Does the Glidecam 4000 pro work, or is it me? - Page 2 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 July 9th, 2003, 10:25 PM   #16
Warden
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
It is distributed mostly to your hips and then shoulders etc. My rig with the V-8 weighed in around 20 lbs. if I remember correctly. In my experience much easier to use than the 4000. Balancing the camera is hard at first, and glidecams instructions are lacking. Charles has an excellent series of posts about balancing the V-8 (and larger steadicam type supports) that is much more useful than the meager printed material provided by Glidecam. I'm happy to here they had good phone support.
__________________
Jeff Donald
Carpe Diem




Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | Where to Buy? From the best in the business: DVinfo.net sponsors
Jeff Donald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2004, 04:26 PM   #17
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 32
I just bought a used Glidecam 4000...
no manual... and can't seem to find one on the net...
any tips on balancing? I'm using a Canon XL-1 and Marshall monitor...
from what I've read, I better get to the gym and start doing some forearm work, huh?
Christopher Velasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 21st, 2004, 10:45 PM   #18
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Probably!

I'm not a Glidecam expert per se so I can't tell you the specifics down to the screw and bolt, but all stabilizers have a similar process for balancing:

Hold it horizontally and make sure that it drops base-first (i.e. is bottom-heavy, not top-heavy). You are aiming for a 2.5 - 3 second drop from horizontal to vertical. It will continue swinging past vertical, that's OK, just count how long it takes to pass through the vertical mark. Don't worry about fine tuning just yet. As long as the drop time is between 2 and 4 seconds, you are in good shape. Add or subtract weights at the bottom to adjust this.

You will likely find it leaning one way or another. Adjust the fore-aft and/or side-side until the post stands nearly vertical. Once you are close, try the drop time test again. Now do a fine tune on it until it is right around 2.5 to 3 seconds. Then check out the fore-aft and side-to-side again, and make fine tuning adjustments in those axes.

And you are done!

(p.s. kudos for finding and resurrecting an old thread rather than start a new one!)
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 12:33 AM   #19
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NZ
Posts: 1,276
Hi Charles,

I heard everyone talking about 2.5-3 seconds. Can you tell me why can't be center of the gravity to be just on gimbal?

Regards
Leigh
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 01:13 AM   #20
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
The reason for this, Leigh, is that if the rig is operated in neutral balance it becomes very sensitive to minute forces. These range from play or friction in the gimbal to wind to operator error. A slightly bottom-heavy rig will tend to stay in level more easily than a neutral rig, which will just as easily lose horizon and drift off, requiring the operator to "keep" the level for the rig. And the slightest variation in balance will make a big difference also. The slower the drop time, the longer it takes to get the rig into balance.

All this said, there are a few operators out there who like to work in neutral balance. It's actually very handy when shooting from vehicles (it avoids the long period of acceleration that vehicles present). I don't like it much for general shooting myself.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:11 AM   #21
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NZ
Posts: 1,276
Hi Charles,

Thanks for the quick reply.

But that gimbal above the center of gravitiy(COG) means body shaking will be more easily effect the camera as any force put on COG won't effect the direction of the post, but if force is put on non COG, it will effect the direction of the post, that is bad.

Regards
Leigh
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:48 AM   #22
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
True enough. With the COG below the gimbal (bottom-heavy rig), you can hold on to it right at the COG. With a neutral rig, the COG is inside the gimbal where you can't get at it.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 09:23 AM   #23
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 32
Thanks for your help... I tried balancing it yesterday... not much luck... but I'll do some work on it today...

CMV
Christopher Velasco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 12:12 PM   #24
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,241
Remember to start with it as it will fly, including screen out and pitched, lense cap whereever it will be. Balance with the battery you will use and a tape in.

I do not do f/b s/s (front/back - side/side) at the same time. I get a good f/b with the side screws. I tighten them down but not screaming tight ;) Tightening the screws will change the position of the plate. Then do side to side. I will actually use a book or dike handle (wire cutters) to gently tap the fine position as trying to slide it always goes too far.

On the s/s (bottom screws), I find that you also need to apply some UP pressure as the plate tends to rest into a tight position. The push up/tap up helps overcome it and makes it easier to move.

Now go back using the tap method to get f/b fine tuned. Then you may have to adjust s/s one more time.

Edit - don't forget to test balance with the gimble handle where you will normally fly it. I use my right-hand as the hold hand, so the handle is usually 30-45 degrees to the right normally.
George Ellis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 22nd, 2004, 04:07 PM   #25
Trustee
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NZ
Posts: 1,276
<<<-- Originally posted by Christopher Velasco : I just bought a used Glidecam 4000...
no manual... and can't seem to find one on the net...
any tips on balancing? I'm using a Canon XL-1 and Marshall monitor...
from what I've read, I better get to the gym and start doing some forearm work, huh? -->>>

Hi Christopher,

I bought a training video from bhphoto several months ago.

Award-Winning Video Tape: Vol #5 Advanced Steadicam Techniques

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=153906&is=REG

I think if you watch that it might help you. I learn a lot from that video. It is not so dear comparing go to a workshop.

Regards
Leigh
Leigh Wanstead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2004, 10:20 AM   #26
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 220
Heed George's advice!

" Edit - don't forget to test balance with the gimble handle where you will normally fly it. I use my right-hand as the hold hand, so the handle is usually 30-45 degrees to the right normally."

This is where most people mess up. The handle must be at the same angle when balancing the rig as when USING the rig.

Yes, these things get heavy, but with proper stance and practice, you can build up your rig muscle and get some good working time out of it. And if you master the hand-held units, and find you get enough use from a stabilizer want to up-grade to a vest/arm unit, you'll be in a really good position to apply what you've learned to the full rig.

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
Dan Selakovich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2004, 12:40 PM   #27
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Well, there you go, that's why I normally don't get involved in "how to balance" discussions with DV rigs...the mechanics of the individual rig seem to dictate the workarounds involved in getting them to balance. Pushing, tapping--ugh. It sounds to me like even though it requires constant tweaking of rebalance, the worm gear adjustments of the JR are a lot easier to manage and fine tune.

Now I'm intrigued about the requirement of holding the handle at the same angle--theoretically one should be able to move the handle through as much of an arc as possible (until the handle bumps the post) and still have full isolation, as well as it not affecting balance. In which axis are you seeing the rig go off balance during this maneuver?
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2004, 03:11 PM   #28
Trustee
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Suwanee, GA
Posts: 1,241
<<<-- Originally posted by Charles Papert : In which axis are you seeing the rig go off balance during this maneuver? -->>>
Because I am not using a monitor and using the built in screen, I cannot balance it and turn it 180 (Don Juan?). It has this piece hanging out to the side (the screen) that when turned, has it off balance to the screen side.

You would not normally see this with a monitor unless you had one of the side-mounted wireless or other equipment that is not on the centerline.

So while using the built-in saves money, it has its limitations. Another is it can be obscured when doing event shots because you have to take the rig up and to the left.

So, the answer is, to the side.

Edit, a counter-weight would do, but more weight and more 'stuff' hanging around.
George Ellis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #29
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Even with the screen out on one side, theoretically you are compensating for this by shifting the weight of the camera to the opposing side when balancing. This does create a bit of a weird mass. Nevertheless, you should be able to pan it 180 degrees without it listing, as the position of the gimbal handle should, in theory, not affect the balance of the sled. What is probably happening is that the yoke of the gimbal is not truly symmetrical, and the load is thus shifting when you pan, throwing off the balance. Sometimes this can be corrected by using shims in the bearings of the yoke (this has been discussed on the DVi before, try doing a search on this). Suffice to say that this is a design flaw; ideally, the rig spins flat and operates in the same balance regardless of the angle or position of the yoke/gimbal handle.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2004, 10:20 AM   #30
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 220
Charles wrote:
" Now I'm intrigued about the requirement of holding the handle at the same angle--theoretically one should be able to move the handle through as much of an arc as possible (until the handle bumps the post) and still have full isolation, as well as it not affecting balance. In which axis are you seeing the rig go off balance during this maneuver?"

Once balanced you can turn the center post 360 degrees. I know, it's odd. But the handle stays at the same angle to the post through out the move. To be clear: when first learning to balance one of these things, people find in general, that it does take some patience. But once you start using the rig and get use to things, it doesn't take any time at all. I can balance one of my units that I've been working with in about 3 minutes, if that.

I think more of an issue is that filmmakers think these things are going to replace other pieces of filmmaking equipment and solve all of their shot issues in one unit. In some cases it's easier and better to use a dolly with a jib attached. Ive talked to a couple of professional steadicam operators and asked their biggest complaint about directors. They often talk about being worn out early in the day because a director has used them when a simple dolly shot is called for. By the end of the day they are dripping in sweat and completely worn out, it's then that they are called on to do a complicated steadicam move with 60lbs hanging off them. (Ever meet an overweight steadicam operator?).

Dan
www.DVcameraRigs.com
Dan Selakovich 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 02:12 AM.


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