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Balancing SC Pilot on rough terrain


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#1 Jay Ryde

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:16 AM

This maybe a silly question but here goes.. I'm using a SC Pilot and balancing stand. I have to do a shoot in a wooded area where the ground is extremely uneven! I cannot set up and balance my rig before entering into the area as its just way too far from level ground.

As im carrying my rig in a car to the area along with (u can imagine) lots of other heavy gear, I cannot just put a balanced rig in the back of the car as I’m in fear of doing serious damage to it in transit.

What would you guys do in such a case?

Many thanks,

J.

Edited by Jay Ryde, 09 February 2009 - 06:18 AM.

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#2 chris fawcett

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:30 AM

The ground doesn't have to be even. You'll find a spot to place the stand. It doesn't have to be absolutely level—just keep your foot on it.

Good luck,

Chris
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#3 Jay Ryde

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:51 AM

The ground doesn't have to be even. You'll find a spot to place the stand. It doesn't have to be absolutely level—just keep your foot on it.

Good luck,

Chris


thanks for your reply Chris but the stand im using doesnt appear to adjust the legs as one would with a Tripod; seems like I can only put it on level-ground. If my stand is not level I dont see how I can balance my rig?! The Stand I've got is the Steadicam one I got with the rig.. maybe Im missing something here?
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#4 chris fawcett

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:22 AM

Hi Jay,

It's nice to have the stand level, sure, but the rig is hanging by the yoke on the balancing pin of the stand. The only important thing is that the post is horizontal when you balance. If the stand is off-kilter, it doesn't matter.

Make sense? call me +316 2391 8492 if not.

Chris
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#5 Charles Papert

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 12:31 PM

Chris tells the truth. The rig doesn't "care" about the attitude of the pin on the balancing stand. Have someone hold the stand for you so it doesn't tip over and you will be fine.

If you ever need to transport the rig built and balanced, use a thick piece of foam rubber that you can lay the rig flat on in the back of your car and in the best case scenario, fold the foam back over it. It will be just as secure as if it was in the case. I do this occasionally with the big rig on small jobs so I'm sure the Pilot can handle it.
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#6 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 02:37 PM

"If you ever need to transport the rig built and balanced, use a thick piece of foam rubber that you can lay the rig flat on in the back of your car and in the best case scenario, fold the foam back over it."

And if you need to remove the camera for this, if you mark where it is in relation to the top stage (i.e. a small piece of tape on the camera body and another on the stage - both with a pencil line) you are back in business when you remount.

Also, don't forget, you can always balance the rig while you are wearing it in a pinch (and your feet don't need to be level either!).
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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 06:21 PM

Hi all;

I never leave the camera on when transporting, camera and top stage take a lot of stress/dings.

I mark the camera like Alec said, put it on the floor of my car with the lens cap on.

I take the batteries off the rig (they go on floor too) and seat belt the rig into the passenger seat.

Done it for a really long time and it is safe, no hassles.

Throw a coat over the sled if you have to leave it for a minute to hide it from the bad guys.

JA
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#8 Jay Ryde

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:28 PM

i've got some good advice, many thanks for your help. In fact today I acquired a SC stand that has adjustable feet so my problem is solved.

Chris, I very much appreciated your offer to call.

Thank you all.

Cheers!
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#9 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 07:39 PM

This maybe a silly question but here goes.. I'm using a SC Pilot and balancing stand. I have to do a shoot in a wooded area where the ground is extremely uneven! I cannot set up and balance my rig before entering into the area as its just way too far from level ground.

As im carrying my rig in a car to the area along with (u can imagine) lots of other heavy gear, I cannot just put a balanced rig in the back of the car as I’m in fear of doing serious damage to it in transit.

What would you guys do in such a case?

Many thanks,

J.


hi Jay,
likes Chris stated, no need for the stand to be level.
But if you want, then try these steps.
Bring along a shovel, a military folded portable one if you can find.
An old fabric bag.
Dig the holes for the stand, you need only two to make the stand near level.
Find 3 pieces of small logs to reinforce the leg from digging down to the ground.
Put the soil into the bag and use it as the sand bag to secure your stand.
Make sure to bring along a bottle of mosquito/insect repellent.
A machete is also very handy!
Walk through the area before the shot with a stick.
Look for holes, branches, and chase away .... snake if you have to!
Fly safe,
Ken Nguyen.
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#10 chris fawcett

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 07:54 AM

my problem is solved.

You never really had a problem. You'll find it a lot simpler than you imagine. And like Alec says, you can always balance on the arm. Ken's advice is the best I've heard in a long time, though he forgot to factor in the possibility of alien abduction.

Now watch your footwork. No twisted ankles please!

Fly safe,

Chris
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