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Adding weight to the Merlin


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#1 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 09:40 AM

I use a Merlin with a 5D II (sometimes with a 24 1.4 II and sometimes with a 24-70 2.8).

With these two lenses the Merlin is almost at full weight which is great for drop times especially with the 24-70. The problem I have is when using it with lighter lenses. Just a few grams makes a world of a difference in terms of stability. How would I go about adding weight to the stage of the Merlin so that I'm always using it at its full capacity?
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#2 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 08:43 PM

Nobody seems to be weighing in...no pun intended. I decided to add an additional manfrotto adapter plate and also custom ordered some copper flat bars to stack and velcro onto the stage. I wanted to go with tungsten because of the density but it was too expensive...copper seems to be the next best metal at an affordable price.

I'm now using the Merlin with a 5DII, rode videomic, two manfrotto adapter plates and the 24-70 at 24. I have to use all of my counterweights for this setup but my drop time is incredible. Putting a CF card in the chamber or taking off the lenses cap causes me to have to re-balance. Very different experience than a 1-2 second drop time.

Edited by Elliot Gabor, 06 June 2012 - 08:49 PM.

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#3 Fabian Begnert

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:50 AM

Sound like you fixed your own challange. And mighty fine too.

I can just say I use the Merlin too, with a GH2 though, and I do know what you mean with the stability the Merlin is very, VERY sensitive when operating. And balancing, of course. Sounds like more is more, maybe I should try to fly close to the max limit myself?

Speaking of Merlin, have you had problem with dynamic balance? I have a theory that the off-set front weigh is bound to cause improper balance, but I can't really tell for sure (so hard to spin it evenly).

/F
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#4 Elliot Gabor

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 01:45 PM

I havent even gotten into dynamic balance with the merlin since as you say its very difficult to spin properly and there really isnt a way to properly adjust dynamic balance without sacrificng some very key positioning.

Just an update/disclaimer on adding additional weight, it seems that the more i max out the weight of the merlin, the more play gets introduced into the rig. I'm currently having issues with dovetail locking down properly without shifting and i'm having trouble with play in the sled where it fold up which really affects tilt shots. That being said i really feel with additional weight, proper balancing and practice flying, the merlin has new life and can do basic shots that look just as good as a pilot.
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