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Old February 28th, 2011, 09:52 PM   #31
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Thanks John, Can you give us the web about this information?
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Old March 13th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #32
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Re: Balancing a glidecam - Web page references

The Glidecam Manuals for the 2000 and 4000 can be found at this URL: Glidecam Product Support

After re-reading some of the posts above, for those who might have problems with their arms in supporting all the weight, I'd like to suggest something like the "Glidecam Smooth Shooter". While the beefier models have a demonstrator that obviously works out in the gym, the Smooth Shooter is operated by a cute chick without all the muscular attributes! :-)

Smooth Shooter demonstrator: Glidecam Products

Hope this helps finding the web pages easier.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 10:24 AM   #33
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

I have been researching this as well. I found these video demonstrations to be very helpful for balancing DSLR's on the Glidecam HD-2000 that I have.

Glidecam Tutorial for DSLR Cameras | DSLR Feed
YouTube - Tutorial - Glidecam 101 Part 1
YouTube - Glidecam 101: Part 2

Although, after getting it balanced, I realized I do not even come close to having the muscle strength in my wrist and forearm to hold it for more than 3 seconds! I am now searching to buy a forearm brace. I'm hoping this will work, as the smooth shooter thingy is WAY out of my budget!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:27 AM   #34
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Hi Lisa

You are probably wasting your money on a wrist brace!! It's still going to be pretty heavy so rather spend the money on gym!!!

Seriously I would get rid of the sled and rather get something like a Blackbird or Merlin where your hand is under the camera and it will be a lot less weight to hold. You have to be pretty well built to hold a glidecam steady even with a DSLR on it!!

My cameras clock in at around 8lbs so for me it's a vest only..I would dare not attempt a handheld shot for even a minute.... even if you feel you can lift the sled and camera because of the leverage, you will find that your arm starts quivering like jelly after 30 seconds.

Chris
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:46 AM   #35
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Lisa

You are probably wasting your money on a wrist brace!! It's still going to be pretty heavy so rather spend the money on gym!!!

Seriously I would get rid of the sled and rather get something like a Blackbird or Merlin where your hand is under the camera and it will be a lot less weight to hold. You have to be pretty well built to hold a glidecam steady even with a DSLR on it!!

My cameras clock in at around 8lbs so for me it's a vest only..I would dare not attempt a handheld shot for even a minute.... even if you feel you can lift the sled and camera because of the leverage, you will find that your arm starts quivering like jelly after 30 seconds.

Chris
Well that's unfortunate. I do work out, a lot. But I'm still a woman, and my wrist and forearms I guess are never gonna be that strong. Maybe my husband will be the glidecam man then. It seems like everything I've been buying lately keeps leading to more and more expensive purchases...DSLR, welll, I need at least two, then I need a belt/bag to stash it all in, then I need a chair to edit in so my back doesn't kill me within an hour, then I need...and on and on...

8 $

Sorry, a little defeatist today...please forgive.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:39 PM   #36
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Hi Lisa
Seriously I would get rid of the sled and rather get something like a Blackbird or Merlin where your hand is under the camera and it will be a lot less weight to hold. You have to be pretty well built to hold a glidecam steady even with a DSLR on it!!
Chris
The WEIGHT is the same on either rig. The off-set handle on the Glidecam is there to absorb the up and down motion, of which the Merlin and Blackbird are incapable. The handle on the Glidecam acts as a lever on your wrist, and that's where you feel the weight. The arm brace literally braces your wrist to cope with the weight.

I've seen plenty of women hold a Glidecam + DLSR for quite a while longer than 3 seconds. Try switching hands.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:00 PM   #37
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Actually the offset handle on the Glidecam is there to avoid patent infringement which was relevant when it first came out (that patent has expired, hence the Blackbird).

All handheld stabilizers rely on the remarkable ability of the human arm to absorb shock. The Glidecam shows no specific advantage in this area. If the operator is skilled enough to operate the system properly, you will not see any additional vertical rise or fall in the center-gimballed rigs vs the offset gimballed rigs. What is more critical is the design of the gimbal itself in terms of isolation from the operator's angular influence. Unfortunately many Glidecam gimbals have proven to be built non-linearly, and thus will have a tendency to dip when rotated 90 degrees from a balanced and level position.

The Merlin is the lightest of the rigs out there because of its construction and design so it will be the least burden. The Blackbird weighs a bit more--I couldn't say whether a similarly configured Glidecam is more or less, but as noted the offset gimbal will be more tiring because of torque on the wrist.

With any stabilizer, fatigue will have a direct effect on the final results; if the support arm is going into muscle failure, it will be very challenging to maintain the same minute subtlety with the guide hand. Over my career I had many instances where I had to put myself into a Zen-like trance as I came to the close of a super-long shot and my legs and back were screaming at me, trying to isolate the nuances of my left hand on the post!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 08:47 PM   #38
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

I was never told, nor was I aware that the sole purpose of an offset handle was to avoid patent infringement. It seemed to me as a logical approach to an alternative handheld stabilizer because it closely resembles the gimbal on the larger rigs.

The human arm is capable of much greater freedom of movement than the mechanical steadicam arm. And you will notice vertical movement when there are objects in the foreground.

I am aware that Glidecam gimbals are not always linear. But they can be easily adjusted. I also know Pilot and Flyer gimbals can been faulty as well.

I agree that the offset handle increases torque on the wrist, hence the arm brace.

The one thing you have to consider is the price difference. A DSLR is pretty lightweight, and there will always be exceptions. Most people are able to use the rig without the arm brace for extended periods of time.

I've been an operator for about ten years now and I've done live TV shows. It's a bitch, I agree. I know Zen when it comes to operating ;)

ps. I'm a big Charles Papert fan. I wish you all the best on the new career!
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 09:29 PM   #39
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Thanks Pascal. All is going well--just shot my second network pilot and believe it or not, I don't miss flying the rig at all...!

The patent thing is based on distant memory--I may have it wrong but I seem to remember Garrett talking about having to go after another company that attempted to sell a JR knockoff in the US years ago.

Sadly, the more weight one carries in the hand, the more effective the vertical isolation! But I do feel that having a good handheld-style walk rather than plodding along goes a long way to avoiding seeing the pogo effect.

Personally I've never been good at the handheld stabilizers, the touch is too delicate for me. The Pilot was as small as I go. And yes you are right, Tiffen gimbals are not immune from issues--but it would seem that the GC ones were very prone to them, from all I have heard and seen.
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Old March 23rd, 2011, 05:30 PM   #40
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Owning a Glidecam HD4000, (and use a vest and arm with it) I would agree with you, however, along with the problems with the gimbal also goes a very simple way to fix (unlock, then 4 set screws 90 degrees from each other around the gimbal, then lock down again) and with a few minutes on your hands, you can dial in the gimbal to about as perfect as you can get in this weight and price range. I did it once and it's been fine since, and it was a relief knowing that I could do it again easily if need be with just a T wrench and small allen wrench. That said, as I get more and more opportunity to operate, I am looking to the mid range tiffen rigs as a possible future. It does seem to me more and more as I mod my HD4000 to do what I want it to do, that if you were to just start with a high quality gimbal, almost everything else on a sled could be built or parted together with much better effect, for a fraction of the cost of a full tiffen or other non low-end rig.
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Old April 12th, 2011, 01:51 PM   #41
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

For the record, I have received my forearm brace and it does help. Although my arm still burns after about 20-30 seconds. But hey! It's better than 3 seconds (I'm getting old and I must have some carpal tunnel issues or something)!!

I just ordered indiecam's DVD for $35 +tax & shipping on how to use these things: http://indicam.dyndns.tv/indicam2/in...d=44&Itemid=53

Hope it will help me not to learn the wrong way to use my Glidecam. I do love how the footage looks. The vest is really unrealistic for weddings. Takes too long to get on for one, right?

Now, for a music video, that's another story. So many options to take with videography!

And can I just say (again) how I really appreciate all the experienced visitors who give us their insight on this forum. Thank you guys. You all rock!
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Old April 13th, 2011, 07:52 PM   #42
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Hi Lisa

I do all my photoshoots on Stedicam with a vest. It's quite practical at various photoshoot locations but, of course not the sorta thing you want to use in a crowded tiny Church!!

A front mount vest takes seconds to put on..just drop it over your head, fasten the last side buckle and pull the belt tight. Snap in the arm and you are ready to roll....however it's not the kinda rig that you grab and shoot for maybe 20 seconds and then go back to handheld. I have used my rig for brides walking down the aisle (it was a nice wide Church) but normally I just use it for the video part of the photoshoot doing the usual 360's around the couple etc etc...bit boring but they love it!!!

I would suspect that putting on a wrist brace takes almost as long as a vest although you will save a tiny amount of time as you don't have an arm to connect to the sled!!

What sorta weight all up is your sled with the camera on it????? Yeah I getting old too!!

Chris
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Old April 13th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #43
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

So you coughed up $2K for a vest? Sounds cool though if it is easy to get on and off. I'll have to make due till I get some more income. : ( This is mostly a hobby for me for now, with some paid gigs to keep me breaking even. I would love to go full-force but my kids are all still at home and they need their mommy. : )

I have a 60D with a Tokina 11-16, so whatever all that weighs on an HD-2000. It's just that top, tiny, little muscle on my shoulder that burns like crazy after about 30 seconds! That back brace seems to have helped a lot!
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Old April 14th, 2011, 02:48 AM   #44
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Hi Lisa

Not at all!! In fact CineCity have the comfort vest and arm which has ferrules that fit the glidecam handle for under $390!!!!....I used to use one and it made all the difference but cos I use HMC82 cams that, combined with a sled, clock in at nearly 15lbs, and were way too heavy for the smaller vest...I use their new rig now which has the bigger front mount vest, dual arm, sled and docking stand for $925.00. It works out of the box too!!! Normally their rigs need a lot of tweaking first!!!

However for a 60D on a sled a smaller vest would work for you and take all that strain off your arm and shoulder too!!! You can drop it over your head, snap in the buckle and velcro belt, clip on the arm and your current sled and camera would have something to support them. It's not the highest Steadicam technology but it certainly works well and I used the Comfort Vest for 4 full seasons before upgrading cameras!! If you want more info just search eBay for "Comfort Arm and Vest"

Chris
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Old April 14th, 2011, 07:48 AM   #45
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Re: Balancing a glidecam !?

Chris! That is so way cool! Thank you so much for redirecting me!

If I do a music video as I've recently been asked me to do, I will definitely be looking seriously into getting one o'these! (I'm so excited for my singer/songwriter niece who's had some big names noticing her, flying her out to L.A. even!) She's asked me to do a "real" music video so we have been helping her out every way we can. This would just be another way! See! It's for the good of our niece! ; )

Hmm, might be on here asking about how to swing a music video soon! Yikes!
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