has anyone used Zacuto Z Finder with Merlin Steadicam at DVinfo.net

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Old December 30th, 2009, 10:33 AM   #1
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has anyone used Zacuto Z Finder with Merlin Steadicam

I was planning to use the Zacuto Z Finder with the Zacuto Rapid Fire, but then a Merlin Steadicam landed in our office.

I haven't a clue how one can use the Merlin with a Canon 5D Mk. II plus Zacuto Z Finder.
Anyone?

Paul
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Old December 30th, 2009, 11:00 AM   #2
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I think the Z-Finder, or any loup in fact is more suited to be used with some sort of shoulder support like the Gunstock Shooters from Zacuto, or the DSLR kits from RedRock Micro, Cavision, Cinevate etc. rather than a Merlin type steadycam which has to be held AWAY from the body to work properly.

Two different styles of working.

Avey
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Old December 30th, 2009, 11:10 AM   #3
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thanks avey

i guess if i were to use strictly say a 24mm or 35mm at f5.6 or smaller where minimum focusing is required, the merlin is ideal.

but that sort of kill the isolation and strength of the canon 5D Mk. II and the joy of shooting near maximum aperture.

paul
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Old December 31st, 2009, 05:32 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Chiu View Post
I was planning to use the Zacuto Z Finder with the Zacuto Rapid Fire, but then a Merlin Steadicam landed in our office.

I haven't a clue how one can use the Merlin with a Canon 5D Mk. II plus Zacuto Z Finder.
Anyone?

Paul
It's simply not possible to use a loupe with a Steadicam. The way a Steadicam works is by balancing the camera on gimbals to isolate it from all external vibrations etc & get that smooth motion 'flying' look. As soon as you touch the camera whether to focus or to
squint through the loupe you would throw it off balance.

Flying a Steadicam is quite a skill & as you noted one normally uses a wide angle lens stopped down to give a reasonable depth of filed as it is not possible to touch the camera to focus while shooting on the Steadicam. There are professional (=expensive) remote control follow focus units designed to be operated by a focus puller & finally the oft rumoured low cost remote FF the Hocus Focus is now shipping but at a much higher price than anticipated.
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:19 AM   #5
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Z Finder finally attached

nigel

agreed completely!

the merlin will likely see little action the type of work i do, but if ever there is some live action event where wide angles and even coverage is needed, i'd better practice my swinging skills.

now that my Z finder is finally attached and i got the zacuto rapid fire, i am going to practice with this setup.

i wonder though just how many off and on's the zacuto adhesives is good for?

paul
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Old December 31st, 2009, 11:34 AM   #6
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No worries regarding the adhesives...Zacuto has a lifetime warranty.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 01:19 PM   #7
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after a few days with Z finder

still learning and getting into some rhythm with the Z finder

one thing was clear though

i can see the pixels of the LCD panel too clearly, enough to reveal all the dead and stuck pixels on mine. think i have 3 including one blue near center. i would not have seen them without the Z finder. luckily, no bad ones on the inside sensor which does affect the final image.

as for handling the Z finder, i tried the rapid fire but with a canon power grip and a RRS l plate, the rig is just to heavy and unbalanced for the rapid fire. think i'll have to use a monopod with the Z finder instead.
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