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An embarrassing newb story


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#1 Blair Phillips

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:25 PM

I have a steadicam flyer, to go with it I got myself a canon 550D DSLR. Not the flashiest kit in the world but hey we all have to start somewhere, right?

So in the first week of August I got my self the Jag35 bottom rods. I was not expecting much, given that it was 1/3 the price of other competing products, but all I needed it for was a critical 3/4 inch so I could turn the lever on the quick release plate and change my batteries without having to unscrew the camera (DLSRs not being made with steadicams in mind).

A minor adjustment and a 2 1/2 pound weight later and it looks like a low budget dream! Everything fits exactly as I want...then I try to balance it.

Static goes off without a hitch, but for some reason I cannot get it into dynamic balance. An hour goes by, and I determine I am just frustrated and tired. Coming back tomorrow will give me a fresh head. Same story the next day. I head off to the arctic circle for 3 weeks on unrelated business and resolve that this time it will be no problem. Another day of complete disassembly, reassembly and the same results. I look though all the books on it, doing it step by step and nothing works.

About half an hour ago something dawned on me. I look at the platform on on which I had been balancing my level, I look closely. The Jag35 platform is slanted! Every static balance I did was useless! 5 minutes placing my level on the gimbal later I have good dynamic balance and huge appreciation I made this ridiculous mistake at home and not on my first set.
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#2 Erik Brul

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 06:42 AM

Well .. that's the 1 of the few reasons to do a prep before the actual shoot!
Question: What's the weight of that jag35 cage and how much was the total setup?

Cheers, Erik
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 12:06 PM

Never trust a camera to be flat--put the bubble up against the dovetail plate wherever it sticks out of the platform.
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#4 Blair Phillips

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 08:43 PM

Well .. that's the 1 of the few reasons to do a prep before the actual shoot!
Question: What's the weight of that jag35 cage and how much was the total setup?

Cheers, Erik


I did not get a cage, I got the bottom rails found here. The weight is not much, I would say less than two pounds. I attached a 2 1/2 pound weight to the rear of the rails to get it within the arm's weight range.
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#5 Andrew Stone

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 11:02 AM

You want to get more weight on the top of the rig behind the camera. Try 10 pounds or thereabouts for starters.

EDIT:

10 pounds total.

Edited by Andrew Stone, 05 September 2010 - 11:07 AM.

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#6 Christopher T. Paul- SOC

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 11:11 AM

That's not such a bad story- at least it didn't happen on set with a group of frustrated people watching. Sounds like you learned something that you'll now not forget.

The first gig I ever had with my rig was a music video. I was pushing in to a close up of a pit pull held on a chain by a woman who couldn't have weighed more than 100 lbs. As I pushed in tighter the dog lunged at the camera and got a hold of the cable that connects the monitor to the sled. The cable actually got wedged in between it's teeth and it started freaking out tossing me and the sled around like a rag doll.

Fortunately the cable, the rig and I all survived intact, (as I didn't have a backup cable- but certainly do now!), and lived to fight another day. My takeaway for the day was to go out and have redundancy of all cables- because you just never know what will get thrown at you on any given day.

CP
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