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G50 / G70 / G50X / G70X Maintenance


Mariano Costa
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Thanks, Job!

 

These infos makes it even more tougher :D

 

Regarding weights - one dealer quotes the G70 being 5,1 Kg and the Pro between 4,1 to 5,3 Kg, depending if you attach 2 or 4 spring canisters, actually not a very big difference.

 

the difference felt a lot more(approx. 1.5kg) but perhaps i'm mistaken.

 

The pro weights listed are correct

 

Eric, thanks for the confirmation!

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What Job says....

 

But I'd add that you will stop being a "micro-adjustment fanatic" once you own a PRO arm. It just works. The Allen wrench is invisible (and no, I don't carry one on my vest). You don't use it often because the arm is so forgiving. Sure, on a big lens change, I'll tweak it a few turns, but it just works. I once had a fella with a Master Series arm tell me that he loved his arm because he could tweak it during a shot. During a shot? Why would you need to? Did you change a lens?

 

I live in NYC so I'm not close to PRO. As a result, a couple of years back, I realized my arm had never been returned to "it's Maker!". Sure, once a year I take the four springs out (less than a minute), run a damp cloth through the arm bones, put a spot of Lithium grease in it, and tighten the bolts. Minutes of my time. Anyway, while on a trip to LA, I bring the arm to Jack so it's within the halls of GPI for the first time in nearly a decade. He cleans it, and goes through it with a fine tooth comb. Total bill......??????

 

Someethng like $150!!! Sorry, can't be beat.

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What about going back to original purpose of this topic?

 

Hi all G50/G70/G50X/G70X owners, I have a question regarding these arms and maintenance - I remember having read that they can be easily and quickly disassambled for cleaning and maintenance by the operator himself, I even believe a service manual was planned (but I never found that on the net...).

 

Am I remembering this correctly and if so, how often are you doing it (cleaning etc.) and is it really as easy as he (I believe it was Garrett) said?

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What about going back to original purpose of this topic?

 

 

I believe thats what we all are doing. We are explaining about your "facts" We have another vieuw on them, thats why our answers about how easy and how well made the pro arm is. If we go back to the original question, we have to ignore your post, wich we didnt do.

 

And no, i dont believe you can easy clean and disassamble your g arm. Perhaps it could be done, but i never had the guts to do so.

I am more of the "get the hose and spray it clean " type, and i dont think thats in te G series manual :rolleyes:

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I didn’t say why we did discuss my post (which was by the way written to answer Mariano-the original creator of the topic-). I said let’s go back to the original topic. And I never said my points are “the facts”.

That’s exactly why I said:

“But of course all of these ideas are very personal. Both arms are very, very, very, very good and you will be happy with either one of them. I know I was happy flying with Pro and now I’m also very happy flying with a G-70.”

 

Also my conclusion might be pro G series but my post included multiple pro PRO parts (as much as it included Tiffen). Someone reading my post could easily accept my arguments and reach a different conclusion.

 

 

I don’t believe also that there is a user service method out there for the G series. But I wish to express my desire to have one. I’m living very long way from Glendale so I’d like to do some of the maintenance work myself. Hopefully Mr. Garrett would read this discussion.

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I was talking about your facts. You wrote those comments so the has to be your facts. Not trying to diss you, just telling that there are more way's to rome. I respect your opinion, its just different then mine, wich is a good thing. Its all personel.

 

Bottom line is that you have to try them both yourself to get a impression. And i hate to say it, but it really needs a testdrive in the field to get a proper idea of what you like or not. Also try to figure out how easy it is to maintain the G series arm, i would love to be wrong, like to know if its easy in the field or not.

 

 

Best

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Well color me stupid. I know the masters and the g series are different from the 3a but I took one apart once and it was kinda scary so I imagined special tools/equipment/blast shields would be needed. Now...if only the gimbals could be this easy!

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  • 3 months later...

I have used Cinema Product’s arms and now Tiffen’s arms for many, many years but I have tested PRO arms very carefully as well from time to time. I have a G70 and have not tried the new X design, but I would like to soon. Filming “Hugo” required me to carry two full size Alexas on a newly designed PACE 3D rig. I hope no one else will have to carry such a heavy package – it was considerably heavier than the IMAX packages I have flown over the years.

 

<BTW: I began eager discussions of a two part ‘M’ version with Neil Fanthom, the lead Arri technician on “Hugo”, even as he coordinated the last modifications to these first factory release full size cameras. I finally used one of the ‘M’ prototypes during the last few weeks of “World War Z” and it was extraordinary: the same quality image with a fraction of the weight and size on my sled, most of the weight being carried by my hardworking grip on a backpack and connected only by a thin, very flexible fiber optic cable. The latest PACE 3D rigs now use the ‘M’.>

 

The Tiffen G70 lifted this incredibly heavy load quite easily after adjusting the allen bolts at the end of the arm links to increase its top end lifting capacity. This weight was clearly more than the arm had been designed to handle, however, and it caused enough lateral twisting of the arm that the gimble handle had a strong tendency to “run downhill”, that is, the arm post was no longer vertical and the handle did not like to stay in the position I wanted it in. I had modified my arm to increase the friction when necessary to offset this precession, which occurs to a much lesser degree with more normal loads (the same thing happens with PRO arms especially with the lower friction design they use but to a slightly lesser extent) but the amount of twist was alarming and the boom response of the arm was not as linear as it normally is – it felt quite “springy”, more like the first CP arms than this much higher tech Tiffen version.

 

I got in touch with Chris Edwards at Optical Support, the Steadicam dealer in London and arranged to test one of their PRO arms with the heaviest set of springs they could find in their inventory. I cranked them both to the top setting and it just handled the load. The overall reach of the arm was less, however, and did not work as well as my longer G70 with my Klassen back mounted harness. I have used a solid socket block that I designed, which does not include the spring loaded hinge design that all stock arms have, as I have found this hinge causes a loss of precision in controlling the sled when using a back mounted harness. Chris and I came up with a design for a long, rigid socket block design which he then fabricated and the Production rented this arm for the run of the show. I never adjusted the springs for the movie, even when changing lenses, as I never had too much lift with the lighter lenses, only slightly less than I would have preferred with the heavier lenses, but the linearity of the arm made it a very small issue. I found the PRO arm to be beautifully smooth and linear in response and I really liked using it. I still had some twist in this arm which I had to counter with a custom friction lock on the post mount, but it was a lot less alarming.

 

After “Hugo” I went back to the G70 and really liked coming home to it as well. At more normal operating weights, they perform quite similarly. I have the bearing upgrade and that has helped the smoothness noticeably. I am anxious to try the new X model. The main differences I see are between the weights of the arms (the PRO is quite a bit heavier) and the ease of adjustment (the Tiffen arm is a joy to adjust) and of course the difference in cost. Overall the PRO probably requires less maintenance with the enclosed spring cartridges and massive structure but more effort adjusting which can sometimes result in operating a shot with a less than ideal setting, which does bother me some. The PRO is much easier to adjust than my previous CP arms, but I really, really like the easy tweaking of the G70 and have even changed the setting during a shot several times to improve the response. Particularly with the back mounted harness, which uses these arms in an orientation they were not designed for, fine tuning of either arm is more critical (I could never go back to a front mount, however, I would have to find a new career instead, the physical strain on my lower back is dramatically greater with a front mount vest - but I know other operators who can't imagine working with the back mounted harness...)

 

That the significance of “ease of adjusting” is more than a convenience for the operator was made apparent to me on my first shot on “Snake Eyes”. I had worked with Brian DePalma on 5 or 6 films previously and so he was well used to my procedures. I called out “Ready” before the first rehearsal and Brian yelled out “Whoa, whoa, whoa!!” in response. It was rare to hear him talk much at all on set, even more so in a loud voice. “Why aren’t you fiddling?” he demanded. It took me a moment to realize what he was asking about. I was using both the new wireless motorized stage controller and the tool-free arm for the first time on one of his movies. He had learned to incorporate the amount of time required to get my Steadicam “tweaked” perfectly before each take into his calculations for doing a Steadicam shot. I now could make those tweaks as I strolled up to the start line and that had startled him. I never realized before that moment that this might impact more than my own sense of preparation and comfort level. Lesson learned…

 

I am now operating my first TV show, “Nurse Jackie”, as an A/Steadicam Operator, and the pace is higher than on most of the features I have worked on, and the ease of adjustments of the sled and arm are a real advantage here as well. There is little patience on the part of the whole cast and crew for “tweaking” when we have many pages to get through before heading home.

 

I would love to have both arms so I could choose the best tool for each setup, but that is not financially feasible. I think they are both extraordinary instruments, much improved over Garrett’s original design, which was an extraordinary achievement in itself, resulting not from improvements, but from a whole new concept never before imagined. The relatively subtle improvements in that design which these two companies have produced are welcome, especially as the requirements and expectations of increasingly sophisticated operators have increased over the years. I love the diversity of choices now, each new design pushes the development from every manufacturer and we are the beneficiaries.

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