A friendly warning to users of the excellent and durable Steadicam Ultra arm ( or whatever you guys call it.)
While grabbing the rig off the stand and beginning to tighten the wing nuts on the arm, PING! Everyone heard it. At first I thought maybe the spring covers caught on something and made the sound when the arm straightened under the weight. Grabbing a flashlight, we looked over the plates where the arm bearings meet, looking for the cracks Mike O'Shea warned me about. Nothing.
So I said, either it's OK, or this will be a very expensive take.
No problem, but then I noticed the rig was pulling really hard to the left. Uh Oh.
Park the rig, remove the arm and look at the screws. Hmm.
Having no backup socket, 50mm on the Steadicam became 250mm on the dolly and a morning of phone calls.
Peter Abraham, God love you, offered to lend me his socket until Tiffen Fedexed the new one. The new and improved one.
I hope I can help a fellow steadicam mule in their time of need.
In the meantime, if you have a titanium socket with the tool-free adjustments, seriously consider swapping to the solid steel socket. If you use a back mounted vest, there is no reason for the tool-free type. Those adjustments are redundant.
Here's the pic...