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Steadicam Accessory Balance Weights


chris fawcett
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A nice write-up/pics as always Chris. Though I am a bit baffled that people are adding weights to a sled. Seems adding a battery or two would accomplish about the same thing and do something other than being heavy? More power is always a plus.

 

rb

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Ron et al-

 

Here are some reasons Tiffen’s been designing accessory weights for the Merlin and Pilot, and now for the Archers, Clippers, and Ultra2’s.

 

First, the arms now carry a very wide range of weights vs the old arms (600 or more % vs 250% or so). In order to fully take advantage of these arms, sleds need to be inherently lighter for the lightest loads, and heavier for the heaviest loads – a situation not really applicable for the old arm as and sleds. Also, with the lightest cameras, more weight needs to be added “up top.”

 

Morever, the adding and removing of weights needs to be fast and and secure, and the position flexible for operator choice – just for balance or adding inertia as you choose. Batteries aren’t dense enough, they are expensive, and they are hard and expensive to mount well, especially in all the ways we’d like to mount them (and if you need them when you swap batteries, you have more changes to make -it’s klutzy).

 

Chris’s article explains oh so well how neat and efficient these new weights are.

 

Jerry

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Hi Jerry -- good point about the weight/size factor -- a 2 lb battery is bigger than a 2 lb piece of lead. I get what you are saying.

 

I really wasn't talking about the smaller rigs. I can see where extra batts might be impractical there with space limitations and no real need for extra power with some of these smaller cameras. I was referring to the bigger rigs and the more power hungry/heavier cameras we are flying nowadays. We all carry nearly a dozen batteries (some more!) that might be of use in this situation.

 

I suppose I was thinking that adding one battery to the back of the monitor and another to the rear of the sled might accomplish a similar goal weight-wise with the added benefit of twice the run time/more needed power.

 

rb

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Hi Ken,

 

it's a pity you dislike the roundness! For a stacking system that's fast to rig, adjust, and strike, I find it the sensible option. The mounting brackets are well-machined. They are simple to mount, and lock completely rigid with a quick twist of the weight.

 

Just my 2 lbs...

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  • 2 months later...
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An update:

 

I now top/bottom balance my rig almost exclusively by adding and removing balance weights. This keeps the post always the same length, unless I want it longer for reasons too myriad to go into here.

 

My usual configuration is one/two under the post and one/two on the monitor bracket. I really recommend this system.

 

Chris

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  • 7 years later...
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Tiffen makes two sizes of bar clamps for the weights, and also an adjustable return-monitor mount that will carry them. Most important to know is rod spacing, as the clamps, I believe, are universal. I suggest you get in touch directly with Tiffen for better info.

 

All the best,

 

Chris

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Tiffen makes two sizes of bar clamps for the weights, and also an adjustable return-monitor mount that will carry them. Most important to know is rod spacing, as the clamps, I believe, are universal. I suggest you get in touch directly with Tiffen for better info.

 

All the best,

 

Chris

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