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First Steadicam

steadicam first rig zephyr newbie

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#1 Chris_Windows


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Posted 24 June 2016 - 06:06 PM

Hello all! 

So I have been on a couple of steadicam courses and up until now have been the owner of a Ronin and an M15, but finally investing in my first Steadicam. 

I have had experience using the Steadicam Zephyr and have a budget of around £10,000. I won't be putting any more weight on than about 23lb (weight of the Zephyr), but could I get something better for my money second hand? 


Yes I am based in the UK, so prices are in GBP.


Thanks in advance! Chris

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#2 brett.mayfield


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Posted 16 July 2016 - 09:21 AM

Hey Chris

This question comes up all the time, so scour the archives. Start with some of the posts in this section of the forum. This process should take time and research, so do your due diligence and acclimate yourself to the forum. There is some very sage advice here.


Im a big believer in used, so if you are interested in taking some time to build a rig piece by piece, have at it. You will learn a lot. That being said, for the lighter weight range you may not be able to build up so much, maybe purchasing off the shelf or a used Tiffen will work well. Hard to say what is "better"


Remember that you should budget for follow focus, wireless, etc. but you can rent those and then purchase over time, or maybe you already have with your other gimbal systems.


There are Tiffen dealers in the UK




Optical Support is the group that I hear about often




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#3 MeganJobson


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Posted 30 July 2016 - 10:39 AM

Hello Everyone!


I hope you can lend a helping hand. I am thinking of buying my husband a DSLR Camera Stabilizer. He is a newbie cam guy. He will use it to shoot local events and weddings. I came across this Top 9 Best Camera Stabilizer. https://www.top9rated.com/best-dslr-camera-steadicams-in-2016/. I am thinking of buying the s40. Wondering if this is a good buy. Looking forward to your feedback. Thanks!

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#4 Janice Arthur

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Posted 30 July 2016 - 11:53 AM


The one you like is fine, don't know much exactly about it but for an experiment?

Screw a simple monopod into your camera grab it where it makes sense, a few inches down and your camera will be about as stable as any small rig like yours and for a few dollars.

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#5 DH Min

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Posted 14 November 2016 - 05:22 PM

Hi Chris,
I was like you and was debating for a long time whether to go for a new Zephyr or used older rig.

After spending countless hours looking in the forums and doing extra outside research myself I opted for the latter and bought a used Clipper 24.

My reason and popular consensus is that you're barely able or unable to fly the cinema cameras such as the Alexas and heavier cams or anything with a beefy lens like an Angenieux Optimo or Fujinon zooms, or a camera with typical wireless/essential accessories I.e. FF, mattebox, Teradek, etc.

But of course it boils down to which cams you'll be working with and wanting to deal with weight wise. I went with the latter to have a wider range of options since mine can hold up to 35lbs. aka 2.5 stone
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#6 Scott Monk

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Posted 15 November 2016 - 09:01 AM



Don't know if you bought yet, but here's my 2 cents.


I'm with DH here. After scouring the forum for information and talking to other operators, I started with an old CP ProVid, after considering the newer, smaller Tiffen rigs. While it was old and only had a SD green screen, that was the best decision I ever made. It had an Isoelastic arm and I could fly cameras up to about 30 lbs. And, with a 1.5 inch post, it was sturdy and never vibrated. 


I did eventually get a Zephyr so I could shoot HD without all of the converter and power add-ons, and that also gave me more flexibility balancing the rig. I've since moved up to a big rig. I think the progression was the right way to go.


Buy used...buy cheap..get as much rig as you think you'll need to fly the biggest camera you're likely to work with in the near future, balanced with your budget. Move up as your skill and budget increase.




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