Steering wheel rig, doesn't look that stable. at DVinfo.net

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Old December 26th, 2005, 09:58 PM   #1
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Steering wheel rig, doesn't look that stable.

...and I wonder how it performs in HDV? I saw Felicity Hoffman handling one on Access Hollywood with a DVX100 attached. I might get one, what's the model # and/or price?
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Old December 27th, 2005, 10:54 AM   #2
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Maybe the Bogen Fig Rig is what you saw?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search
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Old December 28th, 2005, 02:58 AM   #3
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Funny, I came across that yesterday when perusing the latest thing in camera uprightnous at B&H. All I can say is that the longer I look at the photo, the more severe the pain between and just below my shoulder blades gets!

I often suspect that Steadicam operators are young interns with no health insurance, too...
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Old December 28th, 2005, 11:42 AM   #4
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Doug:

I had the same thought the first time I saw a picture of the Fig Rig.

A handheld Steadicam with a camera like an XL2 would be even more unpleasant, but the body-mount systems have much better body mechanics. After 20 years of flying the full-size version, I'm still in one piece (and thankfully the health insurance through the camera union is decent!)
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Old December 29th, 2005, 08:49 PM   #5
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That's exactly it! Can someone calculate the weight after you put on an FX1 (with tape and a 970 battery)?
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Old December 29th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
After 20 years of flying the full-size version, I'm still in one piece (and thankfully the health insurance through the camera union is decent!)
Evidently your union has backbone! <G> I'm relieved to hear it. As we welcome the new year in, here's to 20 more! No, seriously, retire!

The mechanics, or ergonomics, if you will, of such systems intrigues me. I recently indulged in purchasing the entire "Victory by Design" series on DVD, about legendary auto makers. Not to delve into the wondrous things about this series, but one aspect is the heavy use of Steadicam while Alain de Cadenet is talking about the particular car before him. It's a constantly circling movement, always keeping the car between us and de Cadenet. It may be a bit gimmicky, but at least it's consistent. Each DVD has a copy of the "making of" documentary, and I see that operator and cringe.

My concern is that many of these "engineers" making auto-gyroistic gizmotastic whatchamacallits are concentrating on the resulting image (not bad) while dealing with ergonomics last, if at all (that's bad).

I saw one that holds a handycam, or some such similarly-sized unit, atop a gimballed shaft at the base of which is a plate with various weights arranged in what is supposed to be the most efficacious manner. The user, or victim, held the unit by a pistol-grip handle which also had an arm rest (resting itself on the forearm, not vice-versa).

I thought, great: I've got to hold this camcorder, plus its equivalent mass in counterweights, PLUS the whole rigamarole, all at arm's-length!

We all know the rule of lifting with our knees. But it's easier said than done, oftentimes.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #7
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I personally own a fig rig & it weighs next to nothing. I use it for my FX1 and my GL2, fully loaded with beachtek, lights, shotgun mic, lanc, large batteries. I have done long shoots & short and I have to say it works really well. I just finished shooting hand held for 2 hours straight this weekend. The tension was very minimal, arms, back shoulders ok.

Of course there is a big difference between having the GL2 on there than with the FX1. But I am glad to have the fig rig. It's easier to get in tight places with at any height or angle, running or walking with it either eye level or ground level (carrying it like a case), and then quick mount back onto a tripod with all gear still on it is a time saver.

I don't know how it would be with an XL2 or H1 on there though, they are more front heavy compared to my cams.


Sean
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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Some coincidence: I had the rep from Manfrotto at my home this morning, showing me the Figrig. I was pleased to feel how light it is. He's left it with me for a while and since I've got a BBC doc shoot this weekend, I'll throw it on the camera car and see if I can utilise it somehow. Just playing with it around the house with a Z1 is just a delight, but I really need to push it to extremes to get the best out of it (and me!!!) I think.
I'll post back with my thoughts next week - and maybe with some footage if poss.

Robin
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