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Movi on steadicam arm / steadimate..


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#1 Tom Williams

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 06:36 AM

Hi all, I have a job coming up where we are thinking of putting a movi on a steadicam arm, maybe using a tiffen steadimate. Has anyone had an issues in the past with this, is there anything I should know before we go for it? Many Thanks!
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#2 Dougal Wallace

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 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.


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#3 Zoran Vincic

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 05:24 PM

Hey Dougal,

 

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.


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#4 Lisa Sene

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Posted 21 May 2017 - 08:38 PM

Hi Dougal,

 

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. 

 

Hi Tom,

 

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. 


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#5 Tom Williams

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:10 AM

.....

Edited by Tom Williams, 23 May 2017 - 02:11 AM.

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#6 Tom Williams

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 02:11 AM

Thanks for all the replies so far, very useful info , set up is Movi pro with steadimate, Alexa mini, Leica summicron, exovest and G50 arm to start with.....
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#7 Lisa Sene

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Posted 23 May 2017 - 08:17 AM

Hi Tom,

 

Great! You shouldn't have any payload issues with that setup and a G-50 arm, and the Exovest will serve you well with the Steadimate. What are you using for an operator monitor, and where are you planning to mount it? The few times I've used a Movi or Ronin, my operator monitor ends up mounted on the top bar of the Movi/Ronin - not ideal for visibility when walking because you aren't looking in the direction of the ground, and the rig is blocking a large portion of what's in directly front of you. If you're able, it would be good to do a test build and get used to visibility while operating so you can learn how to see around the Movi with the camera on it while you're looking at the monitor. 

 

Good luck!


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#8 Dougal Wallace

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

Zoran, you misunderstand me. My arm was under tension as I had a Ronin and FS7 mounted on it, and it was at the normal (vertical) angle for tensioning such that the tensioning knobs were turning freely. The 'angle' I'm talking about is because the centre of mass was further away horizontally from my body than normal for a sled setup. Good info regarding the bearing though, thanks!

 

Good luck with the shoot Tom, let us know how you get on!


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#9 Zoran Vincic

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 03:17 PM

You're right Dougal, I just read your post again and I apologize for being a smartass.

As there's not much real world info about the steadimate yet I wanted to ask you something. One sentence in your first post caught my eye, you wrote "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". Ain't one of the main perks of steadimate that it enables fingertip control of the gimbal?

Did you try any other gimbal supports to compare with the steadimate?

Thanks
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#10 Tom Williams

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 04:36 PM

Hey again, 

 

Due to arm availability etc.... should now be using a pro arm, with either two blue or two black canisters, which ever combination works best really, will start proper testing next week, with regards to monitor i should be using the small hd 702 offset slightly left nearer the steadimate.. (I'm goofy) will post up some pics and feedback sometime next week!  

 

Was also thinking of using the cinemilled arm post mount... anyone used this before?

 

Thanks to all  x


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#11 Zoran Vincic

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Posted 26 May 2017 - 05:13 PM

Cinemilled looked interesting until I realised that the only way to tilt up or down was by leaning with your body.

One more thing bugs me about steadimate? Is it possible to use it inverted?

Edited by Zoran Vincic, 26 May 2017 - 05:13 PM.

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#12 Shawn Adams

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Posted 12 June 2017 - 11:10 AM

Yes, it can be used inverted...  On the Steadicam A-30 arm, I'm finding it to not be the best arm...  It seems stiff to me and as a long time (over 25 years) as an operator, I can't seem to completely eliminate the up and down movement like I can with my other arms...  I've used it at it's minimum weight as well as adding weight to the camera to make it heavier and it seems a bit better heavy but not as good as the older (or more expensive) arms..


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