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SK2 Low Mode - S.O.S

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#1 AndySchwartz


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Posted 15 September 2005 - 09:58 PM

Hey there

Just got my low mode bracket and set it up with a DSR300.

It seems like after I balance it out, even with a 2 sec drop, that I am not getting all that low with the camera, maybe about 2 feet off the floor, or a little higher.

I am guessing that the lack of telescoping post, and single arcticulating arm is what is preventing me from getting any lower. i lower my connector down all the way and that dropped the camera down a little more.

the other thing is that any pans i do, the camera is barely missing the arm, if i have any tilt on the camera, it hits everytime.

should i add weight to the monitor end and that would allow me to move the gimbal up the post toward the monitor, as well as give me more clearance. i only have hytron 50's so that kind of does not help on the battery weight part. any way to add weight to the monitor end?

any advice/comments?


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#2 Monochrome


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Posted 15 September 2005 - 11:50 PM


I had the same problem when I first tried a low mode configuration with an EFP. Even with a CRT monitor and a brick battery I found I needed more weight to get the gimble up and the camera clear of the arm. I ended up having a metal plate made which I bolted to the EFP base (which conveniently has two threaded holes). This adds weight to the overall set up, but makes low mode viable without adding some kind of post extension. I imagine you might be able to clamp some form of ballast to the SK post, on the monitor end. This isn't the most elegant solution, but it will work without over-hauling your sled.

Carl Wiedemann
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#3 WillArnot


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Posted 16 September 2005 - 10:16 AM

Cheapest / quickest solution to avoid hitting sled on arm while panning: MOVE THOSE FEET. Lazy feet will only bring you grief with Steadicam. You can't expect to just stand there panning around, and not have the sled bump into something. Even in normal high mode you only have about 45° pan to either side before you have to move the sled away from you to stop the battery or monitor hitting your leg. See below.

For the lo-mode issue, gimbal to camera distance is obviously key here. ie. increase it. Personally a 2 sec drop is the quickest I ever have it. Try even slower, therefore buy more gimbal distance, and practice operating with a lighter touch and find how the sled will do a lot better job of maintaining a frame than you think.

Not familiar w/ SK sled but the two obvious ways are to increase post length (get bottom mass further from camera - therefore increase gimbal to camera distance)


maintain length of post and add weight to battery / monitor end of sled. This will also increase gimbal to camera distance. Obviously the further away from the gimbal you can manage to attach this weight, the greater result you will have with less weight.

I like the brass weights from my antlers if I ever need to add mass anywhere on the sled. They are low profile and easy to attach with velcro and come in 3 sizes.

As for the overall height of your low mode:

to get camera lower generally a longer center post is needed. This is why the super post exists for the bigger sleds. Does the SK post telescope? Extend that puppy.

You can also attach drop down extension posts to your steadicam arm. If you use a 'F' or 'D' style bracket to drop the gimbal down off the arm, consider Tom Gleason's Angled 'D' bracket. Very nice mod to get the sled a little further away from the arm and help avoid the clearance issues you are experiencing.

http://home.att.net/~tdgleason/ and go to PRODUCTS and see 'Angled D Bracket'

Remember: PAN WITH YOUR FEET/BODY. This will help keep the sled 90° to the arm and stop it hitting.
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#4 Matt Burton

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Posted 16 September 2005 - 08:03 PM

Hi Will,
I'm totaly hearing what your saying, is realy good to hear you say what i have been finding out the hard way for time.

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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 01:55 PM


To address a specific point that Will brings up, ARE you using a D, J, or F bracket for low mode? (in other words, is the gimbal hanging upside down from the bottom of the arm, or right side up from the top).From what you describe (camera not that low and hitting the arm) it sounds like you might not be?
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#6 AndySchwartz


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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:30 PM

hey guys

first off, thanks for all the help and comments.

the sk2 post in non-telescoping. so i can't go that way.
i could add some weight to the monitor end.

will - if i slow down the drop time in lo-mode, won't i be moving the gimbal down the post closer to the camera and therefore be gaining space between the camera and the ground? i think so, which is why i went for a 2sec drop, even though i usually go for 3sec. also, since i can't extend the post, i could try to add weight to the monitor end of the rig, but i am not sure how to keep it on there. i have some cardellini's and mafer's and maybe there is a way to mount a few pounds on. i don't have any problem with the rig hitting me, but it hits the arm. especially if i have the arm pushed down. i think though you are right, i probably just need to get my ass moving and grooving a little more and move the arm around a bit more.


thanks for responding. i am using a d-bracket with the sk2. the gimbal is upsidde down in lo-mode, my grip is on top of the gimbal and when it is on the stand, it is resting on the gimbal top and not the bottom, which makes it a little bit tricky coming off the stand because the gimbal arm/yoke is not resting flat down the post, it is sticking up in the air a little. i do not know if that makes sense.

is anyone getting my drift? i feel like my description is pretty poor today for some reason.
maybe i should take some pics.

i am sure i will get it figured out at the workshop in 2 wks.

thanks again.

first time in lo-mode

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