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#1 surreal

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 05:23 PM

hi all, i was doing some research about steadicams, and came across this site. i am a university student, specialising in camera ops and lighting . presently i can manipulate a dsr 570 to my favour as well as a 790, dont have a prob with my tailored to be profession. i am now looking to be a steadicam operator, there is one unit at my college, but no one has never really seen it, as it is out of use as there is no one qualified to use it. i also understand that you can really damage your back, if you dont know what your doing. i have called up a few operators to talk to them but they behave like some elitisit from the planet Zor, and treat you as if, i am not to know anything. i hope these forums dont brush me aside either, as there is only so much research i can do. next week for the first time an ex student will be signing to take it out on behalf of my friend, as i am the camera op for a short film they are doing, he is willing to give us some kind of training, they chose me to op this session as theyare pleased with the work i have done with holding a cam on my shoulder and whipping on fluid heads. with this crash course i will be doing, i am not going to take it for literature, i still intend to book for a workshop.
my question is, i have seen some S.C for like 2000 pounds and then others for 30000. now if this were a car then i can see where the costs go, allows, ecu, turbo charger, but since i know nothing about brands, and good parts on a steadi cam unit then i really dont know what i am paying for, is it worth starting with a rig that costs about 2k pounds, or should i save some more, also, what brands should i look out for??
thanks
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#2 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 06:39 PM

Hey, you wouldn't be going Ravensbourne College by any chance would you...?

...Just to satisfy my curiosity....
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#3 Mikko Wilson

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 06:43 PM

Hi,
First a quick note: we prefer to use our real names here on the forum, prerably as our username, but at least at the bottom of our posts. Just a Friendly thing you know :-)

You are lucky to have a rig avaiable to you for free. I'd sugest using it to learn as much as you can while figuring out a future rig for yourself.
There is much information online about these things.. if you are compleaty stuck, go to www.steadicam-ops.com and in the "Manuals" section you will find the Manual for the Steadicam Ultra. Rigs do vary, often a lot, but the same basic pricipleas and operating mathods hold true for all rigs.
Do you know what moddle rig your school has? - If not post a picture of it here and it'll be identifide in no time!

There are lots and lots of parts to a Steadicam, and many of them very important. There's a lot of complicated and very precise technology and engineering in use to build them - that's why they cost so much.
To compare to a car would basically be to say: "Why does a car cost so much, it's only an Engine connected throguh a gearbox to some wheels. Oh and throw in some brakes and a steering wheel." There is much more to both.
A workshop will definaly be a good way to go. Sounds like you are in the UK ("pounds") there is a company called OpTex that does them near london. Some operators also do one on one teaching. - I'll let them introduce themselves :-)

About brands (and without starting a "which rig is better" debate - this is my oppinon):
"Steadicam" IS a brand. It's the original rig invented by Garrett Brown, and currently manufactured by Tiffen.
Other good brands are MK-V, PRO, etc. there's a bunch, i'll let them sell themselves.
There are many others. One that gets thrown around a lot is Glidecam because of their fearce marketing. They are one of the low-mid range knockoffs. some knockoffs are considered worse, some better. I'll tread carefully here by not saying much.

Regardless of which brand you get, the general advice is (if you are serious (if you arn't, it's normally too expensive to just lark aroudn with)) is to get the best rig you can possibly afford, and then go with it. - This of course applies to most things, the more you invest, the more you get for it.
And just as other buisnesses, spending more on a rig WILL show up in the long run. - Some have more "bang for the buck" than others, but the ones with most bang, still take most bucks.

- Mikko
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#4 surreal

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:32 AM

my name is steven williams, i do apologise about the "nick name" thing and i understand about it being a friendly thing.

richard, yep its ravensbourne, 2nd year broadcast ops.
mikko, thanks for the tips, i gonna see if i can get some info on it today. you were "threading" (get it) :rolleyes: very carefully, i know how the better than debates get out of hand, i presently own a recording studio, and i am about to pawn it off to purchase this gear, along with my student loan, but ill look into the MK-V pro. as for the optex course, i used another part of my loan to have the fees aside, now i getting thretened to get kicked out, i ll deal with it though.
thanks for the reply mikko.
60 views and 1 reply, i guess its a steadicam thing :rolleyes:
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#5 JobScholtze

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:26 AM

My guess is, rent a lot of brands before buying anything. This way you can compare the different brands with your needs.

Just my 2 cents
Job
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#6 surreal

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 07:39 AM

they how this thing is locked up i could only get pics of pics, i hope these are useful





http://img239.echo.c...=img33513ai.jpg

http://img232.echo.c...=img33480bb.jpg



any info would be useful, i gonna persue it though.
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#7 Howard J Smith

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 12:00 PM

Hi Steven

The system in your photos is a 'Steadicam Mini' (with NP-1 mounts)
You can get the info about it from www.steadicam.com or Robin at Optex I am sure will be able to help you (Say hi from me)

Hope this is of some help to you.
all the best
Howard
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#8 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 12:09 PM

Hey Steven, if you?re staying on for the third year, or are allowed... I'll see you in September. I'll be happy to help you with the Steadicam situation and you can fly my rig...that?s if it's all finished then.


Btw, you have a Steadicam Mini, not the best rig, and the arm is pretty...ermmm, to be diplomatic...limited. (edit: Beaten to it, Howard?s too quick off the mark.)

MKV is going to cost you more than you can afford, have a look at ProGear, their customer service isn't amazing, but their products are of a high enough standard.
Also have a look at getting maybe a second hand EFP arm, but even this will cost you at least £3000.
Do have a good read through all the resources on this site. The forum goes back a few years.


If you need any more information, I'm on msn @ rick_video@hotmail.com

-Rick.
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#9 surreal

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:24 PM

man you guys are sharp as pins, not even the college knows what they have.
thank you all for the help man. i even get details on what mounts are on there, B)

edit: Beaten to it, Howard?s too quick off the mark.)

you can say that again

yeah lewis what a coincidence, man itll be good to see you there, i will be doing third year if i keep my grades up, got like 4 more assignments left due in next week, so ill be focusing on that this week end. i apreciate you offering for me to use your rig thats really kind of you
, i ll be going to the broadcst show that will be held on the 1,2,3, of june not sure which date yet, anyone from here going? maybe we could link up there you never know.
i tried a unit there last year, and i tell you for the first time its as akward as learning to ride.
at his moment i feel really frustrated as i have booked out a dsr 570 mini red head kit and sticks. i was editing an assignment (word doc) all day today to be handed in 4.30 only to find when i reach home that the guy inside stores never issued any batteries <_< :( not a happy bunny. getting the assignment right was more important though, and i got that done, so it aint that bad, (except for when i lookat it and reailse i cant use it :rolleyes: )
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#10 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 07:12 AM

I have been in the business for about a thousand years, I have been an operator since 1994 and working as a Steadicam operator for the past 9 years......... In my humble opinion I would say that you should do nothing but research for the next year at least. Don't buy a thing unless it comes to you at an incredible price. The equipment is expensive, the business is large, the options are many and the future is vast and unclear for a young person coming out of school and into the "biz".
If you do buy, buy a good used rig; hopefully from someone who is "getting out" or upgrading and interested in getting some quick cash. Also for 3000 pounds you should be able to get a 3A arm, which is about 100% better than an EFP arm.
Finally, define the type of work you are interested in and what you think your near term future prospects are (3years) and cater your rig to that time line.
Good luck.
Jamie.
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#11 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 01:19 PM

I have been in the business for about a thousand years, I have been an operator since 1994 and working as a Steadicam operator for the past 9 years.........  In my humble opinion I would say that you should do nothing but research for the next year at least. Don't buy a thing unless it comes to you at an incredible price.  The equipment is expensive, the business is large, the options are many and the future is vast and unclear for a young person coming out of school and into the "biz".
If you do buy, buy a good used rig; hopefully from someone who is "getting out" or upgrading and interested in getting some quick cash.  Also for 3000 pounds you should be able to get a 3A arm, which is about 100% better than an EFP arm. 
Finally, define the type of work you are interested in and what you think your near term future prospects are (3years) and cater your rig to that time line.
Good luck.
Jamie.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You really recon I could find a good 3A for 3 grand? Everything I've seen has been around 4-5. I guess I'm just not looking hard enough.
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#12 David George Ellis

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:10 PM

You really recon I could find a good 3A for 3 grand? Everything I've seen has been around 4-5.  I guess I'm just not looking hard enough.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey Richard,

I did a currency exchange and at the standard of 1 GBP = 1.82728 USD, it figures that 3,000.00 GBP = 5,481.85 USD. That's very close to what the market demand is. It's around what I'm selling mine for. You're looking in the right places. It's the timing that will muss things up.

ONE,

David
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#13 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:39 PM

You really recon I could find a good 3A for 3 grand? Everything I've seen has been around 4-5.  I guess I'm just not looking hard enough.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey Richard,

I did a currency exchange and at the standard of 1 GBP = 1.82728 USD, it figures that 3,000.00 GBP = 5,481.85 USD. That's very close to what the market demand is. It's around what I'm selling mine for. You're looking in the right places. It's the timing that will muss things up.

ONE,

David

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Cheers for the reply David, I'll be looking to buy in the next few months. At least it puts things in perspective.
There is quite a bit of choice out there. I was also looking at the ProGear arm, but I can?t find too much information on it. It seems a good price if it is as good as I'm lead to believe.
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#14 RobinThwaites

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 04:59 AM

Hi Steven

The rig at Ravensbourne is indeed a Mini which they bought some four years ago when we were running workshops with them, this was until they shut the Short Course Unit. We have been in touch with several different people at the college in an attempt to find a way that either students or staff could use it but so far without success. Politics eh?

If you want to pursue this further I would be happy to help, please feel free to contact me at the office.

Robin Thwaites
OpTex
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#15 surreal

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:27 AM

politics or politrics, it doesnt get us anywhere. 2years at this college and i have only been fortunate enough to see pictures of it. :ph34r: a bit like something from the pyramids, imagine how it feels going to study and not being able to access or make use of present gear :angry: i ll see whats the situation and contact you on the matter.

thanks
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