Motorized Pan Tilt Head on Jib / Crane

Your basic Jib / Crane will give you smooth vertical (up/down) movements. With a pan head placed under the crane, you will combine both horizontal (left/right) and vertical movements. Attach a video head to the end of the crane and you'll be able to maintain a subject in frame even when the crane is panning horizontally similar to a track dolly or slider. That's quite a bit of options for a crane, but once you've added a motorized pan/tilt head, it will open up amazing camera movements that are otherwise impossible to achieve through any other tool.

Last week we decided to mount up the Servo City MPT1100-SS Pan & Tilt System to one of our jibs. We were able to capture smooth overhead rotating shots down to low tilt movements. The speed of the motorized Pan/Tilt system can be adjusted through the joystick, and the rotation of the motors can be reversed to the joystick movements to suit your preference. The unit can be mounted right side up, or underslung (which I prefer). It can mount to jibs with a bowl adapter or standard 1/4-20 mounts.

We will be using this new setup for an upcoming project, but as with any tool it does take quite a bit of practice. The MT1100-SS is much smoother than it appears in our first practice video (above). The system weighs only 2 pounds and can support up to a 6 pound payload. For around $649 the kit comes with everything you need to start performing motorized Pan / Tilt movements on your jib and more information about this head can be found at the MPT1100-SS Pan & Tilt system over at the product page (Click Here).

Servo City Pan Tilt HeadServo city Motorized Pan Tilt
find-price-button MPT1100-SS Pan & Tilt System

For jibs smaller than 4ft. I don't really suggest adding an entire motorized pan/tilt setup. You will probably get best results working with at least an 8ft. or longer jib setup. For larger heavier camera equipment, you will need a stronger system than the MPT-1100SS and instead look towards the PT-2100 (found here). There is also a good number of long jib/cranes available and a small variety of motorized pan/tilt products available via eBay (click here).

crane head motorized pan tilt remote controlmotorized pan tilt crane headapan tilt head jib crane systempan tilt motorized head
find-price-button Motorized Pan Tilt Head 8-12ft Jib Cranes

16 thoughts on “Motorized Pan Tilt Head on Jib / Crane

  1. Javier

    Anyone have tried one of this with the Aviator Jib or the carbon fiber mini crane commented previously?
    I am interested to those would work for this pan tilt head.


  2. Austin

    Crazy idea but couldn't you somehow mount this onto a slider and have a motion control head on a motor controlled slider? Kinda like a "poor" mans version of the Kessler CineDrive? And by poor I mean still like $1600.

  3. Derrick (formerly Diesel)

    Emm...Thanks for the vid! How is the noise level of the motors? Is it essentially silent?

  4. Tuan

    Hi Emm
    What lens were you using on the test? were you track focusing as you move your jib? or was this a wide lens with good DOF.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Jay - It is much smoother than it appears in the video it just takes time to practice. We all took turns testing it so we got different results.

  6. Jay

    The panning and tilting looks smooth but I can see the hard stops when you center the joy stick. Is there any dampening? Those hard stops alone really take away some production value in a shot. But for the price I guess there is some compromise and for the most part the shots look great.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @Everyone - I dont suggest the MPT with anything heavier than a Canon DSLR. Check out the other options linked at the bottom of the article.

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