Merlin Vest with EX1, XHA1, 7D at
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Old March 2nd, 2010, 06:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Merlin Vest with EX1, XHA1, 7D

I currently have this Merlin handheld arch without a vest

I have 3 questions:

1. I want the arm/vest combo that makes this into a complete kit. Is this all I need to buy to make that happen? Steadicam | MERLIN-ARMVESTPK Upgrade Kit | MERLIN-ARM VEST | B&H or are there more parts?

2. I have read in these forums that some people say the X1s or A1s are too heavy for this Merlin vest combo. Then I've read others here who talk about it as if they were meant for each other. I can't imaging that a 5.5 lb camera is too much for the Merlin vest, but before I dish out $1500, I want to make sure.

3. Does the Merlin vest play well with the light DSLRs like the Canon 7D? Is the LACK of weight an issue with these cameras?
Lloyd Ubshura is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 2nd, 2010, 09:13 PM   #2
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What does this mean? This is from the marketing info from Tiffen:

"Now Tiffen introduces the worlds most advanced ultra-light Arm and Vest. Even with heavy cameras, up to seven pounds (3.2kg) with the optional Metal Gimbal your Merlin can now fly for hours without undue fatigue, and preserve all the flexibility and reach of your own arms."


"The Merlin Arm is ultra-light and extremely capable. It's a 7/8 scale version of its big brothers, the Flyer, G-50 and G-70 arms. It provides the same legendary performance and flexibility including instant, knob-adjustable control of lifting power for camera payloads between 2.5 and 7 lbs."

What exactly is their definition of a payload? Does this "7 lb. limit" pertain JUST to the camera--excluding the Merlin + weights?

The heavier the camera, the more counterweights it needs. So does the 7 lb. payload limit stand to mean:

1) "a 7 lb. camera PLUS the Merlin's counterweights?" (e.g. ~10 lbs. sitting on the gimble)


2) "a TOTAL load (camera + Merlin + weights) of up to 7 lbs?" (e.g. ~7 lbs. sitting on the gimble)?
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Old March 3rd, 2010, 12:02 AM   #3
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The "7 lbs. Limit" refers to the weight of the camera plus whatever accessories attached to it that sits on the Steadycam stage, NOT counting the Steadycam system. Both the EX1 and XH-A1's weights are too close to the limit leaving too little room for any accessories that may be needed e.g. mic wireless receiver, a long or heavier shotgun mic, wideangle adapter+necessary filters such as the Tiffen T1 for instance, an external monitor, on camera lights and what have you. If you go over the limit, you will shorten the life of or worse, break the gimbal assembly.

I suggest for your need, you should look into a bigger system, the Pilot from Steadycam or some similar Glidecam models. Not only do these systems have higher load capacities, you will find balancing your rig on one of these is easier as the weights fall into the optimal range they are designed to carry.
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