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Old September 24th, 2006, 02:32 PM   #61
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Phil,
Sometimes the best way to find a vibration is to indeed strip down a camera and rebuild. All opeartors face that sometimes at all levels of Steadicam. Good to hear you got the problem solved.


Robert,
You show notable improvement even over the duration of your clip. Maybe the party went late and 'fun' enoguh to help you steady the shot!

Actually, my main advice would be for you to try and lighten up your gimble, controlling (aiming) hand some more. You only really need to actually touch/press on the gimble when you need to make a steering correction like a pan or a tilt. Once you are just moving without needing to change the angle of the camera, you should almost let go, just resting your fingertips lightly on the guide ring so that you can feel any stray movements before they happen.

And the other piece of advice I have is to relax as much as possible when shooting. It's hard to concentrate and relax at the same time, but at the end of the clip, (seriously) as teh evening went on, I could tell you where more relaxed and that showed in your shots.

- Mikko
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Old September 25th, 2006, 12:30 AM   #62
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Phil, you have found the most practical solution - fly with the lighter cam and leave the heavier one for the tripod.
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Old September 25th, 2006, 03:46 AM   #63
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Thanks phil for your comments and yes it was hard to get the spirit level just right. My biggest problem is having to correct it every time you rest it in between shots, what a pain.

Thanks mikko that is great advice. I thought i held the gimble to hard an as for stray movements, that advice I will work on and of course relax. Didn't finish till twelve. Thats not to bad, but late for a camera man.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 01:14 PM   #64
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Hi

i need help!

the screw/clamp on the dovetail plate that you use to take the camera on and off the steadicam has come loose and come off. No matter what I do i cant get it back on. Could anyone help me please? If need be how could i get a new screw/clamp? i would rather not of course!!

thanks
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 02:22 AM   #65
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Phil,
The dovetail clamp has prety short threads due to the thickness of the dovetail itself.
There should be a small nut embeded in the dovetail for the bolt to mate with.
Align all the parts of the clamp so that the flat side points inwards so that it will clamp onto the stage. Then carefully align the screw and give it another try. it Shoudl go in prety simply.

I don't have my Merlin on hand, but I will check when I get home tonight.
For now, here's a couple of pictures to show alignment...


- Mikko
Attached Thumbnails
Everything you wanted to know about the Steadicam Merlin...-merlindovetailclampapart.jpg   Everything you wanted to know about the Steadicam Merlin...-merlindovetailclamptight.jpg  

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Old October 11th, 2006, 08:37 PM   #66
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thanks mikko.

i think somehow the thread on the screw itself has gone, that's why it isn't gripping
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Old October 12th, 2006, 01:44 AM   #67
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Phil,
You'd probabaly best contact Steadicam customer support (www.steadicam.com). It could be a waranty issue.

- Mikko
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Old November 19th, 2006, 03:54 PM   #68
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Is it too risky to use 5.5 to 6 pounds on a Merlin?

I am very close to buying a Merlin and I am trying to plan ahead with my setup for next year's weddings.

Does anyone use this much weight without worry?
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Old November 19th, 2006, 03:57 PM   #69
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Yeah, unfortuanly once you go over the limit, you go over the limit.

What camera are you planning on using, and with what accessories?

- Mikko
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Old November 19th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #70
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I am using the PD170 with a wireless mic, and a shotgun mic, with NP F970 battery. I have a lot of options but haven't figured anything out.

I use a heavy mic clamp so I can rotate the shotgun mic. I could change this. I never use the viewfinder, so this can be removed.

I also use a vx2100 as a balcony cam. The pd170 could become the balcony cam if necessary and the 2100 could go on the Merlin.

That may be an easy solution.

Is there a certain weight to aim for besides the lowest?

I am impressed with the Merlin.
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Old November 19th, 2006, 05:58 PM   #71
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Hi Richard,

I use a Merlin with a VX2100. The two work excellently together, but the VX has to be stripped down to the bare camera and a small battery. (You could never continuously hold on to both for 7 or 8 hours, so no sense carrying the extra weight of a 970 battery. Every ounce counts.)

Altho they say the Merlin is about the weight of a soda can, there's not much emphasis on the fact a lot more weight has to be added to the Merlin to get it to balance properly, about 1.5 lbs for the VX, I think it is.

Get a 5-lb bag of sugar (which is at least a pound less than a VX2100 riding on a Merlin properly balanced), and walk around holding it in your hand for 10 minutes. No cheating – just one hand, not both, or switching hands (altho it is possible to switch and/or do 2 hands between scenes, but you don't want to do that when doing a take.) Anyway, that'll give you an idea of what you have to look forward to w/a Merlin & heavy camera.

Practicing for at least a half-hour every day builds muscle & skill – a lot of both is needed to be proficient.

Anyway, the device is really neat, works perfectly within the advertised limits, and I'm glad I got it. Of course, my right arm now look's like Popeye's, but that's another story. ;)
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Old November 19th, 2006, 06:27 PM   #72
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I've been practicing with two 3lbs weights in one hand and weighing my 170 with different accessories.

I feel comfortable with the weight.

My best idea is to have a balcony cam, a tripod cam in the front, and a merlin cam. I don't know if I can pull this off with just two cams and the accessories.

Is there any chance that a Merlin 2 will come out that supports 6 lbs?
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Old November 20th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #73
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Both the VX2100 and the PD170 will fly just great on the Merlin.
Do you need a shogun on the camera? With so many cameras, it might make sense to have your shotgun on a fixed, not moving, camera.

You can use your Radio Mic receiver as useful counterweight (and cut-down on counter-weight needed) by using the Merlin Accessory Plate (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=445745&is=REG)

Note that practicing with weights, though helpful for building arm strength, isn't an accurate representation of how it feels to hold a stabilizer.


Switching between Merlin & tripod is very fast thanks to the built in quick-release plate. (Though you taking accessories off the accessory plate might slow things down by a bit [not much] depending on how it's all attached.)


I haven't heard anything of a Merlin 2, and really, you don't want to be carrying more than 5.5lb cameras anyway, it starts to get too heavy.

- Mikko
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #74
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Thank you everybody. You all are great help. Mikko thank you very much for taking the time and helping.

I am buying at the end of this week, so I can have practice for the next wedding season.
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Old April 27th, 2007, 07:45 PM   #75
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Is the accessory plate something really worth buying? It looks like something a monkey could build - or is it a little more sophisticated?
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