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posted by - Friday, 01 October 2010

I recently had a chance to try out the Vocas HDSLR rig. This modular system provides as much or as little support as needed and is ideal for HDSLR shoots.

The heart of the system is the 0350-0300 rail support bracket – the camera ties down to a raised platform and accommodates 15mm lightweight rods. Underneath are a series of tapped holes: three 1/4″-20, one 3/8″-16, 8-4mm.

The full version includes a mattebox (MB-210 or MB-250), MFC-1 follow focus and shoulder pad with offset bracket, topside handgrip, monitor support and handgrip kit. Adding a finder to your camera LCD panel makes this setup ready to work all day in a hand-held configuration.

Breakdown and assembly of the unit is intuitive and quick, thanks to the positive lock design of the tie downs. The offset bracket for the shoulder mount allows for fast changeups from a tripod/monopod to a shoulder setup, while the top handle makes grabbing low-angle shots a breeze.

The MB-210 mattebox is available with an offset bracket that will center to the HDSLR lens and a series of flexible adaptor rings are available to match the outer diameter of the lens. It accommodates one 4×4 filter in the front of the housing and one in a rotating tray. For lenses requiring a wider angle of view, the MB-250 mattebox takes two 4×4 filters in trays with one rotating stage. A built-in eyebrow is located inside the front housing.

Attaching a battery plate will offset the weight of your camera and provide a power source for on-board monitors or other accessories requiring 12-volt power. A small counter weight with a threaded center will accept up to two 1kg (2lb, 3.27oz) counter weights.

The MFC-1 follow focus is a single-sided unit that features a vertical height adjustment in place of a swing arm; its low clearance makes it perfect for use with HDSLRs. Flexible gear rings are designed as a one-size-fits-all solution to enable focus pulling on SLR-style lenses.

The Vocas handgrip system interfaces with either 15mm lightweight or 19mm studio spacing. Each handgrip attaches via a rosette and ties down with a kip lever for quick adjustment.

An optional monitor-mount bracket attaches to 15mm lightweight rods. You can secure monitors up to 3lb in weight with a swiveling 1/20-mount and two-axis adjustment arm.

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