Has anyone tried the "Steady Stick" at DVinfo.net

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Old June 13th, 2004, 07:36 PM   #1
John Carey
 
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Has anyone tried the "Steady Stick"

Hey, Im about to buy a Steady stick for a PD170 and I want to know if anyone has used this. If so, how is it, what are the pro's and cons?




John
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Old June 15th, 2004, 06:52 PM   #2
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The "Steady-stick" would be a simple and effective aid for shooting, especially with a camera that has image stabilization. It is a minimalist piece of equipment, but sometimes this is exactly what you need. When traveling light or shooting in a crowd, such a device can be less obtrusive and awkward than a more complex steadying rig or a full shoulder-mount. If you want a commercially-available shooting aid, this would be a good one to try. Note what I say further on, about putting too much stress on the tripod jack of a camera.

About 16 years ago, when I first started developing my own shoulder-mounts, with steadying rods and counterweights positioned below, I soon realized the need for a smaller and simpler alternative apparatus.

I built a 16-inch rod from aluminum tubing, with 6 oz. of weight inside its bottom end, capped with a rubber crutch tip. It has a large, triangular foam pad, with the rod going through its center. The pad is of grey-colored stiff foam and rests against the right breast-bone.

It also uses a rectangular plate of thin plywood, the same size as the camera's tripod-mounting base. This fits between the rod and the camera and is necessary to spread out the stress of the rod's mounting bolt into the tripod jack. A hole is drilled into the wood for the bolt. There is Velcro on the camera's base and the upside of this wood piece. The Velcro isn't the primary means of attachment, but it keeps it from rotating and the bolt doesn't have to be tightened so much with it. If you tighten a locking nut too much in this type of device, the tripod jack can be broken out of the camera.

A wingnut and a big fender washer are tightened on the mounting bolt, after it's screwed into the camera, against the bottom of the wood plate. The bolt is
anchored inside the upper end of the rod with epoxy putty (J-B Weld is good). A sheet-metal locking screw is put in from the side, 1 1/2-inches from the tip, to hold the head of the bolt securely, before the putty sets around it.
Do I need to say that the bolt must be of the same diameter and thread-pitch as the camera's tripod jack?

I've also made a shorter and lighter version of this with a wooden rod, for small to medium-size still cameras. These rigs make good handles for solidly grabbing and carrying the cameras.

Anyone interested can E-Mail me and I'll send a J-PEG picture of these devices.
I've made a dozen of these various contraptions over the years for friends, but I'm not in business to do it commercially.

Steve McDonald
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Old June 15th, 2004, 11:32 PM   #3
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Yup.

I like it. I don't shoot without it anymore.

I wrote a review with a bunch of photos. Check it out: www.dvfreelancer.com/articles/steadystick.html
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Old June 16th, 2004, 05:39 AM   #4
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More Than One "Steady-stick"?

This Steady-stick by Canon that Aaron showed, is much more complex and expensive a product than the one I saw. I was recommending an accessory by the same name that is just a straight stick about 18 inches long, that fits into the tripod jack and costs about $30. I know nothing about the one he depicted by Canon, although it looks a bit antithetical to the simple approach I like to follow with my gear.

Steve McDonald
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Old June 16th, 2004, 10:24 AM   #5
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The one I have is made by Tiffen and also thrown under the Canon name (I would guess so they can sell more).

Its really not that complicated. I just added some more things to make life easier.
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Old June 17th, 2004, 06:58 AM   #6
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The Davis & Sanford / Tiffen Steady Stick is made in two models - for lighter DV size cameras and for the fulll size broadcast cameras. They are easy to use and do what they are designed to do - take the weight off the arms and shoulders. They are also reasonably priced (we sell them).
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