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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:16 AM   #31
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Excellent Charles! That would be a great help to lots of people wondering what's going on with Zephyr.
I've had delivery dates of end of October, then mid-November... then nothing. How did your Bronx shoot go by the way? Any links to look at it or hasn't it been cut yet?
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:42 AM   #32
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Went great. Dave Gish came down to help out after I mentioned the shoot in this thread! It was a long night but a good shoot.

You can see it on my site linked below; go to Reels then Music Videos; it's "Just Tonight" by the Pretty Reckless.
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Old November 16th, 2010, 08:50 AM   #33
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Thanks Charles I'll have a look. I would have popped down too but it would have been a 14000 mile hike :-)
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Old November 16th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #34
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I was at a training workshop in the UK a couple of weeks ago & used the Pilot, Scout & Zephyr. I realise now that the latter two must have been prototypes as I didn't discover until later that they aren't shipping yet.

Rather like Chris my opinion on the Zephyr may not be worth much as a Merlin with arm & vest is the only Steadicam I had used previously but I thought the Zephyr was fabulous & would purchase one myself if funds allowed but have probably got to be content with a Pilot. In comparison to the delicate touch necessary with the Merlin it may be that a bigger & heavier more stable rig suits my ham-fisted manner better but it really was much easier to fly & felt so much better than the little Merlin. The impressive Robocop style vest also made me feel like a proper Steadicam operator:-)
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Old November 16th, 2010, 06:00 PM   #35
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Aaah yes Nigel! Boys with their toys eh? One thing about guys the world over is our love of cars, football (of whatever code) and wearing robocop vests.

By the way Charles great work on the Pretty reckless video although of course I won't fully appreciate the subtlety of how you are achieving each shot for years I guess. My personal favourite is the long lens dolly look, that must be one of the toughest for holding a good frame I suppose. I doubt if you personally have ever had the time to put one together, but do you know if there is a dvd or website that allows you to watch both Operator in action and the shot they are taking, shot by shot? Would I be right in saying that that clip was shot entirely on a stabilizer? In other words no need to set up dolly, jib whatever?
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:32 PM   #36
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Went great. Dave Gish came down to help out after I mentioned the shoot in this thread! It was a long night but a good shoot.
Good times indeed!
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Old November 18th, 2010, 01:48 PM   #37
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Would I be right in saying that that clip was shot entirely on a stabilizer? In other words no need to set up dolly, jib whatever?
Charles was the DP. He had 3 cameras going: techno crane, steadicam (another guy), and the 3rd camera alternating between handheld and sticks. I was just a camera PA, but I got to do some really cool stuff.

Last edited by Dave Gish; November 18th, 2010 at 03:08 PM.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #38
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If I can, I'll try to get to the factory to spend some time with the prototypes of both rigs and post my impressions here. My schedule slows down next week so I'll put it in the hopper!
Hi Charles, I would be interested to know if TIFFEN (as well as Jerry & Garrett) have completely figured out an out of the box solution for the weight distribution on the Zephyr sled. From what I can tell, based on the promo shots of the sled, there is on a spot for one battery on the lower spar. You can, of course, add the weight cylinders. I am figuring you will either have to use a Hytron 140 on the bottom or an A/B Hotswap adapter so you can mount a couple of Hytron 50s or Dionics and then still have to extend the post a bit to get the rig to behave if the package on top is around or north of 20 pounds. Maybe there is a battery plate on the rear of the monitor?

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Old November 19th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #39
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Andrew, as I've said many times I'm very new to all this and don't yet understand all the lingo or implications of various changes that may or may not be being made right now. However I will say as somebody who has already paid in full for a Zephyr (some time ago) I'd be more than disappointed if it doesn't work straight "out of the box" to the specs quoted, especially as i'll be working "around and north of" 20lbs" .In other words I expect to drive that vehicle straight out of the showroom, I don't want to be told I'm going to have to pay for new tires as well as I head out the door!
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Old November 19th, 2010, 08:13 PM   #40
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Hi Chris,

In the scheme of things what I am talking about is pretty minor if it is indeed the case.

If there is no provision for a second battery, the simple fix would be to use, as I mentioned a Hytron 140 or an Anton Bauer Hotswap adapter plate on the existing battery mount and then you could mount 2 smaller batteries like Hytron 50s that would total a weight of between 5 and 6 pounds.

I haven't seen your other posts other than this thread but if you don't have the Steadicam Handbook, I would recommend you get it right away. There are a myriad of little tricks and tips you need to know and this book contains quite a few of them along with a whack of other stuff about the craft, art and trade of Steadicam. This is a great way to ease into it and build up some confidence when approaching this thing that is in a lot of ways so foreign.

Pretty much every Operator is going to tell you to take a course. This will give you a good foundation well beyond what the book can do and point you even more in the right direction and give you a jump start into operating the rig and knowing where to devote your time. TIFFEN offers some two day courses. In the US they are generally taught by Peter Abraham who's enthusiasm for Steadicam is incredible. There are also longer courses that take the better part of a week and you would be using bigger rigs and some of the focus of the teaching is on Operating on "sets".

Anyway, it is good that Charles is planning to get his hands on these new rigs and put them through the paces. We are fortunate to have someone of his caliber and experience that is willing to do this and report back.
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Old November 19th, 2010, 10:51 PM   #41
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I will agree that for a rig that can spec up to that weight, not accommodating dual batteries is a bit strange, seeing as it was standard on the Flyer. Yes, you can add dead weight, but batteries are a smart solution as they serve double function. I'll enquire about this if and when I can get to Tiffen (right now work is overwhelming so not sure when that will be).
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Old November 19th, 2010, 11:43 PM   #42
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It's a pity Tiffen don't have an equivalent to Dan Keaton at nanoflash floating around these threads, which would eliminate all this guesswork.

Mind you I've never quite seen a customer service model as thorough as theirs, Dan's forever answering everything and anything down to the finest detail and he's in senior management with the company!
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Old November 20th, 2010, 12:23 AM   #43
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Just occurred to me, the Zephyr is setup to do both 12 and 24 volt. There has to be a second battery plate somewhere. It was also wired to do 24V if need be with an extra spot on the top stage ostensibly for a motor and wireless transmitter, as well as a spot to add another outlet. Things are pointing towards a second plate on the back of the monitor or some provision to change to a dual battery mount.
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Old November 20th, 2010, 01:13 AM   #44
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It's a pity Tiffen don't have an equivalent to Dan Keaton at nanoflash floating around these threads, which would eliminate all this guesswork.
I have seen Tiffen Steadicam guys posting on The Steadicam Forum & I guess there is no dedicated nanoflash forum which would explain why Dan posts here.
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 10:05 AM   #45
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Hi Nigel, how was your impression of the Scout since you have experience with the Pilot? I have one on order with no news of it arriving yet.
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