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smooth shooter+4000pro


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#1 arch-b

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 10:51 PM

Hi guys, I just joined the forum and I sincerely hope that at least here somebody will know answer to my question. you see, the problem is that I bought 4000pro a wile ago and ever since I've been having serious problems with balancing the sistem; literaly, it takes me forever to balance it and even then the sistem seems not fully balanced. :angry:
Recently I bought Smooth Shooter and even though I love the support it gives me with carrying my Canon XL2, balancing 4000pro is still the same problem.
Does anybody have any sudgestions regarding balancing glidecam 4000pro?
Thanks in advance
P.S. I'm planing to take workshop... I don't know if thats a good idea...
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#2 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:35 AM

I'll be honest... I have the same set up, (A smooth shooter) but it really doesn't work the same way a regular steadicam works... It's sort of like a transitional tool between the handheld versions, (Your Glidecam 4000) and a more expensive rig with an arm, (Flyer) The reason I say this is, #1, it's a little bouncy for my tastes, #2, it is designed to be bottom heavy. As far as balancing, it is meant to have a heavier base than top, it should swing like a pendulum, and come to an eventual rest... I can't speak for your situation as I do not know the particulars, but I set up the Glidecam 4000 by setting it on a C-stand, make slight adjustments to the camera to make it sit vertical, while at the same time arranging the heavy washers supplied with the 4000 keeping the camera vertical. I fine tune the adjustment by moving the lower post up or down, keeping the system slightly bottom heavy.... I then spin the entire rig on its horizontal axis, and if it does not come off of its axis, I have success.... Don't get me wrong, I have fun with this thing, you can check my site, I've got some examples there... But, I wouldn't say it's a replacement for, say, a Flyer... Then again, it is MUCH less expensive... And, it does a pretty decent job...
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#3 Afton Grant

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 07:38 AM

you see, the problem is that I bought 4000pro a wile ago and ever since I've been having serious problems with balancing the sistem; literaly, it takes me forever to balance it and even then the sistem seems not fully balanced.


Hey Arch,

First of all, it can't "literally" take you forever to balance the rig. If that was the case, you'd still be balancing it right now, and furthermore, you wouldn't be able to prove that it takes you forever since forever is infinite.

...no hard feelings, man. We've all got our pet peeves, right?

Anyway, make sure you are not just sticking the plate onto the camera and mounting it to the rig. Find the center of gravity of the camera, and center the mounting plate around that. Then mount the camera to your rig so the C.G. of the camera is directly over the post. Make sense? Basically, you want 50% of your camera's weight in front of the post, and 50% behind. THEN make your fine adjustments front, back, side, side, post length, weights on bottom, etc.

I used a GC 4000 once and found that after learning its initial nuances, I could mount and balance in about 5 min. Just keep at it. You'll get it. And yes, a workshop is a very good idea.

Best,
Afton
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#4 arch-b

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 09:20 AM

Thanks for replying guys. I'll try both suggestions. So now the first thing I'll do is probably visit b&h and buy a stand or trypod strong enough for my XL2/4000.
I wonder if there are any steadicam workshops near NY/Long Island? If you know any please let me know.
Arch
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#5 jay kilroy

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 10:44 AM

I wonder if there are any steadicam workshops near NY/Long Island? If you know any please let me know.
Arch



Arch,

We have the SOA workshop in May, in Philadelphia. Check it out SOA Workshop

jay
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#6 Steven Nichols

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:04 PM

I curently have a Promax SteadiTracker Xtreme. Works great for its cheap price, but:
- the bottom part gets usually in the way (hits the legs unless you hold it on the side)
- it feels pretty heavy after a while
- panning left/right is not really easy (looks more like hiccup pan than smooth pan)
So that is why I was thinking about Glidecam SmoothShooter with a Glidecam 4000 Pro or a Varizoom Navigator with a FlowPod. Any feedback on both systems would be appreciated.
Besides I was wondering about the benefits of a gimbal & handle system vs a more simple design like the Steatitracker. Does that allows smoother motion (like pan and tilt) ?
And last but not least, how much a support vest like the Smooth Shooter or Navigator will improve the shooting ?
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#7 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:16 PM

You know what? I forgot to mention something... I engineered a quick release for the Glidecam 4000, (As you know, all that comes with it is a plate full of holes that you mount the camera into) and what the quick release allows me to do is very minute adjustments of the camera on the plate... This made the balancing issue much easier... The cost was around $80 for the quick release plate, and maybe 2 hours or so drilling some new holes into the Glidecam 4000 and attaching it...
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#8 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:32 PM

As I said in the previous post, I own the Smooth Shooter, and the difference between using just the handheld Glidecam 4000 or your system vs. using an arm based system is significant. The Smooth Shooter, while not a serious market threat to larger, more expensive systems, can really take your shots into another arena. The vest simply is a way to mount the camera to your body, and the arm does remove most of the bounce/shakiness.... It is not a top-of-the line performer, but for the price, man, I couldn't pass it up... It got me so excited about the shots, I'm about to drop some serious cash on a much more expensive system... As far as the base, the Glidecam base is smaller, it may not get in the way as much, I don't know, but it does have really nice panning capabilities...
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#9 Steven Nichols

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 01:05 PM

Thanks for the feedback. Just curious: what kinda work do you do with the Smooth Shooter ? How easy it is to ballance ? Do you have footage you could show ?
Besides, did you try the Varizoom navigator ? Thanks again.
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#10 arch-b

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 08:58 PM

I engineered a quick release for the Glidecam 4000,


I actually bought quick release from B&H, it was manfrotto, and it helps me a little.

However, I do need lot of practice. I realize it especially when I look at your websites(I mean all three of you); some impressive demos, you guys have.

Thanks again
Arch
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#11 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 01:08 AM

Well, I don't have much, there's only 2 things on my site that I used the Smoothshooter on, a vintage car race where the wind was about 20 mph, and a home for sale, (preakness) I haven't updated the site in a while, just click on my link... There's a web site in my profile... As far as balancing, it is really easy, actually.. There's just 2 adjustments on the arm, and the Glidecam 2000/4000 part is designed to be bottom heavy, so the adjustment can be rougher than on the nicer rigs.... It's fun, though...

*As an update, I just looked at the Flowpod.... Not too sure about that one... To me, it looks awkward... The 4000 has a low mode option you can buy... But that Varizoom Aviator is definitely a step above the Smoothshooter, even though it's $4500...
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#12 Steven Nichols

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 02:19 AM

OK thanks again.
Anybody tried of the Varizoom Navigator ? The flowpod looks more versatile thant the Glidecam 4000 since it has a low mode, but I wonder if it works as well...
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