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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:35 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Jack, does it use a weight at the rear that is intended to counter-balance the camera, or does it simply rely on the front spring-loaded pole to support the weight?
Charles, it does have a weight - a kind of free-rotating 3/4 disk, but my problem is not in the fore-aft axis, but rather the port-starboard axis, or if you prefer aviation terminology, roll rather than pitch. Here are some pictures to help you visualize the rig.

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/dvrigpro.php
The basic rig is the same on these - mine is the last from the bottom.

The design is really very clever - it sits easily on the shoulder and the brace is not at all uncomfortable resting on the hip. The problem seems to be that it always feels like it's about to slip sideways off my shoulder and I have quite broad shoulders. The result: I'm gripping the handle for dear life - not the way to get smooth steady shots, nor to wear the rig for more than a few minutes at a time.

It may be entirely psychological, but the axis combinations are infinitely variable and the included "guide" is not much help.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #17
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Aviation terminology good--in the Steadicam world we use "roll" also!

May I suggest a simple addition to the system: a nylon strap with Fastex buckle that attaches to the shoulder pad area and then loops under your left arm? This might serve to "lock in" the system. Depending on how the rig is trying to escape from you, it might be preferable instead to have this loop attach to your belt on the left side and/or right side which will give additional resistance. Obviously it makes an extra step in getting in/out, but for long shooting periods it should be a help.

Does the system allow for shifting the weight of the camera/counterweight to the left at all?
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Old September 30th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #18
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The strap idea is appealing. It would have to loop around the shoulder pad/mount, as there are no attachment points. The problem would be at the other end - attaching it to the padded rig belt. This would only work with some kind of buckle at each end which would enable looping around the belt at the front and back. I'm not sure what a Fastex buckle is. I don't necessarily need to be able to position the rig with a strap, but use it as a safety precaution against the whole thing hitting the sidewalk. An ideal situation would be a pair of rings just in front and just behind the right shoulder and another pair in front and behind the left hip and a couple of adjustable length straps with snaffles at each end.

As far as shifting center of gravity (I believe that's what you're suggesting), the counterweight is fixed in location, but rotates freely. The XL2 viewfinder determines where the whole rig is located along the yaw axis.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 04:51 PM   #19
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Fastex buckles are the plastic snap-in type that are used from everything from fanny packs to camera bags. That's a particular company name but there are many other similar brands. An Army/Navy store should have them in various sizes. I would think that you could take short lengths of webbing and wrap them around the belt with D-rings at the top, which would give you your attachment points for the shoulder strap, and then make up the strap out of webbing with small carabeeners or plastic buckles at the end. Pretty easy to make.

If it seems frustrating to have gear not work perfectly out of the box, perhaps it's worth mentioning that a great deal of pro grear benefits from customizing also. Visit any given Steadicam operator on set and you'll see no two rigs looking alike, and often a good number of personally designed modifications. Any time you are talking body ergonomics, it's very hard for manufacturers to make a one-size-fits-all design.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #20
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Tthe corporate world moves on--the parent company of Fastex has apparently moved their plastic buckles into a division now called Nexus. (see them here.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 05:37 PM   #21
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Thanks, Charles. I'll work it out somehow.

It did occur to me that I could simply buy a sleeveless vest like the guy in te product photo is wearing, only one with the button-down tongues on the shoulders for adding epaulets like on uniforms and some shirts. If I can't find one, get another that I like and a length of Velcro and get my local Korean laundry lady to sew it on the shoulder for me.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 09:49 PM   #22
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Hi All,

Before trying any modifications, Adjust the position of your holster. Swing the belt left or right to achieve the correct balance.

Danny Natovich
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Old September 30th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #23
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Hi Danny,
I see that is says "DV Rig Pro" under your name. Does that mean that this is your product? If so, I want to say that it is cleverly designed, really well built and quite comfortable, except for the problems I am having. That said, the user instructions leave a lot to be desired, specifically step-by-step illustrations for setting it up and putting it on.

I will try your suggestion. It know it has to be something as simple as moving the holster toward my hip to push the rig away from the edge of my shoulder.
Thanks
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Old October 1st, 2005, 04:16 AM   #24
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Jack,

Feel free to contact me direct with any issues you have. at: natovich@inter.net.il

Best is maillning me few front and side photos of yourself with the rig at shooting position. I will then guide you to the best posture.

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Old October 1st, 2005, 04:48 AM   #25
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There may be a few shortcomings in the instructions.. but i've gota say, you can't beat customer service like this! ..Where the product reps find and contact the customers with help?

- Mikko
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Old October 1st, 2005, 05:39 AM   #26
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Thanks Mikko,

Unfortunatly, most of my customers are not active members of any forum, They are "read only" members.

Wish more will ask questions...

Danny Natovich
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