poor man's Glidecam 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 August 14th, 2002, 01:49 AM   #1
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
poor man's Glidecam

There was a Glidecam/Steadicam thread I sarted a while back. I thought I would post the resolution.

Due to the cost of a Glidecam 4000, I put it out of my mind for a while. Then, last week, I was in a camera shop and monopods crossed my gaze. I remembered a suggestion one of the forum members (Martin_M) made about taping some weights to the bottom of a monopod and it would make a decent Glidecam style apparatus.

So I bought the cheapest ($20us) monopod, got 2, 2 1/2lb disc shaped weights from Wal-Mart for $5, hacksawed the bottom off the monopod and bolted the weights on.

I tried it out on the weekend and it works great. Much better than I expected for $25. I'm sure the Glidecam is still better with the gimbal handle, but for $25 and 5 minutes of work, I'm quite pleased with it. I'll post some pictures soon.

There is only one problem. XL1 + monopod + 5lbs weights + LCD monitor and 2 6v batteries = ONE HEAVY SOB.
If I ever pay off all the equiptment I have, I will start looking for a cheap, used Glidecam V8 or something similar. This type of setup without support is really only good for 10-20 second shots, depending on how strong you are.

Dylan
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 01:57 AM   #2
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: detroit, mi
Posts: 187
hey good going. with the GC2000 and the gL1 it was a bit heavy at first. after the first few times it gets easier. i was looking to build my own, but i figured if i get a pretty decent stabilizer now, i'll have something to go off of later. anyways, i don't know how "crafty" you are with tools and raw materials, but here's a link that's dedicated to homebuilt stabilizers, full rigs, dollys, cranes. very informative and the guys there are nice. i'm not sure either if you already know about this site or not:
http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/
hope this helps :)
Matt Betea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 01:58 AM   #3
Air China Pilot
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
Posts: 2,389
Haha.. I can' t wait to see you handling that gizmo, Dylan.
__________________
--
Visit http://www.KeithLoh.com | stuff about living in Vancouver | My Flickr photo gallery
Keith Loh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 07:31 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 331
Dylan!

I become all warm and mushy inside when I realized I inspired someone on the other side of the planet go and do something like that. Now you can start refining your system by adding a front/back, left/right adjustable camera plate and perhaps a good grip to keep your hand centered after weighting it correctly. You do that by holding the pod in front of you in a horizontal position. Hold it on three fingers. First you find the center balance. If the camera start rolling forwards its front heavy. If it rolls backwards it's back heavy. This is where the adjustable plate comes in. Does this make any sense at all?

You can do miracles with your rig. Often, simple is the most effective.

...and you'll look like a pro wrestler in a few month.
__________________
Martin Munthe
VFX Supervisor/DP/Director
Martin Munthe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 10:21 AM   #5
Warden
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
Dylan,

Check out the Bogen Univ. sliding plate, Cat. number 3273 http://www.bogenphoto.com/ I use it on my V-8 to get the center of gravity with different lenses, batteries etc.

Jeff
Jeff Donald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 11:27 AM   #6
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Martin, props to you for that idea!
Good stuff.

It's actually fairly well balanced as it is, maybe because there is so much weight. If I used the sliding plate Jeff pointed out I might be able to balance it with less weight.
Jeff, how much did it cost you?

It has a big, soft foam grip right under the camera, so it's fairly comfy and balanced in your hand, apart from being heavy

I'm going to try it with less weight and see how it does. Do you think 5lbs is more than it needs?
I'll try and get a picture of it up tonight.

Matt, I've seen that site before and there are some good ideas. I'm handy with my hands, but time is often an issue for me. And motivation. :)

Keith, yep, it's probably pretty funny to watch me sweat and strain with it to get a 5 minute shot. :)
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2002, 12:08 PM   #7
Warden
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
I paid $25 to 30 for it a few years back. I heard that Bogen stuff is cheaper in Canada? I think Zotz carries Bogen.

Jeff
Jeff Donald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 15th, 2002, 07:51 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Eugene, Oregon
Posts: 366
When Hi-8 came along 13 years ago, I started the evolution of my own shoulder-mount, steadying apparatus. The process continues and I seldom go out twice with exactly what I had before. It is made from a basic fiberglass plate with curves, camera platforms and grab handles. It has foam chest and shoulder pads and removable counterweights down low. Aluminum tubes are an important part of it.
I have versions for cameras as small as an Olympus D-460 and as large as a full-size, 17-lb. Beta. I can shoot for hours with it, as it's very comfortable and I have good ways to securely grab and carry it.
A nice thing is, that it fits me exactly, as I can fuss with it until it's just the way I want it. J-PEG pictures and detailed descriptions as available by E-Mail to anyone who sends me a request.

Steve McDonald
Steve McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2002, 01:46 AM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Steve
Count me in for that info!

the_klenzer@hotmail.com

Thanks!
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2002, 02:20 AM   #10
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Hey Steve, if you could send that info my way, would it be cool with you if I put it on the website?
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 16th, 2002, 09:49 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Dylan, regarding your question of adding/reducing weight.

If you turn the system horizontally and balance it on a fulcrum (could be your hand turned sideways if necessary) to find the center of gravity as Martin suggests, try sliding the assembly along the fulcrum as far towards the camera as possible. The post will now want to drop towards the weights. Remove weights from the bottom until you are able to achieve balance this way. This will give you the minimum working weight for your system. It's ideal if the center of gravity falls just below the center of your handgrip, so that the rig has a slight bottom-heaviness to it, which will tend to keep it more level. The disadvantage to this is that you are effectively lowering the camera relative to your hand, requiring you to raise your arm higher to achieve proper headroom.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2002, 07:42 PM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 8,308
Steve, I got your e-mail, your shoulder mount looks great! I'd ask how many hours you put into it, but you've probably lost count.

Charles, thanks for the tip, I will go try re-balancing it now.
Dylan Couper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2002, 05:44 AM   #13
Woodyfang
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: London/Nicosia
Posts: 125
http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/ is one wikid page! I can't wait to get my cam and build a little stabliser out of aluminium tubing
__________________
10 films online http://www.undeadarmy.org
STOP PRESS!! http://www.honeyweasel.com STOP PRESS!!

Lighting Cameraman / Director / Producer / Music Producer / DJ / Web Designer / Visualist / Media Student / IT Tutor / Digital Artist

W00dy See, W00dy d00...
Hagop Matossian 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 04:32 PM.


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