Roberts Beamsplitter rig - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
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I have ordered a beamsplitter-Rig. There is an interesting beta-offer by Jesse Blanchard,

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/3d-stereoscopic-production-delivery/509519-new-beamsplitter-market.html

and I have decided to give that rig a chance. I will run that together with my other systems that I have now - what is a lot: 3 units of TD10, 2 of them can be combined on sbs-rigs up to 130 cm. And one Z10K. I will try to use the best system for the specific purpose, and at the moment I will use my paired TD10 with the beamsplitter too.

The price of the rig are US2500, but for beta testing there is a special offer - and he still has one unit left for that purposes, as far as I know.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/290713904931?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649


The rig has a clear price advantage, compared with other beamsplitter rigs. And there are some videos yet:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4GBBwT8WgI&feature=player_embedded


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_sWU_leB3k&feature=channel&list=UL


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6tFzQGjGkE&feature=channel&list=UL

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post #2 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 02:32 AM
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Congrats, enjoy, and keep us updated. I will look on with jealousy smile.gif

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post #3 of 14 Old 08-13-2012, 08:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Sure I will keep you updated. With the beamspliter I will be in the position to have now the ideal comparison with both the side-by-side rig but also the Wallys (TD10, Z10K). I am sure that evey system will have some advantages but also some disadvantages. That is the interesting point to explore.

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post #4 of 14 Old 08-21-2012, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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The rig has arrived today in Vienna, and I am keen to start to test it. But I have to assmemble it before (what is not the standard situation since we have decided to split it up to parts to minimize the transportation costs). smile.gif

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post #5 of 14 Old 08-21-2012, 08:59 AM
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If flying, I would consider having the entire assembly ready to go and packed in a single Pelican case with plenty of foam that would be in checked baggage, This would minimize the complex assembly at destination and, if traveling in the US, avoid the bruits at TSA handling it and breaking something.

My last trip flying suffered the most in one inspection with a lens' filter thread being dropped on the floor and dented, then they stole one of my lenses, an 18-55 Sony Alpha e-mount lens. I have a claim in and acknowledged by security video but TSA has yet to settle my claim since April. So, if traveling in the US, you better consider theft by security officials as a possibility risk in your transportation design. My plan- make it simple for a quick inspection and done. If in parts you will get interrogated as to what each part is and what it does. I know from experience when I traveled with a broadcast camera rig in parts. Interrogation at TSA took forever.
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-21-2012, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I am not sure if I wish to take this rig with me, if I travel by plane. It is possible, but it is not so easy. The sbs-rig is easier for such a transport.

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post #7 of 14 Old 08-22-2012, 06:14 AM
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I know you haven't had much time to get hands on experience but I wonder if you anticipate any advantage of using the beam splitter rig for IA that can also be achieved with your igus slider? Seems the only advantage of the Roberts rig is for shooting IA between what you can do with the Z10k or TD10 and the minimum IA with the igus slider. Seems this is a very small range for such a complex and expensive solution. I'm really doubting the practicality of this system for those of us with small camcorders than can already be crammed close together. When I spoke to the guys at Element Technica who make the really expensive beam splitter systems, they said the concept is mainly for RED camera sizes and bigger film cameras to enable close IA for close up 3D shooting.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-22-2012, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Well Don, that are different points to my opinion.

Right, I spend the last evening and night (until 3 in the morning) to assemble the rig, to adjust ist, and to see how it works that I can use my two TD10s using high-end clamps from Sirui (what are much better then the Manfrotto parts). I have a solution for that, what was not easy - the rig does not foresee clamps from a third side, and using the clamps brings up the camera to a high where I start to see the ring in the camera display. But I have a solution for that, have not used the two plates as foreseen by Jesse who has constructed the rig.

I spend a lot of time to calibrate the rig - and here this rig is really great. There was one point on my side where I was not sure how to use the mirror - you know, for beamsplitter it has to be a surface mirror, and that surface must be directed to the reflecting camera. Took me some time to find that out. But beside thata the calibration was easy and fun - of the rig. I still have to see if a furhter calibration is necessary for the cameras too (form the experience with the sbs-rig very likely yes).

The question, if one can run the TD10s with such a rig - well: within some limitations it is possible. One limitation is that you have to open the display. That sounds silly, but no Red comes with such a display. It is simply not foreseen. And the TD10 is a broader comapred with other cameras. So you have the situation that you cannot put the cameras as wide in the rig as one would wish to do - and in full wide angel you can end up that you see the side of the rig i the display. Similar to other solutions that we have discussed here. So due to that either I shoot in light zoom, or I use a smaller base if I wish to shoot in full wide angel. I have told Jesse that it would make more sense to widen the rig, due to such findings. Or I use other cameras.

BUT the reason why I do that:

- yes, you can control the base in a much better way. Especially for small bases that you need to come up with smaller disparities. And you know Don, that is THE major weakness of our sbs-rig that we must take care really to avoid that we end up with huge disparties. Disparties that goes beyound 6.5 cm on the display will harm the audience.

- the second reason is fun and learning. I lvoe to learn how to handle that. I love ot increase my undstanding of 3D. I love to connect the theory iwth the practical experience. I have learned a lot from the sbs rig and will continue to use that. And I am happy to have additional learning points in the future.

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post #9 of 14 Old 08-22-2012, 09:14 AM
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One limitation is that you have to open the display.

This is not so. You can set the display in the menu to Menu/ setup/power on by LCD set to off.

Then set remote control set to ON

This will allow you to run the TD10 with the LCD open or closed and also turn the camcorder on or off by remote control, either the IR remote or the LANC controller.

Then to see what you are shooting, you can connect an hdmi remote LCD monitor like the lilliput or a Marshall. Must be hdmi LCD though. I use the Lilliput here.

RemoteMonitorLancCtrl.jpg 496k .jpg file


The range advantage of the Roberts Rig is an IA between 30mm and 100mm which our SBS systems cannot do in SBS. I have yet to be convinced that the advantage of perfection in this range offers a a benefit to have to cope with the complex equipment required in both cost and assembly. I'm more excited about using an SBE from Cyclopital. But in the near future, none of my project plans has me concerned about this range, but that is just where I'm at right now. .
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-22-2012, 01:42 PM - Thread Starter
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You have to open the display because you need some kind of control. I am aware that you can disable the automatic power off if you close the display, I have done that some time ago. I have no Liliput yet, even if it is foreseen that you can plug it to the rig - but that is an additional idea that could be nice. Have to think about how that is connected to the rig really.

Sure, you can use IAs between 0 mm and 100 mm. And that is something that will allow to controll disparity in a good way - not only for shooting in the near range as one can do that with the TD10 or Z10K, but to use an average range before we go into larger IA. I am not talking about hyperstereo - for that our sbs rigs are better.

There is one additional advantage, but frankly spoken more on the side of our sbs-rigs: that is roundness. The calculations for roundness tend to result in large IAs - but to get a roundness of 1 you have to be able to adjust the IA really. Can be done with the beamsplitter rig, but more often with the sbs-rig I think.

I am still not convinced fromt he Cyclopital - since I purchase here one IA only, that is relativ large in addition. That does not make limited sense for you or me, since we both have a sbs-rig that can be used for IAs >11 cm. The only advantage would be to be able to shoot in MVC and have merged files - what makes editing easier. So my idea is to cover the total IA range - the IA lower range with the beamsplitter, the larger IA range with the sbs-rig.

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post #11 of 14 Old 08-22-2012, 08:59 PM
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Wolfgang- One control I use when shooting twin TD10's is the manual exposure. I usually use the knob up by the lens for this. I can normally judge the setting with the remote Lilliput monitor. But can you reach that knob near the lens when both TD10's are mounted in the Robert's beam splitter?
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post #12 of 14 Old 08-23-2012, 01:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Don, it is not impossible, but it is not so easy as you know that from our sbs-rigs. With my controller ste-fra lance I can access the menus of both cameras and change the settings of both cameras at the same time, but that is also not a very fast way since you have to navigate through the menus what is not so easy (becomes better it you are trained to it). Ffor sure the two knobs are faster, even if you have to do it twice.

- The base I can use is only 9-10 cm at the moment. That is driven by the two facts, that the cameras have a great wide angel of ~30mm and that I start to see the edge of the rig in the monitor, and that I had to fix them a little bit outside the rig to be able to open the monitor. I think about if it is necessary to reach the monitor, but since I have no field monitor it is I need a preview, and Ihave to be able to reach the touch screen monitor from time to time.

So maybe it would be possible to bring the cameras more inside the rig, maybe by 2-3 cm, what would help to increase the base one can use.

- It is not enough to calibrate the rig. Even when I have done that, the calibration must be done again with the cameras, similar to what I have seen with the sbs rig. It is the adjustment in the height, and to set the axis parallel what had to be done - in my case.

And one have to familirise with the fact, that the preview of the refleting camera is mirrored of course! smile.gif

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post #13 of 14 Old 08-23-2012, 01:53 PM
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With my controller ste-fra lance I can access the menus of both cameras and change the settings of both cameras at the same time, but that is also not a very fast way since you have to navigate through the menus what is not so easy (becomes better it you are trained to it).

I forgot about that feature with your controller. It seems no matter how you try work around, getting everything set with this Roberts rig will be a chore for the TD10's. Do you think a different camera set would make life easier? If so which ones?

I'm learning quite a bit about the beam splitter through your testing, but it seems more convincing me to stay away from it. I'm happy my project list is working in the other direction of hyper stereo.
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-23-2012, 02:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Sure the TD10 is not optimal for that. Maybe Canons XF100 would be great, or other camcorder with a more traditionel form.

I would not assess that now final. More important will be the tests and results after shooting.

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