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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #1
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Merlin & HV20 problem

This is my 1st try @ using a seadicam, & it could be better!

I bought it for my Canon XH A! & HV20. Well I thought it'd be best to try & use it for the smaller HV20, well it's been a shaking start to say the least! :)

I watched the DVD & went on the tiffen website to get the proper recipe to use for the HV20:
http://www.merlincookbook.com/user.php

After messing with the 2 rollers & guide ring, I get kind of close, with the bubble in the leveler staying in the middle, for a little while, before the camera starts turning clockwise without me moving it. Then the bubble starts bouncing around.

One thing I'm not clear on is the 'z" in the recipe, is that for the guide ring? The recipe calls for -4, does that mean 4 notches showing on the ring? The camera seems to be more steady when I have the ring closed pretty tight.

I did searches on this site, & google & can't find any solution. If anyone has any idea of what I'm doing WRONG, please let me know! I did buy this USED on eBay, could this problem be a case of a bad gimbal? Or just a noob, being a noob! :)
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Old August 27th, 2007, 12:54 AM   #2
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It could very likly be a noob thing.. give it a little more time, read the manual again, try and think about what each adjustment is actually dooing to the balance of the whole system.

Z essentially moves the whole rig up and down over the gimble, therefore adjusting drop time (and drop time only).

- Mikko
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Old August 27th, 2007, 11:12 PM   #3
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^ yeah, I'll be able to give it my fullest attention Tuesday night, I'll try not to throw it out the window. :)

Thanks Mikko!
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:01 AM   #4
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I think I'm getting close to having the Merlin & HV20 set-up correctly. But I have a couple of questions.

If it's set-up correctly would ...
1) The HV20 bounce around a bit when I push the RECORD button on the camera? So I have to grab the Camera & hold it a second, before I let go of it to start getting usable/steady footage.

2) Should the leveler be in the middle the WHOLE time I use the Merlin. Because sometimes it moves from left to right, especially when I move the camera quickly. Actually on the subject of moving the camera around quickly, sometimes the camera & merlin starts drifting to the right when I move/jerk the camera to fast, is that alright? Do I need to me more fluent in my camera movements w/ the steadicam?

If the things I mention is WRONG, what do I need to do to correct it?

Thanks!
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Old August 30th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #5
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Yes, there will always be a little bauble after hitting record.

The issues you describe are inherent to the very minimal mass of the HV20 on the Merlin. If you were to compare it to, say, the XHA1 on the Merlin, you would likely find it much more stable. Part of this is also getting used to operating Steadicam and learning how to reign it in.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 04:16 AM   #6
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And note that the bubble-level is only accurate when you are not accelerating laterally. Meaning that you can only trust it if you are standing still or moving directly fore-aft. Any sideways movement (including conering) will throw it off as the liquid reacts to the new forces.

- Mikko
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Old August 30th, 2007, 02:20 PM   #7
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^ that is some helpful info! I made the noob mistake of watching the DVD w/ the Steadicam Master Garrett Brown working some magic out of the box! :)

I think I need some practice, luckily a 3-day weekend is coming up!

I found a HV20 & Merlin video on youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWvT-IFGKUQ

I see the operator is having the same issues of it gliding up & down I'm having, so I think I need to up my steadicam skills.

Thanks a lot guys!
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