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Z1 Weight Recommendations-Pilot Setups


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#1 Tim Cole

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 01:03 PM

Hi
I am Tim and I am new here, Thank you for being here, and I just got my Pilot a few weeks ago. I have a Sony Z1 and I need advice one the best setup for the weights to be place on top and or the bottom? Right now I have all the weights evenly distributed on the top "Fore and Aft", and at the bottom of the sled as well. I was told buy a guy at Tiffen to put all the weights below? and how far should the gimble be down? 3 in? 5 in? I am look for good stability and is there anybody who is using a Z1, FX1 out there with a pilot that could give me some pointers?

Thank You Very Much
Tim C.
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#2 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 25 October 2008 - 02:08 PM

Hi
I am Tim and I am new here, Thank you for being here, and I just got my Pilot a few weeks ago. I have a Sony Z1 and I need advice one the best setup for the weights to be place on top and or the bottom? Right now I have all the weights evenly distributed on the top "Fore and Aft", and at the bottom of the sled as well. I was told buy a guy at Tiffen to put all the weights below? and how far should the gimble be down? 3 in? 5 in? I am look for good stability and is there anybody who is using a Z1, FX1 out there with a pilot that could give me some pointers?

Thank You Very Much
Tim C.


http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=S3PgqKF6ugY

This is a great video that describes the basics of balancing a steadicam. The setup of your rig will vary depending on how you camera is setup, but everything you need to work out how to balance is in the video.

Ideally the best thing to do is take on of Peter Abrahams Flyer/Pilot 2 day courses.
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#3 Tim Cole

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:10 AM

Hi
I am Tim and I am new here, Thank you for being here, and I just got my Pilot a few weeks ago. I have a Sony Z1 and I need advice one the best setup for the weights to be place on top and or the bottom? Right now I have all the weights evenly distributed on the top "Fore and Aft", and at the bottom of the sled as well. I was told buy a guy at Tiffen to put all the weights below? and how far should the gimble be down? 3 in? 5 in? I am look for good stability and is there anybody who is using a Z1, FX1 out there with a pilot that could give me some pointers?

Thank You Very Much
Tim C.


http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=S3PgqKF6ugY

This is a great video that describes the basics of balancing a steadicam. The setup of your rig will vary depending on how you camera is setup, but everything you need to work out how to balance is in the video.

Ideally the best thing to do is take on of Peter Abrahams Flyer/Pilot 2 day courses.




Hi
Thank you for the reply, and I have watched the video serveral times and its been very helpful, but I was hearing different using of the weights, so I am trying to find out what is the best way to go about distributing the weights for my Z1, or FX1. Thanks T.
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#4 Jon Beattie

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:41 AM

Most of the time you want to try and put your gimbal as close to the camera as you can. While still being able to dock.

I'll done a demo with the pilot and the Z1. Its a very easy camera to balance on the pilot. You have alot of options To use the weights to get the post length the shot may call for.

Most guys like a "fast rig" 2-2.5 second drop time and a nice short post.

If thats what your looking for I would put 2 weights on the tops stage. Maybe one small on by the monitor.

If you want the rig to have a more inert feel. You can just load up all the weight you can while still keeping the gimbal high on the post closer to the camera.
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#5 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:33 PM

Hi Tim,

Here's what I would suggest - specifically:

1) Spend $40 on a scale to weigh things accurately:
http://shop.usps.com...r...9&langId=-1

2) Spend $48 on 8 more weights:
http://www.bhphotovi...nce_Weight.html

3) Use 2 of the larger 'middle weights' and 1 small rounded 'end weight', on each end of the bottom cross bar.

4) Get the top weight (camera + camera accessories + weights) as close to 8 pounds as you can without going over. Each of the larger 'middle weights' is 1/4 pound. Each of the small rounded 'end weights' is 1/8 of a pound. Add weights to the stage evenly (same # of weights front and back).

5) Extend the post about 3". I measure this as 4 fingers.

6) Place the battery and monitor out as far as they will go, and just move the whole bottom cross bar forward or back to achieve dynamic balance. There is a hex nut for this.

7) Look for more Pilot specific tips on DVinfo:
http://www.dvinfo.ne...-steadicam-etc/
In particular, read my little "Steadicam Pilot - Getting Started Q & A" thread:
http://www.dvinfo.ne...-started-q.html

Hope this helps.

Edited by Dave Gish, 27 October 2008 - 12:34 PM.

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#6 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:34 PM

Most guys like a "fast rig" 2-2.5 second drop time and a nice short post.



Really? I like a short compact rig and a infinite drop time, But at times I settle for a 4 second drop
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#7 Jon Beattie

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 02:31 PM

Most guys like a "fast rig" 2-2.5 second drop time and a nice short post.



Really? I like a short compact rig and a infinite drop time, But at times I settle for a 4 second drop



2-2.5 was how I was taught and a speed I've heard most ops seem to use. By fast I did mean short and compact. I guess I wasn't as clear as I should have been.

But a 4-infinite drop time sounds interesting. I've played with 3 second. I'll try your uber nuetral way. I just liked the stable horizon that a 2-2.5 second drop time offers and just compansate for the pendulum affect on starts and stops.
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#8 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 07:01 PM

Drop times fall a but under the personal taste department. I used to go for 2 to 2.5 for most shots, but I'd alter that depending on the shot. Over the years (switching to better gimbals, etc) I've shaved a 1/2 second or so off that (i.e. a half second slower drop for a given set-up over my old ways). Whatever works for you - that said, experiment a bit and don't take our word for it!
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#9 Dave Gish

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 07:28 PM

One second can vary depending on how you count it. Just for fun, go to this site and see how accurate your counting skills are...
http://www.math.wpi..../stopwatch.html
:)
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#10 Janice Arthur

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 09:33 AM

Tim;

I have a Pilot and use it a bunch. It is really a fun rig.

Here is my advice for what its worth.

Watch the video they have suggested.

Set up your camera as described.

Then get in it and learn.

Lots of time in the rig is your best experience.

Try everything. Fast drop/slow drop. Typically a faster drop time (less than 3 seconds) on the smaller rigs gives your hand more feedback and you tend to not muscle the rig.

This is where I'll disagree with some. All that worry initially about dynamic balance and the weights etc. makes you take your eye off the target which is to shoot well. It'll make you think about the wrong things on a shoot; instead of how does this thing really work in this condition. (I never use those weights.)

As you know nothing is constant on a shoot, junk will get put on the rig. You'll be asked to hurry with no rehearsals, etc. so worrying about that stuff will just make you distracted.

What I realize now is that what I've gotten over the years in addition to the experience of course is
dexerity with the tools and the systems.

That's truely what you are learning, dexerity with the stuff.

Watch anyone who has done something for a long time. Bike riders, piano players, etc. they have a dexerity we don't. You want your fingerprints all over this thing.


JA
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#11 Tim Cole

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Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:04 PM

Hi
Thank you everybody and will try anything to make my Pilot more smooth and stable. I have had it for a few weeks now and have gotten some good results. As of right now I have all the weights that came with the package on all 4 corners evenly. The drop time is somewhat confussing to me even after watching the video a few times, and will most likely what the video more to see is I missed any points that I saw from watching the second time around. What I do notice when I have been practicing is trying to focus on keeping stable while walking and stoping. Thank you, T.
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