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Old July 19th, 2013, 08:51 AM   #1
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Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Hey folks, I occasionally come up with hair-brain ideas to try and overcome some awkwardness I face. I sometimes chat it over with people to see if they can spot any flaws that I can't.

I'll outline the issue firstly. Generally speaking I like to be on my glide cam before service and after service inclusive of the coming down and going up the aisle. Now as you all know, theres time lost in taking your camera off and mounting onto tripod. You also have to do some fine tuning when you mount back to 'steadycam'.

Heres my idea -
Creating a short horizontal arm incorporating a mounting plate at one end and a studio clamp at the other. Then using the clamp to hold the shaft (not the handle) of the 'steady cam' during the service.

Panning and tilting will then still be possible (being off center shouldn't create too much of a problem I hope), and the change over is effortless, and the 'steady cam' doesn't need rebalanced.

Crazy? Or Genius?
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Old July 19th, 2013, 09:05 AM   #2
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Might I add - If i had an emergency during the service, such as somebody standing in front of me, or neither of the couple's faces being visible - with ease I could release the clamp and go handheld and take my camera to another position temporarily.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Hi Clive

Surely you have a docking stand for your stedicam ... With mine I can simply put the handle into the docking socket and leave the vest and arm on and the rig will sit quietly on the stand and I can mount it back onto the arm at the drop of a hat. Balance is naturally not affected as the rig will just sit there if it's correctly balanced. I must admit I don't do this normally as working with the other cameras and often two DSLR's for photos around my waist it's a bit cumbersome but it would be possible.

I find that it's better to undock the camera and use it on my shoulder and then after the register stuff is done I can just re-dock it ..if you mark the QR plate carefully it will stay in perfect balance too.

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Old July 19th, 2013, 09:39 AM   #4
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

I had never knew there were such things as docking stations until you mentioned. I should clarify - I don'y own a Steadicam, I own a Glidecam Nano (which does have a docking station available I've just learnt).

I do however still prefer my idea, in that the setup becomes mounted on my tripod for tilts and pans. And like I say, switch over is a simple case of releasing the clamp. No changeover.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 10:51 AM   #5
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Hey Clive, seems like an interesting idea to me, but wouldn't you still need to change out lenses?
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Old July 19th, 2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Something like hat could work & there would be no need to change lenses if you just used the camera on the Glidecam for a locked off wide shot. In fact you don't even need a tripod as you could mount a bracket on a lighting stand.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 10:46 AM   #7
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

If I understand your concept, Clive, you are talking about cantilevering your sled off the front of a fluid head with a short arm?

If this is the case (and by the way, a simple diagram to illustrate your concept would make it a lot easier to visualize), it would effectively be like having a very front-heavy camera. The fluid head would dive forward and stay there, and it would take a lot of force to tilt back. You could compensate for this with counterweight at the back, and if cleverly done it could be something you already have with you (an accessory bag, batteries etc) so you aren't lugging extra weight. Essentially your arm would be twice as long, with the quick release plate in the middle (if you made the counterweight end longer, you wouldn't need as much ballast attached, but you increase your footprint which is probably not worth it).

Be aware however that tilting forward, the length of the rig will present issues as it will quickly collide with the legs under the head, limiting your tilt significantly.

If this is the desired concept, I would suggest mounting the rig off to the side rather than forward on the head. You'd still need the counterbalance on the other side of course, to keep the sticks from tipping and to reduce strain on the head. Now your tilts will be unobstructed, and the whole thing will pan together so no issues there either. Also, you will be able to keep your body a little closer to the rig itself which may help depending on what monitor you are using. In this scenario, it could be a pretty workable concept. Your head needs to be able to take the weight of the whole shooting match of course, but that's easy enough to calculate. Is this barking up the right tree?

This is a pretty good idea, actually. Chris points out that you can operate off the dock via balance pin and while that is a valid way to work (and one that I did many times over the years for non-moving shots), it does require constant attention and all the usual nuance of operating, i.e. it takes continuous operator influence to maintain a lockoff. With the mounted-to-head scenario, it would be a lot easier to manage and you could step away if required after locking the head.
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Old July 20th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Hi Charles, thanks for taking the time to get your head around my idea. You are correct, in that my plan was to have the clamp at 90 degrees to the tilt action.

I would also be using a fairly wide angle on this particular camera, and it would be my 'B' angle which would be unmanned. Panning and tilting ability is therefore not overly vital.

My DSLR will be set up and shooting as I arrive on the glidecam, then once I have the gllidecam clamped in, I move over to the DSLR rig where I will remain throughout the service.

Now I just need to find a clamp I can trust and figure out a way to fashion it all together!
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Old July 20th, 2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

Creative ideas are good for fun projects. Done a few myself.

Don't know what the top of the tripod would look like, but here is what I did with the top of a quick-release plate:
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...-000-1886.html

A two-dollar plate from the construction materials section of Home Depot. Drilled a couple holes and filed a notch was just about all it took. Maybe for your situation one could mount a piece of small pipe to go inside the Glidecam handle or, another option, maybe some plastic pipe that would go on the outside of the handle. Screw the pipe to the plate.

If plastic pipe is used, the pipe could be slit where it goes over the handle and a clamp that goes around the pipe with a quick-release knob could be added to tighten the pipe on the handle.

Knobs: Plastic Knobs - Ball Plastic Knob - Plastic Clamping Knob - Industrial Knobs - Innovative Components

To detach the Glidecam from the pipe would be really fast.
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Old July 21st, 2013, 02:07 AM   #10
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

why not just have a quick release plate on both the tripod & the glidecam - or if you're using DSLR's - buy another one to stay on the glidecam - I have one wide shot on a lightstand, 2 manned on tripods and 1 on the glidecam
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Old July 21st, 2013, 06:42 AM   #11
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Re: Glidecam on a clamp - Good idea/bad idea?

I already do have quick releases on all devices albeit thumb screw types rather than levers. But this idea I have basically eliminates switchover time completely and also removes the need to check and perhaps finely adjust the glidecam after remounting the camera.
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