Merlin Arm/Vest with FlyCam sled? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 11th, 2008, 06:12 PM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Merlin Arm/Vest with FlyCam sled?

I first bought a Merlin and then the Arm&Vest to go with it from Steadicam/Tiffen.

I am now thinking of moving up to a Sony Z7 or EX1 cameras, both of which Tiffen UK tell me are going to be too heavy for my Merlin/Arm/Vest setup once I add a battery etc. (2.4 to 2.8kg plus batteries and tape/card respectively)

So I considered upgrading to a Steadicam Pilot sled, but there's no upgrade path for that in the UK (without buying the WHOLE pilot kit!) so I'm now looking at the interesting Indian Cinecity FlyCam Pro 6000 sled itself.

Now buying a whole new Pilot system is just insane (especially as I've got the arm and vest already) so I am wondering if there's a way of using the excellent arm/vest I already have, but getting it to work with the much cheaper flycam 6000 sled?

That way I could keep my merlin for jobs where i need to travel small (with my trusty old Z1), but have the full flycam sled with steadicam arm/vest for jobs using the heavier new cameras.

Now, I know there will be different attachments but can anyone shed any light on whether they think/know if this will work, or will require significant modifications to the sled/arm?


Does anyone have any comments or ideas?

Many Thanks

Steve
Steve Towle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th, 2008, 06:37 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
That's seems like a great idea to me, since there is no upgrade path to the Pilot. I don't see why it should not work with a bit of tinkering. Let us know how you go.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th, 2008, 07:02 PM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Bozeman, MT
Posts: 215
I can't help but wonder if enough of us bugged Tiffen about this that they'd offer a Pilot Sled upgrade package. It really seems like it would be a very popular item!
Frank Simpson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
I've been asking for ages, they don't want my money.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 11th, 2008, 07:30 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 591
hmmm..... I've been flying an EX1 on a merlin/vest/arm for over 2 months now and have no problem with it.
Christopher Witz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 04:14 AM   #6
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Has anyone used the flycam sled or whole unit? i'm a little wary of the arm and vest, but the sled itself seems ok and actually quite well thought out? (well, with some heavy plagiarism)

As for Tiffen, you're right they just don't seem interested, and the prospect of having to spend another £3,000 just to move from Merlin to Pilot sled is incredible. A shame really as they could potentially lose me as a customer completely as the arm and vest are identical.

As for flying the EX1, that's very interesting as they have told me that the EX1 (and the upcoming Z7) "will not work with Merlin" as it's too heavy!!

What weights etc do you use with the EX1, Christopher?

Thanks again and anyone who has the FlyCam, can they explain the connections to the arm? Would be superb if we could get it to work with the Steadicam Vest/Arm.

Thanks again

Steve

Last edited by Steve Towle; February 12th, 2008 at 08:17 AM.
Steve Towle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
I find that strange... It is stated that the merlin with the metal gimbal can take cameras up to 7.5 lbs. The EX1 is 5.3 lbs ... My Z1 with large battery, mike, windjammer, shock mount, sony light with large battery flys great with the Merlin.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 06:49 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 591
I'm curious if they backed off the capabilities in the specs of the merlin.... maybe they have had some warranty issues with worn out gimbals? But I have never heard of anyone wearing one out due to over burdening one.... I'm sure we'd hear about it HERE if it happens.

My guess is that they're trying to up-sale the pilot. And I have to admit that I want one..... I'd pay $1500 with a trade in merlin for a pilot sled.

Last edited by Christopher Witz; February 12th, 2008 at 07:24 AM. Reason: shpeling
Christopher Witz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 06:58 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
I don't think the gimbal is the problem, my upper spar came loose after doing drop tests with the added weight - even though it was within spec. Tiffen were kind enough to replace the upper spar assembly for me. I have to say that a maxed out merlin behaves so much better than one with a lighter load. I'd buy a Pilot upgrade yesterday.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 07:38 AM   #10
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
I'm talking to Tiffen UK and trying to persuade them to look at an upgrade path, especially when I am seriously considering trying out the FlyCam 6000 rig - heck the sled is like £200 and the whole kit just over £600 ! I know it's a cheap Indian copy but if my only other option is to spend £3000 on a brand new Steadicam Pilot rig, and to have to sell my Merlin/Arm & Vest on the 2nd hand market privately then that is just crazy!

So if I hear anything (albeit in the UK) I'll post back.

As for the EX1, they do tell me that as the weight is outside of the manufacturers specs we "use it at our own risk" which I guess makes sense, as Tiffen need to clear themselves of any liability.

Nice to hear a fully loaded Z1 can work too, is that with the vest/arm or doesn't it make any difference?

Thanks again

Steve

Last edited by Steve Towle; February 12th, 2008 at 08:19 AM.
Steve Towle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 07:44 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
Arm & vest, too heavy to go hand held for long. They must be looking at a different spec sheet. I was told that an upgrade path would be available in 2008, now it's not happening, this has stuffed up my plans. Good luck.
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #12
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Feedback from Tiffen UK...

Here in the UK they seem to agree that a Merlin to Pilot sled upgrade path is sensible, as buying the whole vest and arm again is just madness! They are contacting the head honcho in the US so fingers crossed on that one.

So, I guess I recommend that you all contact your local Tiffen rep and ask them to do the same, maybe with lots of requests they might just decide to do it?!

If not then then at least might show pity on me and fine me a refurb kicking round at the back of the factory ;)

Cheers

Steve
Steve Towle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 01:07 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 192
Just replied to a similar post...

Not trying to hijack, but...

Nick - really admire your stuff and Charles Papert's comments speak for themselves. How did you find the transition from handheld to arm/vest with the merlin? I'm thinking of upgrading...
Graham Risdon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 03:01 PM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
There's an event at the Steadicam HQ in Glendale this Friday, I was planning on popping by. I'll take your concerns to Frank Rush (head of sales) regarding the Pilot sled as a standalone purchase and see what he says. If it's a situation where if they "hear from enough people who want it", I'll definitely let you guys know so you can start a grass-roots campaign!

It certainly makes sense to me that if the vest and arm can be purchased separately, the sled should be. Unfortunately this sort of restriction has been placed in the past with the Steadicam line.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 12th, 2008, 03:40 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 23
Many Thanks Charles,

I think the issue is that Pilots are selling so well, that they very well might offer this upgrade path but probably not until 2009. :(

Enjoy your day at Steadicam HQ.

Steve
Steve Towle is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:11 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network