This is my translation using google it mostly makes sense.
History repeats itself.
There was a time when you could not shoot handheld. The cameras were simply too cumbersome and too heavy and not given an ergonomic shape. There was also a time when handheld was frowned upon. Many director forbade it, they found the recorded image to be restless. Conditions have changed: the camera has become an extension of the cameraman.
"They must have thought why reinvent the wheel"
With the outbreak of the Second World War handheld filming found wide expectance. The U.S.
public wanted to see their sons and fathers fight on the front lines and that was impossible to capture with cumbersome cameras on tripods. The Bell and Howell 70 Filmo first produced in 1925 allowed handheld filming for the first time. Built like a tank, highly reliable small this 16 mm manual camera with a turret for three lenses; recorded five minutes per roll. This was a camera that you held up to your face to look through similar in the viewfinders on todays DSLRs. The Filmo is also been of great importance to news gathering in the early years of television. During the Vietnam War it was also the front line camera.
These smaller film rolls were replaced by 400ft loads. That made handheld cameras, including the Paillard Bolex and Arri ST, top-heavy and hard to work with, so back on tripod. In 1969, documentary filmmaker Michael Wadley filmed the famous Woodstock Festival mostly from the shoulder with a few Eclair NPR 16mm film cameras. This French camera had a coaxial film magazine which ran for 10 minutes and sat over shoulder. This is the beginning of an ergonomic design. Long takes could now easily be operated from the shoulder and the Eclair cameras became very popular with documentary film makers.
In the late seventies, the Aaton LTR, the ultimate design 16 mm film camera, was introduced. Designed by Jean-Pierre Beauviala, an Eclair technician. To this day Aaton has maintained the same ergonomics. The lastest Delta 4K digital camera form-data according with the cat on the shoulder principle. Simultaneously with the introduction of the Aaton LTR, portable video cameras on the market, top heavy and often leading to a shoulder pain. The introduction of DSLRs six years ago, with video cameras capabilities, recreated the problem for long handheld shots. Many camera people can not hold the current small cameras for long at eye level, positioned 30 to 40 cm form their face.
Lion on the shoulder
In the past, with small cameras long lens handheld shots turned out poorly, now even though there are many handheld rigs, most are too long to efficiently control. Thus far the balance point of shoulder mounted camera rig is far in front of the shoulder, requiring a counterweight behind the shoulder, often a battery. Which needs to be placed far back enough back to find balance, otherwise the weight still rests on the arms of the cameraman. Many rigs are big, ugly, often clumsily and far from ergonomic. David Ford and Peter Schneider of ergocine from New York, who with their DSLRs where shooting a lot of concerts handheld, bumped against these restrictions, until they remember the Aaton LTR, the best handheld camera ever designed. Then they thought why reinvent the wheel. So the Lion, a walnut replica of the Aaton LTR body arose. On the site of the camera cradle you can be placed small cameras such as the RED Epic, RED Scarlet, Canon C100 / C300's, Sony FS100's, BMCC and DSLRs from Canon and Panasonic. In the magazine there is space for a counterweight, or if desired you can draw power from an external battery. All this with the consent of Jean-Pierre Beauviala. And the best, the original wooden handle of the Aaton LTR, has been restored ...
Our intention with the Lion's design was to create a near permanent home for the camera. It is great to see this bare out as the whole package becomes one, moving from the dolly, to the tripod and on to the shoulder.
This is DP Biff Bracht, deep in a jungle shooting a new reality show with the Lion-R. He wrote this very kind email. "Hey David
Ergo is my new best friend, and the topic of much discussion amongst my camera department. Now permanently known as "Woodie", it is performing brilliantly. I'll give you a better download after I've used it a little longer. I'll also send you some more action related hand held shots as they come available. Thanks again. The brand new Fujinon 19 - 90 is probably one of the heaviest lenses I would hang on this rig, but it's very well balanced and handles great!"
"Quick question. I was wondering if you had any solutions for using the lion on a quick release eng style tripod plate. Currently I am using with a sachtler 20 and trying to figure out how to balance with out spending thousands on a dove tail arri plate setup."
When I was down at Abel doing a fitting with the BMC, I got some time to try out the fs100 on the Lion -R. The Zacuto Studio base plate for the C300 makes for a tight fit, it measures in at 3/4" where many quick release plate are 1/4 ".
Also I am going to offer a modification using spacers to raise the hight of the handle.
It really felt good on my shoulder, well balanced.
AbelCine was generous enough to allow me to build the Lion -R with a demo Black Magic Cinema Camera. They did not have the Alphatron EVF in. I think it was out getting a firmware update (but don't quote me) so I used the Zacuto instead. With no HDSDI in the evf is not actually functioning but hopefully the idea gets across. The rear rods are holding the View Factor AB plate adaptor for power, this Lion is ready for power but no plugs have been installed, it is something done according to the owners preference.
So here is the trick, the camera is so wide that it occupies the space where the EVF should be, my proposed solution is to off set it to the right by roughly 30 mm. I used this inexpensive piece which adjust on 2 -axis. But to be really solid you would need two one in front of the plate and one inback. I will have Dennis at Egli make a solid off set for the Lion - R and the BMC.
On the 17th I went down toCinema Vision to build out the new Lion - R, our new hard use rig. As always Jackie and Derek were happy to help, thank you. We are not only showing off the new rig with a full power mod, (6 D-Taps) but the different operating positions the the Lion (R or O) is designed to compliment. Our focus is now shifting to accommodating the Epic / Scarlet, with new modifications to the Lion to allow the body to snug all the back against the vertical section of the "L" (the sweet spot for weight distribution) but still allow access to the power and I/O. We are also working with MadlyFins, LLC to intergrte a on / off button into our BWG and BCG hand grips.