Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes - Page 5 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old February 4th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #61
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alice Springs AU
Posts: 173
Another thing that might interest you. After informing Tiffen a couple of days ago that I would now have to share my experiences on "forums" I have just found that I have been locked out of the Tiffen steadicam forum website. Even after getting a new password issued (to give them the benefit of the doubt) I still can't get in.

Oh dear guys, not a good look. Instead of diffusing the situation it looks like they wish to inflame it, ok... your choice. Back to writing the blog...
Chris Tangey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 4th, 2011, 10:26 PM   #62
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
I'm sniffing at doing a Zephyr/Scout review video next week, schedule permitting...we'll see.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2011, 09:34 AM   #63
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 1,498
Great Charles.. waiting to watch yr video! Chris, sorry at your experience. I'm lucky to receive a complete set and it looking and feels really sexy. One thing is the colour tone of the adjustment levers on the post are different and that irritates me a little. Other than that I have yet to have a chance to fly it as the 5D2 is way too light. When i get back home i want to fly the EX1 on it first.

I wished they designed the stage to be mountable with those weights like the Pilot. I'll be customized an adapter a little similar to the Cinevate cage that stillmotion uses. Overall i still fell it is a wonderful system so far.
__________________
Firewerkz Films SGP
Sean Seah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2011, 11:15 PM   #64
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Posts: 418
Very keen to see some photos when you get a chance Sean!
Joe Lawry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 17th, 2011, 11:18 PM   #65
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alice Springs AU
Posts: 173
Looks like Tiffen gets a lucky break again. After half writing a long blog entry and spending way too much time on it over the last few days, I decided instead to spend an hour and a half writing a condensed version here only to lose it all in a power blackout. I just couldn't be bothered now, I give up. Have a beer for me tonight Mr. Rush.
Chris Tangey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 01:14 AM   #66
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Alice Springs AU
Posts: 173
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Latest news from Tiffen is they are going to replace my (and I presume all Zephyr owners) bridge plate with a newer version, which is apparently more adjustable. Seems odd, is there another issue they're not telling us about?

This on top of receiving my Zephyr with a faulty dovetail plate (that holds the camera on!), the fact that they "released" it in April at NAB despite having no production models at all available for sale, then after two other other "release" dates finally delivering it in January the following year. On top of that there is still no manual available for it to this day, but then again this is the same company that supplied 2 only training DVDs to me that were made in 1991 and 1996 respectively (I'm not kidding). Strangely Tiffen Australia couldn't have been more helpful with all this, but Tiffen HQ in the U.S. (Frank Rush) have given nothing but lip service at best and, at their childish worst, shut me out of their Steadicam Forum when I told them I would need to share my problems on the internet( I still am). I have since had many others contact me including this one from the UK:

"....problems occur with even the big 50.000 dollar rigs. I know at least 2 operators who had major problems with alignment of gimbal, alignment of post parts etc etc.

- Flyer nr1, scratches on the arm..
- Flyer nr2, arm looked like dropped from 15 meters high on the ground. Received compact vest while ordered normal vest. Dealer sent rig back, another drive to dealer 3 weeks later, rig was fine..
- Flyer nr3, the LE version. Gimbal not level. Sled was picked up, 1.5 week later new Sled arrived at home.
- Pilot nr1, again.. Gimbal not level. New upper part of Sled was sent to my home.

Also when ordering parts, they charge big time in the EU comparing with US prices. Also they manage to send used screws for 12 pounds each and not new ones :(

I have complained several times, 1 time even with big email to all top guys at Tiffen. In the UK and in the US. Lot's of excuses but never something like a little refund, some nice parts for free.. while i have bought more then 30000,- us dollars of equipment in the last five years.."

Look, obviously I think Tiffen make a great product, but I am getting seriously concerned about what seems to be a company with a split personality, not just between Tiffen U.S. versus the rest of the world, but what seems to be a disconnect between Tiffen design and areas like quality control (they tell me they are made in Mexico), marketing (as in production of current DVDs and manuals ) and plain good old fashioned service. I would suggest in a world market where serious competition is encroaching every day on your business you would take an urgent look at those issues.

I have also had people ask for images of the rig, while I'm at it anything in particular? Especially any details you might want featured?

Last edited by Chris Tangey; February 27th, 2011 at 06:55 PM.
Chris Tangey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #67
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Chris sounds like the odds are working against you. I know a fair number of people, myself included that have had nothing but positive experiences with TIFFEN products.

My Flyer works perfectly and no problems. I am waiting to get a Zephyr but have held back because of manufacturing delays and I know this is a radically new product with a lot of changes to important parts of the sled so I want the dust to settle before I get my new rig. You have chosen to be an early adopter and there is a price for doing that.

I am really grateful that TIFFEN is releasing a product with such a good cost/benefit ratio and will jump at the Zephyr when the time is right.

The training videos you mention particularly the one done in the late eighties is just fine. Obviously rough around the edges but you as a person who has been involved with Steadicam for now more than a few years should know the historic value of that piece and the info in it is top notch.

The market for Steadicam training videos is very small and if someone TIFFEN or a 3rd party were to do one, it would be put up as a torrent in no time and sales would be miniscule after that. Besides TIFFEN offers Steadicam workshops several times a year in various parts of the civilized world. Finally, a Steadicam Handbook was issued a couple of years ago that has changed the landscape of learning for new Steadicam Operators. Between that and the excellent workshops that are available, there is not a lack of training opportunities for those that are serious about the craft and the business.

Last edited by Andrew Stone; February 27th, 2011 at 06:58 PM. Reason: Adding a point about the Steadicam Handbook
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 06:42 PM   #68
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

You make an excellent point about the torrent, Andrew--I had started planning an instructional video years ago but the thought of DVD piracy always dissuaded me. I think it was a wise move to avoid it, it would have been a lot of work as I would have gone whole-hog into it to try to make it definitive (something like the video version of the handbook) and after all was said and done, have little to show for it.

I did have some great moments scripted, however. In a section about how it is often up to the operator to educate and guide the creatives through the misconceptions and usage of Steadicam, I had a little scene with a director enthusiastically pitching all sorts of ridiculous and over-the-top shots he wanted to do (operator jumping out of a moving car etc), interrupted by Garrett Brown himself materializing from behind a wall and dressing the guy down as an homage to the Marshall McLuhan scene from Annie Hall. Would have been great.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 11:42 PM   #69
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 326
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Chris,

I'd be interested to know what exactly was wrong with your Zephyr. You said the dovetail was defective?

Also, just FYI, The Steadicam Forum isn't owned or operated by Tiffen. It's owned and operated by Tim Tyler, who also runs Cinematography.com. You might want to contact him if you're having trouble logging in to the forum. I'm sure your opinions would be more than welcome over there.
Tom Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 11:16 AM   #70
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 382
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Tangey View Post
Latest news from Tiffen is they are going to replace my (and I presume all Zephyr owners) bridge plate with a newer version, which is apparently more adjustable. Seems odd, is there another issue they're not telling us about?

I have also had people ask for images of the rig, while I'm at it anything in particular? Especially any details you might want featured?
Chris, thanks for keeping us posted on the progress of the Zephyr. Like others, I too am interested in this option if Tiffen can get the bugs ironed out. I'd be using the Zephry for a Sony PMW-500 camera which fits into this weight range.

To be sure, it is frustrating to be on the leading edge of product evolution. I greatly appreciate your comments and experiences as they are invaluable before making a leap to purchase.

I'd like to see photos of the whole setup installed on a real person. Different angles showing some of the innovation that Tiffen has added to the Zephyr. And most importantly, what are the strong features that you really like? What are the outstanding issues that still exist? Thanks in advance and hang in there while flying with your zephyr ;)
Barry J. Anwender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 28th, 2011, 12:34 PM   #71
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 39
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
You make an excellent point about the torrent, Andrew--I had started planning an instructional video years ago but the thought of DVD piracy always dissuaded me. I think it was a wise move to avoid it, it would have been a lot of work as I would have gone whole-hog into it to try to make it definitive (something like the video version of the handbook) and after all was said and done, have little to show for it.

I did have some great moments scripted, however. In a section about how it is often up to the operator to educate and guide the creatives through the misconceptions and usage of Steadicam, I had a little scene with a director enthusiastically pitching all sorts of ridiculous and over-the-top shots he wanted to do (operator jumping out of a moving car etc), interrupted by Garrett Brown himself materializing from behind a wall and dressing the guy down as an homage to the Marshall McLuhan scene from Annie Hall. Would have been great.
Charles, I still think there would be a lot of demand (well, relative to the market) for such a video. Yes, you can't really prevent something from being pirated. But there's other models for revenue streams, especially if your expectation is mostly just to cover production costs and trouble.

For one, you could post it to a site and have it supported by ad revenue (cheesy but can work). You could ask for donations from all that watch it, and I think you might be surprised by the generosity you would see. Finally, and perhaps most reasonable; there is not a reason in the world that you wouldn't be able to get corporate sponsorship up front to fund such a project, assuming the production costs are modest. Tiffen, XCS, and all the other manufacturers seem like they should be willing to give a modest amount, especially if their products appear in the video (in a non-advertising way); additionally, some camera manufacturers might be willing to kick in an amount (Arri, Panavision, RED, Sony, etc and maybe even Canon, showing new horizons for light rigs, for example), and finally, I suspect that even some notable operators would be at the minimum willing to pitch in, if not donate some $$ in recognition of what steadicam has done for cinema/TV (and their careers) over the last 4 decades and will continue to do. Corporate sponsorship doesn't need to be just in the small world of steadicam, either, perhaps from a larger corporation that has been a notable user of steadicam in their work/adverts. All of these entities/people would probably be willing to give something, especially with credit at the end with links to their sites.

Your notable and I'm assuming trusted (obviously I don't know you personally, but people do seem to like you!) position in the industry makes you a perfect person to produce such a video and be trusted to both do it well and spend donated/sponsored funds in a responsible way. In short, I wouldn't discount the idea; I think everybody recognizes that it would not be a real money generator for you, but it would contribute greatly to the training available and probably join the ranks of history along with the EFP video. Lastly, many hands make light work: should you enter into something like this, I'm sure that there are many people, probably a great many of whom you already know personally that would willingly pitch in with the effort, from fund-raising to production, to editing and technical post issues, to creating the website and distribution.

Last edited by Robert Wall; February 28th, 2011 at 12:39 PM. Reason: additional text
Robert Wall is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 1st, 2011, 12:15 PM   #72
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Nashville, TN
Posts: 189
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Chris,

Closeups of the battery bracket would be great.

I am taking delivery of my Zephyr within a week or two at Showcase Atlanta. I plan to post a detailed rundown as soon as I receive it. Time permitting, I may have a go at a video review as well.
Mark Schlicher is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2011, 04:09 PM   #73
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Looking forward to it Mark.

I am curious is there a battery mount on the back of the stock monitor and is TIFFEN recommending dual hotswap adapter to give the rig the weight it will need if running a typical short post.

In any event, I will be picking up an AB dual hotswap device so I can easily hang two batteries at the bottom. I suspect, if you are carrying a load in the 20 to 22 pound range you will need three typical sized batteries on the bottom or a longer post. Pretty sure there is only one battery mount on the rear portion of the lower spar.
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:02 PM   #74
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 382
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Andrew, I am new to the power arrangements on these Steadicam units. Tiffen offers V-Mount or Anton Bauer (AB) options. Can you share your insights and reasons for choosing AB? As you point out, I have also come to the conclusion that a dual/hot swap arrangement is a minimum. Thanks!
Barry J. Anwender is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 3rd, 2011, 10:28 PM   #75
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 975
Re: Steadicam Zephyr-upgrade changes

Sure Barry. I just said Anton Bauer. It's what I use. Most operators have a preference. Sometimes it is personal preference and other times they chose a type of battery that is common on sets in the area they work.

The reason I know the sled will need that many batteries is, the sled is close to the same length as the Flyer when the post is compressed into it's shortest state: a short post. The vast majority of operators prefer a short post (big or small rigs) due to the responsiveness. Longer posts are used to make the rig reach up high or low (if in low mode) but most want it as compact as possible for the majority of work they will be doing.

The Flyer uses two Anton Bauer Trimpacs which weigh 2.9 lbs each (the ones I have) and this will allow the sled to have the proper "drop time" to operate with a full load. The Zephyr can handle more camera weight so you will have to add more battery weight at the bottom to compensate.

A few of us Flyer owners have gone over this. The ones I have talked to concur with my observation.

No one from TIFFEN to date has chimed in on this matter.

To me the easy solution is to buy an Anton Bauer or a v-lock hotswap device. I know the Anton Bauer one is available through B&H. A v-lock one I saw listed off the Zacuto site. B&H probably carries it. The v-lock one is cheaper BTW. Another solution would be to buy a really big Hytron like a 140. Nice and heavy.
Andrew Stone is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:36 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network