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Old April 13th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
BTW Garrett also mentined that he was maybe going to work on some sort of body vest for the Merlin, to aleviate arm strain. Something more elegant than teh current body pods out there, more vest like. That would be the bomb.
That is great news. Hopefully, the vest won't be more than $2000.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 01:48 PM   #17
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Nah, the sticker price will probably be only $1,999 --it'll seem cheaper that way.

I think VariZoom sells a vest for about $800 that they claim will work with most hand-held stabilizers.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Liebergot
..... I place the DVRig onto my Bogen tripod by using the lightstand adapter that screws into the bottom of the rig arm and then have the tripod adapter (which is a huge cylinder that attaches to the tripod QR plate on the tripod)....
Michael, based on your input, I just might take another look at mounting the DVRig Pro on a tripod for a wedding.

Maybe what my wife didn't like was my jury-rigged bracket to mount the rig on a tripod.

What is the lightstand adapter and the tripod adapter you mentioned in your post? I guess if I worked with lightstands I'd know what you were talking about.

Just to bring merlin back into the discussion, what I like about the DVRig is that I don't look like a Borg walking around, and I also get positive comments. But, it's definitely not a stabilizer. So, I'm still considering adding the merlin to the inventory for those shots that still exist only in my mind.
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Old April 14th, 2006, 05:01 PM   #19
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Will the Merlin work with an HVX200?

Trying to find a suitable stabilizer for some shots of crew boats on the water. I'm in a coach's motorboat and it can get rather bouncy for any kind of closeup work. (Nothing like having your shot show the crew boat rowing uphill :-). Have tried a steadystick and monopod, but the boat's cramped conditions make for very difficult shooting as the support leg tends to hit the sideboards. Can the Merlin hold a HVX200? At 5.5 pounds without a big battery, it's somewhat at the upper limit of handheld.
Thanks for any help.

-Bob
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Old April 15th, 2006, 02:50 AM   #20
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Bob,
Yes the Merlin *will* fly the HVX-200 - But only the bare HVX200 with a medium battery (and I belive only one P2 card). Out on the water you might want to have a rain cover on your HVX incase of spray, which would make it too heavy.

I've shot a little bit of crew footage from the chase boat. For those that don't know:the one huge benefit with shooting rowing is that the water has to be very calm for the rowers (those boats are *tiny*!) meanign that you arn't workign in too rough conditions.

Steadicam isused often in boats as it's one of the jobs it does very well, but there are also safty issues involved. Normally when working with a full rig, the opretor uses a vest with a "break away" system so that if they go overbaord they can pull a rip-cord and ditch (loose) the rig to save themselves. My point here is that keep in mind some way of feering yourself from whatever support you choose. - of course any handhelf rig will help you here.

I think that the Merlin should work fine for you (and it will be very stable) for shooting rowing as the weather conditions are noramally farily good and speeds slow wnough to prevent any real spray, however you will be restricted if you want to add accesories or rain protection to the camera.
If you go for some other type of support, be sure to keep a safty bail out option available. - For example I wouldn't recomend the Flyer for this as it doesn't have a break-away vest. Also note thatthe Merlin is actually quite large when the arc is all teh way open for the weight of the HVX. Another good option (as the ride should be prety smooth anyway) would be a shoulder system, but that's a topic for another thread.

- Mikko
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Old April 21st, 2006, 07:16 PM   #21
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Do you have any wind out there on the water? If you do, any of those "flying" rigs will have problems, and I would think especially the Merlin, which is especially susceptible to environmental forces.

Boat to boat shooting is often accomplished with the use of a gyro lens. I believe there is a company that has such a device for cameras like yours, but it won't be cheap.
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Old April 27th, 2006, 10:54 AM   #22
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Something I don't think is mentioned in the manual - do you keep the camera's internal stabilizer on or off? I keep it off, but I suppose it would help with static shots. What does everyone else do?
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Old April 28th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #23
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Mikko, what does the SteadiStand and Docking Bracket do? I'm looking on everybody site and there is never a picture or description for these items. We are leaning towards the Merlin and just want to make sure we are not missing anything that we may need.

Thanks
Tom
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #24
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sunova bitch, i had the merlin set up with all the gear on it, wide angle, tape, 8hr battery, LCD out and i lost the paper i wrote it on. Now i cant set it up again, bah, anyone have this set up and maybe can tell me what its set on, farking hell!
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Old April 28th, 2006, 03:30 PM   #25
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Hi, just received my Merlin from B&H yesterday. I think I got the thing well balanced with my DVX100A. However, I have some questions:

- I locked up everything and got everything well balanced. However, after I played with it for a few minutes, it became off balanced again. I did not do anything to change the weight distribution or anything. Is this normal?

- The gimbal is not as smooth as I expect. May be because of the weight of the DVX. Can I grease the gimbal to make it smoother??

So far, I am very happy with it. The only two things I am not happy are:
- the mounting screw is not attached to the dovetail plate. Very easy to lose the screw.
- tripod adaptor plate does not have the video pin hole. Need to remove the pin of the tripod quick release plate everything! I don't understand why they don't drill the hole for us!

Here is a tour of my apartment after 30mins practice:

http://www.isentropic.com/paul/merlin.wmv

Last edited by Paul Leung; April 28th, 2006 at 04:24 PM.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #26
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looks smooth :D
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Old April 29th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Leung
- I locked up everything and got everything well balanced. However, after I played with it for a few minutes, it became off balanced again. I did not do anything to change the weight distribution or anything. Is this normal?]
Paul,

As one merlin newbie to another, I know exactly what you're experiencing. Well, almost.

I've had mine for more than a week now, and I'm doing two practice sessions a day, one in the a.m. and one in the p.m., about 15 minutes each. It'll be perfectly balanced for the entire session, then I set it down either folded or unfolded. When I pick it up again -- about 10 hours later -- it'll be slightly out of trim. Sometimes not so slightly, needing as much as a half or three-quarters turn on the fore-aft wheel, and usually some adjustment is also needed for left & right trim.

My theory is it has to do with the same global effects that bring on the high and low tides -- the gravitional pull of the sun and moon.

I haven't experienced this within the same session as you have, but it always happens for me when there's several hours between sessions.

I'm getting pretty good where I can get it trimmed up quickly, but it still is a bit strange.

On another issue, I tried it outside today with a bit of a wind blowing. I don't know the exact wind speed, but it was about what one would expect on an average day. As a result, I doubt I'll be using the merlin outside for any serious work for quite some time. It really is a challenge to control when there's much of any wind.

Tom T.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #28
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well i thoguth i had it balanced. When i tried running with it arond the house it tips forward alot, not by much but it noticable. When stationary its level or so i think, if i move my wrist left/righ fast sometimes get tippage too. how do i avoid the tippage. lol
thnx
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Old April 29th, 2006, 01:20 PM   #29
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Hc-1

Hi Guys,

I have a Z1, and tried one at the booth at NAB. It works, but as Garrett explained to me there, you need to use two hands - he called it the "golf grip" and a VERY light finger on the gimbal with your left hand. It gets very heavy after about 5-6 minutes.

As an alternative, I am think about using the HC-1 as well. He thinks it is a great combo. Anybody tried this?

Jack
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Old April 29th, 2006, 04:55 PM   #30
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Hi everyone,
Sorry for the long delay in my response. I've been away at NAB all week and only just got home from a very long flight (so excuse any poor spelling).
I do however have my own Merlin now too. :-)
[I also bought an Archer at the show]

First off, be sure to check out the new Merlin FAQ here: http://www.merlincookbook.com/faqs.php


Wind:
Yes, this is always an issue with Steadicam, and more so with lighter rigs unfortunatly. That in deed will be a factor that will make most boat shooting dificult if you can't get into shelter from the wind.

Image stabilisation:
Normally it's a good idea to turn OFF any image stabilisation if you plan to move the camera because of the way OIS and EIS work.

Steadi-Stand and Docking Bracket:
The Steadi-stand is a lightweight compact "C-stand" type stand. The docking bracket is a peice that can go either atop the Steadi-stand (or any other C-stand) or onto any standard tripod thread and will give you a little balancing pin to put the merlin on (with the hole in the handle) for balancing or docking if you don't want to set the rig down. Not necessary equipment, but very handy, especailly for those on longer shoots or working with larger cameras.

Re-trimming:
Beacuse of the way anything is built, there is always a *tiny* amount of "slop" or "give". If the Merlin's connections where 100% tight, you of course wouldn't be able to make any adjustments. However that clearance can someitmes lead to the need to ever so slightly re-trim the rig. Also not the arc has a tiny bit of play at the caliper, so if you pull up the bottom spar it may move the weights enough to upset balance a little. - once balanced it's a good idea to get into the habit of not pulling or pushing any of the parts to hard. - Even so, slight re-trimming is part of daily life when working with any Steadicam - that's why the adjustment rollers have been made so easy to use.


The mounting screw - and locator pin - are detached because of the flexibilety of the 15 holes to mount the camera. - unless you are working with a bottom loader camera (I hate them!) you should never need to remove your dovetail plate from the camera.

I agree with the coments on the lack of a locating-pin hole in the tripod adapter, I mentioned this at NAB. Note that almost every tripod's locator pin is either spring loaded (dissapears down when you add the adapter) or can be screwed down into the plate (check the underside!). I have yet to find a tripod that woulnd't work with just the threaded hole - this is how all still cameras are anyway, they don't have a locator hole.

I belive that "Tippage" you mention Saturnin is the comon "pendulum" effect that comes from a rig that is bottom heavy. - if it's severe, then your rig is too bottom heavy, if it's just slight then that's normal and something that is part of operating to anticipate and control whenever you accelerate.

Jack, I have a Sony A1 without mic (almsot identical to the HC1) on my Merlin now and it works great!


- Mikko

Last edited by Mikko Wilson; April 29th, 2006 at 09:52 PM.
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