One thing that changed me at the National Association of Broadcasters as a creative professional and a person was not what I expect. I expected, heading to Vegas, that the equipment was going to be the most important and interesting part of the show. It was not, it was the people I met at the show.
I actually only got to look at a few booths whilst at NAB. One was the Vision Research high speed camera booth. We chatted about the tv show “Time Warp” and the Phantom 12.1 camera that I played around with whilst working sporting events that utilized X-MO. I checked out some new LED lighting at the Zylight booth. These guys are from the Boston area and we talked about how LEDs are changing the way we light television and film. I also got to visit Red Rock, the makers of great follow focus and matte box systems. Finally, I checked out Zacuto. They have pretty much anything you could imagine to add user-friendly options to almost any type of camera system on the market. If they do not have it, they will make it and post it to their website in a few weeks. The Zacuto boys took me and a bunch of guys out to a steakhouse just off the Vegas Strip. That was FUN!
I saw this RED ONE camera just swinging in the breeze…
Why did not not go see 3DTV, or the 8k camera NHK had in their booth, or visit the other two halls!!?? Because I was talking to people every second every day I was there. Talking about anything television, but I was at NAB to chat about Vinten panheads and Letus 35mm lens adpaters.
I spend a lot of time in the Letus booth (part of BH Photo and Video) answering questions about 35mm lens adapters and talking to people about my experience with the Letus Extreme. I highly recommend the Letus products if you are planning on shooting higher end production. You can find the adapters at letusdirect.com.
At one point, a few people from California showed up and snapped a few pictures of Aaron, Philip and myself at the booth. Jehu Garcia from jag35.com let Phil and I try out the new 35mm lens adapter built for the small handheld AVCHD camcorders. The JAG35pro is just around $400.
Philip Bloom added me to one of his video blogs. Holding the small Canon hd camera upside down, he shot me with the JAG35pro.
Later, I got my hands on the little adapter and tried it out. I do not really have an opinion on this adapter except it is priced very cheap. As far as image quality, it does not match the Letus and the JAG35 does not flip the image. This inexpensive adapter will open up the shallow depth of field market to people who shoot for fun and cannot afford a Letus.
Ruth, Peter, Len, Nas, Susan, Hani, Michelle, Chris, Karyn, Bob, Matt, Jose and the many other people who were at the Vinten booth left quite an impression on me. Quality people selling quality products.
I spent a lot of time talking to them and the many people who attended NAB. I had some experience with the new Vision AS range of panhead so I answered any questions that were asked about operation in the field. I had the opportunity to speak to camera operators from all over the world. I was wearing the “Vinten” polo shirt proudly because I really stand behind the pan and tilt heads that this company produces.
In fact, after the second day, I was invited to a Vinten NAB party at the Gordon Biersch Brewery in Las Vegas. Many people were in attendance including several people from different media outlets and trade magazines. I was so happy to be there. I was surrounded by people from all over the world who loved three things: manufacturing quality products, television and film, and beer. I got to talk to a guy named Chris who was part of the team that built the best panhead ever made for a large format camera, the Vinten Vector 70. I told him sports camera people from around the world are able to cover the game smoothly and precisely because of the perfect balance and control of the Vector series of panheads.
I met a great engineer from the UK named Peter. Peter was a major player at Vinten and he helped design the new Vinten Vision AS range of panheads. Peter spoke for a few minutes about the new design and the innovative additions to the AS series.
Once Peter was finished, he passed me the mic and I said a few words about my experiences with the Vinten Vision pan head. I was part of a prototype test back in January and I was very pleased with it. I may have been very nervous speaking in front of all these heavy hitters, but it was actually quite easy to talk about a product that you are so sure about.
After I changed the world with just a few simple words, Peter and I had a chance to chat about Vinten products over a cold beer. I asked Peter about the different counter balance technologies inside the Vinten pan heads. We talked about the pantograph design of the Vector 70, 700 and 750. We also discussed the balance over-center design of the Vector 900 and 950. I hope to someday get over to the UK and pay Peter a visit. It would be great to see what the William Vinten building looks like!
A few beers later, the crowd began to head toward the stage and ask questions about the new Vision AS range. Peter answered specific questions about the new features and I answered a few questions about the operational feel and built-to-last design.
I met many nice people while at NAB and got to spend time outside the business environment with a few of them. Naz and Hani were two of them and they were just two people who liked to have fun. We decided that after the party we would go into Las Vegas proper.
I asked Hani if she wanted to go on the rollercoaster at New York, New York casino and she jumped about five feet into the air! Actually, I think the robotic division suggested it whilst at the Vinten party…
And I guess Hani “jumps around the world” and get photos snapped in mid air. Great idea.
The “Manhattan Express” rollercoaster on the Vegas Strip that runs around the New York, New York casino was something I had always wanted to do. I had visited Las Vegas whilst in college and we drove across the counrty. We passed through the City of Sin without getting a ride on the coaster, much to my dismay. But this time would be different. Just two brave souls from the Vinten group, Hani and myself tamed the metal thrill ride… three times!
The second time Hani and I jumped aboard we managed to get front row seats. I had a little point and shoot digital Kodak camera and I captured the entire 2 1/2 minute ride for you to enjoy!
Thanks to all who made my first NAB a very good one. I am sorry if I did not mention you by name, I simply could not include everyone I met during my three days in Vegas. I will be at NAB next year so if you were not able to make it out there, rest assured, we can do it all in one year’s time! Thanks to Susan, Naz and Hani for the photos on this blog.
I am currently editing a few videos for Vinten TV and the robotic division. I will post them to this website in a few days when they are ready.