Everything you wanted to know about the Steadicam Merlin... - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 30th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #31
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Posts: 342
Getting started

Hey Mikko,

You are a walking Merlin Encylopedia! Thanks for all the information. Taking both the Z1 and the HC-1 out for trial flights this week. Sorry I didn't run into you at NAB.

Best Regards,


Jack
Jack D. Hubbard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #32
Tourist
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: london ontario canada
Posts: 1
With regard to the problem concerning the mounting screw on the Merlin, use a pinch ring. It will hold the screw in place, while allowing the screw to be tightened or loosened.
Ron Jacob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2006, 08:26 PM   #33
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 302
what's a pinch ring?

And is that advice true of any screw? I have found that the screw that holds in place the little lever you turn to attach the camera to the merlin has been coming loose and making the whole thing not stay in place very well (and I found it hard to balance when everything stayed put). Would a pinch ring solve that problem. And if so can I just ask for one at Home Depot and have any hope of them handing me the right thing?
Kris Holodak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2006, 08:48 PM   #34
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Posts: 326
For that, head over to the adhesives section of your Home Depot, and grab some Blue loctite. It's the nonpermenant stuff. The little ring is for keeping a screw attached to something while still letting it turn.
Tom Wills is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 26th, 2006, 09:08 PM   #35
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 173
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Jacob
With regard to the problem concerning the mounting screw on the Merlin, use a pinch ring. It will hold the screw in place, while allowing the screw to be tightened or loosened.
Thanks Ron. Will pay home depot a visit.
Paul Leung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 18th, 2006, 04:45 PM   #36
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
Posts: 287
One modification that I'd like to see would be the addition of a locator hole in the tripod adapter plate. All of my tripods have a locating pin in addition to the mounting screw for the camera. The Merlin tripod plate doesn't have that hole. Not a big deal since I'm about to add one myself, but I was a little surprised not to find one already there.
Ralph Keyser is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 07:14 AM   #37
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: northern ireland
Posts: 57
To solve the screw problem mentioned above I bought another screw longer than the first and put two lock nuts on it. Now it does still turn to allow you to open and close the screw and I found that it makes the grip tighter two. I also put a plastic vice on to make sure it dosent slide up and down the platform. I think a little better thought should have been put into the grip screw as it seems poor craftmanship. Im sure a better solution could have been found and still not add wieght to the merlin. Also im surprised that they limit the wieght to only 5lbs as most pro consumer cameras will be just over this wieght. Is this to get out of the fact that pro consumer cameras will be used more than consumer cameras therefore forfitting the warrenty? With the price tag it is clearly aimed at the pro consumer market, as most people with a consumer camera wont want to buy a stabiliztion unit that costs more than there camera.

With all that said and done I think it has the protential to be a great product for low budget productions.
Robert Johnston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #38
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Johnston
Also im surprised that they limit the wieght to only 5lbs as most pro consumer cameras will be just over this wieght. Is this to get out of the fact that pro consumer cameras will be used more than consumer cameras therefore forfitting the warrenty? With the price tag it is clearly aimed at the pro consumer market, as most people with a consumer camera wont want to buy a stabiliztion unit that costs more than there camera.
There is a certain limit to how much weight the average user can comfortably fly with a handheld stabilizer. Over 5 lbs is pushing it for most and will limit the length of shots that are possible.

Few "consumers" (i.e. casual camcorder users who mostly have cameras to cover family events, etc) will be able to get much use out of a mechanical stabilizer because the learning curve is likely beyond what they are interested in, the gear is too bulky to travel with and carry around, etc. I think it safer to say that the Merlin is aimed at the lower level of "prosumers" who are using the smaller class of cameras for one reason or another. In this case, it is true that the rig will possibly cost more than the camera, but of course it will likely outlast it in the same way that one can keep a good tripod for years while upgrading the cameras that going on it over time.

The 5 lb+ class of cameras are more suited to the Flyer rig which incorporates the vest and arm to help manage this payload. Certainly it is much more expensive than the Merlin (once again the stabilizer is as much or more than the camera itself), but at this point both the camera and stabilizer can deliver such good results that the resulting footage can compete with that captured by a high-end camera/stabilizer combo that costs literally hundreds of times more.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #39
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Posts: 11
Merlin TRIPOD plate - some pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
As for the quick release, I am in deed refering to puling the camera off the Merlin and onto a tripod using the included quick realse and tripod-mount.
There is no way to mount the merlin directly to a tripod - Nor is there really any reason to do so.

- Mikko
Mikko and Tom

I have tried the tripod-mount during holiday and it works (you NEED it if you switch regularly between tripod and Merlin).

Two remarks:

1) The tripod-mount has only one hole for the mounting screw, not for the locating pin of your tripod (I have no idea why). So you need to remove the locating pin of your tripod plate (and put it in your wallet or you'll lose it). (my tripod is a Sachtler DV 2 II).

2) Using the tripod-mount also requires that the camera is mounted to the mounting plate in such a way that the lcd-screen horizon is absolutely parallel to the horizon of the mounting-plate (some smaller camera's, like mine need some adjustment with a coin or tape or something), otherwise the camera will not be parallel to the pan-plane (don't know if this word is the correct word) and your filmed horizon will have a roll to left or right. This trimming you will need to do when the camera is mounted on the tripod (by the tripod-mount).

I have posted some pictures to iilustrate this on:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~mali99/Merlin%...od%20pictures/

Hopes this helps,

Pieter
Pieter Mali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 02:11 PM   #40
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Posts: 11
Merlin TRIPOD plate - some pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
As for the quick release, I am in deed refering to puling the camera off the Merlin and onto a tripod using the included quick realse and tripod-mount.
There is no way to mount the merlin directly to a tripod - Nor is there really any reason to do so.

- Mikko
Mikko and Tom

I have tried the tripod-mount during holiday and it works (you NEED it if you switch regularly between tripod and Merlin).

Two remarks:

Using the tripod-mount also requires that the camera is mounted to the mounting plate in such a way that the lcd-screen horizon is absolutely parallel to the horizon of the mounting-plate (some smaller camera's, like mine need some adjustment with a coin or tape or something), otherwise the camera will not be parallel to the pan-plane (don't know if this word is the correct word) and your filmed horizon will have a roll to left or right. This trimming you will need to do when the camera is mounted on the tripod (by the tripod-mount).

I have made some pictures to iilustrate this on:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~mali99/Merlin%20tripod%20pictures

Hopes this helps,

Pieter
Pieter Mali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 20th, 2006, 09:21 PM   #41
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter Mali
1) The tripod-mount has only one hole for the mounting screw, not for the locating pin of your tripod (I have no idea why). So you need to remove the locating pin of your tripod plate (and put it in your wallet or you'll lose it). (my tripod is a Sachtler DV 2 II).
Yes I agree that this is an issue.
Thankfully all tirpod have either a removable or retractable locating pin. But yes I agree that here should be a 2nd hole there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pieter Mali
2) Using the tripod-mount also requires that the camera is mounted to the mounting plate in such a way that the lcd-screen horizon is absolutely parallel to the horizon of the mounting-plate (some smaller camera's, like mine need some adjustment with a coin or tape or something), otherwise the camera will not be parallel to the pan-plane (don't know if this word is the correct word) and your filmed horizon will have a roll to left or right. This trimming you will need to do when the camera is mounted on the tripod (by the tripod-mount).

I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Why do you need to roll the camera to one side? Is your camera's base not flat and level?

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2006, 03:58 PM   #42
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson
I'm not exactly sure what you mean here. Why do you need to roll the camera to one side? Is your camera's base not flat and level?

- Mikko
Exactly, the base is not flat neither level. Around the thread and the locating pin hole there is approx. 1 mm supporting area and beyond the surface is 0,5 mm lower. See attachment.

The Merlin manual is mentioning this - more or less- in Chapter 5 "Installing the Dovetail Plate, Prepare your camera": it is recommended to put some thick Gaffer's Tape running fore and aft (but I did'nt have it when I first set it up, maybe I should follow up the advice now..). With professional camera's this probably is not an issue.

Pieter
Attached Thumbnails
Everything you wanted to know about the Steadicam Merlin...-base-nvdx100.jpg  
Pieter Mali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2006, 04:21 PM   #43
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Ew yeah, that's not good.

Yeah, tape or a peice of thick cardboard under there woudl definatly be a good idea.

Ugh, why do camera makes release shotty things like this?


- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 21st, 2006, 04:21 PM   #44
New Boot
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Utrecht, Netherlands
Posts: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Leung
- 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??
I had the same experience. I called my dealer - who knew nothing about it - and then sent an email to Tiffen who told me next day to send me a new gimbal (which they did immediately). The new gimbal 'felt' better but still does not feel perfect (you feel still some play). I guess this is just within the manufacturing limits. I would NOT recommend to grease it, this could spoil the gimbal, and I doubt if it would help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Leung
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.
Also the locating pin can be gone in a split second. I lost mine during holiday, fortunately I found it back in my rucksack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Leung
Here is a tour of my apartment after 30mins practice:

http://www.isentropic.com/paul/merlin.wmv
Looks smooth and well balanced (vertical is vertical). Your Merlin seems to function very well. I am curious to see some of your real life footage.
Pieter Mali is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 20th, 2006, 10:15 PM   #45
Major Player
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 318
Merlin Vest

When is the vest for the Merlin coming out?
__________________
Nick
Nick Tsamandanis is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:44 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network