NAB 2012: OConnor
At NAB 2012, OConnor, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company, debuted three new products and also allowed attendees hands-on experience with some existing ones.
30L CARBON FIBER TRIPOD
The 30L carbon fiber tripod is a lightweight, solid and stable support system that uses the latest materials in a precisely engineered package. The 30L carbon fiber tripod weight 8.8 lbs (4 kg) and can carry payloads of up to 209 lbs (95 kg). OConnor targets this tripod as "an ideal fit for the new generation of smaller Ultimate 1030D and 1030Ds fluid heads."
The O-Focus Dual Mini is a compact, double-sided direct drive follow focus for still and cine-style camera lenses. The precision gear drive of the main bridge offers a gear ratio of 1:0.75 so that 360 degrees of input results in 270 degrees of output (i.e. rotation on the drive gear).
OConnor offers two versions of the O-Focus DM: the Photo Set and the Cine Set, each with its own unique transmission ratio accomplished via the use of two different types of handwheels that interface with the main bridge to generate optimized transmission output. The handwheels can be easily swapped without tools, making changing the transmission ratio as easy as changing a lens.
The Photo Set utilizes a new Hard Stop Handwheel, with a transmission ratio of 1:1 (input: output). When coupled with the O-Focus Bridge, it yields a a 1:0.75 transmission ratio, which translates to longer, more exacting focus pulls when using limited barrel rotation still lenses for digital cinematography. It also results in more precise lens control than has been available previously for these camera configurations. With the hard stops, the operator can set minimum and maximum focus points for lenses with unlimited rotation and carry out hard focus stop pulls. To allow the focus-puller to react to unexpected movements, The single-hand-operated hard stop on/off switch permits the focus-puller to react to unexpected movements by instantly disengaging the end stops.
The Cine Set, which uses the existing CFF-1 Studio Handwheel, has a transmission ratio of 1:1.8 (input:output). Coupled with the O-Focus Bridge, it yields a 1:1.4 output transmission ratio well suited for cine lenses with an expanded focus scale. The Studio Handwheel is offset, so it has 360 degrees of rotation for optimum placement and view of the lens witness marks.
UNIVERSAL CAMERA BASEPLATE
Universal Camera Baseplate
The Universal Camera Baseplate is designed to adapt small- to medium-size digital cinema cameras to the thousands of standard camera accessories available in the professional cine industry. From standard camcorders to hybrid DSLRs and compact digital cine cameras, the Universal Baseplate adapts each camera to a studio 15mm or 19mm bridgeplate by changing out four vertical 15mm rods; custom size rods are available. It also features dual 15mm LWS rod brackets that are adjustable to align the camera accessories to the optical center of the lens.
OConnor also allowed NAB 2012 attendees hands-on experience with the Ultimate 1030D (30 lb/13.6kg capacity) and Ultimate 1030Ds (41 lb/18.6kg capacity) fluid heads. Both heads are ideal for use with full-format sensor, lighter weight cameras, including the RED Epic and Scarlet, Sony F3 and Canon C300.Designed to replace the Ultimate 1030HD and HDs, these systems also offer features designed from the heavier duty heads: stepless, ultra-smooth pan and tilt fluid drag for control and stability for digital cinematography shooting as well as the Sinusoidal Counterbalance system for accurate balance at any point in the tilt range. Counterbalance is adjusted by a new ergonomic crank-style control that pulls out of the back of the head.
The 1030D model provides a tilt range of ±90° while the 1030Ds head has a ±60° tilt range for heavier loads up to 41 lb/18.6kg. This model is designed to enable cinematographers to transition from heavier to lighter payloads.
Since OConnor's founder invented the fluid head 60 years ago, OConnor has been a benchmark for fluid heads and tripods. The company has expanded its reach, adding a line of camera and lens accessories. That's a natural evolution given how cinematographers and others have come to the trust and appreciate OConnor products over the decades. The products debuted at NAB 2012 was evidence that OConnor continues to nourish that trust.