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Balancing issues with D800+grip


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#1 Jimmy Tan

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:30 AM

Hi i am new to steadicam, just checking has anyone balanced a D800 with grip on a Steadicam merlin?
I tried mine and it either keeps dropping towards the right or backwards, i suspect the grip is making the right side heavier? I am using a 50mm 1.8G btw.
Any tips from the pros out there? Thanks in advance!
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#2 Tom Wills

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:14 PM

2 things - and I apologize if this is a little short - I'm typing this on my phone.

1. A 50mm, even on a full frame camera, is going to be nasty for a beginner on a Merlin. 35mm or 28mm will make you a happier camper.

2. If its dropping towards the back or right, move it to the left or to the front, either by changing your screw hole, adjusting the trim rollers, or sliding the camera plate for front to back. Also make sure nothing on the camera is moving - neck straps and such would kill you on a Merlin.

Also one thing to watch for is the battery grip wobbling. I know I've had vibration issues with battery grips on a canon 7D, so watch out for it. Tiny vibrations on a Merlin are huge.
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#3 David M. Aronson

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:46 PM

Yeah, the battery grip is a bad idea for a lot of reasons.
First off, It introduces a lot of wobble and is not rigid at all. Also, having a battery grip plus a large lens is even worse.
Secondly, It adds a lot of weight. This may be a good thing on larger rigs with high minimum capacities and arms, but for a merlin, you better start working out, because you'll arms will start getting sore really fast. If you have the arm and vest, which are cheap enough that everyone should have with a merlin, disregard this.

Anyway, since you're not having it in portrait mode and the only other benefit is improved battery life, scrap the battery grip while on a steadicam.
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#4 Jimmy Tan

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 12:42 AM

Thanks guys! Will try it without the grip and see how it goes~
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#5 Nigel Barker

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:34 AM

I don't know if this is the case with the D800 but one reason to use the battery grip on the Canon 5D2 or 5D3 is that without it you need to remove the camera from the stage in order to access to the base of the camera to change the battery. While it's not too bad if you use a quick release plate you will still need to rebalance once the camera is back in place. With the battery grip it's simple to change batteries through the rear door (5D2) or sliding out the battery carrier (5D3).
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#6 Jimmy Tan

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 03:36 AM

I tried balancing without the grip and its much better now, only thing is when i pan left/right it seems to waver about slightly. Like what nigel said its easier to change batteries with the grip but i guess i just have to leave it off for now =)
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#7 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 05:33 PM

I think with the grip it was the 'rig' was top heavy, spread the arm or add more mass to the bottom and try again with the grip

you may need an off centre hole when you screw the camera on but you should be able to get the camera roughly over the centre of the 'rig'

if you can get it to balance with the grip I guess the rig will be more stable

'wavering about' you know you must 'point' the camera by using the thumb and forefinger, it wont fly itself?

S

Edited by Sam Morgan Moore, 22 September 2012 - 05:36 PM.

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#8 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 06:32 PM

I don't know if this is the case with the D800 but one reason to use the battery grip on the Canon 5D2 or 5D3 is that without it you need to remove the camera from the stage in order to access to the base of the camera to change the battery. While it's not too bad if you use a quick release plate you will still need to rebalance once the camera is back in place. With the battery grip it's simple to change batteries through the rear door (5D2) or sliding out the battery carrier (5D3).

If you get your marks on the plate (take a pencil and actually write on it after balancing your rig, you will find your balance really easily.
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