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Andrew Greenbaum

Tilted stage vs Flat stage

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Hi all, I am trying to narrow down options for my first rig. I was hoping to get some insight as whether to get a tilted stage or a flat stage? What are the benefits of a tilted? Can it do more than a flat? Can you achieve the same type of shots with each, etc? Thank you in advance for your help.

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I use the tilt stage a lot. Doing football matches I always give a litle tilt down since the field have something like a 5% declination for water porpouses, that you can really feel when you are using the zoom. When I m doing conferences or concerts is the oposite. I use the tilt up since the stage normaly is in a higher level. You can do the tilt with your hand forcing the sled but in my opinion if you can choose, choose the tilt stage. I would put the less efort on the sled as possible. Sometimes it's not possible of course but as much as I can, I try to use only small adjustments on the gimbal.

My two cents ;)

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An integral tilt stage (like on the Tiffen rigs) can be used to preserve dynamic balance when the lens is pointed up or down, which, of course makes operating easier.


Trimming to aim the stage up or down with a "flat" or non-tilting stage will always take the rig out of dynamic balance. The more you tilt, the more out of balance you will be.


A vertical post is easier to operate with than a non-vertical one. Again, it's a matter of degree.


A tilt stage is really useful in low mode, when one is often looking up – it's hard to tilt up when the arm is boomed way down.


BTW, a non-integral, an add-on tilt stage may give you re-balancing problems (big c.g. shift) or create viewing problems with wide angle lenses (i.e., seeing your MDR...), as well as increase the minimum lens to gimbal distance.

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Oops- forgot... with long modes (high or low), a tilt head preserves that precious lens height, and keeps the opposite end of the sled from hitting things behind you. I learned that last thing the hard way, on my very first shot with a superpost without a tilt head...

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