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Possibly purchasing first steadicam


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#1 MattClegg

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 01:48 PM

Hi all,

 

I stumbled upon this forum while doing research into steadicams, I've recently started a full time job (kit rental company) which has allowed me to save up enough money for a steadicam. I've been very interested in them for sometime, but they've only just become financially possible for me.

 

I completed the Tiffen Bronze Steadicam course where I got to grips with the Zephyr, Pilot and Scout. I also have the opportunity to use gimbals like the Ronin and Movi at work. After using both of them I've decided to go with steadicam.

 

I've been looking at the Zephyr and the Scout but I'm unsure if I need a steadicam that can take large-ish cameras. Obviously I need to start practicing and eventually use it on shoots, but would I be okay with something like the scout or pilot over the Zephyr?

 

Appologies if I haven't worded this very well.

 

Thanks,

Matt


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#2 Andre Trudel

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 03:02 PM

Hi Matt, welcome. This forum has been around for many years, take the time to read as many posts as possible and you’ll find answers to this and many other question. It usually starts with taking a workshop. It sounds like you did a workshop for small size sleds. That’s a good start but the world of ‘big’ rigs is quite a big jump from the smaller ones. Start with the archives of this forum. Take your time so you don’t regret purchasing a set up that wont work for you.

 

All the best. 


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#3 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 03:39 PM

Hi Matt,
Congrats and welcome. Choosing your first rig is always delicate. It's expensive, you don't know much about what you want/need etc...
The first thing you need to decide is your weight capacity, what are the cameras that you plan on using, and with which accessories? Look for the manufacturers specs and weights and addict all together plus generously take into account the extra unexpected hack and wires etc. you will then find the minimum lift capacity for your sled.

I personally started with a used Zephyr, there are a lot of them on the forum and are great first rigs. They work wonderfully well with medium cameras like the Red Epic Sony FS7 etc. it gets too small with Alexas and other fully accessorized cameras ,long zoom lens or anamorphics. The Zephyr is often consider as the smallest of the "big rigs" As for scout and pilot, they are more of a DSLR or small cameras world (Blackmagic et all). Also keep in mind that stabilizers maintain a fairly high market value even when used if well maintained so you can sell back and get a higher one a few years down the road when the limitations becomes an issue (I upgraded about 2.5 years after to a full GPI Pro rig, different price...)

As said above, take your time and read what others are saying there is a search bar (also googling site:www.steadicamforum.com your question here, can sometimes bring other posts to light)
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#4 Teddy Smith SOC

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 09:11 PM

I just got a Zephyr. The very first call I got for a gig was to fly a fully built Alexa that was way out of the Zephyr's weight range. I haven't even got a job yet and already need a bigger rig.
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#5 Victor Lazaro

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 08:11 AM

If you get a out of range gig, make sure to redirect it to another operator with the right gear. I had a few calls that I couldn't do when I had my zephyr too, that's why you need to make sure you are getting the right rig for your market. If you need bigger, try looking into al old archer or something like that.
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#6 Josh Powell

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 01:12 PM

Hey, I'm in a similar position having recently completed Garrett Brown's  Steadicam Course in PA.

 

I'm looking to get my first rig and initially thought I'd get a zephyr but enough people seem to suggest skipping that step because it can't handle the weight of pro camera set-ups.

 

I guess I'd like a recommendation. If not the zephyr, which model will be able to handle the demands of most pro cameras? How valuable is it to get a newer model versus a heavy-duty older, used rig? And given all the various set-ups, which battery mounts do most people suggest? I've been lead to believe V-Mounts are better and tougher than ABs.

 

Before I drop the big money what else would you pros suggest I def do or do not get? keep in mind? and where's the best place to buy and/or get stuff fixed?

 

i am very much obliged.

 

jp


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#7 MattClegg

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 06:15 AM

Apologies for the late reply, work has been pretty busy.

I would most likely use the cameras we stock at the kitroom I work for. These are predominantly the FS7, c300 and c300 mkii. We are also getting an Alexa Mini along with a set if Cooke S4 lenses. Accessories would be along the lines of redrock micro remote follow focus, terradecks, TV logic monitors, etc.

Thanks for all the replies.

Matt
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