Why does my Merlin rock so much? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old April 18th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #16
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I will definitely study the manual, thanks guys.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:54 PM   #17
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Man, this thing is awesome, it's worth every penny!
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Old April 20th, 2007, 01:04 AM   #18
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See... The Merlin really does ROCK! :)

- Mikko
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Old April 22nd, 2007, 04:29 AM   #19
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Glenn, sounds like you've figured it out, but for anyone else with this problem you shouldn't have any pendulim swing if you've balanced correctly.

In the included DVD, Garrett Brown shows how a well-balanced Merlin should behave by moving the Merlin side-to-side and forwards/backwards with no resulting movement of the arm from the vertical position. I'm able to do the same thing on my Merlin.

Once you've achieved the proper balance, it's much easier to learn to actually use the Merlin since you're not fighting the physics of an unbalanced arm.

Learning how to apply the right soft touch to the gimball so that you don't impart unwanted motion to the setup? Well, that takes a whole lot of practice!
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Old April 30th, 2007, 05:58 AM   #20
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I just got my merlin last week and have so far just about kinda got it balanced....ish....
But one of my slight concerns are with the trimming screws - on the video, they seem to move really easily - mine often take quite a grip to move them.

so....is this a) because i'm using a sony z1, which is heavy? or b) its new and they need to loosen up a bit or c) i need to add some WD40 or loosen a screw somewhere?

Also - when i've got my Z1 flying, as i try to turn a corner, it banks slightly....ie, the bottom weights swing out a bit. Is this a sign of bottom heaviness?

any advice would be welcome.

Cheers,

Rob.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 10:14 AM   #21
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I'm using a very light camera (HV20) and those blue trim rollers are fairly stiff on my Merlin too, so I don't think it's a function of camera weight. I've learned to put a fair amount of pressure on them if I want them to move.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 12:36 PM   #22
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The blue trim rollers should not be super tight. Try and have the Merlin level when you use the rollers - trying to trim the camera "uphill" does make the rollers a little stiffer.

Whatever you do, DON'T USE WD-40 on any Steadicam. It's penetrating cleaner that displaces all the lubricant's already in the system.


That "banking" (AKA: "Penduluming") is in deed due to the rig being slightly bottom heavy. It shouldn't be excessive, however you do want the unit *slightly* bottom heavy so that it hangs upright. Learning to anticipate, and then counteract, that pendulum with your control hand is one of the many things that just comes with practice with Steadicam.

- Mikko
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Old April 30th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson View Post
That "banking" (AKA: "Penduluming") is indeed due to the rig being slightly bottom heavy ... Learning to anticipate, and then counteract, that pendulum with your control hand is one of the many things that just comes with practice with Steadicam.
Thus spake the voice of wisdom.

If I may chime in from the perspective of a newbie...

Although we're talking Merlin here, the principle scales well. The smallest 'big' steadicam rig is the Flyer, and it's well named.

Try a good flight simulator to learn about flying: you'll fly straight and level, but in order to turn a bit (yaw), you need a little positive rudder to start the turn, then a little negative rudder to end the turn. But to prevent the rudder from throwing the plane off balance, you need to tilt (ptich) the plane into the turn then untilt the plane coming out of the turn.

So to turn left by 15 degrees
- Pitch left a bit
- Yaw left a bit
- Approaching 12 degrees?
- Pitch right a bit
- Yaw right a bit
- Hit 15 degrees, level and trim.

So to turn left, you turn left, wait, then turn right and then level up. !?! So on a Merlin/Flyer with a bit of bottom-heaviness, as you turn, there's the merest hint of tilt to correct - a bit of un-yaw, if you will. You may be able to do it 'by the force alone', but a bit of thumb will do the trick.

It's that almost counterintuitive subtle twitch, mere pressure on the gimbal, that gets a good start and a good stop. Very Jedi.

Every Steadicam Newbie's bugbear is the pendulum movement when we come to a stop. A slower drop time will help, but at the expense of more 'help' at the gimbal. You need to give a little push (in the right direction) to start and a little pull (in the opposite direction) to end. Less so as your drop time increases, but then you have to be absolutely accurate in the direction in which you push.

No, it's not easy. We're not commuting to work, we ain't dusting crops. Flying a camera is aerobatics.

Matt - just finished 3 days with a straight 20' bare patch of lawn and a big + of gaffer tape on the back of the shed.
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Old April 30th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #24
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OK OK....i'll leave off the WD40!!

So none of those little screws/nuts will loosen the trim rollers at all?

Cuz when i first got the merlin, i couldn't adjust the arc distance without first loosening off one of the screws - it was proper tight? Maybe mine was put together by popeye?!!

Matt, as i was reading your post, it took me back to the microsoft flight sim days! (although i got bored of that pretty quick!!) But i see what you mean - you use the control hand to keep the merlin doing as you want, not what mother nature and that newton bloke wants it to do....practice practice for me then!!
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