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Simon Blouin

Steadicam Volt techniques

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Hi everyone!

I've recently received my Steadicam Volt (finally) which I adapted to my CineLive sled. I think it's such a nice tool and I can't wait to put it to practice even more... 

Although I think it's gonna take me a couple more hours to get used to it. So that's why I'm very curious on hearing about your techniques and habits that you may have developed while working with it on set. Especially speaking about balancing, going from regular to low-mode (low low mode), changing lenses or setups, also rain gear? Are you completely rebalancing (putting it back on the stud, 3 seconds drop time, dynamic balance then put it to neutral) every time you change lens or make a small adjustment on the rig?

Let's hear it!

Cheers!

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I tend to adjust front-to-back balance on the top stage with a lens change. I've found that the Volt is very forgiving with regard to accommodating shifting weight. Of course it's important to start with dynamic balance as close to perfect as possible. But unless there's a significant change to the overall configuration, it's often not necessary to go back to square one.

That said, it certainly depends on the shot, and the overall weight of the rig. If you've only done quick tweaks to keep it behaving, certain types of movements are going to take you further off course from your original balance.

Low mode is a 15-second operation, so I'm not sure I have any useful feedback there. An absolute delight. I also haven't had to use a rain cover with the Volt yet.

I'd have to say the hardest thing for me to get used to was holding headroom. At first, I really wanted to crank up the tilt resistance to get my money's worth, so to speak. But that introduced some tension in my operating that wasn't serving me well overall, even though the tilt angle was supposedly consistent. Consistency in framing is obviously much more important, and making those fine adjustments in headroom is easier when the tilt strength is dialed down a bit.

I feel like I still have a lot to learn about how to work with the Volt, but it's just wonderful. That's all for now!

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