Tokyo and Motorized mount

This latest blog is not as good as it should be for a very simple reason. It’s the second time I have written it.

I wrote it an hour ago on my black macbook with loads of detailed photos and enormous wit. Then just as I was about to publish the computer locked up and I had to hold down the restart button, when it restarted it just churned with the “folder ?” icon displayed. It’s the second time in 4 months it has done this. AM NOT IMPRESSED.

Fortunately last night I backed up my website onto my editing Macbook Pro just in case. Thank god I did. The entire resigned website existed only on that computer until then, so at least I have that!

On my first full day in Tokyo I went out with Alex Kubalsky from and as well as Vimeo to do some shooting around the city, in particular a place he has used for some of his timelapses, Shibuya. So we met up for the first time there and he brought a motorised telescope mount that he had bought locally for me. He has used it on some test shots and it looks fantastic. It has two speed settings, one is .2 degrees a second and the second is 1 degree a second and it can move up, down, left and right using the wired remote control. It take 8 AA batteries or a 12v battery pack.

See the film here.


  1. Oh man, yes, that’s horrible! But hopefully the trip to japan will not have been in vain…
    I like the video very much. Only the colors are to my taste sometimes way oversaturated – to the point that some takes look quite digital and unnatural (the people there can’t possibly be that yellow! … or are they?) It’s not atrocious though…
    Would love to see some “content” to go along with such great pictures, perhaps some interviews about a topic which you personally find important. It’s for sure a fascinating place!
    Wish you best luck from now on.

  2. I Like the redesign. sorry to hear about loosing the post I’ve had my laptop eat things as well and there is little shot of a strong drink that can help the problem.
    Travis Bartoshek

  3. Too good? Take it a s a compliment. That guy has an ego problem. Enjoy the remaining in Japan, I’m sure you’ll find some great stuff to shoot.

  4. Cheers, Alex and I did a motorized 360 degree pan tonight. Except I kinda mucked it up right at end as my finger slipped! Looks cool though! Great toy!

  5. I love the saturated colors of all your videos. In fact since I’ve been following your blog, I bought myself a Letus Extreme (gave you credit) and an Ex-1 and I love the setup. I would love it though if when you get some time, write out directions for compressions. Your videos look great in HD on exposureroom but my videos look great in FCP but look washed out and pixelated in exposure room. HOW DO YOU DO IT!!! when you have the time…

  6. Hi Phil,

    Really sorry to hear the news that you are coming back early…console yourself in the fact that you will grab as much good footage as possible from Japan…


  7. Hi Phil,great footage!:)
    Maybe you filmed candle’s flame? If no…maybe you can try this test? Would be very interesting,thanks:)

  8. Hi Philip,

    I have a relatively easy question: How much do you charge for setting up a multi-day shoot in a closed location (read meeting room or similar) of someone presenting computer software training?

    I would also like help with the EX1 (just got it) plus advice on purchasing lighting equipment, etc…The expected shoot is on 19.May in Redmond, WA.

    Let me know,


    mark.baciak @ microsoft DOT com

    Screwed around with the email address to avoid email bots. Remove the spaces and the @ goes to

  9. HI Phil,

    The stuff you shoot on your own in Japan will end up a mile better than the “doco” anyways! Sounds like they are a bit Mickey Mouse…monopod indeed!

    If you get a chance, could you enable the Shibuya “download original” at XR?



  10. Hey Philip I haven’t been commenting, but loved your stuff and have been inspired to get out there with my ex1, its awesome you get to test out all the toys (tools), and now I know about some of them from your site. Sorry about the messed up Japan trip, but hopefully it was a good vacation seeing some place new. I loved those time-lapse pans, so keep up the good work! If you ever need to go to Vancouver Island, I can show you around just look me up at dvinfo!

  11. HI Philip,
    so sorry for your Japanese problems, so maybe i have some trick for you:
    – try the option touch (alt) at start, then choose the icon system.
    If this trick doesn’t work,
    – insert your start cd, press “c” at start and when the installer system is here go to the menubar and try disk utility to verify your system.
    – or link your macbooj to an another mac with a firewire cable, then start it with “t” letter on keyboard, it normally mount your macbook like a firewire disk, then you can back up all your user folder.

    I hope these trick may help you sincerly, thanx for your images.
    So I have a question, if I want buy a letus extreme for EX1 with NIkon AI lens is ok to order a 77mm thread size with a optimisation kit for EX1 ?

    Thanx a lot, I hope Tokyo have some good lights for you !


  12. How would the Mizar fit on different tripods? I have a Cartoni Focus and shoot with an HVX. Does it come with its on quick release plate?

  13. JP, it doesnt come with a quick release plate. Its designed for telescopes not HD cameras…but it has a 1/4 inch screw that can go straight into an EX1 or HVX. It supports an EX1 plus Letus extreme/ultimate and Zacuto Rds as Phil will tell you. You just need to buy a large washer and screw to attach it straight to the tripod head well. Get one! You wont be dissapointed.

  14. Hi Phil,

    How consistently repeatable is that Mizar gizmo? You think it will work for CG stuff where you have to mechanically repeat the same camera movement?


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