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Glidecam V25 Advice.

Glidecam V25

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#1 SimonChamp

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 11:57 AM

I'm new to the steadicam world and have connections with a friend who's big in the music video sector. I am going to a few steadicam classes with Tiffen to start learning how to operate. Im just thinking ahead a little as i want to plan my money!!

 

Is the Glidecam brand another hyped up internet lie or are they actually worth considering as a working tool?

 

Any help would be of much help!

 

Simon


Edited by SimonChamp, 08 March 2015 - 11:58 AM.

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#2 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 12:54 PM

What's your budget?


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#3 SimonChamp

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 01:44 PM

Hi Kevin, Thanks for you reply.

 

I have about £3/4K and I'm looking to go second hand for my first rig just to give me enough to start moving and then invest more later once i get into the swing it all.

 

I have had a look at Steadicam models and have seen a Flyer LE for sale for a good price and would be able to fly a Arri Alexa but its right on the edge of its weight capacity and i don't want to be stretching springs or causing any damage to my back if the vest isn't designed to hold 7kg.


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#4 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 03:04 PM

The flyer is nowhere near being designed to carry an Alexa. You can put an Alexa body on it. But you can't fly it properly. The smallest rig for Alexa would be an archer.
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#5 Beau Cuizon

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Posted 08 March 2015 - 10:21 PM

My first rig was a Glidecam X45/V25 arm combo.  Also had a Gold Series arm at one point, and ended up with an EFP Blue Spring.  The thing about the higher end Glidecams (in my experience) was that they are competent rigs.  They are built relatively well, and they work like they're supposed to.

 

I liken it to comparing cars...your PRO/XCS/et al. is like a Bentley/Rolls Royce.  Bespoke, high end, spare no expense.  Real craft-work made by craftspeople for craftspeople.  Steadicam would be like Mercedes AMG, BMW M-class cars.  Proven, slick, does what you want it to, how you want it to, when you want it to, and still very high performance.  Glidecam is like a Honda, or Toyota.  It has just want you need, none of what you don't, and maybe missing some stuff you wish it had. 

 

The X45 sled I had was like a fat V25.  And oddly sized, but solid, aluminum 1.75" post (V-25 has a 1.5" i think), 3 HD-SDI inputs/outs, plus 4 (2-pin) lemos for power out, but strictly 12v.  I believe it's the same with the V25.  I liked it because the sled was short (in length..which is the way I preferred to run it) and it had plenty of video in and outs.  You could get dynamic balance, as the battery hanger allowed fore and aft adjustments, as well as 180 degrees up or down for the battery mounts themselves.  Top stage was solid, with x-y adjustments and fore/aft adjustments set with self-locking worm gears.  The gimbal was pretty good.  When I bought it, I had to re center it, but it was simple to do.  Tedious, but simple.  Seemed smooth in all axes, no major problems. The post had kipping levers for locks, which worked okay as "no-tools" locks.  Sometimes, depending on payload, it was better to just use the hex driver to tighten everything down.  There are index markings on the post, but no "mechanical" indexing..that is to say, the lower stage, once unlocked, can freely rotate around it's vertical axis, so that you have to manually set its orientation to the upper stage by feel, or by eye.  At least I had to, because the printed markings on the post for orientation indexing didn't match. That's one thing that really bothered me.  QC!

 

I believe that the V25 sled is similar.

 

The V-25 arm was like a...it's kind of like the EFP arm I had, but it didn't have the weight capacity or the build quality.  It was, however, smooth, well-behaved,  and light.  It's a 3a design, though, so you get all the quirks of a 3a type arm.  The other thing is that if it's a standard V25 you're looking at, Glidecam has a proprietary (which is to say non-standard) socket block and socket block adapter system...it's still 4 way adjustable, but you won't be able to use vests or mounts with industry standard sockets/adapters.  Heaviest rig I flew was for broadcast...HPX2000 with an old NuComm TX...sled/camera was probably 40-45lbs, and that V25 arm seemed slightly over the limit. 

 

The Glidecam V25 vest was...meh.  It's competent.  Very basic.  All velcro straps.  It works.  Not a lot of support, or adjustments but it's light weight.  No emergency release, if you need or want that kind of thing.

 

That's been my experience with Glidecams...hope this helps!


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#6 SimonChamp

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 07:10 AM

Thank you so much! you could almost start up your own reviews website haha! perfect! Well once i have attend the Tiffen course i shall look into the V25 a little more and then decide once i have had ago on the top end steadicams.

 

thanks for your input, this really did help and excuse my lack of knowledge thinking a flyer would take an Alexa.

 

Simon


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#7 Thomas Crescenzo

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:56 AM

And oddly sized, but solid, aluminum 1.75" post (V-25 has a 1.5" i think), 3 HD-SDI inputs/outs

 

Nice review... couple corrections on the V-25 though (It was my first sled)

 

The V-25 is an odd sized post as well. I believe it's about 1.25". The V-25 was not built to take a digital signal. Glidecam did offer an HD upgrade option around the time they were introducing the X-45.

 

One caution with the V-25 Gimbal: the main bearing is very open at the top and bottom and it's easy to accumulate dirt and grime there. It will require more frequent cleaning than some of the other systems out there.


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#8 Beau Cuizon

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:24 PM

Thanks for the clarification.  Also, ditto on the gimbal !


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#9 Thomas Neumann

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 10:41 AM

Is there any way to exchange the sockets (on arm and vest) against industry standards?


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#10 Mike Marriage

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 03:49 PM

I've also owned an V25 and although it obviously can't compete with the higher end rigs, it is very good for the money. It is fairly solid and performs well considering the price.

 

I actually like the socket block and found it easier to adjust than a standard socket block so try it before you decide to change it.


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#11 Beau Cuizon

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Posted 15 March 2015 - 04:22 PM

Thomas,

 

I've actually installed a "industry standard" socket block on my V25 arm, when I had it:

Attached File  image008.jpg   228.05KB   7 downloads

 

The part circled in red,  and socket block was from a Gold Series Arm that I also owned.  That Gold arm was was too stiff for lighter camera packages, but I liked my Gold Vest better, so I switched the socket blocks so I could use my V25 with my Gold Vest.  As you can see, it is possible.  I asked Mr Thomas Howie at Glidecam about acquiring just the part circled in red, along with some washers/thrust bearings, and this was his reply:

 

"Unfortunately, we do not sell just this part as it is machined into the pre-arm – we only offer this as an upgrade – which is $1795.00 and you would need to send you arm in for this to be done."

 

I'm not sure what he meant when he said the part is machined into the Pre Arm.  I was able to remove the hinge pin, retaining screw, washers and thrust bearings in the Gold Arm, and install them into the V25 with really no problems, along with that part circled in red (which needs to be there in order for you to use the industry standard socket block)..Needless to say, I thought it was too expensive for me, so I stuck with my solution.  It was a pain to install and remove it from arm to arm, but it was better than paying $1795, for me. 

 

Attached File  image(1).jpg   125.62KB   8 downloadsAttached File  image.jpg   160.61KB   6 downloads

 

You can see it working here on my old Gold vest.

 

As far as I can remember, Glidecam USED to make a "Fork to Industry standard" adapter...and they still may.  It's listed on the Adorama website.  Search for :

Glidecam V-Series Adapter, for Connecting V-Series Arm to Gold Vest

it's listed at $749.

 

Anyways, hope this helps!

 


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#12 SimonChamp

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 08:59 AM

Im really thinking of going for this to start practising on. Just done my steadicam workshop on a 3 day course and completely have the bug to get out and fly. Luckily i do own a camera so i can use a weight plate to get going... Everyone seems to be saying there are a reasonably good piece of kit.... id love to get a real steadicam but i just cannot afford it right away. Would anyone know if there is a major difference in the feel between a glide cam and its equivalent in steadicam? i don't wanna practise on this then find out the steadicams are a lot different to use.

 

Thanks so much for your replays i really do appreciate everyones input


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#13 Beau Cuizon

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Posted 08 April 2015 - 10:24 AM

Are Glidecams similar to Steadicams?  Yes.  But like I was mentioning earlier, you'll definitely notice the difference in some things small, and some things not so small.  In principal, they are similar devices that demand you perform similar actions to get similar results.  It's like cameras...you know when you start out, you don't really notice the differences...all of them appear to be "the same" at first glance.  One camera's viewfinder is larger or smaller, the buttons are laid out different from model to model...and it's not a big deal until you develop a feel for what you like and don't like.  Or what the individual models can and can't do well.  In Glidecam vs/ Steadicam, I feel like it was close enough in build quality and design to start out with.... But that's just my opinion...Hope this helps!


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