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-   -   Just got my V16!!! First Impressions (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/stabilizers-steadicam-etc/24301-just-got-my-v16-first-impressions.html)

Norman Woo April 8th, 2004 01:00 PM

Just got my V16!!! First Impressions
Well folks

I picked up 2 boxes (1 containing the V16 stuff and the other the optional parts (low mode mount, Vehicle mount, offset adapter and vista post) this morning from my dealer.

I had to get back to work so I grabbed the manual and over lunch went through it and found that I have a "newer" version of the V16!!!!

The manual (about 44 pages) had a cover sheet dated March 26, 2004:

The major enhancements are:

- redesigned Mounting Platform (X-Y Motion Table). You can now make horizontal balance adjustments much easier through the use of 2 fine adjustment trim screws (using a hex/allen key). I thnk there were some discussions in this forum about this feature being availanle on the Steadicams but not on the Glidecams.

- Dyna-Elastic Arm has also been redesigned. It's more lighter and more compact. The ELBOW HINGE is now in alignment with the RIGID ARM. The ARM now also has more horizontal compactness so that you can navigate through more narrow passages than before.

Any comments on these 2 enhancements?

I have the whole long weekend (4 glorious days) to get this up and running. Can't wait when 5:00 PM rolls around.

Keep you posted with my adventures ...

Andrew Petrie April 9th, 2004 04:43 PM

I have an older V16, and it also has the X-Y adjustable balance with hex keys... Pictures will help determine if it's the same or not.

Not sure if the arm is shorter or not, it would be greta if you could supply us with pictures!

The manual - wow yes GlideCam finally got a real manual it seems! Mine was only a few pages long. Does it include plenty of photographs? I hope GlideCam makes this new manual available in PDF form.

Brad Richmond April 12th, 2004 06:47 AM


Glad to hear that your V16 arrived!

Did the assembly go Okay? Did you get a chance to "saddle up" and fly your camera? How's your back?

Inquiring minds want to know!

I'm certainly still learning. Just yesterday I adjusted the vest to fit more squarely over my hips and it made quite a difference, so don't overlook this detail.

Have fun with your new V16, and do keep us posted.

Charles King April 12th, 2004 08:50 AM

Congrats on your new purchase. Hope everything goes well.

A tip for you guys if you don't mind:

Add a padding or some sort to go on the lower part of the vest's waist belt. This should fit the lower part of your back and help a little in easing the strain. Also, if you could fashion together extra paddings with connectors then you could impliment the cross intersecting straps that connect to the lower back.
This makes a major difference to the the wanting to roll forward when loaded. See this link below to the pics I made on my vest to get a better understanding of what I mean.


Norman Woo April 13th, 2004 02:58 PM

Hi folks

Here are my experiences/observations over the past 4 days:

Friday: Spent the better part of the day re-reading the manual a few more times. It is quite verbal (would have like to see more pictures). Unpacked the stuff and got familiar with the terminologies of the various parts. Followed the setting up of the rig according to the manual. The base platform consisted of the L7 LCD monitor in the front. I only used one of the monitor extension posts. The Anton Bauer battery bracket and the Performer battery brought up the rear. I also added 6 counter weights near the front (between the LCD monitor and the center post). I then attached the top part of the rig to the base platform leaving about 6 inches of extension from the base.

My XL1 weight in exactly 10 pounds with the following accesories:
- Canon VL10i light with BP930 battery
- Canon MA100 with CH-910 Charger/holder and 2 BP945 batteries
- 0.6X wideangle lens attachment from Century Optics

On the camera mounting platform, I added two additional camera plates, then a counterweight followed by the Manfrotto quick release plate.

Performing the horizontal axis balance was very easy using the provided allen key on the "new improved" camera mounting platform. Through the use of 2 fine-trim screws (which moves the platform along the x and y axis), I can bring the horizontal axis into balance very fast. I also purchased a very light-weight bubble level to help things out. One thing I did noticed was that the rig went out of balance when I rotated it 180 degrees (Camera facing the opposite end). In another forum (glidecamcentral), a few of the V series owners also encountered the same issue. To resolve this I had to add a thin washer shim (0.002") between the yoke and the main bearing housing. Sure enough that fixed the problem. Performing the vertical axis balance was also straight-forward. Spent the remainder of the day balancing and re-balancing the rig.

Saturday: The moment of truth has arrived!!! Put on the vest and walked around the house trying to impress the wife and kids pretending to be Rob-cop ... As I gathered enough courage, I mounted the rig onto the arm and WOW what a srange feeling!!! I had to adjust the arm tension spring as it was booming too high when left alone. After about 3 minutes or so my back couldn't take it any longer so I had to dock the rig. Initial results showed a lot of sway (couldn't keep the horizon level - it was like being in a boat ... ). Is the rig too light? I also found myself grabbing and holding onto the post with my left hand (a no-no) and bumping into the bottom of the righ with my knee. Rested for a bit then flew the rig again. Repeated this routine for the rest of the day.

Sunday: A repeat of Saturday. My wife and kids point and laughs at me as I run back and re-dock each time ... I'm getting more familiar with the rig now. Still getting more side to side sway (horizon not being level). I may need to add additional weights. When I pan, the back of the XL1 with the CH910 battery holder and 2 batteries are getting in the way. I may have to go with just the one battery.

Monday: Feel more stronger now, I took the rig out to the Montreal Olympic stadium and practiced my "flying" on the dragon boat team going through their training. Maybe it was my adrenaline or something, but I was able to last about 15 minutes before re-docking and taking a break. I was able to track around the team members by pointing the camera at 90 degrees and walking around them. Shots looks a bit more smoother but I still have the tendency to grab onto the center post and still occaisonally bumping to the bottom of the sled. Am able to keep the horizon more level but still see some slight swaying.

All in all a great experience and with on-going practice, I'll get there.

Thanks to all for your inspiration. I now have a deeper appreciation for you seasoned "flyers" out there who can lasts hours on end and with bigger rigs than mine ....

I have no regrets in the purchase of the V16.

Brad, how low is the bottom of your vest at? It looks like you are using your hip to take up some of the weight. I'll have to try that tonight.

Charles, I'll try to add some more padding. What's the purpose of the cross intersecting straps? Is it to hold the back upper vest and lower vest together?

By the way, what kind of case are you V16 folks using to lug your rig around? Yesterday, I had some able bodies to lug the pieces around when I went to the Olympic stadium.

Whew, sorry for the long post ...

Charles Papert April 13th, 2004 04:10 PM


Post-grabbing and rig-swaying all to be expected early on. You'll find each time you work out with it, it will become more innate and comfortable.

glad you are enjoying it!

Charles King April 13th, 2004 09:24 PM

Norman, As I mentioned in my post, it is to help prevent the vest from wanting to roll forward when flying the rig. This happens mostly on front mounted vest because of the weight on the front pulling forward due to the weight of the rig.

It's not a must to have but believe me you will notice the difference as this helps the vest to sit better on your torso.

Brad Richmond April 14th, 2004 07:46 AM

Norman: I adjusted the vest down two positions so that the bottom part of the vest rides just at the top of my hips. I'm still experimenting to see what feels best, and am not convinced I have it right, but it is better than it was.

It sounds like your "flying time" stamina is similar to what I've experienced. At first I could only handle it for a few minutes, but the more I used it, the longer I could keep going. I also found that when I was really shooting something (rather than just walking around pointing the camera) I could last longer. I think it has a lot to do with concentration with the photography rather than thinking about the stresses on your body. Now if I could just learn to keep the horizon level!

Charles King: Thanks for the tip on the padding in the back. I'm going to try that this weekend. Thanks for the very useful information!

Charles King April 14th, 2004 08:55 AM

No problem. Glad to be of any help. Happy flying.

Lars Gustav April 14th, 2004 09:31 AM

Charles K. is that also a homebuilt vest you have there? looks like a commercial one. I like the skiing adjusters you have on the vest. How does it compared to the ordinary velcro strap?
Again, great looking vest.

Charles King April 14th, 2004 12:49 PM

thanks for your comment. The ski adjusters are fine addition to the vest assembly. It provides a better fit to the body with the adjustment mechanism. I feel that it is a better improvement over just the strap construction.
Again, not a must but tend to want better the more you use something for a while.
Another thing, it makes the vest more professional, a trade mark I like.

Lars Gustav April 15th, 2004 08:03 PM

Thanks for thr responding. Do agree it does make the vest look professional. Good tip about the cross section. I think I remember Charles P. mentioning something like that.

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