Mini Car Crane & Remote Polarising Test

Capturing images through glass usually ends in some degree of compromise. Cutting through reflections on a contrasting day can be done using camera lens polarisers – but the problems with fitting this solution to your production workflow can make reflections much worse when the subject changes its angle to the light-source.  If not adding more time to workflow every time a lens polariser needs changing.


Also when capturing automotive scenes, a popular camera angle is setup on top of the bonnet. Either orientated at talent or the oncoming road. Traditionally to achieve this Whero Films has been using a basic 3-point fixed mounting kit . This setup works great but can be limiting in regards to composition options, but would also benefit from a remote polarising solution.


To find a practical solution (while also testing the vibration reduction on the new Tamron 35mm f/1.8 VC lens) we fitted a 67mm Marumi DHG circular polariser with two more additional 67mm rigs to allow a type-C RedRock follow-focus gear on the filter. The lens gear was driven by a Came-TV follow-focus motor attached to one of the rod extensions on the DJI Ronin-M gimbal.


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To balance the D-tapped remote controlled motor against the light Nikon D810, a CineMilled threaded baseplate was fitted with a 164 gram counter weigh positioned in the opposite corner. A CamRanger seemed like a good idea to control the camera modes, exposure, and focus while getting a usable live-view feed and keeping the camera payload as light as possible and cable free. Although an HDMI broadcaster would offer a higher resolution for keeping an eye on focus.

Here is a test video of the remote polariser and mini crane in effect. Starting with some screen-test footage that inspired the need for the updated camera set-up. Please feel free to add any comments or suggestions below (setting myself up as a Nikon shooter).

All the bits to the vehicle rig can be found in the Whero Films hire equipment page. Thanks to Jay and his team at Photo Gear Auckland, as well as Greg and Vince at Photo & Video International for all the bits to make this rig work.

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