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Questions About Merlin Package


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#1 invalid username

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 05:53 PM

My area in the US isn't a prime location for Steadicam work, but I'm currently working to upgrade my Swiss B permit to a C permit so that I can move there and start Steadicamming. This process will take a year or more though, and it wont be for maybe 3 years that I move there.

Right now I've decided to go ahead and buy a Steadicam Merlin package, which in my area could pay for itself over these 3 years. I'm not looking for full time work while I'm in the US, just building some experiene for a resume, etc.

Now I know people here tend to not be fans of the Merlin, Pilot, etc, but I'm struggling to get accurate information on the Merlin packages that are being sold, and I was hoping somebody here could help.

The two packages that I'm looking at are http://www.bhphotovi...ing_System.html and http://www.amazon.co...1847895&sr=8-3.

From the B&H package, I can tell that it includes a metal gimbal, but I have a few questions about it: First, does anybody know how well the arher/clipper backpack would fit a system like this? I am having trouble deciding if it's worth paying more for. Second, would it be safe to assume that the vest is the new model with buckels instead of velcro? And lastly, I'm interested to know if a seperate case for the arm/vest system is included.

I'm interested to know about the buckle vest and arm case for the amazon package, but I'm also interested if that package comes with a metal gimbal, because it never says.

Again thanks for the help!
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#2 invalid username

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Posted 08 December 2010 - 05:59 PM

I'm also interested to know if people here would suggest I buy additional weights for the Merlin rig, or if the included ones will cover me.
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#3 Brian Freesh

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 01:56 AM

I'll admit i didn't look super close, but those should both be the same package, not a lot of variations in the world of Merlin. BH tends to be more expensive than amazon (andAdorama, who are the actual sellers of the Amazon package), so this makes sense.

I believe the gimbals are all the same on the Merlins

Did Tiffen start putting out Merlin/Pilot vests with buckles as standard? I hadn't heard that, but that doesn't mean it's not true. If it's not true, then these are the velcro-only vests, you can buy the mod from Tiffen I believe. I can't see where buckles are specified anywhere in the amazon/adorama package.

I'm not aware of an archer/clipper backpack. If you mean the vest, no you don't want that.

Everything with the merlin fits in the pictured backpack. Arm, vest, everything.

Buying more weights is up to you, depends on what you are balancing. Can't hurt to have them, even just as backups if you lose one or two. But I don't know that you'll need them for most situations. You can always buy more if you find you are taping batteries and coins to the rig often :-)

Good luck :)
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#4 James Elias

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 09:29 AM

Hi Alexander:

The Merlin and Arm and Vest come with enough weights to cover cameras in the Merlins specified weight range.
Clips are standard but are available as an extra option to anyone with an older vest.

The metal gimbal has been standard on the Merlin for some time now.

I hope this helps,
James
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#5 invalid username

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 06:05 PM

Thanks very much for the responses.

I'm having a hard time now choosing between the B&H package and the other one.

Does the arm package Tiffen sells include any way to transport the arm/vest?

If there's no arm/vest case included, I'll buy the B&H one which has a case for everything, but otherwise I'll stick with the cheaper one.

I'm also a little bit confused about Steadi-stands. The ones I've been able to find are chrome c stands, where as Tiffen official pictures show a black stand with telescoping 3-section legs. Could somebody explain the difference to me?

Finally I'm interested in knowing if a sandbag is needed with a fully-loaded docked Merlin?

Thanks!
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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 10 December 2010 - 07:56 PM

They are the same package, which includes the backpack, you could call Adorama to verify if you want. But the merlin arm/vest package comes with the backpack standard.
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Posted 17 December 2010 - 07:57 PM

Thanks. I checked, and that indeed in included in the package.

So to be sure I buy everything I need, could anybody tell me if I'll need a sandbag for a fully loaded Merlin + hanging the arm on the Tiffen SteadiStand? And if so, how much weight?
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