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Old July 3rd, 2004, 10:13 AM   #31
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Graham,

Just to clarify, when you say "'Z' axis travel guide ring" do you mean the threaded barrel which screws vertically into the bottom of the stage? If so, your problem may have to do with the total stack height of the camera + quick release. In other words by using a quick-release adaptor one is artificially raising the center of gravity for the whole unit. The plastic used in the Steadicam JR is really pretty good (relative to other plastics) but I don't think it's engineered with a quick release in mind. Here are two things you might try before you give up in despair.

1. Try removing the quick release and mounting the camera directly on the stage.

2. Assuming that you are talking about the part I'm thinking of, you might want to double check that you're using the correct combination of settings between the angle of the counterweight arm and the height adjustment on that barrel. It is quite easy to get the system to "balance" with one of the settings misadjusted such that all the other settings are pushed out of their normal range of operation. I think they cover this in the instructional video, but make sure you've got the barrel in most of the way when you start your adjustment and do your preliminary tweaking with the interchangeable clips which set the angle of the elbow joint of the counterweight arm.

Best of luck,
Alden
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 02:10 PM   #32
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No, Graham has play between the gimbal and the stage, the same as I had. He just happened to notice it whilst adjusting the Z axis. It was quite a while before I noticed the problem too. Obviously there should be no play, regardless of the Z axis setting.

I would say that a quick release adaptor is almost mandatory on these devices, although I understand why they aren't supplied with one.
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 09:51 PM   #33
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Alden & Pat, thanks for the feed back .... my situation is exactly as Pat describes it.

I only noticed during the last balancing step of getting it slightly bottom heavy .... (suggested drop time of 1 sec).

There is noticeable movement fore & aft and also up & down (undoubtedly ameliorated in flying position because the weight of the camera would force the stage down onto the gimbal).

Clever original design but from my observation 'Tiffen' is sitting back making what they can with least effort (when you consider the cost at around $US450.) … documentation is unchanged for some 14 years, no revision for those purchasing without the LCD, ‘Cookbook’ same age …. very poor presentation in my view …. I am sure Mr Brown would not be impressed with Tiffen!

Incidentally, I think I am using the same quick release & setup as John Chu in his very useful JR demo video (details posted elsewhere here)

Cheers, Graham
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Old July 3rd, 2004, 10:06 PM   #34
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<<I am sure Mr Brown would not be impressed with Tiffen!
>>

Garrett is still working closely with Tiffen, their latest collaboration is the very impressive Steadicam Flyer (viewable on their website), along with two other new, larger rigs. The entire product line is being upgraded, and this will eventually include the JR. No release date on the new version.
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Old July 4th, 2004, 03:57 AM   #35
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When I saw that the JR 'cookbook' listed (I assumed) only very old model cameras I looked on the Steadicam web site hoping to see an up to date version. It wasn't there though, despite being such an obvious thing to have done.
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