X-22 vs Flyer LE, now I am really torn - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:28 PM   #16
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Not the way i've designed it.
Let's say i put it on loose, all buckles loose, put left are through (or right depending on how i unbuckled last time i used it), clip right shoulder buckle and right chest buckle, pull down shoulder straps, pull chest strap, then reach round and plug in waist buckle behind me then pull that strap.
When i remove the vest it's just unclip waist behind back, unclip chest, unclip shoulder, the buckles stay set in position.
Next time just clip shoulder, clip chest, clip waist behind and pull waist.

Paul.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 12:35 PM   #17
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I just some pics of my buckle conversion on the other thread, this thread's getting a bit hijacked, sorry Simon.

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:44 PM   #18
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Agreed, the first-gen Flyer post was a problem, but I think they've addressed the post pretty well in the LE (carbon fiber, extendable, larger gimbal grip).

What remains, imo, is the bottom spar (need to make it more Archer2-like for DB, but also offer inertial augmentation with weights, similar to the Pilot), and the top stage (more/better power options, perhaps...?)

Oh, yes, and a tilt stage!

The challenge, as I understand it, is that they don't want to make the rig any more expensive, and it's a challenge to engineer in the desired functionality without increasing the cost or weight significantly. There will have to be some compromises, and I get the impression that they are still sorting those issues out.

Having said all that, the Flyer (LE or even the aluminum-post first generation) is a great little rig. The dynamic balance issues are more a matter of inconvenience than impossibility. The weight range covers a good number of cameras, and the precision and adjustments possible are unmatched.

A used first-gen is a great value. A new LE offers great improvement even with its shortcomings.

Regarding the buckles, I don't find them to be a big problem for me personally...but ratchet buckles would be an improvement.

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Both the base and the post needs an upgrade. From day one when i did the review of the first generation Flyer, that was my biggest compliant.
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Old December 23rd, 2009, 02:50 PM   #19
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I concur....

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Old December 23rd, 2009, 04:50 PM   #20
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With regard to dynamic balance is it possible to achieve total DB with the Flyer, or are some cameras simply impossible to adjust for?

Last edited by Simon Wyndham; December 24th, 2009 at 03:11 AM.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 02:53 AM   #21
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Dave. I think one can say it is a matter of taste but there is unstable feeling of the handling of the rig when operating. There are many that agreed but there are also some that do not find the post an issue. Still a nice little rig but a little beefier post i think will feel better.
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Old December 24th, 2009, 03:58 PM   #22
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With a light camera and the HD (heavier) monitor, you might have to use a weight plate to get the top heavy enough to put a second battery on for weight behind the post, in order to achieve DB.

However, a weight plate is recommended anyway, in order to slow down the pan inertia and "settle down" the rig.

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With regard to dynamic balance is it possible to achieve total DB with the Flyer, or are some cameras simply impossible to adjust for?
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Old December 24th, 2009, 04:05 PM   #23
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True, a matter of taste.

The question of a thicker post comes down to whether the thicker grip will make the rig harder to control because of the increased leverage your gimbal hand automatically exerts against a light payload.

Garrett and Jerry Holway feel that the lighter the rig, the smaller should be the grip (and therefore the post), so the rig doesn't become too "fidgety". Some operators prefer a thicker grip regardless of a lighter sled.

However, with a way to increase pan inertia without adding too much weight (using light weights fore and aft light the Pilot), I think that a thicker post is possible and probably desirable.

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Dave. I think one can say it is a matter of taste but there is unstable feeling of the handling of the rig when operating. There are many that agreed but there are also some that do not find the post an issue. Still a nice little rig but a little beefier post i think will feel better.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #24
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To get the thread back OT a bit, I'm still rather torn between the two devices. The Flyer comes with a case, and I'd imagine that like other Steadicam models it is easy to pack away and move to another location. The Glidecam will need dismantling and then reassembling from scratch.

Since from the most part I will be using the stabiliser on productions that I am in control of, being able to move from location to location easily would be a bonus. When I used an Archer once, the thing I loved was that it folded up so easily and I could pretty much keep its settings.

But the thing that keeps nagging at me is that weight limit. The X-22 can handle a similar load to the Archer (slightly less than the Archer 2, but still fairly close). Apparently the sled for the X-22 can handle 25lbs, while the X-22 arm can handle 36lbs. That's a pretty impressive figure. And given that I know the rig seems to handle fairly nicely it might seem to be a no-brainer.

In fact looking at the Glidecam lineup it would seem that the X-22 is really the GC equivalent of the Archer rather than the Flyer.

So now I'm left with deciding whether the convenience of the Steadicam is worth getting over the X-22 which I might have to modify in various ways.

Plusses and minuses:

X-22 Plus

1. Inexpensive.
2. 25lbs weight capacity.
3. Feels good in use.
4. Well made.
5. Looks pretty good too.
6. Lots of adjustment for DB.

X-22 Minus

1. Finnicky arm tension adjustment.
2. No power feed through the post (optional J-box but can't find any mention of it on the GC website).
3. Doesn't pack away easily.
4. Doesn't come supplied with case or stand.
5. Name doesn't hold as much resonance with producers and hirers.
6. No 24v option.

Flyer LE Plus:

1. Well made.
2. Totally frictionless gimbal.
3. Tools free adjustment of the arm.
4. Comes supplied with case and docking stand.
5. Customer support is second to none.
6. Name carries a lot of weight.
7. Packs away more easily than the X-22.

Flyer LE minus:

1. Not as high a weight capacity as the X-22.
2. Not as much freedom for adjustment of DB.

I could mount a broadcast camera on the X-22 and still have capacity to spare for matte boxes, follow focus, wireless systems etc. The Flyer LE would struggle with this. Decisions, decisions. Need to get it sorted pretty soon though.

The really big question is whether I would really struggle with the capacity of the Flyer. It would mainly be flying an EX3, but I could just as often be using the 510 or DSR-450's etc. Yet quite often the shoots would involve different locations so the ease of dismantling and reassembling would factor in a lot.

Is there a weight over the official specs of the Flyer that anyone here would say is safe? Or would *any* weight over the official specs be classed as a no no on a regular basis?
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Old December 25th, 2009, 07:58 AM   #25
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It would mainly be flying an EX3, but I could just as often be using the 510 or DSR-450's etc.
How much do these camera's weigh?
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Old December 25th, 2009, 09:08 AM   #26
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The heaviest, the 510, weights 7.8kg with lens, viewfinder and AB Dionic 90 battery. If I pile on another two Dionics it comes to 9.4kg (about 20lbs)
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Old December 25th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #27
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The heaviest, the 510, weights 7.8kg with lens, viewfinder and AB Dionic 90 battery. If I pile on another two Dionics it comes to 9.4kg (about 20lbs)
First, that's close enough the that Flyer should work fine.

Second, do you really need to fly that configuration? For example, can you power the camera from the sled? Do you need the camera viewfinder when flying?

Third, is there any chance that you would ever need to fly a RED One? If so, the two rigs you're comparing (Flyer and X-22) may both be inadequate. RED One configurations vary from 20-45 pounds. Actioncam rigs fly up to 50 pounds:
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A used full size rig is another option for this.
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Old December 25th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #28
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I doubt I'd be running that config, but thought I'd see what the weight would be with a bit of load over and above the camera itself.

It is unlikely I'll be running a Red at any time soon. Maybe it will be more likely I will end up running Scarlet on its release which is perhaps a lot lighter. But for now Red is unlikely. As long as I can run a broadcast camera with a few accessories when needed it should be fine.
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Old December 26th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #29
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Long...

Simon,

I've flown just about every rig out there at one time or another (some so bad that if the designers would have shown up on the set, I would have used the rig to do them some serous damage). That's the problem with producers calling every cam stabilizer a "Steadicam". So I have learned to ALWAYS bring my own equipment.

The one constant in all these rigs, is that if it was a Garrett Brown designed rig, it always worked great. Take that for what it's worth.

I don't fly an actual Tiffen Steadicam most of the time (I fly a GPI Pro II rig), but I do own a ProVid 2, a Flyer, and I just purchased a Flyer LE and a Flyer LE RED.

I can tell you that the arm on the Flyer is the closest performing arm to the Pro arm that I have ever used, and the Flyer LE arm is even better than the original Flyer arm in that regard.

Unless you're planning on spending $30K to $50K+ on a rig, the Flyer LE is the best thing going in a sub $20K rig. I can't see Tiffen making a huge profit on the LE. You get an awful lot for very few bucks.

The LE is not just an upgrade to the original Flyer (which I also own), it's basically an entirely new design. From the vest to the sled, it's all different on the LE. And BTW, the new CF post is simply wonderful! The larger grip gives you more precise panning control, and along with the expandable post and "fat" gimbal makes it feel just like the "big boy rigs". They've also successfully addressed the battery paddle slippage problem that would sometimes plague the original Flyer -- by adding a Kipp lock on it (and to the stage as well).

A lot has been said about getting the LE rig in static balance, most of it said because the principal of statically balancing a rig is not entirely understood, and definitely not understood when it comes to the Flyer. The Flyer is easier to get in static balance than the Pilot (except under very unusual circumstances).

With the LE, you only have one adjustment (the battery paddle) to worry about to get the rig in static balance (and that's how it was designed, thanks Garrett!). This eliminate fiddling with moving the monitor/battery mounts fore and aft, adding weights here and there, etc. All time consuming when you have a 1st AD tapping their foot. With the LE you can be out of the case and ready to fly in under 20 minutes (and back in the case in 10).

The most common mistakes I see with balancing the Flyer is that the monitor spar arm is not fully horizontal (it only has a pivot to make it foldable so it fits in the case). The monitor arm only has two _correct_ positions, folded (for storage) and fully extended (horizontal). Once you set the monitor viewing angle (not the monitor spar arm angle, which should _always_ be fully extended/horizontal), lock it down and do not change it. To do so will require you to static balance the rig again. DO NOT adjust the monitor spar arm to get the monitor higher!

Next is the cam plate. On the Flyer, the correct cam GC point on the plate is almost fully to the rear (most Ops mistakingly set this in the middle of the plate), and finally, the drop time on the Flyer LE is shorter than most. 2 sec is a good average, 3 sec for beginners, and I use a 1 sec drop most of the time with both my LEs.

As for the load capacity, I believe that Tiffen rates their rigs very much on the conservative side, and by contrast, most other stabilizer manufacturers rate their rigs at the very top of the rigs weight carrying capacity.

I just recently worked with a guy using a Flyer (not an LE) flying an almost fully configured RED One, and he said he has been doing that for some time now without any probs, and that he has regularly flown 30+ lbs on that Flyer.

I tested my LE RED with the SDI monitor up, two Dionic 90HC batteries and my fully configured RED One which weighed in at 32 lbs on my electronic scale (minus VF, but with FF added), and it flew just fine after tweaking the arm lift on both bones a bit (but it's not something I plan on doing, or something I would recommend doing).

The thing is, even with the arm overloaded, I could let the arm free and it would just stay in any position I set it in. WONDERFUL!

So, if I had to choose between the Flyer LE, and most everything else in the sub $20K range, there would be no choice, Flyer LE all the way!
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Old January 16th, 2010, 05:03 AM   #30
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Hey Simon,

I am in the exact same position as you, debating between the X-22 and Flyer LE. The general consensus seems to be that the Flyer LE is the one to go for, both on here and on Steadicamforum.com.

I was just wondering how much progress you've made with the decision and where you are in the buying process, because I too am based in the UK and am in the market of buying one of there rigs.

Cheers
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