who got me to order it. She is also the one who is going to assemble it.

Did IQ's suddenly drop sharply while I was away?
I enjoy 3D in spite of HDMI 1.4!
Full screen only 3D doesn't cut it!
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