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Old March 6th, 2005, 09:43 AM   #31
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I've sort of lost track of all this. Where are we?

Homebuild-wise, I keep seeing that folks are cheerfully jumping on that "$14 stabilizer" concept that popped up a year or two ago, the plumbing pipes with a horizontal crossbar that actually defies the principles of stabilization and is made of the wrong materials (steel vs pvc) to make sense. And those that build it seem very happy with it, although I have seen some examples of shots done with it that are possibly worse than handheld...

I think that once you attempt to build a rig with an arm and vest, it's a whole new ballgame and learning process, and unless one happens to have a Bridgeport in the garage, I don't think it would be called "easy".

The other side of the coin is that once you have built your device, you have to learn how to operate it. I've said it before, Cody has obviously spent the time honing his craft because the shots on his site demonstrate an impressive operating maturity.

External camera stabilizers have nothing in common with in-camera stabilization, where at the push of a button, camera shake is reduced or eliminated with almost no learning curve to the operator. Most take this for granted; as one who has been doing this long enough to have had initial experiences with the earlier forms of this technology, the mere fact that this feature is built into nearly all camcorders is still amazing to me. However, operating an external stabilizer is not a push-button affair; even with the best of gear, it takes lots of practice. If one's goal is to emulate the shots they see in the movies or on TV, it will likely take YEARS of practice to get to that level. I started with a really beat-up old rig and I don't feel that I pushed through into being a solid operator for about 3 years. With today's advancements in design, I might have been able to trim a year off that--who knows.
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Old March 6th, 2005, 10:36 PM   #32
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Homebuilt stabilizers vs. for sale stabilizers

It's easier to build a stabilizer for personal use than one you intend to market as the one you market has to have a lot (and I do mean a lot) of extra work to make it real good and nice looking. Also you have to find all the suppliers for parts (no small task).

I'll bet Cody's plans are well thought out and work when put together correctly. The trick is "correctly". For instance, we have been working on just the sleeve around the bearing for a while now and found we have to be "really" precise in order to get it to be as linear as possible.

My suggestion in building a stabilizer from plans is you need to follow those plans very closely and take the time to do it right. If you need some help on the touchy parts, get it. We, who build stabilzers for sale can tell of all the things that can go wrong and probably did go wrong. It will save you hours and hours of frustration.

Tery
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Old March 7th, 2005, 02:08 AM   #33
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Re: Homebuilt stabilizers vs. for sale stabilizers

<<<-- Originally posted by Terry Thompson : It's easier to build a stabilizer for personal use than one you intend to market as the one you market has to have a lot (and I do mean a lot) of extra work to make it real good and nice looking. Also you have to find all the suppliers for parts (no small task). -->>>

I don't think so. I heard someone spent years and still not happy about diy stablizer rig.

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Old March 7th, 2005, 02:10 AM   #34
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I think the idea is that one is less difficult than the other, but that neither would be considered easy.
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Old March 7th, 2005, 09:28 AM   #35
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I think that mechanically inclined = very long process but not to hard and not mechanically inclided would be very hard. The project requires a bunch of tools. If you would have to purchase all of the tools, it wouldn't be worth it. I have access to all the tools I will need.

My friends built one from Cody's book and it took them about 3 months of part time work. I would guess the hours to be around 100 to 120 hours. I guess the satisfaction of doing it themselves was worth the effort.

Glidecam will be selling the vest and arm, retails $1499. I don't know what the actual price will be but if you ad in the price of the sled, you are looking at approximately $1650. If you time is worth more than $14 hour, this project isn't worth your time. Personally, I like to build things myself. If it doesn't work, then I will buy a pre assembled one from Glidecam.

I purchased a glidecam 4000 pro sled with bodypod for $235, slightly used. I plan on selling the bodybod once my arm and vest are finished. Cody's plans have directions on building your own. For $235 - what I can sell the bodybod on ebay = approximately $135 for the glidecam. It cost's you about $70 to build your own sled.

I would assume if you could find a glidecam vest and arm for $1000 it would be a better buy than doing it yourself. Considering the cost of the arm and vest, in parts is around $150 to $200, not including any tools you have to buy plus your time.

Jon
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Old March 7th, 2005, 12:18 PM   #36
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build your own

The Glidecam 4000 usually goes new on ebay for around $375 and the 2000 for $275. Used it isn't a whole lot less so you got a real good deal.

So figure for a new Glidecam Smooth Shooter and Glidecam 4000 new (on ebay) you're into it a little less than $2000 with the shipping. Remember that the Smooth Shooter is a single articulated arm and not a dual. Single is good but dual is better in my experience. We built both to test out and only build the dual arm now.

Jon, you are right about the tools as there are a lot of tools need to build a good system and it really doesn't make sense to buy all the tooling to build just one stabilizer.

Did you find the bodypod useful? I bought one and only used it to take the weight away from my wrist when standing still. It wasn't helpful for moving shots as it doesn't have any "give". A tripod would have been much better.

Tery
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Old March 7th, 2005, 12:21 PM   #37
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I agree, the bodypod is worthless when compaired to an arm. I used it to hold the glidcam/camera. It is quite heavy! I would love to have it built already, but time is something I am lacking at the moment.


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Old March 10th, 2005, 06:39 AM   #38
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Would be nice to see your jorney to building your stabilizer. Don't forget send Charles some pics of the rig when it is done so he can put it up on HBS.
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Old March 10th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #39
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<<<-- Originally posted by Lars Gustav : Would be nice to see your jorney to building your stabilizer. Don't forget send Charles some pics of the rig when it is done so he can put it up on HBS. -->>>

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?s=&postid=284856#post284856

Listed above is a link to my journey from beginning to end. I just started this week. I am sure it will take me a couple of weeks to finish. :)

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Old March 19th, 2005, 12:55 AM   #40
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Hey Jon, where did your thread go?
I was looking to see if you posted any pictures yet and it's gone to the Twilight Zone.
Do you have any pictures yet? How far along are you?

Tery
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