Movi on steadicam arm / steadimate..
Posted 13 May 2017 - 06:36 AM
Posted Yesterday, 07:38 AM
I've just got back from a shoot where we used a Ronin on my Aero 30 arm with a steadimate, carrying an FS7. Honestly, I hated it, it damagd my arm (not enough to kill the rest of the shoot thankfully, and i'm still under warranty and already have a loaner will it's fixed!) and after one setup I insisted that we just use my steadicam set up normally for the rest of the shots.
Frankly, it's not really all that great a setup: the arm will take some of the weight off your arms, but you're still holding all that weight way out in front of you - not sure about which Movi you will be using but the Ronin is quite long so you have to lean back a bunch to balance. I felt substantially more strained than I did when I was just using my sled normally with the same camera package. Additionally, the steadicam arm will stick out waay to one side and therefore make it harder for you to maneuver - we were on a small set and I was clashing with lightstands that would not have been in the way with a normal setup.
While I was tensioning the arm one of the bearings in the tension guide rail (not sure what the official name for this part is) broke - I suspect because the angle the arm was at was much more extreme than when you're normally tensioning for a sled - the weight was much further from my body than normal. So be careful!
Finally, you should ask what I did - what does a gimbal get you over a steadicam? They are harder to balance, harder to hold, more batteries to worry about, and way more likely to do unpredictable things mid-shot like judder or just stop working. We had to turn the ronin off and on again constantly! Gimbals are possibly better at maintaining a level horizon while panning with the lens tilted up or down, but for moving backwards and forwards, sideways, booming and rotating around a subject, I think a trad steadicam setup is superior.
Anyway I'm pretty new to all this (Hi forum, by the way!) so I hope more experienced operators will chime in - I'm really interested in this topic too and maybe there are ways of doing things that I have missed.
Posted Yesterday, 05:24 PM
just one small digression, steadimate did not kill that bearing.
As you've said it yourself, you were trying to dial down the arm while it was unloaded or loaded lightly. That would kill it with the sled too. The arm sections needs to be loaded and horizontal before adjusting the dial, especially when you dial down as that involves actually putting more tension on the spring to preload it for less capacity. If you just glanced at the manual you could've avoided the trouble as it says there when NOT to adjust that dial. Luckily for you it's not an expensive fix. You don't even have to disassemble the whole arm although you do need to remove the tension from the spring as you won't be able to wedge a new bearing in while it is under tension
That bearing is standard and widely available, 1/4 x 1/2 x 3/16, flanged. You will also find it as SFR188zz. Be sure to get that one as there is also a FR188ZZ bearing which is not stainless. And get some spares too.
Posted Yesterday, 08:38 PM
In regards to your feeling strained, did you adjust the arm settings to balance the Ronin to your body, the same way you would with a Steadicam sled? Your settings from sled to Ronin or Movi with a Steadimate will be slightly different because the load needs to be more in front of you than normal. When I tried it at NAB with the settings adjusted it felt great.
To answer your original question, what camera and lens setup are you planning to use with your Movi, and which Movi do you have? You may want a different arm and vest combination depending on the total payload you are dealing with for your shoot. At NAB, most people found the Exovest a great combination with the Steadimate because it takes out the side-to-side motion that comes with footsteps and Movi/Ronin setups.