I'm the proud new owner of a Steadicam Merlin - or at least, part of one. I had originally intended on buying a no-brand steadicam, since the Merlin was way out of my price range, but when I saw a partial Merlin come up on eBay for low $, even though it was missing loads of parts I thought I'd be clever and try and jury-rig a solution.
I'm missing the counterbalance weights, and the dovetail plate.
I've since discovered that replacement counterweights are ~$25 each, and it looks like my 60D & 17-40mm rig will take at least 3 to balance, so buying the set would cost more than a used Merlin. I was going to try to make some by tapping a 1/2" fine screw thread into some raw lead instead.
(other ideas welcome!)
And now, my ask..
-Does anybody know the weights of the "Start", "Mid", "Finish" weights? Looks like I need the equivalent of 1, 2 and 2 of each respectively according to the cookbook.
-Does anybody have any ideas for jury-rigging a dovetail? Is the forward-back, side-to-side movement adjusters that the dovetail depends on so important that I should just buy a legit one?
-Does anybody have any spare weights or a dovetail they'd be willing to sell me?!
-..should I just give up on my Merlin endeavour (I'm only $30 in so far), and buy a crappy Neweer stabiliser to start?
Thanks for any help!