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Maximum weight for the pilot?


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#1 George Jacob

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 11:26 AM

Hi Folks,
I weighed the Sony EX3 with a 'large sized' camera battery and the weights on the rig. It comes to around 5.6 kgs! This is around 2 lbs or a little more than a kilo over what the company says it should carry - which is 4.5 kg or 10 lbs. If I put a smaller battery on the camera it still comes to 5.2 kgs. Can the gimbal take this without developing cracks and breaking off eventually? Quite concerned. Looking for advice from the collective experience and wisdom of this forum. Thanks, George
PS The rig in question is the Pilot.

Edited by George Jacob, 12 April 2012 - 11:27 AM.

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#2 Janice Arthur

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 04:57 PM

George;

You're fine I think.

I wouldn't put much else on your camera but manufacturing always has some plus and minus to it and I'd kind of keep an eye on your components. Its the extras you put on and that will really make it over the 10 lb limit.

Overall your stressing lots of stuff more so pay attention but you've bought it already and there's no turning back and I suspect you don't want to buy a more expensive rig either.

Over time but remember its a $3500. sled that will see some wear and tear and in a 1-3 years if you've gotten you money's worth and some profit out of it maybe you want to sell it and move up or buy a new one. God knows your camera will change in that time frame and you will have different expectations of your rig by then also.

Relax and enjoy and when you talk to Tiffenn occasionally you can ask them too.

Your arm may take more of a beating, its going to be at the max and your arm hand is going to be holding up a those extra few pounds so its going to make you more tired too.

Janice
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#3 George Jacob

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 05:45 AM

Thanks Janice.

I can see that you are a 'steadi' veteran and do spend time and efforts to help out many on this forum. God Bless.
George



George;

You're fine I think.

I wouldn't put much else on your camera but manufacturing always has some plus and minus to it and I'd kind of keep an eye on your components. Its the extras you put on and that will really make it over the 10 lb limit.

Overall your stressing lots of stuff more so pay attention but you've bought it already and there's no turning back and I suspect you don't want to buy a more expensive rig either.

Over time but remember its a $3500. sled that will see some wear and tear and in a 1-3 years if you've gotten you money's worth and some profit out of it maybe you want to sell it and move up or buy a new one. God knows your camera will change in that time frame and you will have different expectations of your rig by then also.

Relax and enjoy and when you talk to Tiffenn occasionally you can ask them too.

Your arm may take more of a beating, its going to be at the max and your arm hand is going to be holding up a those extra few pounds so its going to make you more tired too.

Janice


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#4 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

What Janice said...

The way that Tiffen spec's their camera weight, it's mass above the gimbal only. So if the weights you mentioned are down below rather than on the camera stage, you don't count it. Likewise you don't count the monitor and battery on the bottom of the sled.

In general with the Pilot, if the arm can hold the weight, the gimbal is engineered to handle it too.
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:36 PM

What Janice said...

The way that Tiffen spec's their camera weight, it's mass above the gimbal only. So if the weights you mentioned are down below rather than on the camera stage, you don't count it. Likewise you don't count the monitor and battery on the bottom of the sled.


that is incorrect, Tiffen specs a total arm lift. According to you, a camera that is max weight could fly and you then you could put anything you want on the bottom and that's simply not correct

In general with the Pilot, if the arm can hold the weight, the gimbal is engineered to handle it too.


That is correct.
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#6 Brian Freesh

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:02 PM

The G50 and G70 are total payload on the arm. The numbers they list for the smaller arms are total camera payload on that system. Those arms come with specific sleds, and Tiffen tells you how much weight you can get up top and still balance with below. It's confusing and not clear, but Mark is right about those weight limits and what they represent.
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#7 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 11:44 PM

George,
Regarding the EX cameras. I have used both the EX-1 and EX-3 with some success on the Pilot, but have found it frustrating as there's little room for accessories. After one adds a lite-panel, or a wireless mic receiver, the rig is maxed out and you're using your arm, rather than the springs to boom up. You might want to look into a used Flyer if you're doing a great deal of EX work. They're selling for as low as 5k these days, not much more than a new Pilot.
Regarding the Pilot's total payload: It may be possible to add more than 10 pounds on the Pilot sled and balance it, but the arm won't carry it properly. For instance: if you placed a seven pound camera on the Pilot and added three pounds of accessories (or weights) at the bottom of the sled you would be at your ten pound payload limit. In terms of sled payload specifications, the monitor and battery are not included, but anything additional is, whether it's a camera, an accessory or deadweight.
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#8 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:20 AM

The G50 and G70 are total payload on the arm. The numbers they list for the smaller arms are total camera payload on that system. Those arms come with specific sleds, and Tiffen tells you how much weight you can get up top and still balance with below. It's confusing and not clear, but Mark is right about those weight limits and what they represent.



No Brian, reread what he has said, weight below the gimbal doesn't count, which is incorrect, and where the confusion lies.

Bottom line is that this is a problem in documentation and consistency. An arm can carry so much, that's what counts, then give the weight of the sled as delivered and state that you can fly X pounds. I understand where Mark is coming from, it just needs to be inline with G50/G70/Luna/Steadyrig/Pro et al
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#9 Brian Freesh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:48 AM

It doesn't count in their payload total, because Tiffen has (theoretically) already accounted for it. Heavier camera means more weight below the gimbal and/or extended post. Which Tiffen takes into account (successfully or not). Therefore, Tiffen's weight limit for the pilot (10 lbs) is for the camera itself, and assumes that all the weight needed to balance that camera is used below. There are certainly too many variables for their estimate to be accurate for every set-up, but it's probably fine for the average consumer.

I completely agree that it's confusing because it's done differently. I don't know how well defined it is in the documentation these days, it was completely unclear 4 years ago when I bought my 2nd gen Flyer. But I sorted out years ago what 15lb payload was intended to mean from their perspective, and that it was true of all their lighter weight rigs.

ETA: To be clear, my initial point was just that the weight limits published by Tiffen are meant to indicate the most weight you can put above the gimbal in regards to all that come with a lightweight arm. I'd also agree that clarity in the documentation is where the confusion comes from
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#10 George Jacob

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:23 AM

Hi Group,
Thanks for all the replies on the weight issue.

We have two varying answers/opinions/understandings now. One says the total weight that includes what goes on the top and bottom and the other which says just the top weight. Is this forum 'looked at' by anyone from Tiffen or Steadicam itself? Perhaps they can throw some definitive light on the matter? They could tell us how much more we can max out on this front without harming the rig itself.

Best,
George
PS
Wow, we got it balanced dynamically too, yesterday! I mean perfectly. But I still can't figure how how we did it! I did have a look at all those maths formulae.... never understood a word. I went to school too long ago!
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#11 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

I believe what Mark is saying is that any "sled weights" from Tiffen would already be included in their calculations (i.e. they calculate the sled weight fully loaded with battery and full weights) thus you don't count them in your camera calculations. What is confusing and misleading (and what Eric is trying to say) is that additional weight added to the sled below the gimbal that was not part of Tiffen's calculations (i.e. a video transmitter, a bigger LCD monitor, etc) DOES need to be added even though the weight is below the gimbal. Make sense?

I too wish they would list "sled weight" and the "gross arm capacity."
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#12 Janice Arthur

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 12:14 PM

George;

Whatever the others said but here's the bottom line.

1) 10lb max cam and all the accessories.
2) the arm won't lift more than that, your right arm will have to lift the rest.
3) How did you end up with a rig that won't fit your camera? You seem to have had the camerea first.

4) Flyer is a better bet for you, sell this one and buy a second hand flyer.

There is lots of talk about the balancing and dynamic and all that but have you spent time wearing the rig? You've got it balanced try the operating part.

All this noodling keeps you from the getting sweaty part.

JA



Thanks.
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#13 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 01:06 PM

http://www.steadicam...ilot_0609sm.pdf

"The Pilot is for 2-10lb cameras." Steadicam Literature

I guess this assumes loading the bottom with Pilot parts as it ships..

For example my Transvideo monitor is heavier than the pilot standard monitor and my Vlock is 3rd party - so may or many not be heavier

I would guess lets say Ive upped the bottom of my rig by 2LB the rig would only be good for an 8LB camera

Obviously I would have to count lens matte box or any other topside gubbins in that 8LB

Thats how Id read it

S
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#14 Brian Freesh

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

I think Eric is talking about the variables I claimed are not a problem for the average consumer. We agree those variables are present, doesn't change what Tiffen's documentation is addressing, just points out it's limitations. And fair enough.

Those variables are what Sam has run into.

The problem with your math, Sam, is that with 2 extra lbs on the bottom, you'll need more weight up top to balance it properly. An 8 lb camera would work for the arm, but it'd be an extremely bottom heavy sled. I make no claims as to the accuracy of Tiffen's #s. I imagine in practice adding 2 lbs to the bottom of the sled will not greatly change the amount of weight you can safely put on top.
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#15 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 02:55 PM

The problem with your math, Sam, is that with 2 extra lbs on the bottom, you'll need more weight up top to balance it properly. An 8 lb camera would work for the arm, but it'd be an extremely bottom heavy sled. I make no claims as to the accuracy of Tiffen's #s. I imagine in practice adding 2 lbs to the bottom of the sled will not greatly change the amount of weight you can safely put on top.


Well you can have the camera high above the gimbal (im not saying you should or that that would count as 'proper' balance) - my camera needs to ride a little high

The maths was hypothetical BTW

Generally the arm works best for me in max lift settings - so I must be close..

S

Edited by Sam Morgan Moore, 16 April 2012 - 02:59 PM.

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