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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:07 AM   #181
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Yep have image stabilisation off also. Have written to Steadicam-Europe to see if they can enlighten me. It's unusual that I don't experience any shake/judder whatsoever when I'm flying handheld running/walking up and downstairs etc. It's only once the Merlin is placed on the Arm& Vest that the faint judder occurs with every few steps I gently take. Once I break into a faster walk or run the judder just gets worse. I really, really want the Arm&Vest to work for me but so far no joy I'm afraid.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #182
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Can you post some footage of yourself using the rig?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #183
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I don't have the arm and vest. I am just experiencing it handheld.
Same shake/judder symptoms though.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #184
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Up to my eyes at the moment but will get a clip on asap. Basically, in the meantime, I was conscious of not letting any parts of my arms or elbow rub against the vest, or let any part of my hands or fingers touch the vest or camera or Merlin in such a way to cause the shake (I only occasionally touched the guide). The judder seemed to come up from my feet directly up into the arm.

I'm 5'10" (178cm) - 5'11" (180cm) and of slim build (31 inches / 78 centimeters waist) and weigh approx 168 pounds. In order for the Vest to rest snugly on my shoulders, I extended the chest spar down as far as I could without it slipping out from the 4 thumbscrews. Perhaps I shouldn't have this chest spar down so far - perhaps I should keep it as high as possible? If I were to bring the chest spar higher, one of the shoulder pads (to my left) tends to rise up, dig into my neck and generally make filming a highly uncomfortable, strangling experience. I've encountered the judder by literally just walking forward very, very slowly with no extravagant movements whatsoever. The judder gets more pronounced if I walk quicker or break into a run.

Anyway, I'll post back once I get a clip recorded if I can get hold of another video camera for the task! Thanks for your help. Any further suggestions appreciated in the meantime.

I must admit that I've nailed a couple of cracking handheld Merlin shots so far such as two people walking down the steps of a plane (boomed down) then walking away from the plane towards the camera (walked sideways-backwards) and into a terminal. For anyone reading this considering the handheld Merlin I totally recommend it.

Just occurred to me - it would be brilliant if someone (Steadicam) could do a video tutorial on the Merlin Arm & Vest! Perhaps I could do one if I get this mini-nightmare solved!

Last edited by Peter Dunphy; July 15th, 2009 at 01:30 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2009, 01:05 PM   #185
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Merlin

I've been using the merlin for over a year, but recently I've been unable to balance it. I've been using the same camera with the merlin. This first started happening a month ago. I balance the merlin and begin to walk and the camera leans to one side. I rebalance and it leans to one side again once I begin to move. I have checked my settings and tried, tried, again with the same result. After 5 separate attempts I am throwing my hands in the air. Help please!!!
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Old October 5th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #186
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Merlin tilt

Jason, after you rebalance, does the camera continue to lean to the same side, or then does the camera lean to the opposite side? From your description, I'm not sure which is happening.

Are you using it handheld, or with a vest?

I've had my Merlin for about 2 years now, or however long it's been since they first came out, and I haven't experienced anything like that. Well, for the first few weeks after I got it I had problems keeping the camera level, but once I hit on all the right settings, its been working as advertised.

If it's been working okay for you for the past several months, and now it's not, my first thought is that something is loose or got damaged. How heavy is the camera you're using with it?
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Old October 5th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #187
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Merlin issue

I am using the Merlin handheld and once balanced it can tip to either side while in motion. Before this issue came up I had some room in balancing. using vx2100 with it. very moody all of a sudden.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Tomkowiak View Post
Jason, after you rebalance, does the camera continue to lean to the same side, or then does the camera lean to the opposite side? From your description, I'm not sure which is happening.

Are you using it handheld, or with a vest?

I've had my Merlin for about 2 years now, or however long it's been since they first came out, and I haven't experienced anything like that. Well, for the first few weeks after I got it I had problems keeping the camera level, but once I hit on all the right settings, its been working as advertised.

If it's been working okay for you for the past several months, and now it's not, my first thought is that something is loose or got damaged. How heavy is the camera you're using with it?
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Old October 5th, 2009, 05:45 PM   #188
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Merlin issue

If you noticed, I also have the VX2100. Depending on what size battery you're using, lens attachments, and whatever else is attached to the camera, it's right at the upper weight limit for the Merlin.

Compared to my Canon HV30, the VX is a challenge to balance. In fact, I rarely mount the VX on the Merlin any more. A tripod or the DVRigPro is my stabilizer of choice now for that camera.

But, getting back to your problem, having a camera that's been riding just fine but now for no apparent reason tilts to either side, is a problem I never had to solve.

Instead of continuing to make adjustments, I would suggest just starting from scratch. Essentially reset the Merlin back to zero, begin with the suggested cookbook basic settings, and go from there.

And, what might yield you more suggestions, is to start a new thread in the Stabilizers forum. This one you piggybacked on has been around for quite a while -- up to 13 pages now I think -- and I'm not too sure how many people still look at it.

Good luck.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 03:57 PM   #189
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I'm about ready to sell this thing if I can't balance this HPX170! It's been months now and no luck. I can balance it perfectly on a table so the thing stands on the gimble on its own, then as soon as I pick it up and try to practice I get a slight boat/wave effect (very slight) and I set it back down on the table on the gimble and the thing tilts all the way to one side and vertically as though I didn't just spend forever trimming it!

I can even get it to a 2 second drop time! But no luck keeping it balanced! what the hell!
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #190
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David - do you think maybe the gimbal is showing wear and acting up on you? I think if it were me I'd see about getting it checked/repaired.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #191
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I'm not sure. How can I find out if it's getting worn down? And if it is, that's BS because I haven't even shot in the field yet with this thing. I've just been trying to balance it ever since I got it. How the hell can the gimbal get worn down? Shouldn't they warn you that this can happen? What's the point in owning this if it self destructs?!
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:39 PM   #192
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David - sorry, I guess I'm confused - I had thought you had been using it for a while successfully - I must have mixed you up with another poster.

Hmmm. The "boat wave motion isn't so unusual but usually goes away with practice.

After you set it down and it points in all the wrong places, what happens when you pick it up again - does it stay in the strange orientation or does it swing back to more or less level?
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:50 PM   #193
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okay, I went back to dove tail slot G and I for some weird reason I don't have this problem as BAD as before.

Now, the horizontal measuring level is off by usually HALF the bubble each time I try to set it back down, but it still tips pretty bad vertically out of whack.

I don't think the gimble is broken, but it is still VERY odd to not even WALK with the thing and have it go out of whack..

as for mastering this boat swaying. How the hell is one to do that?! even if I touch the ring with a feather's touch the whole thing moves erratically.

Why should I have to counter balance any pants or tilts as I walk? Isn't the whole point of this instrument to ELIMINATE that?!
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Old October 11th, 2009, 05:27 PM   #194
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Well, I think the only way to get stabilization "automatically" would be to get a gyro based system.

Think about moving your hand to the side - in other words pushing to let's say the left. If the center of gravity of the entire system is anywhere but dead on the center of the gimbal, the camera will tip to one side or the other. But even if it IS dead center (hard to do exactly) the camera will have more air resistance than the Merlin, so there will be a very small force trying to tip the camera to the right. Not to mention the various rotional moments involved.

This is life! Wind, minor imbalances, friction, maybe even the alignment of the planets (they do after all have a gravitational effect) are all going to conspire to ruin your day.

All I know is that the more I used it, the better it got and the less my touch on the ring caused problems - but I'm still far from perfect.

It's sort of like the NY cop who when asked how to get to Carnegie Hall answered "Practice, practice, practice". Don't know what else to say.
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Old October 30th, 2009, 02:14 AM   #195
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Has anybody of u experienced the break of the plastic parts near the plastic screws?
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