Jump to content



Photo

Set up help


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Harry Kerr

Harry Kerr

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 25 June 2017 - 02:24 PM

Hi all!

 

First time posting here, and I'm hoping that someone has the patience to help with what may be fairly stupid questions. I've had a hand-held Glidecam HD4000 sled for a while, but lately haven't made a great deal of use of it because of an intermittently slightly dodgy elbow. So, I recently bought a second hand Steadicam Arm & Vest in order to take some of the pressure off my elbow. The arm is the light-weight version which I think is usually sold with the Pilot and the vest is a genuine Steadicam product. The arm-post has been adapted by the previous owner to accommodate the receiver on the gimbal, so they fit together. I've been trawling around to find a user manual and any other information I can find since the kit I bought came without any documentation and there are a couple (OK, probably more than a couple) of things I can't quite figure out. I'm pretty sure the sled is at least reasonably well balanced both statically and dynamically, if I hang it on a stand it stays vertical, if I push it back and forth it doesn't 'pendulum', if I spin it it stays level and doesn't swing out of alignment. However, in the absence of any proper set up instructions, I do have some issues. Specifically, even if I stand rock steady - or as best I can at any rate - the sled is inclined to arc away from my body and out to the right, so when I try to use it, it always seems that I'm kind of fighting the arm. Essentially, I think I need some rudimentary pointers from someone with experience about how to properly set the adjustments on the socket block, both the knurled ring adjusters and the wing nut adjusters I imagine. Until I get these sorted I can't imagine I'm going to get much further since, like I said, it feels like I'm fighting the arm a little too much which essentially negates the elasticity of the arm. I'm not easily insulted, so fire away with any remarks! (I should also say, I'm testing this out at the minuted with a DSLR (Sorry!) and a short/wide zoom 17-40mm specifically, so I'm probably close to if not below the minimum weight for the arm) Thanks in advance!


  • 0

#2 Osvaldo Silvera SOC

Osvaldo Silvera SOC

    Advanced Member

  • Sustaining Members
  • 672 posts
  • Miami, FL

Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:11 PM

If you watch the now famous yet over 20 year old EFP video manual with Ted Churchill and Jerry Holway. You'll find the answers to most common questions within the video.

 I believe it's available in DVD now and sold on the internet.

 Just do a search for Steadicam EFP Manual DVD.

Good luck.


  • 0

#3 Harry Kerr

Harry Kerr

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 25 June 2017 - 04:20 PM

Thanks Osvaldo, I had come across the video online a few days ago, but I'll certainly watch it through again!


  • 0

#4 Lisa Sene

Lisa Sene

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:11 PM

Hi Harry,

 

Do you have The Steadicam Operator's Handbook? There is a section that explains how to balance the rig to your body via the screws you mention. Beyond the vest settings, it is a phenomenal guide to all things Steadicam, from how to build and balance to navigating the political waters of production. 

 

Happy flying!

 

Lisa


  • 0

#5 Harry Kerr

Harry Kerr

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 28 June 2017 - 07:18 PM

Hi Lisa!

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I have the Handbook on order, should have it in a few days hopefully. I'm just stupidly keen to get started, although I know I have lot to learn! I've been a professional stills/social/commercial photographer for more than 30 years, so in no way do I underestimate the skills of professional camera operators, I'm just trying to add a little in terms of production value to the moving picture stuff I do, I have no illusions, or should I say delusions, in terms of pro-steadicam operations. I spent many years too as a Technical Instructor, and I do appreciate the value of well put forward *experience based* information!

 

H.


  • 0

#6 Lisa Sene

Lisa Sene

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 28 June 2017 - 08:01 PM

Hi Harry,

 

Welcome to the community! The Handbook will be a great resource. In the meantime, I'll do my best to explain here to get you started. To preface, this is if you are operating with the sled on your left side - do you operate on your left (regular) or right (goofy-foot)?:

 

The two thumb (wingnut) screws are your "in and out" adjustments, which balance the sled away from or towards your body. 

 

The two knurled screws are your "side to side" adjustments, which balance the sled left or right of your body. 

 

Start by making sure your side-to-side screws are "zeroed out" by turning the bottom screw all the way in (you can tell if it's in or out by checking if you are making threads appear or disappear on the socket - you want them to disappear), then out a quarter turn so the screw doesn't bind. You want the bottom screw all the way in so the arm stays connected to the socket - if it's all the way out and doesn't have any threads to grab, it could fall off. Next, turn the top screw all the way in, then out 2 and half turns to start. A "turn" on the knurled screws is as much as you can do with your thumb; not a full rotation. 

 

You mentioned your sled is going away from you and to the right; at this point it may be doing something different side-to-side after resetting the knurled screws, and it may feel different than last time in-and-out based on how you turned the thumb screws. 

 

Make sure you are standing straight with good posture, and not leaning to compensate for the rig. In essence, you want the rig to "lean" to you via the screw settings, not you leaning to the rig. Put the rig on your centerline, and turn your pelvis at a 45 degree angle towards the sled (think camera pointing forward is one straight line, your pelvis is another straight line, turn that 45 degrees to the line of the camera). You want to keep the sled as close to your body is as comfortable without hitting the sled on your knee (or your face - ouch!) This is the position you will aim to keep while operating as much as possible. Also make sure you have a good fit with your vest - you want it sitting snug on your shoulders, sitting on you straight (make sure you have your velcro even on both sides - having one side tighter than another will make the vest tilt under load), and the waist portion should be centered vertically on your pelvic bones. 

 

While in that position, let go of the sled slightly by opening your hands - don't move your arms away so you can catch the sled if it violently moves away from you. Take note of what the sled is doing when you let go: falling into you, falling away from you, moving left, or moving right. 

 

If it's falling into you or away from you, you'll need to adjust your in-and-out settings, which are the thumb screws. Take a look at the arm in the vest without wearing it and turn the screws to better understand how turning the screws affects the balance. If you turn the top screw in and the bottom screw out, it will make the rig lean into you - what you want to do if the rig is falling away. If you turn the top screw out and the bottom screw in, it will make the rig fall away from you - what you want to do if the rig is falling into you. These screws don't need to be wrenched down tightly; finger-tight works. 

 

Similarly, it will help to look at the side-to-side screws without wearing the vest to understand how they operate too. My vest doesn't have the knurled screws, but is altered via a T handle wrench, so I'm not positive which way (up or down) you'll want to turn the screws for the desired effect, though you'll be able to tell quickly by looking at it. You'll only deal with the top screw here as you want to leave the bottom one in as much as possible for more connection strength. If the sled is falling to your left, you'll want to turn the screw so more threads appear, which will pull the sled to the right. If it's falling to the right, you'll want threads to disappear, which will pull the sled to the left.

 

Do both the in-and-out and side-to-side adjustments until the sled sits in the aforementioned sweet spot without touching it, while maintaining good posture. 

 

Hopefully that all made sense; there are pictures in the book that will explain better! 

 

Happy flying.

 

Lisa


  • 0

#7 Harry Kerr

Harry Kerr

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts

Posted 29 June 2017 - 06:24 PM

Hey Lisa!

 

I don't know what to say except "Thanks!". Your time in writing your reply is genuinely appreciated.


  • 0

#8 Lisa Sene

Lisa Sene

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 57 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 29 June 2017 - 07:57 PM

You're welcome, Harry! I hope it's helpful. Please feel free to reach out if you have more questions.  :)


  • 0




PLC - Bartech

Varizoom Follow Focus

GPI Pro Systems

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Betz Tools for Stabilizers

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Boland Communications

Camera Motion Research

PLC Electronics Solutions

Omnishot Systems

Wireless Video Systems

Teradek

IDX