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Old July 31st, 2006, 10:26 AM   #46
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Armin, im glad you posted as i have a little swing to flying the merlin also. I just started about a week about practiceing about 30 mins per day.

Still looks great though compared to what a hand held could do
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:13 PM   #47
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i went back to my merlin and i cant set it up again, lol... dvx, 9hr batter, .6 wide angle lens, tape inside, lcd open
got 1 mid, 1 finish on top
4mids, 1 finish on bottom
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:29 PM   #48
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lol?

What is the rig doing Saturnin? How is it out of balance?


- Mikko
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:43 PM   #49
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hahah i'm going to throw it out the window soon..i dont know what it does ..lol..everything..HAHAH Mikko come to my rescue...
its bottom heavy, its top heavy, it sways to the left and right...the works
i follwed the cookbook..that didnt help, i stripped the camera and left it like the cookbook says still being lame...
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:47 PM   #50
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You're going to need to cool down your posts a little so I can make sence of them. (Me beeing a foreigner and all..)

If you just hold the rig in place by the handle, what happens?

- Mikko
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Old July 31st, 2006, 02:51 PM   #51
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lol, your english is fine!!!

ok if i hold the merlin wihout the camera it tilts down
merlin with camera tilts down


btw, i'm not sure if you use msn but i added you :p
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Old July 31st, 2006, 03:21 PM   #52
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Some Merlin footage

Finally I succeeded to put some QuickTime-movies on my "website".

It are some shots I took during a family holiday in France, using the Merlin. It are extracts from an iMovie, so sometimes the added music just starts somewhere in the middle ..

As others keep saying, you do need to practice a lot with the Merlin:
- how to mount your camera to the mounting plate (so that the horizon of your lcd screen is horizontal if the airbubble on the mounting plate is in the middle). Here I added two 1 eurocent coins on one side, not beautiful, but effective (this is important if you switch to a tripod)
- how to quickly balance ( if you want to change tilt for different shots), also during shooting. this also includes switching between a tripod and the Merlin (the tripod plate works fine, although I can't understand why there is no hole for the fixing pin of the tripod in the tripod plate)
- how to keep fast moving objects (in particularly children) within the viewfinder (I can't remember the word for this)
- how to plan your shots (in particular if you want to edit, you may want a still start and a still ending of the shot).

What I like about the footage, is that it adds a 3D-effect as near objects move faster that remote objects. It is much more dynamic than footage taken with a tripod. What I also like, is booming. With a handheld camera you actually can't do this (or is very hard), and with a tripod you always get the tilt. I have added one clip on my website (merlinboom).

On the website below, I have put some simple clips taken with the Merlin. the clip TwoHalfMinutes is an extract of the complete holiday movie (1 second per clip, each clip is or Merlin or tripod, no handfilming):

www.xs4all.nl/~mali99

You will need Quicktime to watch them.

Hope you can enjoy.


Pieter
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Old July 31st, 2006, 04:06 PM   #53
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ok i think i have it set again... although it takes a little longer than a second to comback to level....hmmm
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Old July 31st, 2006, 05:39 PM   #54
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Ok, sounds like you aren't quite bottom heavy enough.
Turn the "Z" adjustment (the guide ring aroudn the gimble) clockwise (up) to move the gimble up a little. This should make the drop time a little faster.

Then use teh blue trim rollers to correct for tilt.

- Mikko
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Old July 31st, 2006, 05:51 PM   #55
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the z has been adjusted to the very top no slack...

...just out of curiosity, thre is no way to avoid rocking left-right with quick whip pan/dolly movments, is there? I have to hold with two hands, one on gimbal one on the grip, ya?

thanks
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Old July 31st, 2006, 06:11 PM   #56
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Correct.

When ever you move quickly, it will want to wobble *just a little* like a pendulum, and that's one thing you learn to compensate for with time.

And yes, using 2 hands to hold and control the Merlin is recomended.

- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; July 31st, 2006 at 07:47 PM.
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Old July 31st, 2006, 06:13 PM   #57
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wicked deal, now i have to keep this paper wif the info safe so i dont loos eit agian, lol...
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Old July 31st, 2006, 09:21 PM   #58
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don't "Merlin" things with bad back...

Bought a Merlin a month ago. Discovered as soon as I began to train with it, that bad backs and Merlin's don't mix! Oh, the pain of it all...

Will soon be training a younger, stronger body to carry it. I think it really does work, but the learning curve seems pretty steep to me. If they can get it right, it looks like a serious tool for serious film makers, but definitely not for wedding-type or casual videographers. Too little cost-benefit unless you're seeking to impress someone.

Maybe I'll have more to say after I teach someone to use it...

Stephen Armour - Brazil
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Old August 1st, 2006, 12:20 PM   #59
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Stephen,
Unless you have serious back troubles, operating the Merlin should not hurt your back. You might want to check yoru posture when operating.
For example you should be walking normally with the rig, not with your legs or back bent. (There is a common misconception that a Steadicam operator has to "glide" with their body for the system to work. This it not true, the system is there to take out the bumps so you don't have to.)
Now there are some manuvers that you can do with a Merlin, such as a really low shot, that may be limeted by back pain.

Try using the rig again, but walk the way you normally do, so that it (hopefully!) doesn't hurt. Of course if it does hurt, then stop. But I'm of the oppinion that practically anyone can operate a Merlin basically, even if they arn't flexible enough to get absoloutly everything out of the rig.

- Mikko
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Old August 1st, 2006, 03:23 PM   #60
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I would say that with heavier cams like my fx1, any back problems could be exacerbated if you try to fly for too long as a beginner, because as the arm fatigues the back arches and the neck and shoulder tenses, trying to compensate for an arm that isnt up to it.....not exactly Merlins fault.

I got a merlin 1 week ago , partially thanks to Mikko's advice (by the way Mikko, my shoot was postponed so thankfully i have more than my anticipated week to perfect it!!). I had it set up and balanced quite well inside an hour and went out to play.

Within a very short time my forearm was feeling fatigued.. I didnt give up soon enough though because some time later strain in my arm and wrist became apparent and i had to take the next day off from the Merlin!

I notice subsequently that I have to be quite aware of not tilting and flexing at the wrist, i think maybe subconciously trying to steer it as i move around.

I am finding it easier than expected to use in every way except for how limited a time i can practice in one go due to fatigue.

I have been frustrated at not being able to improve on my initial trimming in order to eradicate very slight pendulum effect when moving side-to-side or front-to-back but reading Mikko's earlier post maybe that will always be present when operator movement is anything other than slow. I figure i must be bottom heavy, my drop is only barely a second, but i notice if i move sideways the penduluming starts by the cam lagging slightly behind the weights...maybe thats aerodynamics (!!) but my logic would expect the opposite?

Overall though i'm very impressed with the 'steadying' effect the merlin has...makes a joke of my home made steady devices and im glad i spent the money rather than going for a fig-rig.
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