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Old February 25th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #16
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Maybe you can help me

Michael,
Ordering from Tiffen costs more than ordering through B&H. I'll just wait on B&H.
There's a reason I'm buying a Merlin... I'm poor. I can put that extra $50 to use elsewhere.
Thanks for the idea though.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #17
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Rob,

There were never truer words said...
"I'm using a GL2 with it and I'm quickly learning that owning a steadicam DOES NOT automatically make you a steadicam operator. It's going to take some practice to get it down. With just a hour of two working with it, I've been really impressed with what you can do though.

I'm still having a problem with the balance in that when I move side to side, the cam tends to pendulum (roll?). It's going to take a while to learn what a really well balanced rig is suppose to feel like."

============================

I'm sure your pendulum swing is caused by an overly heavy bottom-not you, the Merlin. It's much easier to balance any rig if it's bottom heavy but that doesn't give you the best results nor is it the way it's designed to work. I suppose you will have had this problem fixed by now. It must be covered in the set-up guide If not, let us know.

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Last edited by Terry Thompson; March 6th, 2006 at 08:35 PM.
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Old March 6th, 2006, 01:21 AM   #18
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I'm interested in trying out the Merlin - can you guys who've used one tell me about the actual camera mounting. I keep the Manfrotto baseplate on my FX1 always, so is there a plate adapter for this, or do I have to keep taking it off the camera and use a specific Merlin plate?

Robin
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Old March 6th, 2006, 05:35 AM   #19
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Merlin QR plate

The Merlin uses a special dovetail plate to moun the camera. You can of course put a manfrotto QR plate in there if you want, but there's no need..

The Merlin comes with a special little tripod adapter plate that you mount on yoru tripod. You can then swtich the camera betweenteh merlin and tripod as you wish (just like a QR plate) - but that's included with the kit! :)

- Mikko
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Old March 7th, 2006, 01:18 AM   #20
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Kiitos, Mikko!

Robin
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Old March 8th, 2006, 11:07 AM   #21
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The Merlin in use... sort of

I pre-ordered a Merlin from B&H in late September and it arrived around Christmas. I spent a bunch of time in January (I made myself do a half an hour a day) circling the office trying to get it balanced right and get used to using it. I'm a complete novice having never even seen a seadicam rig of any flavor in person before.

Then I had a week in Feb when I was using it every afternoon for several hours for 6 days straight. (I had a second camera on a tripod as well knowing I'd get mixed results with this.) What I found when I logged the tapes was that Monday looked pretty seasick, but by Thursday I had stuff I could use.

So my advice is definitely get one if you've got the budget. It's great and I love it. However, try not to get frustrated the first time you try to balance it if you've never done such things before. It wasn't nearly as easy as they made it look on the DVD. And practice practice practice. The practice itself is fun and eventually you'll get better and maybe even good. I keep telling my boss that anyway.

Smile,
Kris
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Old March 8th, 2006, 12:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Holodak
...So my advice is definitely get one if you've got the budget. It's great and I love it. However, try not to get frustrated the first time you try to balance it if you've never done such things before. It wasn't nearly as easy as they made it look on the DVD. And practice practice practice. The practice itself is fun and eventually you'll get better and maybe even good. I keep telling my boss that anyway.

Smile,
Kris
Hi Kris,

Got a Merlin 101 type question.

I actually did play with one a bit at the PMA in Orlando last week and could see both the potential benefits and learning curve people speak of.

Others were waiting so I didn't spend that much time w/ it, but my question is does it work at an angle? Is there any way to, for example, walk behind/beside a pet (dog/cat) with the cam pointed down to the ground? I meant to go back and check this but got distracted by all the other toys there that day...
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Old March 8th, 2006, 12:07 PM   #23
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Tim,

Sure, you can set the balance so that it pitches up or down naturally. It wouldn't really be possible to do during a shot but easily accomplished beforehand.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #24
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Yeah. I'm not particularly tall and have to balance it tilted slightly up so that I'm looking people in the face and not in the tie tack. Even for extreme angles it ought to work if you've got the balance trimmed right.

Rob's point is worth noting. You are locked into that tilt for the duration of that shot, but can re-trim it between shots.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kris Holodak
Yeah. I'm not particularly tall and have to balance it tilted slightly up so that I'm looking people in the face and not in the tie tack. Even for extreme angles it ought to work if you've got the balance trimmed right.

Rob's point is worth noting. You are locked into that tilt for the duration of that shot, but can re-trim it between shots.
Thanks, Kris (and Rob). That makes sense.

I did happen to walk by a tech radio station booth that was broadcasting at PMA and interviewing the Merlin guy. A lot of bubbly enthusiasm (aka "marketing hype"). Not unlike their brochure I picked up that states:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brochure
>>"With an almost-sensuous click, the lower spar instantly folds up and magically disappears up alongside the camera, perfect for shoulder-mounted shooting."<<
"Almost-sensuous click"?! "magically"?! Good grief-- cool, but a bit over the top I would say...
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Ribich

"Almost-sensuous click"?! "magically"?! Good grief-- cool, but a bit over the top I would say...

I've been playing with the JR for a long while, [though I do not profess to be an expert]...And from my experience is that when you have the JR[and I would imagine the Merlin] dialed-in exactly and perfectly.... operating a Steadicam JR is a really wonderful sensory experience.

Because, you are one with the machine.[I know that is a cliche--but's its true]
You can get into the zone...and enter a zen-like state with it.[the other machine I've experienced it with is a high quality road bicycle like a Cannondale back in the day]

I'm not kidding. It is "athletic" in that you are coordinating/dancing/choreographing yourself and your footsteps to get that beautiful tracking shot around the subject

You can boom up and down, instantly, and pan left and right and all while on the move.

Get one...and you will understand. ;-)
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Old March 8th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Chu
I've been playing with the JR for a long while, [though I do not profess to be an expert]...And from my experience is that when you have the JR[and I would imagine the Merlin] dialed-in exactly and perfectly.... operating a Steadicam JR is a really wonderful sensory experience.

Because, you are one with the machine.[I know that is a cliche--but's its true]
You can get into the zone...and enter a zen-like state with it.[the other machine I've experienced it with is a high quality road bicycle like a Cannondale back in the day]

I'm not kidding. It is "athletic" in that you are coordinating/dancing/choreographing yourself and your footsteps to get that beautiful tracking shot around the subject

You can boom up and down, instantly, and pan left and right and all while on the move.

Get one...and you will understand. ;-)
Heyyyy... weren't you the guy doing that radio interview at PMA?! <g>

Well shoot, that's a pretty glowing review. You do realize that posts like this are bound to cost me $$$$ in the long run !

Thanks for the input.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 03:36 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Ribich
I did happen to walk by a tech radio station booth that was broadcasting at PMA and interviewing the Merlin guy.
Tim, was it this guy?: http://wilson.pp.fi/mikko/photos/fly...t_IBC-2004.jpg (on the right)


- Mikko
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Old March 8th, 2006, 04:02 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
Tim, was it this guy?: http://wilson.pp.fi/mikko/photos/fly...t_IBC-2004.jpg (on the right)


- Mikko
Hmmm... I don't believe so. Is that Garrett Brown?

The fellow I saw doing the radio interview was younger.
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Old March 8th, 2006, 04:12 PM   #30
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Yes that's Garrett.
Not sure who it was then.

- Mikko
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