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 Which Rotary Table? 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 9:08 pm
Posts: 3
Post Which Rotary Table?
Hey Guys,....1st post
thanks for all the information you share so freely
you have saved me untold money and time spent "fumbling round in the dark"
re: the advice i'm looking for now
is the extra $550.00 for the "Enhanced" rotary table (by Mumford) for ramping well spent?? or would you put the extra $ toward better glass??
thanks

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Thu Jul 17, 2008 10:20 am
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 2:15 pm
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Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
Hey Todd, welcome!

It really depends. The idea of being able to ramp shots from a standstill, increase the speed, then slowly reduce the speed, etc, is pretty nice. You can thank forum member Grant Wakefield in large part for convincing Mumford to even make such a model.

I opted for the simple model. I figured I can take one step at a time. If I buy another, I will get the advanced version. Then I can mix things up by using the advanced table to drag a dolly, maybe rig up a pan + tilt system where the tilt only starts halfway into the pan, etc.

It takes a while to get used to using this type of gear. It weighs a ton, and it makes your setup about 5 times more complicated. It also increases your headaches regarding power. Just setting a camera up stationary seems like a total breeze to me now - a walk in the park - compared to setting up a moco shot.

How advanced a shooter are you?


Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:27 pm
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Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
It's a bit steep for me... but I drool indeed. Steppers are the ultimate solution (period).

I will be testing thegagetworks automate soon which does not have feathering at the moment but has the capability. I also have a scrap of a program that will do it via the 497 meade controller and any Meade mount that it will run. To tell you the truth I think it needs to be ported to a PDA program to be useful. Maintaining a laptop in my backyard is one thing but in the field painful, so I'm hoping that Don French (the creator of the 'automate') might adjust his PDA program to communicate with the meade head.

You'd probably dig a 28mm F1.8 or 24mm F1.4 too... it's all fun.


Thu Jul 17, 2008 6:26 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:54 pm
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Location: Aars, Denmark
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
In principle, the advantages to the Mumford Table (smooth accelerations, stopping the pan while doing an exposure) can be achieved with the cheaper Meade DS mount as well. I say "in principle" because I have yet to shoot the footage to prove it, but the functionality is there. However, you'll need to write a script to do so, and you'll need the 497 Autostar handbox (which will be included if you buy one of the new generation II mounts) and a special serial cable to connect the handbox to your computer (Meade #505 or equivalent). There is a small application called My497Scope that will provide you the interface to send commands directly to your telescope and you can write script files to use with it. Look in the files section of the Meade_Autostar Yahoo group to find it; there are instructions and sample scripts to go with it.

The question is how well it is possible to keep panning and shooting in sync if you want to have the mount stop for every exposure. If you are controlling DS mount and your camera from the same computer, both My497Scope and the remote control software should be using the same clock and things should stay in sync. If not it will probably take some experimenting to make it work reliably. If you are willing to battle with Linux you can use gPhoto and potentially control both the camera and the DS mount from the same script, giving you ultimate control. Depending on whether gPhoto will work reliably with your camera/computer. :-)

MILapse... the stuff you are writing: Are you using any sort of driver or software to facilitate communication with the mount, or are you doing it from scratch, simply sending/receiving commands to/from the serial port?

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Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:15 pm
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:18 pm
Posts: 242
Location: Sydney, Australia
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
Todd Turnipseed wrote:
Hey Guys,....1st post
thanks for all the information you share so freely
you have saved me untold money and time spent "fumbling round in the dark"
re: the advice i'm looking for now
is the extra $550.00 for the "Enhanced" rotary table (by Mumford) for ramping well spent?? or would you put the extra $ toward better glass??
thanks



Hi Todd,

I say it's well worth it - it will open up many more possibilities for you...

Cheers

Murray


Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:00 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:37 pm
Posts: 364
Location: Dubai
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
What is the physical difference between the mumford enhanced vs. the cheaper table? I'm building my own custom solution similar to the mumford mount using a sherline table, but I see that mine shipped with the same stepper motor as the non-enhanced table. I suspect that the primary difference is just a higher resolution stepper motor and I may just need to bolt on a different stepper motor to get the higher resolution (as opposed to getting a different worm gear). What kind of stepper motor does the enhanced table use (can someone how has one let me know the model number?)?

Thanks,
DELRIOUS

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Wed Jun 17, 2009 3:39 pm
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Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
Delrious wrote:
What is the physical difference between the mumford enhanced vs. the cheaper table? I'm building my own custom solution similar to the mumford mount using a sherline table, but I see that mine shipped with the same stepper motor as the non-enhanced table. I suspect that the primary difference is just a higher resolution stepper motor and I may just need to bolt on a different stepper motor to get the higher resolution (as opposed to getting a different worm gear). What kind of stepper motor does the enhanced table use (can someone how has one let me know the model number?)?

Thanks,
DELRIOUS


The mumford enhanced, afaik, is just the same thing with a different stepper and stepper mount. I don't know the exact model, but doesn't the basic one already ship w/ a 400 (0.9deg) step/rev motor? So that would mean he's likely adapted a 0.45 degree or finer motor. You can find a number of places producing them, but I don't see prices online for most.

The custom plate is probably because he got a better deal on a smaller frame size (NEMA 15? 14?) than the existing motor, and I also see what looks like a controller attached to the motor, but I could be mistaken.

(FWIW, the regular unit and the sherline _are the same_ thing.)

!c


Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:16 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:37 pm
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Location: Dubai
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
I'm in the mumford camp now. Been shooting the past couple of weeks every night with the enhanced table. Very easy to use and setup - really I think it only impacts my shooting time by adding about 5 minutes more worth of setup time when first getting on location. Definitely opens up opportunities for more shots by not having to rely on heavy action to keep the shot interesting. Now I can just pan and make my own action :P

Bryan also modified the software for me on request and only charged me for the cost of the chip. Was a pleasure to deal with.

Ben

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Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:56 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
What was Mumford able to change for you on the chip? I'd be interested in knowing what new tricks you can teach the table. I have an advanced table that I purchased about two years ago.

thanks - Brian


Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:59 pm
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Location: Dubai
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
I do a lot of shooting at 1 second or 2 second intervals. I often want to try to match the exposure to the interval so that motion looks continuous instead of popping in and out. As it was, I had to eat a 1 second delay after the move no matter what exposure time/interval I used. For example, for 0.6 sec exposure would have to be followed by a delay of one second, hence I would be losing more than half the motion. He modified it so that I could specify shorter delays than 1 second. The change isn't very intuitive though - he said he would look into making a more intuitive modification that would allow this for everyone.

(by motion I mean cars/people/trains, etc...)

Ben

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Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:52 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
How difficult is the not intuitive part? How does it work?
Sounds like that could be pretty useful in certain situations, please let us know if there is an upgrade available that works well.
I am working on a moco dolly using the Mumford advanced table. Would like to do long tracking shots of ca. 2 to 3 meters using the ramping function of the rotary table, seems like the gearing is much too fine for what I have in mind though, so far I can only reach those distances in Degree Mode setting something like 10 degrees per step but that wont allow for ramping, any advice?
I am considering directly controlling a simple stepper motor with a pulley mounted on it to create a larger amount of motion, basically exactly the opposite of the advanced rotary table.


Sun Nov 15, 2009 2:46 am
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Location: Dubai
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
It's modified so that for interval:

00:00:01 == 0.1 seconds.
00:01:00 == 6 seconds

It was just a simple quick fix - probably too unintuitive for most users.

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Sun Nov 15, 2009 8:00 pm
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Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 1:52 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Which Rotary Table?
Sounds like for what you are doing and wanting to shoot as fast as possible that would be great.
calculating longer periods would be a bit of a pain but doable. I guess you could always just pop the old chip back in for "normal" periods. I already had to change mine once for an update, quite easy actually.
I will keep that in mind. thanks


Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:06 am
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