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Old April 28th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #1
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Steadicam Jr. & Firestore Together

I just checked out the Steadicam Jr., and saw the monitor location:
http://www.steadicam.com/handheldSteadicamJR.html

It hit me that this would be a great place for a Firestore! I have no convenient place on my camera for it, but if it were part of my steadicam...? That would be sweet.

Thoughts?
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Old April 28th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #2
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Actually the best thing to have in the monitor location is the monitor...! One of the advantages (the only one, really) of that model of the JR over the current Merlin is that it has a central monitor that allows you to see the camera's image when it is hard panned to the right, where using a flip-out screen becomes obscured by the camera body. Otherwise, the Merlin improves on the JR in every respect so I wouldn't recommend the JR.

That said, the idea is the right one but you should place your Firestore at the lower rear where the counterweights live (on the Merlin). There is an available accessory plate for just this purpose.

Incidentally, the design concept for stabilizers is that one places the counterweight mass as far from the camera as possible to maximize its effectiveness--in a handheld stabilizer this is especially important as you want to use the least weight possible. This is why you should place outboard components like Firestores at the very bottom of the rig rather than in the middle, as you would have to add additional counterweight at the base to balance out the system and end up with a heavier than necessary rig.
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Old April 28th, 2007, 01:03 PM   #3
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Great advice, as always, by Charles. But...

The Firestore with it's battery is rather heavy. I suspect that with the new Metal gimble, you might be able to balance it on the Merlin (as counterweight), but with the original plastic Merlin gimble, the FS will most likly be too heavy to fly on the Merlin.

If you have a light enough camera, the Firestore might still work best up on top where it's mass has less effect on Merlin's balance.

- Mikko
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Old May 1st, 2007, 05:15 PM   #4
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Charles,

I just got a Merlin and have been sitting here trying to think of how it would be best to use it with a Firestore. The camera is a GL-2 so I think I'm OK on total weight even with the large batteries, but I was thinking that mounting the FS on top of the camera would mess up the balance and require extra weight on the arm, so the idea of mounting the FS on the end of the arm and using it AS the weight (or a portion thereof) seems like absolutely the right thing to do. And by using the FS as part of the balancing system, I think it might be OK even with the wide angle adapter mounted on the camera.

Do you have a link to where the accessory plate might be available?

Any comments on how this would affect balancing the system?

Last edited by Jim Andrada; May 1st, 2007 at 05:22 PM. Reason: Forgot to say something
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Old May 1st, 2007, 08:52 PM   #5
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B&H sells the accessory plate for aroung $140, but they're currently out of stock.

Here's more information from the source:

http://www.jimfarrell.com/merlin/

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Old May 4th, 2007, 12:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikko Wilson View Post
The Firestore with it's battery is rather heavy. I suspect that with the new Metal gimble, you might be able to balance it on the Merlin (as counterweight), but with the original plastic Merlin gimble, the FS will most likly be too heavy to fly on the Merlin.
- Mikko
I have the merlin with the accessory plate. Throwing an XHA1 on the top with either a stock lens hood or a red eye wide angle, plus a firestore on the acc plate seems to work very well with the sandard battery. Going to the high cap battery works, but is pushing it a bit more. I only have the standard gimbal for the merlin and it works well with this setup. I just did a wedding this weekend with the merlin, XHA1, and a large WA and sunshade on the front (no firstore though) and the results were comarable to my Flyer, which surprised me as I often get more of my footsteps in the merlin footage. Their highlights turned out well though, the merlin really did a good job.
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