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Place my Merlin in any site, hold it and is unbalanced


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#1 Francis

Francis

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 07:47 AM

Hi, i'm from Spain. Sorry for my english language.
I buyed a Merlin in B Hague & Co Ltd the last week. I have another cheap ministeady (Hague Mini Motion-Cam) and i have not problems with this steadi for balance.


- With the Merlin i can get to balance, but if i place the merlin with the camera, for example, in a sofa, in a chair, etc., when i hold the Merlin again, is unbalanced.

The dovetail is good screwed. Lower and Upper spars blocked. All is ok.
What happened?

- I have other problem. I think that my Merlin is not moderate bottom heavy, but i hold the steadi and is continuously moving. I wait one minute until the steadi is stopped.

My camera is Canon HV-40 with wideangle Raynox 6600 pro. (0.960 kg. camera+wideangle)


Help me please.
Best regards
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#2 Francis

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 02:40 AM

I think know where is the problem. The upper and lower spar are locked and good tighted, but if hold the upper and lower spars i can move one or two millimeters. Then, when i go to balance, first hold the spars and increment the arc with the spars locked.

The another problem (the steady is continuously moving) should be because the Merlin is very sensitive.

Best regards



Hi, i'm from Spain. Sorry for my english language.
I buyed a Merlin in B Hague & Co Ltd the last week. I have another cheap ministeady (Hague Mini Motion-Cam) and i have not problems with this steadi for balance.


- With the Merlin i can get to balance, but if i place the merlin with the camera, for example, in a sofa, in a chair, etc., when i hold the Merlin again, is unbalanced.

The dovetail is good screwed. Lower and Upper spars blocked. All is ok.
What happened?

- I have other problem. I think that my Merlin is not moderate bottom heavy, but i hold the steadi and is continuously moving. I wait one minute until the steadi is stopped.

My camera is Canon HV-40 with wideangle Raynox 6600 pro. (0.960 kg. camera+wideangle)


Help me please.
Best regards


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#3 Garrett Brown

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:14 AM

Francis, When some Merlins are set down the arc moves a few mm -- even when the locks are tight.. Best thing is always pull down on the arc when you pick them up.

As to the 'pendulum' motion.. that is what it should be... a slow pendulum. But you have to take control. I wrote this for new Merlin owners who did not yet get the 'trick':

Read the following paragraphs I wrote for a section in an upcoming book on Steadicam operating. If your drop time is between one and two seconds (good old 'go-one-thousand-and-one' full seconds, then you just need to take charge of that pendulum action with your 'guide' hand. as reminded below... it is a pendulum, a sloooww pendulum, but you still have to 'shepherd' your pendulum around the set and keep it from exhibiting tha behavior. When you get this, when it suddenly becomes understood and routine, this difficulty will evaporate.

"I apologize. Steadicam is not a black box, push button invention that makes everything steady. It's an instrument, and, like a guitar, it's useless without a skilled operator. New Merlin and Pilot owners in particular, who are often thrust into all this without benefit of a workshop, have a harder time understanding that these rigs are really just slow, slightly bottom heavy pendulums. Neutral balance (infinite drop time) doesn't work--if a mosquito lands on the lens the camera will theoretically tilt straight down!--so the human being involved, not the machine, must forever be in charge.
Embrace the concept: Whether it's a Flyer, a Pilot, or a Merlin, you are shepherding a little pendulum around on the set with your camera aboard! It's easier to keep level when you're walking straight ahead, harder when you change speed or direction. Give the 'handle' a brief nudge when you start moving, an opposite push to stop, and a little side pressure when you're cornering and it works. Without that slight input, it will swing back and forth forever.
We won't over-intellectualize this--just keep shooting, controlling level and framing with your 'guide' hand and playing back the results.
When you learn how much to 'dampen' your pendulum, it's 'steady'. It's as simple as that.


Francis, best of luck. Garrett Brown




I think know where is the problem. The upper and lower spar are locked and good tighted, but if hold the upper and lower spars i can move one or two millimeters. Then, when i go to balance, first hold the spars and increment the arc with the spars locked.

The another problem (the steady is continuously moving) should be because the Merlin is very sensitive.

Best regards



Hi, i'm from Spain. Sorry for my english language.
I buyed a Merlin in B Hague & Co Ltd the last week. I have another cheap ministeady (Hague Mini Motion-Cam) and i have not problems with this steadi for balance.


- With the Merlin i can get to balance, but if i place the merlin with the camera, for example, in a sofa, in a chair, etc., when i hold the Merlin again, is unbalanced.

The dovetail is good screwed. Lower and Upper spars blocked. All is ok.
What happened?

- I have other problem. I think that my Merlin is not moderate bottom heavy, but i hold the steadi and is continuously moving. I wait one minute until the steadi is stopped.

My camera is Canon HV-40 with wideangle Raynox 6600 pro. (0.960 kg. camera+wideangle)


Help me please.
Best regards


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#4 Francis

Francis

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:33 AM

Thank you.

Yesterday i sent an email to Tiffen. Today, Tiffen say me:
"Hello

Thanks for your e-mail. If the Merlin is balanced and operating properly then you put it down and then it is out of balance it means something has moved. This could be the camera but also the bottom spar may have a little slack. It is good practice, even if the calliper lock screws are tight, to just make sure that the lower spar is as far open as possible each time you pick it up. This should sort out any issues.
Best regards

Robin"

I found the problem yesterday. ;)

Best regards and thank you for all.
Francis




Francis, When some Merlins are set down the arc moves a few mm -- even when the locks are tight.. Best thing is always pull down on the arc when you pick them up.

As to the 'pendulum' motion.. that is what it should be... a slow pendulum. But you have to take control. I wrote this for new Merlin owners who did not yet get the 'trick':

Read the following paragraphs I wrote for a section in an upcoming book on Steadicam operating. If your drop time is between one and two seconds (good old 'go-one-thousand-and-one' full seconds, then you just need to take charge of that pendulum action with your 'guide' hand. as reminded below... it is a pendulum, a sloooww pendulum, but you still have to 'shepherd' your pendulum around the set and keep it from exhibiting tha behavior. When you get this, when it suddenly becomes understood and routine, this difficulty will evaporate.

"I apologize. Steadicam is not a black box, push button invention that makes everything steady. It's an instrument, and, like a guitar, it's useless without a skilled operator. New Merlin and Pilot owners in particular, who are often thrust into all this without benefit of a workshop, have a harder time understanding that these rigs are really just slow, slightly bottom heavy pendulums. Neutral balance (infinite drop time) doesn't work--if a mosquito lands on the lens the camera will theoretically tilt straight down!--so the human being involved, not the machine, must forever be in charge.
Embrace the concept: Whether it's a Flyer, a Pilot, or a Merlin, you are shepherding a little pendulum around on the set with your camera aboard! It's easier to keep level when you're walking straight ahead, harder when you change speed or direction. Give the 'handle' a brief nudge when you start moving, an opposite push to stop, and a little side pressure when you're cornering and it works. Without that slight input, it will swing back and forth forever.
We won't over-intellectualize this--just keep shooting, controlling level and framing with your 'guide' hand and playing back the results.
When you learn how much to 'dampen' your pendulum, it's 'steady'. It's as simple as that.


Francis, best of luck. Garrett Brown




I think know where is the problem. The upper and lower spar are locked and good tighted, but if hold the upper and lower spars i can move one or two millimeters. Then, when i go to balance, first hold the spars and increment the arc with the spars locked.

The another problem (the steady is continuously moving) should be because the Merlin is very sensitive.

Best regards



Hi, i'm from Spain. Sorry for my english language.
I buyed a Merlin in B Hague & Co Ltd the last week. I have another cheap ministeady (Hague Mini Motion-Cam) and i have not problems with this steadi for balance.


- With the Merlin i can get to balance, but if i place the merlin with the camera, for example, in a sofa, in a chair, etc., when i hold the Merlin again, is unbalanced.

The dovetail is good screwed. Lower and Upper spars blocked. All is ok.
What happened?

- I have other problem. I think that my Merlin is not moderate bottom heavy, but i hold the steadi and is continuously moving. I wait one minute until the steadi is stopped.

My camera is Canon HV-40 with wideangle Raynox 6600 pro. (0.960 kg. camera+wideangle)


Help me please.
Best regards


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