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Hi everyone! I always love perusing this site and reading about other ops journey and setups so I figured I’d finally give back a little and show my current set up. 

After years of being a gimbal op and hating how the ArmorMan 2 was on my body, as well as just the restriction of doorways and the absence of a good low-mode option, I finally pulled the trigger and got the SmartSystems Matrix sled with X1 arm….

And boy do I LOVE IT!  

I get the ergonomics and operability of a Steadicam with the roll control and smooth action of a gimbal. As well as being able to do some pretty crazy moves (with the execption of the trinity low to high jib mode in 1 shot - the tail gets in the way) + being able to switch to low mode in 15 seconds. :)  

 

Feel free to use this post to ask any questions of the setup or operation of it. 

I’m currently on a show that we are rocking the Venice + recorder + k35s + Preston … a 29lb camera package. With counter weights, the total sled comes in at 73lbs   

It’s a beast but with some workouts, smart operation, and taking care of my body, I’ve gotten exceptionally comfortable with it.

We’re regularly doing 15-20 mins walk and talks + 100meter+ moves. It’s not for the faint of heart (or back) but neither is the Trinity or Omega. 
 

Happy operating and shooting! 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I’m glad you like both! Any issues you had initially or did everything work pretty well together? I’m thinking about getting both myself with an Exovest but I live in the US. have you had any issue getting parts or repairs done or have you not encountered any of that yet? How long have you had the equipment? 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi James!  So far no big issues to speak of.  The main thing is just the overall weight which does take some getting used to.  Also because the sled has to be so long, I have kicked it it a few times when I was getting tired and careless in the middle of a shot.  The R2 hid it a little but you could still see the jolt.  

 

Parts wise, it took about 4 months to get my Matrix + arm + vest from Smartsystem. Italy was hit real hard with covid and manufacturing there was hard, is what I hear.  As far as the R2, I've had it for 2.5 years and never had an issue.  The only issue I've ever had is with the batteries swelling.  After ruining 4 batteries and doing ample research, the main thing I learned is: don't put them on the charger hot...ever. Let them cool down after operating before starting them on charge. Also try to keep them out of the sun and heat as much as possible.  The batts are luckily pretty cheap but Lithium is very sought after right now + manufacturing is hard - so it's actually pretty hard to find the TB50s right now.  The best option is to go directly thru DJI.com.  

I highly suggest getting all the bits and bops from Cinemilled that you may need. I have the Mitchell mount + universal mount for dolly work, the dovetail plate + lots of counter balance weight.  The Pan tail plate for counterweights, and the extension rods for taller built cameras. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Michael,  for sure.  I personally like to balance it similar to a classic Steadicam with a 3-4 second drop time. I usually operate in the standard mode or low mode and RARELY find a need to operate it in javelin mode.  
 

I like to operate with the pan and tilt both activated on the R2 (pan/tilt follow or serene mode) that way if I want to tilt, it tilts. 
 

I do have the R2 thumb stick that I have used instead while deactivating the tilt follow (more like a trinity) but I find my operation more precise tilting with the full sled + follow mode.
 

For the above build, I had to add a decent amount of counter weight + extended my sled quite a bit to get the desired counter weight.  

Edited by Gabe Kimpson
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On 12/3/2021 at 3:50 AM, DaShawn Bedford said:

Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge it’s nice to find a place to ask questions. So I just got the same system that you have and the problem that I’m having is what mode do you put the ronin in and could you share some of your settings. 

Hi! If you received the Matrix R2 and you need some assistance or suggestions on how to place ronin or balance it before using it on Matrix R2, feel free to ask!

Sincerely

 

Andrea

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