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-   -   wanting to buy a Merlin (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/60531-wanting-buy-merlin.html)

Ethan Cooper February 12th, 2006 07:26 PM

wanting to buy a Merlin
I was in the market for a Merlin but B&H is out. Where else are you guys buying them?

Rob Wilson February 12th, 2006 10:31 PM


Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper
I was in the market for a Merlin but B&H is out. Where else are you guys buying them?


Just keep watching B&H, I ordered from them last week. I had signed up for email notification of when they were in stock but never received an email. Just have to check back frequently.

Ethan Cooper February 12th, 2006 11:52 PM

thanks Rob,

I'm going back and forth about dropping $800 on the Merlin. Anyone want to convince me that it's way better than the JR. Is there something else out on the market that I should know about?

Mikko Wilson February 13th, 2006 01:21 AM

It's way better then the JR.

Lighter, stronger (more ridged). Easer to trim...

I think the fact that they can't keep them in stock has to speak for something too! :-)

- Mikko

Graham Risdon February 13th, 2006 02:18 PM

Hi Mikko

I use a JR and you're right - it's not very robust. Problem with the Merlin is that it doesn't have a monitor - or is this not a real problem?

I currently use a PD150 which has a flip out monitor but trying it with the JR makes it impossible to balance!

Any comments..

Ethan Cooper February 13th, 2006 03:08 PM

I was wondering the same thing about the flip out LCD. I'm guessing there is a way to adjust for this shift in weight. Right? Any Merlin owners care to address this one?

Tim Langston February 13th, 2006 03:34 PM

If you're coming from a jr, the only thing you have to remember, flip that monitor out before adjusting trim. I've done this twice now....thinking I had a problem with something slipping. I was dead set against not having a monitor on the rig itself, but using the cameras monitor brings it closer to your eyes. I'm really liking it!!! And NO more little vibrations while walking fast.

The only small problem is setting it down, I have to lay the camera on it's side or use the quick release and take off the stage. Maybe Tiffen will come out with a new Merlin case that will hold the Merlin and your camera upright.

It's a tough call, $800 is a bunch but if you have an older jr that's seen alot of action, I think it's worth it!


Mikko Wilson February 13th, 2006 03:34 PM

I'm not a Merlin owner but I'll chime in again.

Yes you can balance the merlin for a number of cameras, the flip out screen is not a problem.
You have a good choice of camera mounting holds on the stage, and then a fine trim that is so easy that you can even adjust while flying! - Try that with any other handheld rig!

- Mikko

Ethan Cooper February 13th, 2006 04:19 PM

Thanks for the responses guys. I downloaded the users manual off Tiffen's site and got the answer to my flip out screen question. I'm all giddy about getting a Merlin, now if B&H would just cooperate and get some in stock.
I've never used one of these things before, but am looking foreward to many hours of shooting test footage. My wife and I shoot weddings as a side business and it'll be nice to finally be able to pull off some of the shots I've been seeing in my head but couldn't quite pull off.
Come on B&H... I've got $$ I'm just waiting to throw at you.

Travis Cossel February 14th, 2006 02:24 AM

I hadn't seen this stabilizer before. What are the advantages of getting this versus a regular GlideCam 2000 (I use Canon GL2's)?

Rob Wilson February 15th, 2006 10:38 PM


Received my Merlin yesterday and the email below today.

No problem adjusting the balance with the LCD extended, in fact, that is they way they recommend it (and it really is required).

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.

Dear Customer

Thank you for your inquiry for this item:
Steadicam - STM - Merlin Camera Stabilization System

We would like to inform you that this item is now available from bhphotovideo.com.

Check it out:


If the above link does not work, please copy and paste this item code STM into our search box located on the upper left-hand corner of the page throughout our web site.

If you plan on visiting our retail Superstore in person, please call to confirm that the item is still in stock before you arrive. The demands on our inventory prevent us from guaranteeing that this item will be here when you arrive.

Thank you,
The B&H Web Team
420 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10001, USA

Ethan Cooper February 15th, 2006 11:10 PM

B&H had them for the grand total of one day. They're listed as "out of stock" again. I was ready to snap one up but my wife got cold feet at the last second. Ahhh the joys of being married.
As a side note, I never got my email from B&H. Wonder what that's all about.

Graham Risdon February 16th, 2006 02:22 AM

Anyone in the UK found a supplier for Merlin - I see from their website that Optex appear to have gone into liquidation...

Bob Harotunian February 21st, 2006 07:18 AM

[QUOTE=Rob Wilson]Ethan,

Received my Merlin yesterday and the email below today.

Would really appreciate more comments from you in the future with regard to the Merlin. I need a stabiliser and am investigating options now. I'll be using a heavier camera (PD-170) and was also concerned about any balancing problem with a WA lens.

Michael Stevenson February 25th, 2006 01:47 AM

Might I suggest going straight to the manufacturer The Tiffen Company? I am sure they would be able to accomadate you. Start here: www.steadicam.com


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