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Zephyr first looks


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#1 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 16 March 2011 - 02:16 PM

Here are some first looks at the Steadicam Zephyr, the new Tiffen rig that sits, along with the Scout, in the space between the Pilot and Archer 2 (where the Flyer LE has been). As I mentioned in the other thread, I will be measuring, weighing, and testing the charactaristics and limits of the rig in the coming days and posting my observations. For now, some quick photos.

Looks like I hit my upload limit for this posting. More later.

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#2 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 17 March 2011 - 08:44 PM

Here are some initial measurements:

Weight...

Arm: 9lb 0oz
Sled w/SD monitor: 6lb 5oz (w/o Merlin weights)
Dovetail: 0lb 6oz
Vest: 7lb 0oz

Sled Length (min) 22 1/2 in (from top of camera stage to bottom of sled at centerpost)
Sled Length (max) 36 1/2 in

Grip dia: 1 3/4 in
handle dia: 23 mm
outer post section: 27mm
inner post section: 23mm

Random notes on construction: the topstage is made of metal with a composite outer shell that screws in from underneath and holds the video and power connectors in place.

bottom stage is composite material and metal. Monitor and battery tubes are aluminum, borrowed from the Pilot design. There is a dovetail on the bottom of the sled for accessories, it looks like it's composite but on close inspection I believe is metal. There is also a 1/4-20 screw hole in the center of that dovetail.

That's all I have time for tonight. Tomorrow I'm borrowing a heavy ENG camera for some further tests.
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#3 Amando Crespo

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 07:58 PM

Ohh!!!....
Great post Mark.
I tried Zephyr in a Tiffen´s open day at London. I get in love at first fly ...I have (well today I WILL HAVE, it´s paid an waiting for it) one unit and your pict wake my illusion ..
Thanks mate... :) :)
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#4 David M. Aronson

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 08:48 PM

Does the vest have ratchet straps?
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#5 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

Does the vest have ratchet straps?


Yes indeed!

Also sturdier vertical spar and bridge plate, more rigid material wrapping the hips, and thicker pads compared to Flyer vest. New feature (very welcome for me) is that the shoulder clips are adjustable via thick velcro straps that hold them to the vest shell. Much easier to get a proper fit for me compared to the Flyer vest.
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#6 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 09:05 PM

Congratulations Amando!

Ohh!!!....
Great post Mark.
I tried Zephyr in a Tiffen´s open day at London. I get in love at first fly ...I have (well today I WILL HAVE, it´s paid an waiting for it) one unit and your pict wake my illusion ..
Thanks mate... :) :)


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#7 Nelson Villamil

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:12 AM

Hi Mark


Thank you for Zephyr pics.

If possible, other pics in real use real fly, camera and accesories.


Thanks

Nelson Villamil

(sorry my english is very bad)
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#8 Nelson Villamil

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 07:15 AM

For ARMANDO CRESPO.


Hola Armando.

Seria posible, por favor nos ayudaras tambien con fotos y comentarios de tu Zephyr, en especial para lso que queremos esta plataforma pero que se han generado algunso mal entedidos y podamos ir aclarando con informacion de quienes tienes en sus manos el Zephyr.

Cuando sea posible.

Gracias.



Nelson Villamil
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#9 Amando Crespo

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 07:30 PM

For ARMANDO CRESPO.


Hola Armando.

Seria posible, por favor nos ayudaras tambien con fotos y comentarios de tu Zephyr, en especial para lso que queremos esta plataforma pero que se han generado algunso mal entedidos y podamos ir aclarando con informacion de quienes tienes en sus manos el Zephyr.

Cuando sea posible.

Gracias.



Nelson Villamil

Of course, Nelson.
En cuanto reciba mi equipo os daré noticias.
Just´I have my unit, I´ll do it.
regards.
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#10 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 11:12 PM

Did some more measurements tonight, as well as putting a payload up on the sled and balancing on the stand. Unfortunately, my Sony QR plate was misbehaving, so I was unable to mount it up on the arm, for the sake of the safety of the gear. Borrowing another QR plate tomorrow.

Here's some observations:

1. A Panasonic HPX500 with Canon kit zoom, QR plate and dovetail and cables is 16lb 7oz. I set the gimbal slightly more than 1" below the topstage, and balanced with one Hytron 50 and A/B adapter plate (2lbs 6oz). Drop time 3 sec, post was extended to 22" (4 1/2 inches extension from the minimum of 17 1/2). Total weight of sled as configured: approx. 25lbs. Didn't use any Merlin weights and didn't fuss with dynamic balance, but it was fairly close. By the way, the first generation Flyer post is fixed at 17 1/2".

2. The overall outer dimensions of the arm are nearly identical to the first-generation Flyer arm, including the length and width of each of the bones. The only significant differences were A) the elbow is 1/2 inch wider (4" vs. 3 1/2") and the arm weighs a little more, due to the heavier springs, I suppose.

3. I only have my Flyer for a couple more days but I hope to be able to set up some objective tests to compare brightness and features with the new monitor. Hampered by lack of time. Tiffen has not yet provided any specs on the monitor. It does not appear to have image flip, but I can't be sure, due to a complete lack of documentation and no remote control.

Once I solve the problem of having a safe camera platform (to clarify, this was not due to the rig, it was due to the camera's QR plate) I will add weight until I reach the 24lb limit, and see what that does to post length, battery weight, ability to DB, and what the arm can lift. As I noted before, the math of 24lbs payload and 30lbs arm lift does not add up, since the sled is over 6lbs by itself, leaving no allowance for battery/counterweights.

More pictures of all this soon.
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#11 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:19 PM

Mark,

Thanks for posting the images and info'. Can you tell me if indeed the Zephyr arm "Post assembly permits different size post length", as described in the literature?

Is the arm post removable? Is the kit supplied with different length arm posts?

Looking forward to the results of your 24 pound load test.

Carl
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#12 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:41 PM

Mark,

Keep in mind when you do your weight tests that no 2 springs will be 100% identical, some will have more tension than others. I trust that Tiffen is testing each arm to make sure it will carry at least 30 lbs, but yours may easily carry more. My flyer arm carries 32 lbs. They're only spec'd to ~22.

Based on your findings, they either need to change the arm max weight to 32 lbs or lower the payload weight to 22 lbs, but that depends if they are testing the arms to 32 lbs.
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#13 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 12:58 PM

Carl,

Peter Abraham has confirmed that the arm post is removable and replacable with a 10-inch extended arm post, available for around $30 if I remember correctly. I haven't looked into see how the swap is done.

Mark,

Thanks for posting the images and info'. Can you tell me if indeed the Zephyr arm "Post assembly permits different size post length", as described in the literature?

Is the arm post removable? Is the kit supplied with different length arm posts?

Looking forward to the results of your 24 pound load test.

Carl


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#14 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 01:08 PM

Brian,

Understood. Really two questions...

1. What does it actually lift in practice?
2. What is the explanation for the "impossible" published specs? Are they a typo or a result of some thinking on Tiffen's part that I can't quite understand (maybe having to do with the Tango)

Mark,

Keep in mind when you do your weight tests that no 2 springs will be 100% identical, some will have more tension than others.


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#15 Brian Freesh

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Posted 21 March 2011 - 02:49 PM

I'm betting the published spec's are a mistake somewhere, or some intent to keep people from overloading it. I'd love to know what yours lifts, with the understanding that someone else's could lift more or less.
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