Steadicam Advice requested, please at

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Old February 4th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #1
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Location: Chelmsford, Essex
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Steadicam Advice requested, please

Greetings all

I am in the process of setting up my production company, and the next thing on the shopping list is a steadicam.

The camera I have is a v1e. Attached to it will be a Mattbox, and a while after that will come a 35mm adaptor and associated lenses, follow focus.

Now I have used the Steadicam Flyer before. I hired it from a guy in London, very nice gent who knows his stuff, called Joe McNally. In hindsight I was always going to have problems balancing it, as the camera I was using was much too small for the balance to be correct.

So, now I have many options ahead of me and Im not certain which model would be the best.

Would it be worth looking at the forthcoming Steadicam Pilot?
Will the flyer be able to carry the weight of the camera with all the added parts (monitor on the steadicam would be required).
What other models should I look at? (looked at Indiecam/Glidecam)

I also have concerns about support, as I am based in the UK

Also I have a specific question concerning the side that the cam runs on depending on whether you are right handed or left.

Why, if you are right handed like myself, should the camera be operated on the left side of your body?

Is it because the dominant hand will be on the central post, which is the part of the rig that requires the most delicate and sensitive touch?

Needless to say, once the unit has been purchased, I will post sample videos on this forum. Critique is welcomed. Pointing and laughing is not :D

Thanks in advance

Niall Chadwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #2
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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I can help you out with the operating sides question. The reason why righties have traditionally operated with the sled on their left is the exact opposite of what you guessed - you want your less dominant hand on the post. Your right hand is stronger generally, and would tend to over-control the post. Your left hand, being less strong, can apply the delicate, fine adjustments to the sled. It's a totally personal preference though and certainly depends on the operator. A good rig will allow you to switch sides of the socket block, so you can try it both ways and see what works for you.
Tom Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2008, 04:37 PM   #3
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Tom already covered the operating side issue, and I'll simply echo his statement: Try both and see what you prefer.
All Steadicam rigs, and many other brands too, allow you to flip the arm over to either side.

The Flyer holds more camera (15lbs) than the Pilot (10lbs).

Tiffen/Steadicam's European headquarters are in the UK, and they have a fantastic team there. So support from them will not be a problem.

Do some research on the true requirements of 35mm lenses on Steadicam though. Controlling focus for example can be quite a challenge, make sure you are prepared for it when you buy your rig.

Also, I'd highly recommend taking a workshop if possible. It'll teach you a LOT of good skills to get you started.

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 5th, 2008, 07:41 AM   #4
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I heard there will be a steadicam workshop on BBC soon, mabe you should call them.

Take a look at this rig from Bulgaria:

Bulgaria had an important roll on the World War II building metal parts for armory porposes. They have a very good methalurgic industry, this rig is very well built and works as well as much more expensive ones.
Diogo Athouguia is offline   Reply

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