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Old September 25th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #16
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actually in hindsight, its cheaper to just buy them from BH than put the time in to get them made.

Im guessing its these 3?

Steadicam | 801-7920-04 Start Balance Weight with | 801-7920-04

Steadicam | 801-7920-05 Middle Balance Weight with | 801-7920-05

Steadicam | 801-7920-06 End Weight with O-Ring | 801-7920-06

What combo would you guys suggest i get?


Also (jumping the gun majorly here) has anyone used the lowmode kit?

Steadicam | Mini low-mode kit | 078-7393-01 | B&H Photo Video
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Old September 25th, 2008, 03:16 AM   #17
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Low-mode may be one thing that your dad may be able to help you out with, Joe. The Tiffen handle clamp is not all that ideal in that many handles these days are quite contoured and the best you can do is sandwich the handle in there as tightly as you feel comfortable. The easiest and quickest way to shoot low-mode is the "poor man's" version, where you simply invert the rig, adjust your top-bottom balance to maintain slight bottom-heaviness and shoot away. Since your monitor inverts with the camera, you will see a properly oriented image. Even better is if the camera itself has a flip mode, just throw that and you are good to go (and you can re-mount the monitor right-side up so you can see it better).

If you do need to build a conventional low-mode bracket, you may be better off designing a cage for your camera--this can be as simple as a three-sided assembly (shaped like "c". similar to what you see with lightweight jibs that undersling) that screws into the bottom of the camera, comes up the "dumb" side and either clamps to the handle, screws into an available 1/4"-20 thread on the handle if there is one, or to the hot-shoe. This will make a much more rigid and reliable connection than a handle clamp alone, which tend to allow the camera to shift over time. Not particularly difficult to build, some design work required of course. And you'd need a different one for each camera.

Another option is a traditional low-mode cage, with full size plates top and bottom and 4 rods at the corners. These can make it hard to get to the camera, eject tapes etc. and with a Pilot, might add more weight than you can afford, but properly designed it would be useable with multiple cameras.

Overall with the 1/3" cameras I think you are best off just shooting with camera inverted and flipping the image in post.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:10 AM   #18
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Thanks Charles,

I'll definitely have a play with the poors mans setup when the rig arrives, and if need be, your right, the low mode kit wouldnt be to hard to make - even if i just had the F bracket made.. but then again, im already vertically challenged, i dont think im going to need any more help getting the rig lower haha..

Joe
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Old September 25th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #19
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Quick question here... I am wondering how many weights come standard with a Pilot? It seems pretty clear that extra weights are generally a good idea, but I can't seem to find out how many come with the unit in the first place!

Thanks in advance!
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:15 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
actually in hindsight, its cheaper to just buy them from BH than put the time in to get them made.

I'm guessing its these 3?

What combo would you guys suggest i get?
Wow! I didn't realize they were selling the weights at BH. And they are In Stock!

You want the Middle Weights. If you ever plan on flying lighter cameras like the XH-A1, order 8 of these. If your HVX is the lightest thing you will fly, order 4.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Frank Simpson View Post
Quick question here... I am wondering how many weights come standard with a Pilot? It seems pretty clear that extra weights are generally a good idea, but I can't seem to find out how many come with the unit in the first place!
4 middle weights and 4 end weights. Each middle weight is 4 oz. Each end weight is 2 oz.
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:30 PM   #22
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Thanks Dave!

I'm a few weeks from receiving mine, so this gives me time to acquire some weights at a "leisurely pace"!
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Old September 25th, 2008, 11:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Joe Lawry View Post
Also (jumping the gun majorly here) has anyone used the lowmode kit?
I haven't shot a lot in low-mode yet, but I did check out the low-mode kit in the workshop, and I did some research into this as well, so I'll try to add a little to what Charles said already.

If you are shooting progressive video, there is no issue, just shoot with the camera inverted and flip it in post.

If you are shooting interlaced video, then there may be some quality issues, or there may not, depending on how your editor does the flip. Do a test shot to be sure.

I agree with Charles that the handle clamp is dicey, but a cage that doesn't wiggle around may add too much weight. If you can't flip it in post, I don't really know what the best option is here.

If flipping it in post is good, you can buy just the F-bracket for $190 and forget about the handle clamp:
Steadicam | 3007901 Mini Low-Mode F Bracket | 300-7901 | B&H
I also found this at another place for $177:
Steadicam 300-7901 F Bracket-Low Mode AValive.com
This link also was in my original Q & A post.

The nice part about the F-bracket is that is that it makes the sled around 6-8" lower, so you don't have to boom down so hard with your right hand. This was nice in class.

Another thing to mention is that the Steadicam Pilot monitor can flip the image any way you want, so this is a total non-issue. You can place the monitor anywhere for low-mode and then get the image right in a few seconds.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #24
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I'll give the ol post flip a go and see how it works, I've got 1 client i only shot progressive with and then another i only shoot interlaced with and i have a feel both might want to utilize the low mode. So it might be worth me looking into the low mode kit at some point.

Cheers dave, i'll place an order of 8 middle weights today, i have no idea what i might end up flying, better to be safe than sorry.
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Old September 26th, 2008, 05:15 PM   #25
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I've used the Tiffen low mode f-bracket and handle clamp with my Flyer-LE with an EX3 and an XLH1. They both have strong handles, and it works great. If your handle isn't great you could pad it out with foam rubber, or even just use one end of the clamp. That would still have plenty of strength for a light weight camera.
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Old September 27th, 2008, 06:53 PM   #26
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Hey david, are you able to give me some rough dimensions of the F bracket..?

Definitely cheaper to make the low mode kit, sorry tiffen, the exchange rate is killing me.

Cheers
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