Merlin settings for HV20 with wide angle? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 17th, 2007, 11:39 AM   #1
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Merlin settings for HV20 with wide angle?

My Canon WDh43 arrived today from BH and I was hoping someone might have already dialed in a setting for their merlin. Any help would be much appreciated.
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Old August 17th, 2007, 12:09 PM   #2
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I don't have exact settings. However...

Open the arc more. Then slide the camera back a little bit, and then use the fore-aft trim roller to move the gimble forwards and bring the system back into balance.

- Mikko
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Old August 20th, 2007, 08:57 PM   #3
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Mikko, I have mine on the N setting, I tried opening up the arc all the way and scooting the camera back but I seemed to have better luck adding two mids to the bottom. You wouldn't happen to know your exact settings with the wide angle, would you? I'd love to get rid of the two mids.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #4
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Matt:

I think I posted the exact settings you need here a few months back--try doing a search.
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Old August 21st, 2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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Charles, thanks for responding. I try to do as much searching as possible on here because I know there are alot of pros like yourself that don't like clutter. I had done a search and actually asked this same question (no answer) at the end of that very same thread.

Here's what you said in that thread.

With the whole package onboard, I moved the camera back one mounting hole, added a middle weight at the bottom and dropped the spar an inch or so. With the DM-50 only, I think you could probably just drop the spar a little bit and not have to make any other adjustments (except fine-tune the gimbal and stage adjustment).

In other words, you posted the DM-50 settings and the DM-50 setting with wide-angle but not the wide-angle (only) setting. By the way that DM-50 setting worked pretty good for my senn and wide-angle so I thank you for that.

I'm still tinkering with the settings and the best I've found is two mids without moving the plate back but I bet a pro like yourself has a much better set up. Next time you're using the HV20 with the wide-angle if you happen to remember to look I'd be thankful if you wouldn't mind posting your settings.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 01:47 PM   #6
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Matt -

W/ WDH43 + BP13:
- N hole
- spar 10.25"
- forward: 1 finish
- bottom: 1 each start/mid/finish
- stage: -.75
- use 'platz screw

If using BP14, move forward on stage and adjust gimbal

If no WDH43, same settings as with, except:
- remove bottom mid weight
- stage: +1
- adjust gimbal

note: N hole allows access to battery release.
To measure spar, set upside down on naked stage, and measure to screw hole.

Last edited by Phil Shima; August 23rd, 2007 at 10:08 PM.
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 09:52 PM   #7
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There you go.

Honestly, I've gotten to the point where I've started encouraging everyone to learn the process and theory of balancing the Merlin from scratch instead of relying on a cookbook, so that when they have to add things during a shoot they won't be flummoxed.

Probably for a brand new Merlin owner, it's nicer to get up and running right away with a cookbook setting. But once that is over and you've had some time in the rig, it's good to start learning the principles of the rig by balancing it yourself. It takes a while for it to become second nature, but it's really all part of the game and only by trial and error will one start to learn the subtle differences that a balanced or unbalanced rig can affect the operating.

Probably this is partially sour grapes because I still remember struggling to learn how to balance the rig (back in the Reagan era!) and there was no such thing as a cookbook back then! What used to take me half an hour of sweaty-palms and silent despair at the beginning of any given job is now down to about 5 minutes while carrying on a conversation with the DP or AC or cute extra...
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Old August 24th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #8
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Charles, excellent advice. I also think the cookbook should be used by beginers to initially get a "feel" how the Steadicam behaves when properly balanced. The trial & error part is an important part of the learning process.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #9
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I agree there's no substitute for the valuable trial and error process. I feel like I do most of my equipment a terrible disservice when I don't dial them in. I get jealous when people post about experimenting with different settings on everything from Merlins to Mics. I have four young kids so when it comes to videography I take short cuts and try to learn on the fly and catch up later. But thank you for the wide-angle settings on the merlin. They worked perfectly. . . Just in time. I had six soccer games this week-end. Got it all on film. Victory. Defeat. Double over time shoot-out. Yadda. Yadda.
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