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Josh Pickering

Steadicam Zephyr gimbal position question

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I have a question about the gimbal in relation to the stage. I'm going to be shooting the Canon C500. I have a WEVI wireless on the back of the sled as well as an AB Dionic 90. Since it is a little back heavy, and the C500 form factor is a little compact, I added a 2 pound weight to the back of the camera that is sitting on 15mm rails. This spread out the camera weight for a better CG because it was so back heavy at the bottom of the sled. My drop time is just under 2 seconds, and my monitor is where I want it. I've also added 4 Merlin weights to the front under the monitor. I've extended the sled about 6" down. Please see this video of the balance and gimbal position.

 

 

My gimbal is sitting about 6" below the stage. Is having the gimbal higher near the stage ideal? I realize the more you extend the post the more the gimbal drops. Just wondering if I could be having a better position on the gimbal. Also, if you see something on the video I could have done better, please let me know. I'm new to Steadicam.

 

Thanks!

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Hi, Your top stage is too light compared to the bottom stage.

I would recommend moving that wireless transmitter to the top stage, behind the camera, you can get a Lemo to female P-tap to power it and you're good. Contact Terry West (http://www.steadicamforum.com/index.php?showuser=529) he makes them for a good price.

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it is generally accepted that keeping the gimbal close to the stage is "better" (very subjective). That will help one keep a shorter sled if one desires. Having more inertia in the sled is a good thing...though I am not a fan of adding "dead" weight (but whatever works).

 

As far as drop time...I usually use a 1.5 to 2 second drop so that is what I am used to. It requires a bit more help on starts/stops/corners but the lock-offs are stabile. I used to go with a much slower drop but at a workshop with Mr McConkey (waaaay back) I noticed he was using a really fast drop so I thought I'd give it a try and it just stuck.

 

remember there is really no right or wrong, just what works for you and looks good

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I like to keep the Zephyr sled as short as possible. The noticeable vibrations compound as the post length increases. I use the secondary battery plate to add extra weight, and I never use the merlin weights. Just my preference.

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Great thanks! I moved the WEVI up near the camera, the gimbal is now closer to the stage, however, I have not been able to perfectly dynamic balance it like it was before. It's close, but not perfect. :P

 

Which brings me to my next question...How perfect does dynamic balance have to be? Is there a little wiggle room for a tiny amount of wobble? It's back to the game of spin, move, spin, move. :D

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Awesome! I used Alan's balance instructions on another post and it was a lot easier. I now have no merlin weights at the bottom and dynamic balance is very good. The gimbal sits about 1 1/2" from the stage and operates great. Thanks guys!

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