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Glidecam Gold Arm...


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#1 Erwin Landau

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 06:47 PM

Glidecam Gold Arm... a funny story.

I was with Colin Hudson at Alan Gordon yesterday to check out a Mitchell 65mm Camera for Steadicam use. The sales person asked us to check out the Glidecam Gold Arm as well (As they are a Glidecam dealer) and to compare it and tell him the difference to a PRO Arm. Colin used his PRO Vest as I used my DSD. The Arm fit nicely in my Vest (Not my favorade Arm) then it was Colins turn to try, it fit again nicely in the Socket Block and he tried the Arm with his PRO.
Then... he wanted to go back to his PRO arm... he wanted, if he just could get the Gold arm out of his Socket Block of his Vest.. it was wegded in solid... we tried everything to get the Arm out, for about a half hour... finally we had to get a hammer and put it to use... after a couple attempts trying not to damage anything... it worked.
The sales rep was already teasing us:"How do you like your new Arm...?"

Man... that Gold Arm sure liked the PRO Vest...

Anybody had any similar experiences?


Erwin"Add a hammer to your kit"Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#2 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 January 2004 - 08:52 PM

Erwin,

In fairness to Glidecam, the specs on socket blocks seem to be... well, less than exact. While I've never witnessed it, I've heard stories of some arms not fitting some vests. A friend bought a PRO vest to discover his 3a arm would not fit. He ended up having to put his old socket block on the vest. These measurements are probably considered less critical than many on a Steadicam, and in most cases there is never a problem, but if both mating pieces are off in opposite directions.....
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#3 Erwin Landau

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 08:17 AM

I've heard stories of some arms not fitting some vests. A friend bought a PRO vest to discover his 3a arm would not fit. He ended up having to put his old socket block on the vest.


One of them would be me...
I bought a PRO Vest and I was using then my 3A arm. When I received my vest I was not able to use my arm on the Vest...
After a lot of research I discovered that older Socket blocks worked fine, just the newest parts had some issues...

I didn't mean to trash a manufacturer, it was just a funny story. Imagine you being on set and not been able to loose/disconnect the arm... at least for the beginning and then it would have turned into plain horror...

Anyhow...

The only reason that we are still using that ancient design of the Socket Block is that all the parts and systems are compatible, right?
So the manufacturer should make sure that that stays true... Or start from scratch...


Erwin"Just a little stuck"Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#4 JobScholtze

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 11:11 AM

Erwin,

Can you tell us how the gold arm was? I mean not to compare it with another arm, but just what you get for 8K?

Just wanted to now.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 02:12 PM

Hi,

I know of two Masters, and Ultra and a Model 3 whose arm and vest connectors seem to be universally interchangeable (possibly haven't tried the Ultra arm in the Mk3 vest) I was aware of this issue and did make a point of checking it out.

Phil
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#6 Erwin Landau

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 05:58 PM

Can you tell us how the gold arm was? I mean not to compare it with another arm, but just what you get for 8K?


Hi Job,

You sure you want me to answer that? Good, here we go...

The Glidecam Arm as well as the Sachtler or the SteadicamCenter Arm or any Arm based on the Good Old "6 extension Spring/Cables design" like the Steadicam Arms: models 35 through 3A, will have the similar if not same advantages and disadvantages... it's virtually the same arm...
Just the use of materials and the amount of (additional) R&D will result in the amount of friction in the particular arm. Most will not spend much, some like Rig Engineering will spend a lot... still at the end of the day it's a good old 3A.

It's an old design which was already abonded by the original Steadicam designers them self. What does that tell you?
All of these arms still lock up on the highest and lowest point. Still suffer from the not quite right Geometry, exponential effort increase to hold the arm on the high or low point and the resulting bounce in the frame... fly one of them and you know what I mean, etc.

If you are used to work with a 3A style arm, you will have no problem to adapt to any of them, including the Gold Arm (The manufacturer does impliment that you have to go through a "break in" or for use "Fly in" periode with this arm). It still needs the same amount of efford to keep a nice frame etc. If you are looking for price, that is the Arm for you...

It's cheaper to purchase as there was little or non R&D necessary as the patents have expiered and anybody can put one out and they do (everybody lately it seams), as the 48 manufacturers do prove...

You pay less, but you pay for a designe that (Oh man!!!) will celebrate it's 30iest birthday this year...

Again, you get what you pay for.

Is it good enough... of course. But what is good enough these days? Ask your DP or Director... (Unfortunately...These days you can get away with a lot...)


Erwin"Used to own and love my 3A arm"Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#7 Erwin Landau

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Posted 10 January 2004 - 06:21 PM

I know of two Masters, and Ultra and a Model 3 whose arm and vest connectors seem to be universally interchangeable (possibly haven't tried the Ultra arm in the Mk3 vest) I was aware of this issue and did make a point of checking it out.


Hi Phil,

When I had the issues with my vest I thought that that was true that only manufacturer interen parts would,should,could fit...

I tried 50 (yes 50) combinations of Vests and Arms, and concluded the following:

All Steadicam Socket Blocks (Arm or Vest) are interchangeable starting with the Steadicam Model 2 up to the future Ultra replacement, due to the fact that they still use the same basic drawings with the same tolerances. (Protoypes and Model 1 had to be maschined to fit as they were one off's).

All other's could/would possibily (not) fit due to the fact that ALL of the other manufacturer had only a "in use" piece to go from to copy and make there own piece...

- All PRO Arms will fit all Steadicam Vests (as they are either size, or after 2000 under size).

- All PRO Arms made before 2000 and all Steadicam Arms will not fit into a PRO Vest made between 2000 and mid 2002. (Vest Socket is under size).

On all other stabilizers... Try the Socket before you buy as the might just not fit... actually always try first.


(Knowleadge gethered through borrowing Arms and Vest and trying them...)

ALL ARM should fit ALL VESTS as the are knock off of the Steadicam design, if the dealer says that that is not a fact, he is lying... and his manufacturing is just not up to the requirements...


Erwin"Been there, Done that" Landau, SOC
www.landaucamera.com
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#8 JobScholtze

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Posted 11 January 2004 - 10:42 AM

Can you tell us how the gold arm was? I mean not to compare it with another arm, but just what you get for 8K?


Hi Job,

You sure you want me to answer that? Good, here we go...

Thanks Erwin
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#9 David Stevens

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Posted 13 January 2004 - 11:16 PM

The Glidecam Gold rig at Alan Gordon Enterprises has been there for a few years now as a demo/rental unit. It was one of the first ten arm socket pin blocks made to fit the Glidecam Gold Vest. The newer version out for the past two + years has an updated pin and has not been a problem fitting all other vests on the market past and present.


Best regards,
David P. Stevens
davids@glidecam.com
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