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Cannot Properly Balance My New Steadicam

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#1 Joe Perchard

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 05:34 PM

Hi everyone,


I just bought a Yelangu S60T stabiliser for my Nikon D5200 with 18-55mm kit lens. I also have a Rode Videomicro attached to the camera. I have tried balancing it using the instructions as well as videos on YouTube, but it still isn't properly balanced. When I'm not moving, it seems as if the steadicam is balanced, I can move it forwards and backwards and left and right and it seems fine. But the drop time is less than two seconds, and if I walk with it then suddenly stop, it acts like a pendulum. The sled is all the way in, as short as possible. And I only have one double weight on each side. 


Any help would be appreciated.


Thanks everyone,


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#2 Louis Puli SOC

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

Hi Joe 

Are you able to move the gimbal ? If so move it down and try again . 

Good luck 


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#3 Joe Perchard

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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:32 PM

From what I can see, you can't move the gimbal...

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#4 Joe Perchard

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 07:09 PM

Any other suggestions, or should I just practice more?

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#5 Lisa Sene

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:33 AM

Hi Joe,


If you have a very fast drop time, your sled is too bottom-heavy. Are you able to take some weight off of the bottom? The ideal option, as Louis mentioned, would be the ability to move your gimbal. In doing so, you'd find the center of gravity of the whole rig (where the sled stays horizontal), then move a little more weight towards the bottom of the sled so it hangs vertical naturally. You would then check your drop time and adjust the gimbal position (and thus the amount of bottom-heaviness) accordingly.


Since you can't move the gimbal, you can do the same process by changing the amount of weight you have on the top and bottom of the sled; it's the same principle, though will take a bit longer than moving the gimbal position. If you can't take weight off of the bottom, try adding weight to the top, which will also change the center of gravity of the sled and thus your bottom-heaviness. 


As for the sled acting like a pendulum when you stop (and likely when you start, too), you must use your fingers and thumb to prevent the pendular action of the sled. It will always be somewhat bottom-heavy by definition when the post is vertical, so your job as an operator is to learn the amount of pressure to apply when stopping and starting to keep the post vertical at all times (unless the shot calls for a tilt). Explained simply, you'll have your pinky finger on the back of the post when starting (to prevent the sled from tilting down), and your ring finger on the front of the post when stopping (to prevent the sled from tilting up). If you don't already have it, The Steadicam Operator's Handbook will explain further. 


Hope that helps!


Happy flying.



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