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New Steadicam Arm & Vest Introduced Today


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#1 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 09:48 PM

At CES today Tiffen introduced a new arm and vest designed by Garrett for the Steadicam Merlin.

Yes I know it's not a "pro" rig and I'll likely get scolded or bannished for posting this. But it's news for someone out there.

Basically it's a half sized version of the Flyer arm and vest that integrates into the handheld gimble of the Merlin. The whole thing weighs less than my G50 arm.

I just want to say I saw it, I flew it, there were no NDA's and it's a real product that looks well made for the intended market. Which I would guess would be the wedding/event/indie crowd.

I have photos as soon as I can get them out of this cell phone. I solemnly swear I did and do and will post them if allowed.
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#2 Erik Brul

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:32 AM

At CES today Tiffen introduced a new arm and vest designed by Garrett for the Steadicam Merlin.

Yes I know it's not a "pro" rig and I'll likely get scolded or bannished for posting this. But it's news for someone out there.

Basically it's a half sized version of the Flyer arm and vest that integrates into the handheld gimble of the Merlin. The whole thing weighs less than my G50 arm.

I just want to say I saw it, I flew it, there were no NDA's and it's a real product that looks well made for the intended market. Which I would guess would be the wedding/event/indie crowd.

I have photos as soon as I can get them out of this cell phone. I solemnly swear I did and do and will post them if allowed.


Hi Robert,
Why should you be scolded or bannished ? You are talking about a 'real' brand (Rig) :lol:
But seriously.., this thing could be the new smash hit by Tiffen. Don't forget, the Merlin is a huge
success !
I think it would look the same as the Steadicam DV ??

Curious about the pictures..,

Best, Erik
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#3 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:42 AM

By "half size", Robert, do you mean that it is a single-section version of the Flyer arm or a scaled down dual-section arm?
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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:15 AM

By "half size", Robert, do you mean that it is a single-section version of the Flyer arm or a scaled down dual-section arm?


Hi Charles, it's dual sections but about 1/2 or 2/3 scale of a Flyer arm but it looks identical. The vest is a spar, bridge, block and pads with velcro, no clips or buckles.

Rather than the Merlin I think this arm could be sold as a lower end Flyer arm for people who don't need to go up to 15 lbs, say someone with a DVX or HVX etc.

In this photo the rig had been set up goofy because the little HD camera had the monitor on the left side, but I'm not normally goofy. In DJ it was interesting to flip the little LCD around camera front where you now have the monitor facing you and the camera looking back. I think they are considering a separate monitor option.

Last but not least, no, this is not my normal hand position, I'm just holding the rig open for a photo so people can see it.

Posted Image
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#5 Erik Brul

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:43 AM

Cool picture Robert. How was the arm connected to the vest ? By one pin ?
Monitor option at the bottom of the merlin, with the accesory plate shouldn't be a problem ?

What price for a total merlin, arm, vest setup... :rolleyes:
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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:59 AM

Cool picture Robert. How was the arm connected to the vest ? By one pin ?


Hi Eric, it was a typical socket block pin about the size of a Sharpie marker pen or less, thumbscrews and threads all the same function of the Tiffen arms/socket blocks. I don't know the pricing or even how much the basic Merlin normally is. CES is a show for retailers and distributors so nothing is priced.
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#7 Charles King

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 08:06 AM

Very nice. The arm looks better, design wise, than the flyer. :)
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#8 Jerry Holway

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 01:19 PM

I've played with it a bit, and it's very nice and iso. I think it lifts from 4-10 pounds total, and makes operating a heavy (for a Merlin) camera into a nothing. Very slick little unit. The bones are shorter than the flyer arm, so the boom range is reduced a tad; but it's no problem for even old guys to bend the knees.

Kudo's to Garrett. Again.

Jerry
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#9 Jerry Holway

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:17 PM

oops, I should have said the boom range was reduced from the G-type arms; the boom range is 28 inches.

Jerry
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#10 Tom Wills

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 02:40 PM

I'm incredibly amazed. I had heard rumors from a few people, but seeing this come to life, and seeing it be so utterly incredible looking makes me almost speechless. I know that if I was going to try and get into Steadicam now, instead of homebuilding like I did, I'd be grabbing one of these up! It truly looks like an incredible little setup, and I'm excited to see what people can do with it! :)
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#11 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 04:28 PM

Looking forward to trying out this setup, it looks like a lot of fun. And I thought the Flyer felt "invisible" on the body--this must just be ridiculous!
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#12 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:06 PM

Looking forward to trying out this setup, it looks like a lot of fun. And I thought the Flyer felt "invisible" on the body--this must just be ridiculous!


Hi Charles, I flew it for over an hour yesterday and again today for closer to two hours in the Tiffen booth doing demos of it and the Flyer. Both feel like you're wearing nothing and the new arm and vest kit is like wearing a slighly heavy jacket; there's no fatigue factor. Compared to holding the same camera on the stand-alone Merlin it's a perfect marriage of the two. Tomorrow it's back to reality with my Clipper 2 and a decked out Varicam...and making some money!

I put it on a half dozen or so show attendees and none expressed any discomfort just the usual awkward feeling. It didn't help that the rig is set up goofy but they didn't know that either.

One idea I thought of was to package this arm with the Flyer sled which would handle better than the Merlin, so today I tried "mating" the new arm to the Flyer. The post barely squeeked in a 1/4" on the Flyer but the little arm would not adjust to the weight. The Flyer was set up with a Canon XL1 and PowerCube. It might take a barebones DVX100 and a smaller battery but I don't know.

All in all, it's a nice little product and sure to spawn a future wave of busloads of migrant Steadicam operators headed over the horizon to L.A.. ;-}

BTW, "IT" does not really have a product name yet.
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#13 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 January 2007 - 10:42 PM

This thing looks so cool.... I can't wait to try it.

I just loved the Merlin the few times I played with it and now it only gets better.....
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#14 Erik Brul

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 02:00 AM

This thing looks so cool.... I can't wait to try it.

I just loved the Merlin the few times I played with it and now it only gets better.....


Robert, any idea when Tiffen will anounce this new product in the public ?

Erik
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#15 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 09:33 AM

This thing looks so cool.... I can't wait to try it.

I just loved the Merlin the few times I played with it and now it only gets better.....


Robert, any idea when Tiffen will anounce this new product in the public ?


It looked to me as if they were taking orders from dealers but I don't know. It's an "open camera" show and there were a lot of people taking photos and video of it so it's no secret at this point. The whole company seems pretty excited about it as did the dealers types who stopped by.
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