NikΩmega TTV 910 (camera design)
Design Specifications for the TTV camera

The NikΩmega TTV 910 is an 'in-service' development of the Nikolbia TTV812 through-the-viewfinder camera, based on ten months' experience of taking photos with the initial design. The initial design criteria had not changed.

The TTV camera set-up must:

1) exclude direct and reflected light hitting the surfaces of the viewfinder and the camera lens [it was accepted that the design might allow a small amount of light from the bottom],

2) be rigid for transport and handling,

3) be reliable, easy to use and produce readily replicable settings,

4) be able to be used hand-held,

5) be tripod mountable,

6) allow the mounting and de-mounting of the viewfinder camera without harm to that camera [as it forms part of my camera collection],

7) permit the mounting and de-mounting of the digital camera without much fuss [as the camera is used in 'normal' photographic life],

8) allow to use both the Nikon D300 and Nikon D80 bodies,

9) allow the use of a range of lenses [it is accepted that some lenses may have a looser framing than the reference lens used (a AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G)], and

10) allow easy access to the focussing ring of the lenses to facilitate manual focussing.

Ideally, the design would also

11) look reasonably professional and

12) permit to use a range of viewfinder cameras.

The Nikolbia TTV812 = Nikon-Olbia TTV model built in Dec 2008 comprised of a Nikon D300 with AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G and an Olbia 6x6x pseudoTLR

Im July 2009 I modified the design: The problem with the original design, using the Gitzo G2285M Quick release adapter, was that the Gitzo G2285M takes a different quick release plate than my GH2750QR off-centre ball head, thus requiring to swap the quick release plates--not a solution for efficient work flow...hence it was replaced with the G1285 quick release.

Because the base of the Gitzo G1285 unit is marginally stepped, the base plate needed for the G1285 is larger, and it is clicked in raher than slid in, the light construction of the stem of the Nikolbia developed some slight flexing. While this was not a problem in a vertical shooting position, it caused a minor shift of the image when the camera was held sideways, leading to a number unintentionally cropped frames.

In addition, the small hand grip rivetted to the side of the stem of the Nikolbia proved to be both badly placed and ergonomically totally useless.

Finally, when whole unit was placed on a hard surface it tended to tilt, with the bottom camera touching the surface. This potentially caused abrasions and also placed pressure on the tripod mounting unit of the historic bottom camera. As the Olbia Export model with the orange-golden face plate is very uncommon, if not rare, the potential for damage, and certainly material fatigue was rather unwelcome.

The additional design modifications of the NikΩmega TTV 910 include:

• the utilisation of an Omega Eikon as the bottom camera (the Eikon is near-identically built predecessor model to the Olbia).

• the addition of a Bencini Universal Pistol Grip with cable release.

• the provision of a protective 'cage' that prevents the bottom camera from touching the ground and twisting when the whole unit is put down

• the addition of a digital cable release to allow triggering of the top camera via the pistol grip

An unfortunate side-effect of the large diameter light tube (has to be big enough for the Micro-Nikkor to fit) and especially the pistol grip is that whole contarption now has a weapons-like appearance.

The unit (bar top and bottom camera) was pray-painted silver to make it look less weapon like. I would have preferred black, but felt that colour would reinforce the suspicion of a weapon, and thus might be too risky given the plethora of over-zealous security guards these days

I toyed with spray painting various sections yellow, red and purple to nullify any gun reference, but decided against that as it 1) would have screamed "Hey, look at me! look at me!", and 2) with summer approaching, such a multi-coloured unit could be mistaken as a water soaker -- and the last thing I wanted is that some clown assumes this and soaks my unit with water...

Finally, I renamed the construction
NikΩmega TTV 910, a Nikon-Omega TTV model built in October 2009.

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