Jib Design Question

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    • #43964


      I’m planning to build a camera jib/crane (hoping that if I build it, they will come. Somebody better come!)

      my question is for anyone that has had lots of experience with a jib/crane — Do I really need to design the head to to “pan” as well as “tilt”?

      I don’t mean to be lazy, but it is going to be a heck of a lot easier to build with a tilting head only. Of course the entire rig pivots over the tripod, so will the head panning really be that necessary?

      I’m thinking that if we need to pan, we can either rotate the the entire boom, or just hand hold that shot.

      you know what I mean? What do you think?

    • #184227

      Although it is not imperative that you include a pan function for your jib, I will say that you should add a dolly base or wheels to the base of the jib if you don’t. This way, if you need to pan the camera, you can “fake” it by moving the entire rig…It may be harder on location to do it that way, but not by much. And as for the build, you will have a much easier time.

      Hope that helps, and snap some pictures along the way…I always enjoy seeing people thinking outside the box.

    • #184228

      Since you are building it, just include it. Mine is almost done and even if I decide not to use it, its there incase.

      There are times where I could see the jib in the area with the camera turn 90 degrees to the left or right.

    • #184229

      No, I would say it does not need to be able to pan. When you need a panning crane shot, you can just take your fluid head off your tripod and put it on the end of the crane. You will probably never be able to make the end so that it pans extremely fluidly(with good friction). Hope this helps. Jeremy

    • #184230

      thanks for the input guys.

      Jeremy, if you put the head from the tripod on the end of the boom, there still needs to be a mechanism to turn it. If thats the case, It might as well be there permanantly dont you think?

      best, Phil

    • #184231


      I have a friend who made a jib last year, and …. he cant pan. But the jib still really nice and usefull for some artistic shot on low bubjet or non lucrative production. But if you can figure how to make the pan control ! Do it ! BTW do it at least 12 foot …

    • #184232

      ok thats a kewl lookin jib!

      when I was drawing mine, I came up with a thought.. I said to myself, “self, the connectors between the main boom and the control arm have to be long(er) than you see in his pic. here is illustration… In this case, when its on a steep angle like in the picture, he cannot point the camera down anymore due to the lenght of the connectors.

      (arrows pointing to connectors)

      yes, I think 12 feet is minimum. two, six foot sections could be sleeved together. two eight foot sections is better still but at 16ft, there might be some problem with camera bounce, due to flex of the boom — then we’re talking about adding shrouds and a spreader. thats getting too copmlicated I think — espacially for the ONE shot it might get used for occassionally.

      the only way I can see making it pan at the head, is by a pully horizontally, under the support, with a line wrapping around the pully (maybe 2x for added friction) then coming together at the point of pivot for the head – at the neck of hte head.

      then I was thinking that the line, could be fed internally, down the boom, exiting before the end, where it wraps around anothter pully that you can use to pan the camera.

      does that make sense?

      ok… heres a pic….

    • #184233

      Good point Phil. I just remembered a website that has lots of info on this. http://www.homebuiltstabilizers.com. There was one jib I saw on there that someone made with a remote pan and tilt control on the end. This website is great, with stuff about jibs, cranes, dollies, stabilizers, etc.


    • #184234

      The jib we are currently building is all remote controlled. We have the gears setup up pretty good right now. Only mounted the camera once yet but it can spin around numous times (until power wires get caught up) and can spin upside down a few times. It really gives as many angles as possibile I believe.

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