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Old March 6th, 2003, 12:46 PM   #31
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Excellent advice Casey, I have got the monitor cable hanging down so you're right I can't spin right round, only about 180 degress, so putting it in the post would be a good idea.

I have actually moved the weights slightly and it has improved things, it's still not perfect so I'll keep at it.

Thanks.

John.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 02:42 PM   #32
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Hey everyone... sounds like the V-8 has a few kinks to work out?? I was planning on getting one but do u think it would be wise to wait until Casey adresses these issues with glidecam?? In any event, thanx for all the great info... this is a great resource for people looking into the V-8.

One more question... I own the DVX100 and I know the v-8 is the right system for this weight range but... I plan on working with some heavier cameras in the future and Id like to be able to use my glidecam. Would it be stupid to get the v-16 and add some weight to the bottom of the DVX when using it?? Ill mostly be using the DVX which makes it seem kinda pointless to get the v-16. I just dont wanna be sh*t outta luck if I get my hands on a bigger, better, heavier cam. What do u guys think?

-Emery
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Old March 6th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #33
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I actually had that dilema too Emery, I use a VX2k around the same weight as the DVX. To be honest I didn't think I'll be using it with heavier cameras so I saved myself 1000 and went for the V8. By the looks of things the Arm of the V8 and V16 has the same mount so it might be possible to upgrade only the arm at a later date if required but casey might be able to verify that one. I didn't want to have to add considerable weight to the camera/glidecam to make it work with the V16 so the V8 was the way for me.

You can get the V8 with a Gold spring that will support upto 13lbs as opposed to 10 with the standard spring, but that might not be enough leverage for you.

The main problem I had was the balance on the gimbal and having to add the washer, but it was actually someone with a V16 that had already sorted this problem that told me about it, so it doesn't look like this is limited to the V8, I think the V8 uses the same handle which attaches to the gimbal and this is the problem area. It really wasn't a big deal to fix however. I think the other issue when I spin the sled is just down to the position of the weights 'cause I've been playing around with it tonight and it's spining better since I've made some adjustments, it's still not perfect but it's better so I'm nearly there :-)

As I've said in previous posts I'm just organising web space and I'll be posting some footage so you'll get to see it in action with a real amateur at the wheel so just don't expect anything like Charles' dolly like shots, I think I'll need a bit of practice before that :-)

John.
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Old March 6th, 2003, 10:22 PM   #34
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emery...the v-16 is overkill for a dvx100 or similarly weighted camera. trust me...it'd be awkward operating with that combo...i'd stick to the v-8 and get the arm with the goldie in it...you can theoretically push our recommended loads a little and get away with it...albeit not TOO much.

and as far as buying items a la carte...for example getting a V-16 arm to go with a v-8 rig...im pretty sure they'll do that but again David Stevens is the guy to call on that.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 12:58 AM   #35
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One thought about the spin balance issue with the cables getting in the way: you can always do your spin balancing with the cable disconnected, then reconnect when you are done--the cable won't affect dyanmic too significantly. This is the way we used to do it in the dark days of Steadicam, before the cables ran through the center post.

While we are on the subject of cables: sometimes one needs to hang cables off the rig while operating, usually mic cables or a line to the monitor. Again, there are a zillion methods out there, but my favorite is to make a big loop that hangs about 2/3" of the way down the sled, then attaches to the shoulder of the vest (velcro works great for this), and then exits off the back of the vest. This minimizes the effect that a cable will have on the operating, by distributing its twisting tendencies through the loop. Coming straight off the back of the camera will almost certainly cause the rig to rotate by itself. Ideally there should be no cables coming off the rig (that's why we use video transmitters and wireless lens controls) but sometimes it is unavoidable.

Regarding getting a larger unit, I would think that if your budget allows it, you are less likely to grow out of it down the road. You can always add weight to the camera platform if you are using a lighter camera, and unless you intend to be using the system for extended periods of time (like an hour at a stretch!) the additional weight will not be too debilitating, and it will actually improve your operating due to the added inertia. Again, just my opinion!
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Old March 7th, 2003, 05:03 PM   #36
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At last some footage.....

OK Guys I've got some footage for you to check out. Nothing fancy, it starts with the camera looking out of my living room window, pans round to my girlfriend walking past, then follows her out of the room down the hall, into another room then back again.

I had manually set the focus and exposure before I started so it's a bit dark, but you get to see in action.

http://www.steeleworksproductions.co.uk/movies/v8-1.avi

Let me know what you think, remember go easy on me, I've only had this thing for a week :-)

John.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 05:56 PM   #37
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Looks great John! (BTW, nice place with all the wood and what not..)

Just as an FYI to anyone else trying to watch the clip, you'll need the DIVX codec (http://www.divx.com). It took me a minute to figure out why it was sticking up both of my browsers and QT editions... ;)

Thanks for the continued updates John,
Clayton
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Old March 7th, 2003, 06:00 PM   #38
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DOH! Forgot to mention I used Divx thanks Clayton, and thanks for the kind words too :-)

John.
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Old March 7th, 2003, 06:38 PM   #39
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Thats looking super fluid! Man... great stuff!!
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Old March 7th, 2003, 09:46 PM   #40
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john, i gotta say...for only having it a week, and just getting it balanced within the last day or so...you're doin great...much smoother than i was after a week =D
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Old March 8th, 2003, 01:48 PM   #41
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John, my kudos also, great job. You're well on your way!

Since you have the basics down so well, I'm going to throw some advanced stuff at ya. I'm guessing from the you are about 8"-12" taller than your girlfriend. Maintaining consistent headroom on folks that are shorter or taller when the distance to them is in constant variance can be tricky. Your best weapon is using the boom capacity of the arm to make small adjustments in headroom, rather than tilting. With a single section arm like on the V-8, you don't have as much range as a dual section arm but there is still a solid foot of adjustment possible.

In your footage, when you are backing out of the bedroom one can see the headroom increasing steadily as the distance increases between you. The first inclination to deal with this is to tilt down, but as you have probably noticed, the tilt axis is the most challenging to control. This is due to the expanded vertical nature of the rig; you are moving a lot of mass during a tilt vs a pan, for instance. Booming up or down will allow you to make those subtle adjustments in headroom much easier, since booming is an independent function from pan/tilt/roll. Check this out sometime by booming up and down quickly without your other hand on the rig, and notice that that pan/tilt/roll is virtually unaffected. Compare that to a fast tilt, where it is much harder to stop the rig without it "swimming around" (infecting the other axes, resulting in a sloppy hold). You can see a little of that at the very end of your clip, where you tilted down as your girlfriend sat on the sofa. So, play around with having someone stand at the end of the hallway, and you walk up to them and back away from them; watch the headroom closely to keep it consistent and notice how the boom can really help out with that.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 02:44 PM   #42
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Guys, thanks for all the kudos :-)

Charles, great advice, thanks a million, I'll see if I can put it into practice for my next attempt :-)

I must say it's really great to have a guy like yourself on this board, being able to put up a clip and get feedback like this so quickly from an expert operator really is amazing.

Stay tuned....... :-)

John.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 08:24 PM   #43
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John,

The footage you posted looks good. I hope I can pull off something half as smooth with my first attempt.

I just got mine...and I'm in the process of putting it together and balancing it. I see what you mean about the manual--a few photos in it would make quite a bit of difference. Glidecam, I realize that the "How to use a Glidecam" video is another moneymaker for you, but I really think that there should be an assembly and balancing video included...if not as a video then online.

Wish me luck.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 10:10 PM   #44
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John,

Mind if I ask you what type of camera you've setup your Glidecam for and how many plates you wound up using below the camera mount?

I used three, the recommended setup for an XL1...but it seems very top-heavy.
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Old March 8th, 2003, 11:33 PM   #45
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John, i'd say three plates is a little a much...especially if you're using a quick release on the head? not sure if you are...in this case one or none.
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