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#1 Ari Robbins

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:13 PM

Has any one tried this product? and if so, how did you like it? Does it actually help or am I wasting what could be beer money?
Ari

http://shop.strato.d...ynamic Balance"
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#2 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 04:48 PM

Has any one tried this product? and if so, how did you like it? Does it actually help or am I wasting what could be beer money?
Ari

http://shop.strato.d...ynamic Balance"



You can achieve the same results by setting a 3 or 4 second drop time and then bringing the rig up 90 degrees like you would for a drop test and then panning it 90 degrees so that the monitor and battery rack are level and then doing a drop test. If the rig rolls to the monitor you need to either shorten the monitor arm or lengthen the battery moment. The rebalance the camera to get the rig to hang flat (Battery's back so camera forward) if the rig rolls to the batteries they need to be shortened up or the monitor arm lengthened and the camera moved back to level it.

Do this until the rig does not roll/pan when dropped and you will be in dynamic balance (Jerry will tell you that you're not but the rig does spin flat and that is the definition of Dynamic balance) I've been doing it this way for years and have never had an issue, the folks I've converted over to this method also like it over the spin method.
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#3 Ari Robbins

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 07:14 PM

Hey Eric,
Thank you for the info, I"m definitely going to try that if I ever get to do a shot here on set today. Just from reading it, sounds like a much easier task for dynamic balance. I use to not have as much trouble with my old Model 3A and dynamic balance, believe it or not, but ever since I upgraded to the Ultra2, I've found the task more complicated then before. I"m assuming that I have more options and range, so adding that to my knowledge, there is of course going to be a learning curve to it. I found that even though the U2 has guidelines, mine may be a little off so the added tool could help, but I'm gonna work with what you said before I buy any part. I find I can get it now, its just the time it takes me to do so, as well, seems like the camera and accessories are just getting more wonky, making it a more precise task. I don't rush, and have no problem making people wait for the tool to be ready for the job, I just would like to speed it up for my own desires. Think your method is going to help overall to the speed so that I don't need Mickey for speed. Thanks again. take care.
Ari


Has any one tried this product? and if so, how did you like it? Does it actually help or am I wasting what could be beer money?
Ari

http://shop.strato.d...ynamic Balance"



You can achieve the same results by setting a 3 or 4 second drop time and then bringing the rig up 90 degrees like you would for a drop test and then panning it 90 degrees so that the monitor and battery rack are level and then doing a drop test. If the rig rolls to the monitor you need to either shorten the monitor arm or lengthen the battery moment. The rebalance the camera to get the rig to hang flat (Battery's back so camera forward) if the rig rolls to the batteries they need to be shortened up or the monitor arm lengthened and the camera moved back to level it.

Do this until the rig does not roll/pan when dropped and you will be in dynamic balance (Jerry will tell you that you're not but the rig does spin flat and that is the definition of Dynamic balance) I've been doing it this way for years and have never had an issue, the folks I've converted over to this method also like it over the spin method.


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#4 Brian Freesh

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:39 PM

I might just be exhausted, but there is a lot here I am not understanding. I'm terribly interested in all of it!

How does the Mickey help? I can't figure out what it achieves. Also, what is the 2% it doesn't achieve?

Eric, your DB method interests me. In my head it's showing the same thing a spin check will show you. How is it different other than the way you achieve the result, and why does the drop time need to be 3-4 seconds? Do you find that this is faster than spinning to find DB? It seems like it would be the same? What am I missing?

Ari, what monitor are you using? I find DB difficult with an Ultra 2 only with the lighter weight SD monitor, and only because I struggle with how far out the monitor needs to be even with the batteries all the way up and in. I'd prefer the monitor much closer (and frankly, the batteries out a little bit to spread the masses), but can only do it by adding weight.

And I call foul on making production wait for you when unnecessary! Obviously, I don't know the situations you are talking about, but in general I never make production wait unless it is truly necessary. My own lack of experience is never necessary. I also judge the shot. If the first shot has no quick pans in it, I don't tweak for perfect DB, I can work on it after the first shot.
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#5 Ari Robbins

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:42 AM

The design of the Mickey seems to basically be what Eric is talking about, its just using a fixed point instead of a doing a 90degree drop test. The difference in test, from what I think Eric is saying, is that instead of testing the spin, your testing the way the weight carries it downward, if it falls in a certain direction in tells you which way each part needs to be moved(battery or monitor). if your dynamic and static, it should fall straight down without the monitor or battery leading as it head towards the normal position. I"m not sure if Eric is meaning it must be a 3-4 sec drop time, but since i like a little more bottom weight, i tend to be more towards 4 anyways, just my personal choice. I am using the HD Ultra2 monitor, not sure how much heavier it is, but generally I don't have to pull it out far at all. course pending on camera set up.
The Mickey can be seen on youtube, if you want to see it in action, may help explain where I can't.
However in regards to waiting, I think you may have misunderstood my meaning; to clarify.
I'm not into making people wait, I'm stating that I"m willing to take the time to accurately set up the camera to do the shot to its exact perfection. If achieving as absolute best balance as I can gets the director/dp a better shot, then I"ll take the 2 min to do so. I"m not going to rush balance, and then blow a take because I wasn't ready and decided to say so anyways. however if there is a tool that can take something that is 2min to 1min, then its worth interest if I want to speed up something. Also, I do my first balance as my ultimate balance and adjust as lenses and such change, but my feeling is do it right the first time then nothing to worry about, post shot means I clipped an edge or felt a degree of dutching, therefor I need to now go back to the dock, then rebalance, now asking for more time. In the end run, this is all about shaving seconds. I remember being told by a cinematographer that he has calculated the minutes/seconds everything takes, then analyzes where to shave seconds, cause 10 seconds multiplied by 40 times is at least one more take. The reason I mentioned waiting is that I"m not rushing the process cause I"m worried of protocol for set, or not understanding the process, I'd just like to see if I can get faster with the help of a tool. Which is essential what we do, and are, in a way, so using another to achieve higher success, to me is very logical; clearly I would make judgements to shots, but I"m talking about complicated shots, not your run of the mill "walk and talk". Though the test Eric is talking about will probably be a faster balancing method than the spin, I"m still interested in the idea of doing even faster then that, hence the question of the Mickey....
If that came across as an attitude/disregard to productions, or taking an absurd amount of time to balance/knowing the job, I can assure you, thats not the case, nor do I think my credits/reel/previous postings reflect that attitude. I apologize for not stating it clearly as I would never intentionally promote that behavior.





I might just be exhausted, but there is a lot here I am not understanding. I'm terribly interested in all of it!

How does the Mickey help? I can't figure out what it achieves. Also, what is the 2% it doesn't achieve?

Eric, your DB method interests me. In my head it's showing the same thing a spin check will show you. How is it different other than the way you achieve the result, and why does the drop time need to be 3-4 seconds? Do you find that this is faster than spinning to find DB? It seems like it would be the same? What am I missing?

Ari, what monitor are you using? I find DB difficult with an Ultra 2 only with the lighter weight SD monitor, and only because I struggle with how far out the monitor needs to be even with the batteries all the way up and in. I'd prefer the monitor much closer (and frankly, the batteries out a little bit to spread the masses), but can only do it by adding weight.

And I call foul on making production wait for you when unnecessary! Obviously, I don't know the situations you are talking about, but in general I never make production wait unless it is truly necessary. My own lack of experience is never necessary. I also judge the shot. If the first shot has no quick pans in it, I don't tweak for perfect DB, I can work on it after the first shot.


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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:07 AM

The design of the Mickey seems to basically be what Eric is talking about, its just using a fixed point instead of a doing a 90degree drop test. The difference in test, from what I think Eric is saying, is that instead of testing the spin, your testing the way the weight carries it downward, if it falls in a certain direction in tells you which way each part needs to be moved(battery or monitor). if your dynamic and static, it should fall straight down without the monitor or battery leading as it head towards the normal position. I"m not sure if Eric is meaning it must be a 3-4 sec drop time, but since i like a little more bottom weight, i tend to be more towards 4 anyways, just my personal choice. I am using the HD Ultra2 monitor, not sure how much heavier it is, but generally I don't have to pull it out far at all. course pending on camera set up.



The Mickey is good but has several issues. It relies on the roundness of your centerpost, it induces rotational drag and since it's not level it does introduce a small amount of acceleration into the rig, hence the 2%.

My method is the fastest way you will ever dynamically balance a rig (And I'll give you a hint... If you dynamically balance it and never move the monitor and battery rack you will NEVER need to dynamically balance again...) The reason you need to use a 4 second drop time is to give the masses time to induce rotational acceleration. Once you have the dynamic balance done you can reset your drop time to what works for you, and if you set the rig at neutral balance you can set it at any tilt, spin it and guess what. it will spin flat and stay where you put it.

The other nice thing about this method is that you can do it while waiting at #1, that's how fast it is.
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#7 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 02:00 AM

Hi all,
Eric's technique for DB is great and easy.
I've been doing it for years.
But, when I found Mickey, I felt in love with it.
It much easier and faster. Especially while on the set, instead of waiting for the camera, I just set my sled up and balance the monitor & battery ...then a coffee break.
When the camera is ready, all I need to adjust is the topstage and drop time (this is the 2% Markus mentioned).

As Eric posted,(And I'll give you a hint... If you dynamically balance it and never move the monitor and battery rack you will NEVER need to dynamically balance again...), it is right. I never try it (don't need to), but it reminded me of the good old day when I had the SteadicamSK. It was built with this idea in mind. To date, it is the only rig that was built with DB!

It's great technique Eric. Thanks for sharing it to others.

Mickey? It's not a must-have, but it is a should-have. For under $200USD, it's a not-bad-at-all investment.
Ah... and, my daughter loves Mickey too!
Cheers,
Ken Nguyen.
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#8 Charles King

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:06 AM

You learn something everyday. I am going to give this a try.. Thanks Eric.
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#9 Charles King

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 05:41 AM

Here is the link to the Youtube click that explains:
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#10 Jerry Holway

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:24 AM

Both the Mickey and Eric's method only work if the monitor and battery c.g.'s are on the same horizontal plane - and Eric's method requires nothing new or extra steps, and it's a great way to get into static balance. Buy beer!

If the monitor is raised from the battery, neither method works (the math and 100's of demos prove this, old story, see the dynamic balance primer for both).

Jerry
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#11 Charles King

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 08:37 AM

Both the Mickey and Eric's method only work if the monitor and battery c.g.'s are on the same horizontal plane - and Eric's method requires nothing new or extra steps, and it's a great way to get into static balance. Buy beer!

If the monitor is raised from the battery, neither method works (the math and 100's of demos prove this, old story, see the dynamic balance primer for both).

Jerry


OK, I may have missed something, Jerry. Eric owns a CXS rig and the monitor and battery mounts are not on the same horizontal plane, but how can he get it to work if you say it only works if both monitor and batteries have to be on the same plane? Or do you mean if you raised both brackets and monitor up the sled? I have always used your primer method but I am always willing to try something different.

Edited by Charles King, 17 April 2010 - 08:41 AM.

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#12 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 09:36 AM

Both the Mickey and Eric's method only work if the monitor and battery c.g.'s are on the same horizontal plane - and Eric's method requires nothing new or extra steps, and it's a great way to get into static balance. Buy beer!

If the monitor is raised from the battery, neither method works (the math and 100's of demos prove this, old story, see the dynamic balance primer for both).

Jerry



Every time this comes up you say the same and it's simply not so. My method/Micky method works, and it works every time
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#13 Jerry Holway

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 10:19 AM

Okay-

So I just set up my rig and (this is the important part, and I keep saying this) with the monitor c.g. above the battery c.g. - about 25% of the distance of the whole sled length.

I place the monitor where I want it - this time it happened to be all the way in on my Ultra2

5 second drop time.

Carefully balance via Eric's method. Perfect static balance. No rotation.

And I'm miles away from dynamic balance, as expected, as the laws of physics predict, etc.

Did it again. Moved camera c.g. closer to what I know works (experience helps!) Moved battery to compensate. Zero rotation, perfect static balance. Better, but still way off.

Jerry
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#14 Brian Freesh

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 11:05 AM

10 hours of sleep, and my head is still spinning about this. Ouch, no pun intended.

First, Ari, my apologies. The comment was meant to be light hearted, but I'll blame any misunderstanding on how tired I was when I typed it. I took your comment more as apathetic than arrogant or anything else. Just ribbing you a bit. I don't know you and did not intend to be judgmental.

Regarding your DB, with the HD UB2 I have no problems with DB, and am able to keep the monitor close, as you are. I'd be interested to see how you're setting it up. Take that with a grain of salt, as I proved in my last post and will in this one, My DB knowledge only goes so far.

When you say you like more bottom weight, do you mean you like to add more weight on the bottom (shorter post) or that you like it to be a bottom heavy sled (shorter drop time) neither suggests a 4 second drop time, though you could achieve 4 seconds with the first option.

I get what the Mickey does now, but I don't see how it helps. I might be over thinking it, but it seems to me there are variables that would change once there is a camera on.

Eric, thank you, i better understand what is going on with your method now. But I still don't see what the difference in feedback is, if any. And maybe there is not a difference. It seems to me that both methods would work just fine and without trying it seems like they'd take the same amount of time to complete. Obviously I would need to try it first. Ultimately, if both methods work, I would think one could simply choose their favorite and be done with it.

I just want to understand the difference, if any.

Eric, with your method, I assume you still need to place the camera CG at the same starting point of ~3/4" behind the post if the monitor CG is above the battery CG, and centered on the post if the battery and monitor CG are on the same plane. If that is the case, it seems like everything the rig is telling you with both methods is the same, but maybe I'm missing something else.

ETA: Everything Jerry is saying makes sense to me, Everything Eric is saying makes sense to me. Mickey doesn't make sense to me. I'm just trying to resolve the conflicts in my own brain, though may not be able to until I can test myself. Thanks everyone for the input, I like this discussion.
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#15 Mike Germond SOC

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:46 PM

Subscribed! This thread is very intriguing.

I'm going to give Eric's method a shot, because I'm still chasing the illusive DB on the Ultra2. My question is for us tethered guys. Will balancing with my fiber disconnected have any affect on the DB once I'm in show? I have the Mohawk jumper and like it hanging just off the right side of the post, near the gimbal. It tends to pull my rig slightly right (plus the connector itself has some mass), so I compensate with side-to-side adjustment once I'm up and flying. I ask because it's nearly impossible to get an accurate spin balance on the stand with a fiber hanging off.
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