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Bendable arm & slate for easy MWB


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#1 nickdiver

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 02:21 PM

Hello everybody.

For those of you who've ever wished you had a "third" hand/arm so you could hold your white slate when manual WB-ing, look no further!

Here's a "collage" of pix ilustrating what you need to create a WB slate with bendable Locline arm to attach to your Bluefin HD. Makes MWB a snap.
After you're done MWB-ing, you can quickly reposition the WB slate + bendable arm under the housing for less drag. Used a zillion times, never fails.

Credit to my good friend and mentor Steve (Douglas); I borrowed his great idea a couple years ago when diving Cocos together. WB-ing has never been easier ever since! Steve's the man, as usual!

I thought this interesting technique deserved its own separate thread, given the interest from several people in the past.

Materials and Procedure:

- Locline 3/4 inch modules for the arm. These are of the same kind as those used for the L&M light arms. You can also find them in smaller size (diameter wise); I like the 3/4 inch modules because I can always use them in the future as spares, should some of those used in the light arms become too loose with time.
Notice that the arm length (and therefore number of individual Locline modules) wil vary according to your taste. I like to use about 15 modules. Makes it easy to set the slate in front of the lens, zoom in a bit to MWB, and then quickly reposition the slate + arm under the housing.

- Y splitter, by Locline.

- White plastic slate (available at Dive shops, in several sizes. This one is a 6 inch by 4 inch, which is good even in conditions with lots of current; or you can use a larger one, this way you can zoom in even less when your MWB-ing on it.

- A Locline "Mounting Elbow", that "grabs" the corner of the white slate. Make a 3/8inch hole on one of the corners of the slate, that way you'll be able to "sandwitch" tha corner of the slate between the two parts of the Locline mounting elbow. Then tighten the screw that comes with it to keep the slate nicely secured. You may wanna add some "instant" glue for a super-tight hold.

- Connect the mounting elbow + slate to one of the ends of the Locline bendable arm (15 or so lements), and attach this arm to the L&M light (HID or Halogen) arm via the Y splitter.

- Extend the White card arm in front of the lens, and now you can use your two hands to hold the camera and press the WB button. Voila!

- When done, simply bend the WB arm and tuck it under the housing (or to the side) so it doesn't create drag (see last pic).

BTW, you can find all the needed Locline materials at http://www.modularhose.com
Very fast shipping, never had a problem with them.

Hope it helps.

NickWB_Slate_Arm.jpg
Nick Martorano - Ocean Wonders Underwater Video Productions
L&M Bluefin HD for Sony Z1U, with L&M Standard and WA lens; L&M Sunray Pro HID lighs; backup rig: L&M Bluefin 900 for Sony PD100 and L&M Standard, WA, Macro lenses; MacroMate Super Macro lens
http://www.oceanwonders.org

#2 MikeVeitch

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 03:16 PM

great post Nick, i am sure a lot of people will find that helpful

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#3 Steve Douglas

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Posted 29 November 2006 - 06:46 PM

And thank you Nick for the props. I just wish the idea was my own original idea but I got it from my good friend and sometimes diving buddy, Bob Gladden, who also makes those fantastic pole cams for when you are not in the water but want/need to film anyway. All I did was spread the word. I do use a Warm Card instead of a plain IRE 100 slate but either works just fine.
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#4 Maxheadspace

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 09:47 AM

Great idea! I've always just dangled a slate at the end of a cord for white balance. That tends to get tangled; is clumsy to use. This makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing this.

Max

;)
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#5 pmooney

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:48 PM

For those who are interested in a very hardy white balance slate but don't have the time or easy access to all the components.

A premade kit is available from Gates .

Part # 50-25-081 . cost is around $78.00 USD

Attached Images

  • White_Balance_Slate_2Wx150dpi.jpg


#6 Nick Hope

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 10:05 PM

The Gates slate arm is $81.00 and seems to use the fatter 3/4" locline.

Amphibico light arms are 3/4" locline. LMI Bluefin light arms are the thinner 1/2" locline but they mount on the housing with 3/4" to 1/2" reducers, so 3/4" locline can still be used for a slate arm if you use a 3/4" Y fitting.

I've just ordered up the parts to make an arm like this for my Bluefin, but with my 4" x 4" Expodisc on the end, "framed" if necessary in a larger plain white or translucent slate.

From www.modularhose.com:

3/4" Y fitting, part no. 60531 (pack of 2), $8.75
3/4" shield mounting elbow, part no. 61511 (pack of 2), $7.65
3/4" line hose segments, part no. 61501 ($7.47 for 2 x 6" lengths - I have some already, this is just extra)

They send to Thailand by USPS Global Priority Mail, which is good value and a great service and tends to avoid customs nonsense (unlike UPS/Fedex/DHL).

So if this works out then we'll have the parts to make one for the Gates as well as the Bluefin. Then no more pointing the camera at our fins, but a lot more creaking from the Locline!

#7 peterbkk

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Posted 27 March 2007 - 06:17 AM

If anyone wants to build one of these flexible white-balance arms, I have one set of the 3/4 inch locline components that I am prepared to give away, absolutely free.

3/4" Y fitting, part no. (pack of 2)
3/4" mounting elbow, part no. 61511 (pack of 2)
3/4" line hose segments, part no. 61501 (4 x 6 inch lengths).

After receiving these items from www.modularhose.com, I discovered that my L&M HID light arms are based on the smaller 1/2 inch locline. So I ordered the whole set again in the smaller size.

Rather than gather dust at the back of my cupboard, someone on this forum could get some benefit from them.

Just send me a private message with your snail-mail address and I will airmail them to you.

Regards
Peter

Just a note for anyone else building one of these things in 1/2 inch locline, for some reason they don't make the mounting elbow in this size, with its handy bolt for connecting to the slate. Instead you need:

51808 LOC-LINE 1/2" Y FITTING
51824 LOC-LINE 1/2" ELBOW FITTING
51895 LOC-LINE 1/2" FIXED MOUNT
51801 LOC-LINE 1/2" HOSE SEGMENT PACK x 2
51811 LOC-LINE 1/2" DOUBLE SOCKET
plus a bolt, nut and some washers.

The "fixed mount" can be bolted to the slate and the double-socket is required to connect the fixed mount to the hose segment.

Regards
Peter
Bangkok, Thailand

#8 peterbkk

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Posted 30 March 2007 - 06:25 AM

If anyone wants to build one of these flexible white-balance arms, I have one set of the 3/4 inch locline components that I am prepared to give away, absolutely free.


It has been claimed.

Regards
Peter

#9 alyafi

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 03:10 AM

Dear Peter,

Thank you for this information. I hope you don't mind, I have some questions:

1. For a Light and Motion, please confirm if these are all the pieces that I need for a WB slate 3rd arm:

51808 LOC-LINE 1/2" Y FITTING
51824 LOC-LINE 1/2" ELBOW FITTING
51895 LOC-LINE 1/2" FIXED MOUNT
51801 LOC-LINE 1/2" HOSE SEGMENT PACK x 2
51811 LOC-LINE 1/2" DOUBLE SOCKET
+plus a bolt, nut and some washers

If you have assembled this already can you share some pictures?

2. Do you think this setup would be robut enough to mount an Amphibico Color Slate to this or are those slates too big?

3. Would it be possbile to use a reducer (61512 Loc-Line Y Reducer 3/4" to 1/2" system) to use the part 60531 Loc-Line Shield Mounting Elbow for 3/4" system? In that case, what would be the item list required for the arm?

Thanks a Brazillian!

#10 peterbkk

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 04:13 AM

Dear Peter,

Thank you for this information. I hope you don't mind, I have some questions:

1. For a Light and Motion, please confirm if these are all the pieces that I need for a WB slate 3rd arm:

51808 LOC-LINE 1/2" Y FITTING
51824 LOC-LINE 1/2" ELBOW FITTING
51895 LOC-LINE 1/2" FIXED MOUNT
51801 LOC-LINE 1/2" HOSE SEGMENT PACK x 2
51811 LOC-LINE 1/2" DOUBLE SOCKET
+plus a bolt, nut and some washers

If you have assembled this already can you share some pictures?

2. Do you think this setup would be robut enough to mount an Amphibico Color Slate to this or are those slates too big?

3. Would it be possbile to use a reducer (61512 Loc-Line Y Reducer 3/4" to 1/2" system) to use the part 60531 Loc-Line Shield Mounting Elbow for 3/4" system? In that case, what would be the item list required for the arm?

Thanks a Brazillian!


1. Yes, that's what I am using.

I have attached two images. One shows the housing from above with the arm extended in the place where I would be doing a WB setting. You can also see the slate and it connector. The second shot shows the housing upside down. You can see the slate tucked under the housing and the battery pods. This the where the slate lives during the dive, tucked out of the way under the housing. There is a third position for the slate but I don't have a photo. On the dive boat, in it's carry-on bag and most of the time, the slate sits diagonally across the top of the housing lens and the video monitor, providing protection from bumps and scratches.

2. Maybe but not sure. The arm is quite sturdy and firm but it can swivel a bit on the place where the light arms mount on the top of the housing arms. Too much weight might cause it to move out of place. But the Amphibico looks to me like a bit of an expensive over-kill. Any cheap white piece of plastic will do. I use a cheap underwater slate.

3. Maybe. I went with the 1/2 inch system completely and made the slate connector from some stainless steel marine nuts and bolts (then covered them with epoxy glue).

Regards
Peter

Attached Images

  • P7242489.JPG
  • P7242491.JPG


#11 alyafi

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 08:32 AM

1. Yes, that's what I am using.

I have attached two images. One shows the housing from above with the arm extended in the place where I would be doing a WB setting. You can also see the slate and it connector. The second shot shows the housing upside down. You can see the slate tucked under the housing and the battery pods. This the where the slate lives during the dive, tucked out of the way under the housing. There is a third position for the slate but I don't have a photo. On the dive boat, in it's carry-on bag and most of the time, the slate sits diagonally across the top of the housing lens and the video monitor, providing protection from bumps and scratches.

2. Maybe but not sure. The arm is quite sturdy and firm but it can swivel a bit on the place where the light arms mount on the top of the housing arms. Too much weight might cause it to move out of place. But the Amphibico looks to me like a bit of an expensive over-kill. Any cheap white piece of plastic will do. I use a cheap underwater slate.

3. Maybe. I went with the 1/2 inch system completely and made the slate connector from some stainless steel marine nuts and bolts (then covered them with epoxy glue).

Regards
Peter


Peter, you are a star. Thanks for the quick response. By the way, is the loc-line very noisy? Loud enough to scare the fish away? I presume the bubbles are noisier than the plastic creaking but I am curious to know from someone with experience.

Cheers,

Al Yafi
Dives well under pressure

#12 peterbkk

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Posted 31 May 2009 - 07:08 PM

Peter, you are a star. Thanks for the quick response. By the way, is the loc-line very noisy? Loud enough to scare the fish away? I presume the bubbles are noisier than the plastic creaking but I am curious to know from someone with experience.

Cheers,

Al Yafi
Dives well under pressure


Loc-line is a bit "creaky". You will hear a huge creaking sound on the tape if you ever move it when the camera is recording.

But I have never had a problem with scaring fish (exhalation bubbles do that well enough already). Normally, I set the WB during descent and then only reset it if I am going from WA shooting without lights to CU shooting with lights. I would set it at least a couple of meters away from the planned location. Same with adjusting the direction of lights. I usually get all that kind of stuff set, set the focus, start the tape rolling, then approach the fish or marine life. The less that you are fiddling with during the actual shoot, the more you can concentrate on framing, steadiness and not breathing out at the wrong time...

regards
Peter

#13 alyafi

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 12:55 AM

I've mad the purchase from modularhose.com. I will be testing both the full 1/2" setup and something else I have figured might work. I bought the mounting elbow, some 3/4" hose and an adapter from 1/2" to 3/4". I will see which setup works best. I should be receive the product in late June. Hopefully I will be able to give some feedback to the forum after that.

Al Yafi
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#14 alyafi

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 10:46 AM

Guys and Gals, thanks to a fortunate mistake on my part I called modularhose.com to make a correction to my order. I ended up speaking to Dave Zebutis (info@modularhose.com). He was really helpful and saved me from myself. I have updated my order to a purely 1/2" system with the Y-splitter so that I can still mount lights in the future. He has been working with other clients about the setup and has some very clear pictures of the mountings. When I get an email confirmation about the updated order I will post it here for the benefit of the forum.

A big thank you to Dave and modularhose.com. They are very professional and helpful.

Al Yafi
Dives well under pressure

#15 alyafi

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Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:44 AM

Ok, I know this is pretty much repeated information, but I am including a breakdown of pricing. For the 1/2" Light and motion order this is what you need:

Item Qty Description Amount
51811 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" DOUBLE SOCKET, PACK OF 4 $4.95
51895 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" FIXED MOUNT, PACK OF 2 $4.55
51808 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" Y FITTING, PACK OF 2 $6.65
51824 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" ELBOW FITTING, PACK OF 2 $6.20 (optional since the loc line bends allot)
51801 2 LOC-LINE 1/2" HOSE SEGMENT PACK $11.98 ($5.99 each)
78001 1 LOC-LINE 1/4" HOSE ASSEMBLY PLIERS $9.86 (optional)
Stuff total 34.33 without the pliers

Oh, and there is shipping too.

The last thing you will need is a screw and washer (local hardware store) and a slate.

Warning: I have not tried this out in real life, so I don't know exactly how long the hose actually needs to be. You may need more or less hose links (item 51801). I will let you know when I get these tough guys wet.

Et violia!

Al Yafi
Dives well under pressure

Edited by alyafi, 01 June 2009 - 07:57 PM.


#16 wolffman

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 06:57 AM

Hello everybody.

For those of you who've ever wished you had a "third" hand/arm so you could hold your white slate when manual WB-ing, look no further!

Here's a "collage" of pix ilustrating what you need to create a WB slate with bendable Locline arm to attach to your Bluefin HD. Makes MWB a snap.
After you're done MWB-ing, you can quickly reposition the WB slate + bendable arm under the housing for less drag. Used a zillion times, never fails.

Credit to my good friend and mentor Steve (Douglas); I borrowed his great idea a couple years ago when diving Cocos together. WB-ing has never been easier ever since! Steve's the man, as usual!

I thought this interesting technique deserved its own separate thread, given the interest from several people in the past.

Materials and Procedure:

- Locline 3/4 inch modules for the arm. These are of the same kind as those used for the L&M light arms. You can also find them in smaller size (diameter wise); I like the 3/4 inch modules because I can always use them in the future as spares, should some of those used in the light arms become too loose with time.
Notice that the arm length (and therefore number of individual Locline modules) wil vary according to your taste. I like to use about 15 modules. Makes it easy to set the slate in front of the lens, zoom in a bit to MWB, and then quickly reposition the slate + arm under the housing.

- Y splitter, by Locline.

- White plastic slate (available at Dive shops, in several sizes. This one is a 6 inch by 4 inch, which is good even in conditions with lots of current; or you can use a larger one, this way you can zoom in even less when your MWB-ing on it.

- A Locline "Mounting Elbow", that "grabs" the corner of the white slate. Make a 3/8inch hole on one of the corners of the slate, that way you'll be able to "sandwitch" tha corner of the slate between the two parts of the Locline mounting elbow. Then tighten the screw that comes with it to keep the slate nicely secured. You may wanna add some "instant" glue for a super-tight hold.

- Connect the mounting elbow + slate to one of the ends of the Locline bendable arm (15 or so lements), and attach this arm to the L&M light (HID or Halogen) arm via the Y splitter.

- Extend the White card arm in front of the lens, and now you can use your two hands to hold the camera and press the WB button. Voila!

- When done, simply bend the WB arm and tuck it under the housing (or to the side) so it doesn't create drag (see last pic).

BTW, you can find all the needed Locline materials at http://www.modularhose.com
Very fast shipping, never had a problem with them.

Hope it helps.

NickWB_Slate_Arm.jpg



#17 wolffman

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Posted 04 June 2009 - 07:05 AM

Ok, I know this is pretty much repeated information, but I am including a breakdown of pricing. For the 1/2" Light and motion order this is what you need:

Item Qty Description Amount
51811 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" DOUBLE SOCKET, PACK OF 4 $4.95
51895 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" FIXED MOUNT, PACK OF 2 $4.55
51808 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" Y FITTING, PACK OF 2 $6.65
51824 1 LOC-LINE 1/2" ELBOW FITTING, PACK OF 2 $6.20 (optional since the loc line bends allot)
51801 2 LOC-LINE 1/2" HOSE SEGMENT PACK $11.98 ($5.99 each)
78001 1 LOC-LINE 1/4" HOSE ASSEMBLY PLIERS $9.86 (optional)
Stuff total 34.33 without the pliers

Oh, and there is shipping too.

The last thing you will need is a screw and washer (local hardware store) and a slate.

Warning: I have not tried this out in real life, so I don't know exactly how long the hose actually needs to be. You may need more or less hose links (item 51801). I will let you know when I get these tough guys wet.

Et violia!

Al Yafi
Dives well under pressure


Just got a canon HF 11 and IKELITE housing .in the water twice now and have been trying to do the WB ,this will help thanks have started to make one aready

#18 Drewski

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Posted 09 June 2009 - 07:43 PM

Hi All:

I've used the Gates white balance slate on several dives and have been VERY pleased. Easy, quick and no problems. I'd offer a suggestion, however. Add a black and grey stripe of duct tape to the slate, then use three-way color correction (BGW) in post. I shoot about 10 seconds of tape of the slate, then rotate out. In post, I just put the eye dropper on each color and POW, done!

Here's an example on a low-light shot. The white light you see is shifted red because I have the green-water filter down. It's my buddy's dive light, not a video light. I'm shooting in natural light at about 100 FT (30m) on a cloudy day with a Sony PD-170 set at F 5.6 and 1/60 shutter using a Fathom SWP. Visibility is less than 15 FT (5m) and the slate is only a couple of inches (6 cm) from the lens.

Andy


Edited by Drewski, 09 June 2009 - 07:45 PM.

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#19 Solo_NZ

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 02:20 AM

Thanks for the great idea! I am just upgrading to the L & M Bluefin Pro for the Sony XR520 with SUnray 2000 lights, 110 Fathom lens, OLED screen. This will be my first system with the ability to manually white balance. I was thinking through the logistics of trying to hold the housing, hit the button on the side of the housing, and hold a slate in front of the lens. Thsi will fix the prob entirely!! Ordered a 3/4" setup tonight!

Thanks heaps!! :P

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#20 wolfeeldiver

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Posted 11 June 2009 - 09:21 AM

I too use a "gates slate" and lock line assembly for holding my slate, and it works great.
http://www.bhphotovi...Slate_with.html

I have done some custom re mounting of it however, instead of using a "Y" adapter in the lock like I prefer to mount the slate direct to the housing so I added the LMI "stingray universal mounts" to my housing's handle, and to the lock line arm, which provides a quik disconnect connection from the arm to the housing. That way, when on the boat, its easy to get the slate arm out of the way for battery swapping, or housing maintenance. Also, I've used it underwater to unmount the slate from the housing and handed hand the slate to my buddy for him to hold while I set WB, so that I can set the WB at a further camera to subject distance (useful when my video lights are the primary source of illumination..distance is a factor in color shift.)
IMG_5444.jpg

I have purchased lockline parts from www.modularhose.com as well and pleased with their service too.

I do the same steps Drewski does, I have white, black, and gray swatches on the slate, and shoot some footage of it for post correcting the WB. But, I also manually set the WB on the slate during the dive, in order to start with as close to proper WB setting as possible.

I may be buying a more accurate WB slate.. the DSC Splash... and may begin using this slate in the future on the above lockline arm. Instead of using my "home made" colors and gray scale that I've added to my Gates slate.

http://www.bhphotovi...alibration.html

Edited by wolfeeldiver, 11 June 2009 - 09:48 AM.