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Old February 7th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #1
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With Steadicam JR can you ...

do tilts/dutch angles? Can you use it with the
camera facing downward, or only level with the
horizon?
Dave Largent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 7th, 2005, 10:39 AM   #2
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I just got a JR. A slight nudge on the guide will send it tilting up or down and it will slowly level off. Mine works best when its balanced level with the horizon, but you can adjust the balance to have the camera point down or up at rest. At extreme angles, mine is much less steady though. It may be I just haven't learned to balance it well yet. I've only had it a couple of weeks. Getting it balanced is really tricky.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 11:12 AM   #3
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Hey Marco,
I messed with a JR for a couple of days and got
the feeling that it would take a couple weeks or
so to dial it in, as to the proper settings. I didn't
stay with it because the cam I was using seemed
to be too heavy for it. Did you get the training
video? I'm "this close" to going with the
Glidecam 2000. I did take a "look" at the Hollywood
Lite VS-1, though never have got my hands on one.
What cam are you using?
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Old February 7th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #4
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Dave:

The JR works pefectly well with tilts and dutch angles. While it is true the gimbal will allow for perhaps 45 degree tilts before it "bottoms out" against the support rod/handle assembly, you simply adjust the angle of your support hand to give the gimbal all the room it needs to tilt to a full 90 degrees up and down. If you intended to spin the rig 360 degrees in tilt, then an offset gimbal would indeed serve you better; I'm not saying I've never had to do such a shot, but it is extremely rare. Overall, I consider the JR to be higher performance and much easier to make fine adjustments in trim than the handheld Glidecams, but many find the Glidecams easier to use. If you can get yourself the accompanying video, it will answer a lot of questions for you, it's quite good.
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Old February 7th, 2005, 01:05 PM   #5
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Dave,
I'm using a GL1 with a Century anamorphic adapter, sunshade, Series 9 filter and large battery. It took me a couple of hours to get everything balanced, which is what the video suggests it should take. While it will take a long time to really master this thing, I was getting pretty smooth shots and pans the very first day. Obviously the more complicated the maneuver the more expertise you will need. I wouldn't be afraid of the training time. It's such a blast to use, practicing isn't a chore at all. Finding willing subjects to let me chase them around our apartment building with it can be though. The more I use it, the more I wish I had bought one years ago. I think it will completely change the way we shoot. I'm planning to get a quick release plate so I can switch it out quickly with the tripod. I also bought a hot shoe bubble level -- http://tinyurl.com/3dm5l -- that I leave on the camera whenever I use the JR. It really helps to make sure things are balanced right. I would really recommend it, unless you get the JR with the monitor, which has its own built-in level.
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