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    Keynon Labs - "Invisible Tripod"
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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    I talked today to a rep at Kenyon Labs re their "inivisible tripods".

    Take a look at the web site . . .

    http://www.ken-lab.com/

    but be prepared for weeks of sleepless nights if you decide to save up and buy one of their gyros.

    It LOOKS like this proven invention (binoculars on ships etc) really could act as an "invisible tripod". Would that be cool or what?

    Really, really, really neat stuff if it works the way they say.

    Does anyone have one of these such that performance can be confirmed?

    If your camera plus add-ons weighs less than 8 lbs the model to get is KS-6, above 8 lbs it would be the KS-8. Bottom line, I think most AC130/160 owners can do with KS-6. The gyros are NOT that expensive.

    Consider the prospects of being able to walk around an actor or a site with no jiggles, following actors up/down stairs, filming from a moving car - this opens up new horizons.

    I have to go to Meriden, CT in a couple of weeks and I might be able to fit in a visit to the Kenyon Labs factory which is apparently not far from Meriden.

    Sadly, Kenyon Labs has bought back all of their public shares so no chance to invest.

    Why did I not hear about these folks earlier?

    Thanks to members of this group for pointing them out.
    Last edited by kwkeirstead; 05-07-2012 at 02:25 PM.


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    We had to use those on 127 Hours - I feel like I'm always talking about that project, but we were forced to deal with a lot of F'd up gear and there are a lot of stories there.

    The gyros will stabilize small camera shakes if they run properly. You need to learn to work with the forces, you can't just turn the camera any way you want or the gyro will fight you and spin the camera a different direction. For that reason I didn't find it to be easy to follow talent around, they work best in fairly static or linear motion handheld situations (as worthless as that sounds lol). The real problems were with reliability of the units. There were always problems with the batteries, inverters, cables, spinners - it seemed like a different problem each day. ADM:DOP loved them, everybody else hated them.


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    It is just a gyro stabilizer. People even make DIY versions with harddrives. They take apart a few of them, and combine the platters into one.

    Another "trick" is to get a 1/4" (I think #20) thread loop bolt, screw that into the tripod mount on the camera, then hook a rubber tie down into the loop, and hook the other end of the rubber tie down to your belt, or shoe, or just step on it. The tension it provides, as you lift up, will steady your camera vertically, but not horizontally, although that could be fixed with more of them, but then it starts to get silly, lol.


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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    Interesting point about the gyro fighting you as you try to move in a particular direction. I can see how it might do that.

    Some of the promotional videos I saw had the videographer in a car ahead of a runner. Others, were clips from a moving aircraft. Easy to see how the gyro would work under such scenarios. The setup seemed to remove most of the shake.

    I guess the thing to do is invent a list of scenarios and see how the setup handles each.

    It is somewhat disconcerting to hear stories of reliability problems. Perhaps they have fixed these problems. But, the company has been around for years so its not like they just invented their technology.

    I have seen people put elastic bands on tripod arms to get smooth pan.

    I bought a motor drive before I got my Manfrotto fluid head and the motor drive as I recall did not have much control over the speed and it seemed to give a jerk when it got to the end of its course.


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    Hey Walter

    Gyros are mainly designed for situation where even though you can hold the camera steady, your environment is moving!! Cars, plane and especially choppers...just bear in mind that you do need to power them up so walking around with one means you would be loaded down with power supplies..not very practical!! If you do want footage where you need to be moving (walking running etc etc ) then a stedicam is the way to go..At weddings I take the bride and groom on a little walk and can go up and down stairs etc etc...if you want flexible camera work with stability without having to setup a tripod then a rig is the best option... during all action shots at receptions I'll use the cameras on a rig but when speeches come around one is on tripod and one is on my shoulder. Stedicams and gyros would need space and time to operate successfully. On my rigs I can do shots where you can watch the top frame and it doesn't move at all...it's quicker than a tripod and just as stable BUT not a good idea if you are shooting a choral performance lasting 20 minutes!! You need to have the tool to suit the job so don't expect to find anything that will replace your tripod and evolve into a brilliant stedicam/gyro/tripod/shoulder cam magic device!! (if you find one of those ..tell me!! I want one!!!)

    Chris


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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    (Sigh).. I know you are right. I will work with tripod until I see that I need to expand my functionality and then go with a rig. No point buying a fancypants gadget that I might need to use once a year.


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    My father in the US Navy once worked for "The Bureau of Special Devices". Sperry made available gyros in gimbals for demonstration purposes. You spun them up by winding a string around the shaft and giving a long firm pull. They had a heavy wheel, about 4.5 inches. Dad locked up the gimbals and bolted one into a suitcase. He would hand it to a bellhop, and watch as the fellow tried to make a turn in the corridor. It freaked them out.


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    Senior Member Allan Black's Avatar
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    We investigated the Kenyon rigs and it seems you should rent one and try it out before deciding to buy.

    They need plenty of practise to become fully proficient without stuffing the shot up.

    Cheers.
    35yrs with our own a/v production company and studios.


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    Senior Member kwkeirstead's Avatar
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    A lot has changed over the past year - the Movi rig seems to have a lot to offer. Bit expensive but the price may come down.

    See the commentary by Vincent Laforet - http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2013/...-takes-flight/


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    These gyros are interesting, expensive and strange.

    Certainly for specialised use and 'threatened' by the new gen of gimbals

    Try before you buy!

    S


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