Each fixed camera is equipped with zoom and focus controls attached to the rear arms of your pedestal or tripod. The left arm holds the manual focus control and the right arm holds the control for the motorized zoom lens.
The focus control is a manual and mechanical device. There is no auto focus. Focus is the responsibility of the camera operator. You may notice tape marks on the focus control which coincide with spike marks on the stage. These are cheats to allow focus to be set while the stage is dark. Always check these marks and feel free to make your own with white artist’s tape.
The right rear control arm holds the zoom control module. Turn the thumb control lever to zoom in our out. The further you move this lever the faster your lens will zoom. The specific operation of the other buttons on this control depends on the lens attached to your camera:
Cameras 2 & 3
On the bottom side of the zoom hand grip you will feel two buttons:
The top button is the video return switch that will interrupt the picture on your viewfinder and instead display the current output of the switcher. This can be a very useful function when a dissolve is being executed or a graphic is being displayed atop your camera image. Simply press the top button and the program output will be displayed for as long as you depress the button.
The bottom button is the press-to-talk button for your headset microphone. This button must be depressed for you to be heard on the intercom.
Further up the underside of the zoom control is a dial that allows adjustment of the zoom speed. Be sure you know the location of this dial and how to adjust the speed of your zoom.
On the top side of the zoom control you will notice a switch for doubling the capacity of the zoom lens. This switch should remain on the 1X setting unless you are instructed to switch it to the 2X setting.
Cameras 1, 6, & 7
The zoom control for these cameras functions identically to that of Cameras 2 and 3 (see above), but the buttons are in placed different locations:
On the face of the zoom control you will see a button labeled “VTR”—this is your push-to-talk button. Next to this button you will find the zoom speed control. The video return button is located on the bottom side of the zoom control handle. (Your zoom control does not include the 2X feature.)
When adjusting your control arms, please be aware that changing the position of these arms will affect the balance of the camera. For this reason it is best to make any adjustments to these arms before you do a final check of the tripod head balance.