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Old August 18th, 2013, 10:08 AM   #31
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Tiffen run an entry-level course a couple of times a year. It's the Bronze Workshop & covers Steadicams up to the Zephyr. It's the principals of balancing & operation that are important whether you are using a vest or just hand holding a Glidecam Merlin or Blackbird. The 2-day course costs about £250 which is a bargain & is a hell of a lot of fun & hard work in equal measure. Flysteadicam Workshops | Gold, Silver & Bronze Steadicam workshops held around the world or email robin.thwaites@tiffen.com

The Blackbird looks interesting although I have only ever seen photos. It has what are called "Antlers" by Steadicam operators. The concept was invented by Jerry Holway co-author of the fabuous "Steadicam Operators Handbook". The idea is to add some inertial mass to aid stability. AFAIK the Blackbird is the only stabiliser that comes ready equipped with "Antlers". There is another guy posting on DV INfo who has posted some good demos of real estate videos that he has done in Queensland with a walkthrough the house with a Blackbird & he is very complimentary about it too. Blackbird Stabilizer Videos
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Old August 18th, 2013, 10:35 AM   #32
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Many thanks Nigel - I've messed around for long enough - I need training from the experts on this one! bonus that the course is not expensive as well :) - Pete
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Old August 18th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #33
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Peter, though I"m not a glidecam expert by any means I might give some tips on getting smoother movements based on my own experience. It has been said here to slightly bend through your knees when you walk, this will take out a large part of the bouncing movement, second is to hold your arm (elbow) in a 45deg angle away from your body so it acts as a real arm/vest on a pro steadicam to counteract any bouncing movements. Physically it will take it's toll on your body if you do longer runs but if you want a good smooth steadicam move those 2 techniques help a lot, that's at least what I experience and I think my videos show it helps.

If your steadicam sway in different directions while you walk it's not well balanced but if you see your walking steps in the video (up and down movement) you probably have your elbow against or too close to your body transferring your body motion toward the steadicam.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 11:58 AM   #34
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I definitely see my walking steps Noa - I need to practice and more practice - BTW I will start to use my Samyang 14mm with my NEX-VG20 so will now need to spend a while re-balancing as the Samyang is heavier than the Sony Pancake - your movements are really good and have made me want to get this right!

Pete
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:49 PM   #35
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Be sure to buy the The Steadicam Operator's Handbook by Jerry Holway & Laurie Hayball http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steadicam®-O...rs+Handbook%22 It distills 30 years of experience from all the experts of the craft & is not only educational but is also a fascinating & entertaining read.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:09 PM   #36
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Noa, you mentioned having a blackbird. Do you need an additional plate between the dslr and the blackbird because of how front (lens) heavy the dslr can get? I tried to fly with a 24-70mm zoom and it was way too heavy in the front to get the "center" of the camera correct on the supplied plate. I have ordered the Rokinon 24mm and I am hoping it can balance on the blackbird with the standard plate. The zoom lens was almost twice as heavy than the Rokinon, so that hopefully makes the difference. It is easier to balance with a pancake, but I couldn't find anything wider than 40mm.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 02:42 PM   #37
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

There is a cameramounting plate that attaches to your camera and which has several mounting holes to off set the camera, this then attaches to the stage of the steadicam and there you again can slide it for- or backward + you can microadjust the stage in 4 directions as well. I do think however that with long and heavy lenses there should be a support mounted on the lens so the balance point is moved further forward, not sure if there is any accesoire for attaching to the lens? I have not tried these type of lenses on the blackbird so can't comment on how they actually would balance.
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Old August 19th, 2013, 04:25 PM   #38
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I use this one
Glide Gear DNA 5050 Professional Video Camera Stabilizer

Glide Gear DNA 5050 Professional Video Camera: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
Had the nano was ok but this is better, I keep my hfg10 or hfm56 on the glide all the time at the reception mingling, grand entrance and the first dance, that's it serves its purpose...
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Old August 20th, 2013, 01:05 AM   #39
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Figured I'd pipe in. I've been using my pilot for 6 plus years, I won't shoot a wedding without it. I've also used it on many other projects involving movement. Eventually you get to the point where you don't have to think about the balance, it's just an instinct, adjusting on the fly to angles and such, I remember when I first got it, I was all over the place with it, but after a lot of use, a few mods it worked out that I'm pretty proficient with it.

Rule is, practice makes perfect.........well pretty close anyway. :}
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Old August 20th, 2013, 06:38 AM   #40
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I think it was Charles Papert here who is pretty close to a Steadicam Master with multi years of commercial movie experience who once commented about himself

"Every time I fly I suck a little bit less"

We still have a long way to go if the bar is that high, BUT it does get better with each shoot so just put in the hours and you can only improve. My rig goes with me to every single wedding and I would be lost without it too. Once you have sorta grasped the basics and can produce watchable footage it's hard not to want to shoot everything on the rig!

You just cannot emulate a shot of a limo arriving and smooth movement from the limo driver exiting, around the back and up to the girls getting out. I cherish mine!!

Chris
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Old August 21st, 2013, 06:06 AM   #41
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Noa how do you find the blackbird to rebalance once you put a light on your camera - the merlin takes me a good few minutes of faffing!
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:56 AM   #42
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I have not added anything during a shoot that would need be to re-balance, but I can say that taking the blackbird out of it's case, assemble it and getting it balanced is done very quickly, I have not timed it yet but might this weekend. :)
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Old August 21st, 2013, 11:02 AM   #43
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I have not added anything during a shoot that would need be to re-balance, but I can say that taking the blackbird out of it's case, assemble it and getting it balanced is done very quickly, I have not timed it yet but might this weekend. :)
Noa, we need less than 2 secs ok.... Just kidding, take 4. :}
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Old August 21st, 2013, 08:42 PM   #44
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I have a generic glidecam, and can use it really effectively if I have the time to set it up. Unfortunately, I never use it at weddings because I'm a solo shooter and time is at a premium. Plus, the warp stabilizer in AE is so good that I can fake glidecam shots very well.
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Old August 21st, 2013, 09:01 PM   #45
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Hi Pete
Any weight added to a rig will throw off the balance, even something as simple as putting on a smaller battery! If you do outdoor/indoor shoots with different camera setups then it might be an idea to do two balances, one with a light and one without and then make a note of the balance change by just marking the new balance setup by putting some file marks on your QR plate.

The fact that you are adding weight to the top of the cam will not only alter the front back and side to side balance but will also lift your centre of gravity so adding a light means a new camera position plus additional weights to pull the centre of balance back down to where it originally was which should be directly at the gimbal. If you mark the new cam position and know what extra weight to add it should be easy to re-set the rig for night use

Chris
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