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Lightweight rig vs adding weight?


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Hi all! Question around weight of rig.  I recently bought a Zephyr for my first rig and am finding it so much squirrelier than what we used in the workshop.  I took a silver workshop last year and of course the rigs were meant for and had bigger/heavier camera builds on them. While the lower weight feels somewhat nice on my body, I'm curious what the best way to practice & train is -- Do I keep it as lightweight as I have it now and get better at controlling the teeniest of micro movements on the lighter rig? Or should I weigh it down more - get my body used to more weight for those times it will inevitably have a bigger build and presumably have it feel a little easier to control as the builds in the workshop did?

(Current build is just what I have at home - Canon C200, 24-70 lens & teradek.)

Any other general advice for a newbie is welcome too. Thanks! 

 

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I've always been a fan of practicing with medium weight most of the time (mix it up occasionally). It serves as a nice balance in terms of building endurance while building operating chops. You are absolutely right that the little rigs are harder to control in many ways, but they can also allow you to get too comfortable with the rig being too far from your body and other bad habits. Conversely, if you always practice with very heavy loads, you'll build muscle but then realistic builds (Arri Mini, etc) will seem squarely to you. Of course, this advice also depends on what market you are in and what type of work you'll be doing/ want to be doing.

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Thank you Alec! I think your point about being too comfortable holding the rig too far from my body is 100% what I noticed today. It's so light right now, I find myself not realizing my form & how far out it is. 

I don't anticipate ever being in really heavy builds -- I'm in a small market (Denver) and full-time at a company right now where the heaviest camera we have for everyday work is an Ursa mini with some CP.2s.  (Now what I want to be doing is a different story :) ) 

Looks like it's time to get a weight plate and get this to a better middle ground. Appreciate your thoughts here. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update for any other newbies or folks on smaller rigs -- I added ~7 pounds to it today and am finding it so much easier to handle. I'm sitting in the middle of the range of what the zephyr can hold, so plenty more room to grow but this was really helpful for me. 

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I use the Flyer and try to get as close to maximum weight as I can, or I experience that "squirrelly" feel you talk about. I achieve this by loading up as much weight as I can on camera, in combination with a homemade weight plate I built for practice sessions. It's not pretty but it gets the job done and flys SO much easier and smoother. Best of luck with your practice. 

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Just remember folks, it is not just the weight, but the weight distribution that influences the "feel." Spread your masses to add pan inertia and you'll likely much prefer it.

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