Glidecam adjustment for Canon 7D at

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Old January 3rd, 2010, 02:27 AM   #1
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Glidecam adjustment for Canon 7D

Hi Mroczkowski,

In response to your post requesting help to balance your Canon 7D, I'm posting my response here on the in the Stabilization group so others can find my detailed response (and perhaps comment with their thoughts).

So, using my Bogen 394 release, I've mounted on the 6th hole back from the front (number 8 is the last hole). And yes, I primarily use the Tamron 17-50mm lens, too.

Here's a few tips:

1. Get something like a music stand or other stable vertical pole that measures about one inch in diameter. This allows you to place the hollow handle of of the Steadycam over the pole so it is freely suspended and allows you to easily check for static alignment.

2. Make a visual check to ensure the vertical post is fairly straight (90 degrees from ground plane). One way to do this is compare it with a known straight vertical reference, such as a door frame, etc.

3. Without the Canon 7D mounted, the glidecam should be fairly level as compared to the vertical pole adjacent to the glidecam shaft. Of course, for those using another camera or 7D with a heavy lens, gear mounted on the hotshoe, etc, the final weighting will probably not balance right without the offsetting gear.

4. Prepare the 7D for shooting, putting everything in place - battery installed, CF inserted, remove the lens cap, lens hood in place, remove the camera strap (I have quick-release clips on my straps). If you are going to put stuff on the hotshoe for shooting, install it now. And don't forget the lens filter, etc.

5. Clamp the 7D into the glidecam adapter.

6. Adjust the four top screws until the glidecam shaft is almost parallel (vertical) to the vertical pole on your holder (the camera stand in my case). By the way, if you are using an adapter with a leveling bubble, it's a great way to confirm the glidecam is level.

7. Use the washer weights on the bottom of the glidecam to fine tune the unit. The glidecam shaft should be parallel with surrounding references - i.e., the door frame, etc.

8. Ensure your camera is firmly mounted to the glidecam, lens and gear are firmly mounted and that nothing will come loose or fall when you tip the camera sideways in the next stepl

9. With the glidecam securely fixed in the vertical pole, turn the glidecam shaft sideways so the camera and shaft are parallel to the ground.

10. Twist the glidecam shaft to ensure the camera is fairly well centered on the mounting plate. If it always flops to the same point, it's probably worth the time to recenter it and redo the above steps (although this isn't such a big deal with a light camera like the 7D.

11. Prepare for the famous "drop test." Ensure the glidecam base plate with the weights are facing parallel with the vertical shaft that's holding the glidecam handle. The idea is to avoid having the glidecam plate hit the vertical shaft when you drop it.

12. Okay, again holding the glidecam shaft sideways so the camera and shaft are parallel to the ground, release the shaft and count the time in seconds it takes for the glidecam shaft to move from the vertical to horizontal position (the spot where the shaft swings to the bottom). The ideal time should be around 2.5 to 3 seconds for most situations.

13. Adjust the glidecam base plate up or down to adjust the time. Of course, you may need to redo/tweak the above adjustments to re-center the glidecam.

14. Finally, confirm the glidecam is properly adjusted. Lift the handle off the vertical pole and hold it. Swing the left-right, front-back to ensure the glidecam shaft is steady and not swaying from side to side. Depending on your gear, glidecam model (I'm re-using the 4000 Pro that I formerly used for my Canon XL-2) your drop time may vary.

As previously mentioned, I'm using two big washers on each side of the adjustment plate (and one tiny washer needed to hold the locking nut). And I have the mounting plate up all the way - any lower and I'd go beyond more that 3 seconds. I suppose I could then add more weights but I'd prefer keeping things on the light side as a favor to my wrist (even though it's very happy it's not lugging a 10+ pound XL-2). This way I don't need to use the Glidecam wrist brace all the time.

FYI - you'll find videos on YouTube, etc, some okay while others are way off base. Fortunately, just watching the videos it's easy enough to see who's giving good/bad advice. You'll also find very useful videos on the manufacturer's website.

Good luck, Michael
Michael Nistler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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Thanks a lot!!
Javier Salinas is offline   Reply

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