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John Kopec

DIY Video Tap for Aaton XTR/LTR

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Hey all,

It's now 2018, and I'm wondering if anyone has had any luck for an HD DIY solution for video taps on their XTR or LTRs... Interested in adding a tap to my XTR, but was hoping I could do it myself in HD... not sure if anyone has any info or sagely advise they can give...

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

 

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I built a video tap for my Arri BL years ago. I found a little camera and lens and then had a machinist help me with building the hardware. It wasn't too difficult.

 

Does your camera already have some kind of video tap ready hardware installed? I mean the split mirror box with mirror? If so, it should not be so hard. Just remember when you design your camera mount to include adjustability to align the camera to frame the ground glass correctly. You will also need to be able to adjust the focus and iris of the camera lens in some way, and perhaps the camera-ground glass distance to get the size correct.

 

These days you may be able to build the thing using a 3d printer, which would make it much easier.

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The XTR is hard sadly because the mount is pretty proprietary. I had someone recently use a tap he made for a different camera on my Aaton 35III and it worked great. I really wish someone would make adaptor mounts for go pro's and such. Maybe I should just work on it again... ugggggg

 

I think the go pro is the best way to do it, but there would need to be optics in the mount to make it work with the built-in go pro lens.

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I wonder how well a camera with a pretty noticeable rolling shutter, such as a GoPro, would work unless synchronised with the film camera. It's not that difficult to find machine vision cameras which are externally triggered and might make for better results. I haven't looked but the simplest of them don't tend to be that expensive, even.

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I wonder how well a camera with a pretty noticeable rolling shutter, such as a GoPro, would work unless synchronised with the film camera. It's not that difficult to find machine vision cameras which are externally triggered and might make for better results. I haven't looked but the simplest of them don't tend to be that expensive, even.

The tap my friend used on my XTR didn't have a trigger. However, he didn't use a go pro. You could do an electronic trigger that when the signal is gone, it "holds current frame until signal returns". Maybe that would work?

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I'm in the process of purchasing an XTR. The video tap has lost the red channel and remains on when the camera runs. Do you guys have a recommendation for a service provider or a solution to upgrade it to an HD feed?

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I'm trying to do this on my LTR. I want to make a DIY tap that just runs from the viewfinder. GoPros don't work because the lens is too wide, it needs to be something like 50mm. And work well in low light. I'd love to hear any success stories.

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I'm trying to do this on my LTR. I want to make a DIY tap that just runs from the viewfinder. GoPros don't work because the lens is too wide, it needs to be something like 50mm. And work well in low light. I'd love to hear any success stories.

Just need a piece of optics to make the go pro work, I've seen people do it.

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I don't have a rasbery or an LTR/XTR, but with my cheap Huawei phone placed on the Kinoptik finder on my Eclair ACL I get a usable image with small bit of zooming (with the finger tips).

 

If it's just to frame, while holding the camera at arms length etc, the resolution may not matter. Screen brightness and contrast may matter much more. Establishing the ideal position of the camera (phone) may take some experimentation. Probably as close as possible. If close focus is an issue, one can get cheap plastic reading glasses with the diopter you need, even double them up. Cutting a suitable sized lens to fit. I've done that, works OK.

 

EDIT: The mounting of the camera (phone) onto the eyepiece. If you remove the rubber eye cup, can you grab onto the little flange that retains that. Machine something out of acetal.

Edited by Gregg MacPherson

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I've played around with this for a while now. I'm in asia so having to work with what's available out here. I can get a useable image from a Gopro Hero 6 on the viewfinder by switching it to linear, zooming in, and then also zooming in on the monitor. Im using it for a steadicam on a low budget project so that's enough. It's not quite good enough for focus (I'll use measuring tape). I've tried many different optics to improve the quality but you need something so specific you probably have to have it custom fabricated, I've tried many over the course of a week. Gopro is not a great camera for the job, but the time and money it would take to test other cameras doesn't seem worth it imho. It's good enough. I tested cellphones but they are not as easy to mount and position as the gorpo, they don't have a clean live video feed, they can have issues with autofocus, and you can't switch the battery to keep shooting. Theres a issue with the Hero 6 where it doesn't have a 4k live view - the Hero 5 does - so with a 4K monitor and the live feed on a Hero 5 I bet image is great. I wish I had been aware of this hidden downgrade before buying it.

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On 7/29/2018 at 10:47 AM, Matt Moro said:

I've played around with this for a while now. I'm in asia so having to work with what's available out here. I can get a useable image from a Gopro Hero 6 on the viewfinder by switching it to linear, zooming in, and then also zooming in on the monitor. Im using it for a steadicam on a low budget project so that's enough. It's not quite good enough for focus (I'll use measuring tape). I've tried many different optics to improve the quality but you need something so specific you probably have to have it custom fabricated, I've tried many over the course of a week. Gopro is not a great camera for the job, but the time and money it would take to test other cameras doesn't seem worth it imho. It's good enough. I tested cellphones but they are not as easy to mount and position as the gorpo, they don't have a clean live video feed, they can have issues with autofocus, and you can't switch the battery to keep shooting. Theres a issue with the Hero 6 where it doesn't have a 4k live view - the Hero 5 does - so with a 4K monitor and the live feed on a Hero 5 I bet image is great. I wish I had been aware of this hidden downgrade before buying it.

Hey Matt....can you send me pics of your Go Pro solution as I want to shoot steadicam for a project.....I simply want a framing guide to keep the person in the middle of the frame and not chop the head off hahahahaha....I'm gonna shoot deep focus f11 with an 8mm zeiss lens so not worried about focus.....could you email me some pics of the set up and any tips!!!!! that would be great

ulookretro@gmail.com

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I’ve created a $40 tap for my Aaton using a m12 1/3” security camera. It works very well. Email me and I can send you a how to video. 

 

its designed to work with existing beam splitters, but it can be used in the eyepiece as well. 

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Posted (edited)

Hi John.....thanks for this......I broke the beam splitter screen on the Aaton by blowing on it with a can dent know it would be so fragile......a 'how to' video would be great!!!!! would have to be an eyepiece hack I imagine......my email is ulookretro@gmail.com if you could!!!!!!

Edited by Stephen Perera

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......the only reason I want a video tap hack is cos I want to do some steadicam......I need to see to keep the person, a runner, in frame......otherwise, as a one-man band, I don't use or like monitors.....I like looking through an eyepiece......'false colour' etc wtf?! haha I'd rather a light metre talk to me

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I agree I prefer the eyepiece. And always a meter for exposure for sure! 
 

TBH the point of this was for steadicam/gimbal, since it can be used with the daylight spool cameras as well. 
 

 

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On 4/25/2020 at 1:30 PM, D John Carroll said:

I’ve created a $40 tap for my Aaton using a m12 1/3” security camera. It works very well. Email me and I can send you a how to video. 

 

its designed to work with existing beam splitters, but it can be used in the eyepiece as well. 

I'd love to see that as well. Is it HD? 

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Posted (edited)

This is a bit of a silly answer, but it’s any resolution you want. 
 

m12 cctv cameras come in all resolutions. The only difference is price. The one I’m using for this test is a 600tvl (television lines) of resolution. It cost about $30.

 

for $40 you can get a 1080p sdi m12 camera from Panasonic. 
 

for about $200 you can get a 4k c mount cctv camera with hdmi or hdsdi out

 

for example Du-All in their taps they offer for the sr3 or bolex, those are about $400
 

so it’s really up to you how much you want to spend for what resolution 

Edited by D John Carroll

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On 4/26/2020 at 8:30 AM, D John Carroll said:

I’ve created a $40 tap for my Aaton using a m12 1/3” security camera. It works very well. Email me and I can send you a how to video. 

its designed to work with existing beam splitters, but it can be used in the eyepiece as well. 

Really excellent work. Thanks for sharing video.

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