Is there a device that'll let me rotate camera around lens axis?

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by robert_meador, May 11, 2010.

  1. I'm doing a shoot in June using a rented Hasselblad digital setup. We'll be doing some longer (1/8 sec) exposures
    where we want to rotate the camera around the lens axis - imagine holding a steering wheel and turning quickly
    from left to right. I am thinking this would be a lot easier if we could run the lens through a ring or sleeve
    that could be tripod mounted - similar to what I have on my Nikon 80-200 f/2.8. This would keep the lens on-axis
    and require less physical grunting to do all day long :)

    Any thoughts?

    - Bob
  2. I think the Haselblads have square images as output. Why rotate the camera since landscape = portrait mode here ... ?
    But you could try some of the flash flip brackets maybe.
  3. Longer exposure + rotation = blur. That's what we're after. We're using continuous lighting and firing strobes mid-exposure to get a faint crisp image in the middle of the blur, but need to be turning the camera while firing.
  4. Really Right Stuff makes just the thing - a ring that surrounds the lens which slides in a V-block. (see
  5. I don't know of anything "out of the box" which will fit the bill.
    Did it work with your Nikon lens without damage to the tripod mount? Being aluminium alloy they're not designed to be rotated at speed. Aluminium/aluminium bearing surfaces damage very easily.
    For 1/8th. sec. exposures you'll need to rotate quite fast for more than a couple of degrees of blur (45 degrees = 60 rpm) and this involves risk of damage. I feel that the equipment rental company deserves to know your intentions.
    Is there no possibility of a software solution?
  6. Try the Really Right Stuff Camera Rotation Device. The sample pics show a medium format system in there so it should work for you.
  7. Unfortunately software won't work - it'll blur the strobed portion of the image as well.
    That CRD looks awesome. Unfortunately it's $780, which is pretty tough to justify for one 2-day shoot. Anyone got one they want to rent...? RRS suggested they might be willing to loan me a blemished one, if they have one. Or perhaps there's someone near Seattle who owns one and is a little hungry.. :)
  8. Just looked at the CRD87 (previous post). It seems to be very well made and might do the job but I would ask the manufacturer first. If the bearing surfaces are alloy/alloy there will be a limit to its acceptable speed of rotation.
    Separate layer for the strobed part? No?
    I'm a long way from being a PS guru - just an engineer who works with alloy.
  9. The RRS thingy is probably not meant to spin smoothly. I think you need to build something like a wheel and axle, then jury-rig the camera to it. How about a "lazy Susan" - you can get the parts at an hardware store for about $20, or just buy one ready-made.
  10. You could rent a fluid head tripod and rotate the camera 90 degrees and then normal tilting will dutch the camera. Since fluid heads have counter balance systems, when you tilt (in this case dutch) the camera, it won't continue to fall and will stay in it's position. This however is not in line with the axis of the lens. You could also do the same thing with a Wimberly style head, depending on how tall the camera is, it will stay on axis with the lens. Wimberly head's can be rented from lens
  11. The one I was thinking of is the Stroboframe Vertiflip... but that "really right stuff" one looks better.
  12. And the winner is/was...
    The price was right and it worked like a charm. Great service from the company too. The guy I spoke to initially told me I could remove the end detents so it wouldn't latch in at either end of the arc. But the one they sent me was the newer model without removable detents. He cross-shipped me the older version, with detents removed but stuck in a bag so I can replace them.
    It worked great for the first half of the day, but at some point it decided it didn't like the balance of the camera - Hasselblad body was heavier than the lens, even with a long-ish zoom on - and started to grind a little. I compensated by pushing down on the lens or lifting up on the body while rotating. Considering we shot probably 1500 exposures, rotating the camera during every one, I think it did pretty well. Got the client to cover half the cost too...

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