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Pilot Stage is not aligned with rest of sled


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#1 Tom Bonsignore

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 10:45 AM

Hello all.

I have had my steadicam pilot for a few weeks now. I have added some accessories to my camera (canon xh-a1) and have been trying to balance it. I can't seem to get dynamic balance.

I put the pilot back in the foam holder of the backpack and noticed that the stage does not align with the bottom of the sled. It seems to be turned slightly to the right. I also see that there is no way to adjust it as the stage is secured to the center post.

Is this normal? I can't see how it as as I know that when you attach the camera mounting plate you have to make sure it is lined up and straight with the camera.

I am wondering if this is a defect and a reason why I cannot achieve dynamic balance. I have a wedding in a few hours and am now a little worried.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks
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#2 Amedeo Fabroni

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:05 AM

Hi Tom,
do you mean that looking at the sled with a top view the bottom bar and the stage are not parallel or that the stage does not have a 90 angle with the post?
Amedeo
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#3 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:18 AM

Hello all.

I have had my steadicam pilot for a few weeks now. I have added some accessories to my camera (canon xh-a1) and have been trying to balance it. I can't seem to get dynamic balance.

I put the pilot back in the foam holder of the backpack and noticed that the stage does not align with the bottom of the sled. It seems to be turned slightly to the right. I also see that there is no way to adjust it as the stage is secured to the center post.

Is this normal? I can't see how it as as I know that when you attach the camera mounting plate you have to make sure it is lined up and straight with the camera.

I am wondering if this is a defect and a reason why I cannot achieve dynamic balance. I have a wedding in a few hours and am now a little worried.

Any advice would be helpful. Thanks


The post extension allows for about 1/8th of a turn misallignment - loosen your post extension and rotate the bottom of the sled until it aligns with the top ??

S
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#4 Amedeo Fabroni

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

Hi Sam,
I didn't know it's possibile to rotate the post extension.
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#5 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 11:51 AM

Hi Sam,
I didn't know it's possibile to rotate the post extension.


Im talking about the clip that is like a monopod from a stills camera

It doesnt rotate - but there is some movement (in my pilot) maybe +/- 10 degrees when the clip is undone - it is therefore possible to tighten the clip with the bottom and the top of the sled mildly misaligned (when viewed directly from above)

s
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#6 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:31 PM

If that doesn't solve your problem then contact Tiffen and they will take care of it for you.

~Jess
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#7 Janice Arthur

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 12:59 PM

Tom;

I have a Pilot, it may be that your Top stage is off slightly from your bottom stage but usually you release the extension and true it up. Clearly if the top stage is on securely that's you real concern.

Obviously you and others have thought of that. If its off slightly I wouldn't worry.

My main comment is to address your worry about "dynamic" balance.

If you just statically balance the rig and you'll be fine.

Often times I read these posts and everyone is consumed by "dynamic" balance. For decades it was unknown and we did just fine. Now everyone seems very concerned with "dynamic" balance.

You can obviously work on to achieve it whenever possible but stressing over it seems pointless.

My learning and use of dynamic balance was to make planning flat, fast (i.e. swish pans) pans predictable. 90% of my daily shoots never have a swish pan in them.

Everyday operating is not dependent on dynamic balance; God, for decades we didn't even have a docking stand that would let you spin your rig.

That's my input, have a nice shoot.

JA
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#8 Tom Bonsignore

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 01:22 PM

The alignment is off when you look at the stage from the top of the stage looking down. The stage is turned a little to the right of the bottom bar. I noticed the bottom bar is a little loose. I see there is a smaller allen bolt to tighten it right above the latch to extend the pst, but the T shaped wrench does not fit it. I will have to find a smaller wrench and try to tighten it up. Hopefully that will fix it.

Janice,

Thanks for the advice on Dynamic balance. I could see how someone could go crazy. Me being a perfectionist I tought I had to have it perfect.

I got it to where there is only a slight sway when you spin it. It will work as is!

Thanks all!!

I'll let you know how the wedding shoot goes!
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#9 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:59 PM

As far as dynamic balance goes if I know that the setup is relatively well balanced dynamically and I don't have any whip pans or anything like that planned I often won't dynamic balance when setting up. If I have plenty of time I will do it but I am trimming for headroom often enough that there often isn't much point.

~Jess
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#10 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 03:00 PM

I am trimming for headroom often enough that there often isn't much point.


My thoughts exactly. My sled normally starts the day perfectly balanced on the stand. That is, however, probably the only time it is in perfect DB - unless I'm working on a live show of some sort, or music concerts - in which case I view DB as being crucial - as is having a short sled with a close to neutral drop time.
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#11 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 03:14 PM

unless I'm working on a live show of some sort, or music concerts - in which case I view DB as being crucial - as is having a short sled with a close to neutral drop time.

I was flying with a very close to neutral drop time for a while so that I could have more freedom to easily adjust tilt throughout the shot. In the end I realized that it is just too much work to keep it steady and properly framed like that. Now I do a 2ish second drop time unless the particular circumstance calls for neutralish.

What in particular do you find requires the neutral drop time in live shows? The flexibility to adjust tilt on the fly?
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#12 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 04:14 PM

Hi Jess,

I find it useful for tilt, and also find it more comfortable for dutch framing - if I know I've got a lot of this to do, I have my sled close to neutral. I've never flown totally neutral, I like a slight drop.

It is nice to set the sled up for whatever situation you are shooting in - for example exteriors on a film on a blustery day, I prefer a longer sled with a quick drop time.

Apologies for the thread hijacking, with all this talk of DB and drop times!
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