Pilot, anyone received theirs, thoughts? - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 11th, 2007, 04:47 PM   #31
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Knowing the regular update speed of the Tiffen website, I'd guess it'll be up there .. oh, next year sometime. Just give them a call and ask them for the link or where to buy it.

- Mikko
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Old December 20th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #32
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LOL! That is hilarious! Thanks for the link Nick!


"While operating the pilot, you may notice that the arm ... is awsome!" HAHAHAHA!!!

- Mikko
Yeah Mikko, Tiffen actually emailed me that link. I laughed a lot when I watched it. Funny stuff.


I did the deed by the way. I ordered it, also ordered that light kit from Frizzi. Time for a new learning curve. Thanks for all the help folks.


Hey Don, I'll be flying through Chicago next Thursday, if I get stuck up there, I'll be knockin on the door.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 02:16 PM   #33
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Steven,
2 things. First with the weather around here it could happen!

Second, you'd have to knock, my door bell hasn't worked in 15 years. I get around to it 1 of these days!
OO
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:06 AM   #34
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Just got the pilot yesterday, and apparently I have to get some roadies now, that case is quite the bulky.

As most, I received a VHS tape, actually two of them, and then I looked at my media setup and, well, I'll have to wait to see it. hehe.

My initial impression is that I'm happy with the craftmanship. The location and precision is really nice. The arm is, well AWESOME!!!. Ok that's a joke for those who have seen the youtube video. I'll tinker with it more next week or so.

I was less impressed with the literature. They need to really rethink how it is written. There should also be a 'in the box' list, because I have three holes for weights, but only received two weights. It took me a while to find the screws to attach the camera. And they are tiny, I would see the screw setup as one of the weakest parts of the rig. I mean, if I lose that little screw, well, I'm screwed. I hope to get a couple more screws from steadicam. I've already called steadicam and asked about it. They will call me back with a price list on the screw, hmm...

So, we'll see. I'm happy with it so far, once I get it all rigged up, I hope to do some nature stuff as a part of my training. Thanks again.


And Don, Midway is one of the hottest airports I've ever been in. Man, turn on the AC!. :}
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Old January 4th, 2008, 10:37 AM   #35
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Steven,
I was poking around the Steadicam site and there's a PDF on the assembly and setup of the Pilot. Is the written stuff you got the same? I thought it was pretty good information but then I might be wrong ;-)

BTW, at Midway they probably forgot to open the windows :-O

I actually don't like Midway but frankly the fares are usually a lot less than O'Hare-of course O'hare is 20 minutes from my house and Midway is about an hour. Maybe that's why I don't like Midway as much. :-(

Have fun with the Pilot and never drink before you "fly" it!

OO
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Old January 5th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #36
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I found the Pilot's instructions to be a bit lacking too. It makes no mention of:

-The purpose of the thin velcro strap that's attached to the upper part of the vest. I've been using (with considerable awkwardness) it to prevent the arm from flapping around when the sled is off. Is that what it's intended for? I've also had some success with trapping the unloaded arm behind my right elbow.

-The purpose of the fabric loop attached to the lower end of the upper arm (I haven't got a clue there).

Also:

-The fact that the operator in the manual is wearing a black shirt which manages to heavily obscure the details of how the likewise black vest is attached seems like a glaring oversight.

-The manual suggests we read the "Dynamic Primer" document on the Steadicam site, but it's not there. I found it elsewhere by googling it.

-The battery compartment retaining clamp (mine's a AA version) is not explained. It took some time to figure out that it's retained by simple bent-metal friction through a wing nut on the side of the compartment, which looks just like the wing nut on the other side of the compartment that locks it onto the sled rail.

-Interesting to note that Steven Davis received two VHS tapes, presumably with tutorials. I received only one DVD, which contains only the informative/humorous "it's awesome" video that's on the site. Useful, but if there's more info on the tapes, I'd sure like to see them.

-What is the mysterious empty compartment in the middle of the backpack for? The Merlin?

-And yes, the "backpack" is huge, with a lot of apparently wasted space. Very secure no doubt, and not a big issue for me, but it would seem that a more compact design might easily be achievable.

-On the other hand, the cutout for the sled forces you to change the position of the battery/monitor rod position to a default, more or less centered spot. It means I can't leave the sled where I balance it for use, so I have to rebalance it more or less from scratch every time. It would seem they could have made the cutout more accomodating there, particularly given the apparently overlarge space it already contains.

BUT....enough whining...

I LOVE THE DARN THING ANYWAY!!!

It's a *superb* piece of gear, hands down. I'm gaining skill with it quickly, and the good aspects (smoothness, multi-adjustability, and the overall sense of quality, refinement and design maturity) far outweigh my little list of quibbles above. Way far...
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Old January 5th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #37
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Quote:
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-The purpose of the thin velcro strap that's attached to the upper part of the vest. I've been using (with considerable awkwardness) it to prevent the arm from flapping around when the sled is off. Is that what it's intended for? I've also had some success with trapping the unloaded arm behind my right elbow.
Yes, that's what the strap is for. And yes, the elbow trick is also common practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
-The purpose of the fabric loop attached to the lower end of the upper arm (I haven't got a clue there).
Use it to hang the arm (by the loop) from stand when docked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
-Interesting to note that Steven Davis received two VHS tapes, presumably with tutorials. I received only one DVD, which contains only the informative/humorous "it's awesome" video that's on the site. Useful, but if there's more info on the tapes, I'd sure like to see them.
The 2 VHS tapes where probabaly PAL and NTSC versions of the SK2 training video that was/is also shipped with Flyers. A lot more information on actually operating compared to the "awsome" video which is more of a "this is how it works" type thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spencer View Post
-What is the mysterious empty compartment in the middle of the backpack for? The Merlin?
Yup.



- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; January 6th, 2008 at 01:41 AM.
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:05 PM   #38
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I didn't even know I was getting a case (insert couldn't touchy feely prior to buying comment here) and I was going to buy a pelican to put it in. I agree, I think the case could have been designed better. I'm a big hard case person, but so be it, I have a case.

And the main part I was missing might still be in the instructions, but I was trying to find the screw to put the camera to the sled, that was annoying finding it.

I haven't looked at the vhs tapes, I'll have to find my vcr. hehe.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #39
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Update

I called Tiffen yesterday and spoke to a real nice guy named Mike.

I learned that I didn't get all the manuals I was supposed to get. He's going to check on a solution for me, as well as getting the dvd training video.

I also discussed the need to have my bogen quick release plate work with the rig since in events that I do, I need to switch from rig to rig sometimes, in seconds even. So I'll probably end up going to a machine shop and have them fasion an aluminum block of sorts that will bridge the gap between my bogen quick release mount and the pilot sled. Hmm, wonder how much that will cost.

And yeah, I asked for a few more screws.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:19 AM   #40
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Depending on the particular model of Bogen quick release you own, something like this should set you up without having to go to a machinist. Not all of their plates have corresponding dovetail receivers, hopefully yours will.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 09:23 AM   #41
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Depending on the particular model of Bogen quick release you own, something like this should set you up without having to go to a machinist. Not all of their plates have corresponding dovetail receivers, hopefully yours will.

Yeah Charles, I have that, one of the issues with it is the turning of the lock knob. sitting that between a camera and the camera mount for the stablizer isn't going to allow the knob to turn. So I need to get some space between the two.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:23 AM   #42
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Ah, got it!

That should be an extremely inexpensive plate to have made, and if you wanted to avoid even that, you could replace the knob with a hex head screw (which would require a tool every time you changed from sticks to Steadicam), or try using fender washers between the quick release and your dovetail plate. While this will make the connection a bit vulnerable to vibration as you are effectively reducing the surface area between the two plates, you can wedge in a bunch of additional washers around the sides (held in with tape as needed) to provide additional support. Not all that sexy, but certainly inexpensive as they can be found at most hardware stores.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:25 AM   #43
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Steven
How about a small hex wrench and readjust the position of the locking lever. I had to do that when I set my QR577 on my DVMultiRig.
I don't remember the size but it's small.

Otherwise the QR plate might kind of be hanging up in space.

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Old January 8th, 2008, 10:39 AM   #44
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The Hex wrench sound's inexpensive, and after the price of the pilot, that's music to my ears. I'll have to operate on my fig rig (which has the plate and such) and see how that goes.
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Old January 8th, 2008, 12:57 PM   #45
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I found the Pilot's instructions to be a bit lacking too. It makes no mention of:.
Hey Ted, what cable are you using to connect your camera video out to the pilot's video on on the camera mount? I called BH and they told me to use my Z1's component out, but this leaves me with two dangling unused wires.
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