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alaskacameradude
07-19-2011, 09:16 PM
So, after a few hours messing around today, I FINALLY got my FS-100 balanced on my Merlin. Of course, anytime you change the zoom, you have to rebalance. However, it looks pretty nice so far. Keep watching this thread for video examples and I can post my settings on the Merlin as well if anyone is interested. Of course, this will only get you in the neightboorhood, as any different lenses or accessories will change the balance.

legrevedotcom
07-19-2011, 10:40 PM
Im impressed that the Merlin could actually carry this :D I'll trying the balance on the Pilot, hopefully it will work out fine.

Looking forward to see posts.

allantab
07-19-2011, 10:48 PM
What lenses or accessories (lights, mics, etc) are you using with your FS100 and Merlin? Thanks!

alaskacameradude
07-20-2011, 12:10 AM
What lenses or accessories (lights, mics, etc) are you using with your FS100 and Merlin? Thanks!

I'm really not using much as far as accessories. I think it is easiest with a handheld like the Merlin to strip it down. I am just using the kit lens, I have been meaning to buy a sony A mount 24-70, but
with what I have been hearing about a new adapter, I kind of want to wait and see about that before I buy a lens. Anyways, I would usually take off the handle, viewfinder tube, and microphone mount for a shot.....unless I needed some nat sound, then I'd leave the mic on. I could also hook on my wireless mic if I needed as it's lighter than the shotgun mic that is already on the camera. Once you get everything close, it's just a matter of 'tweaking' the rollers on the Merlin. Anyways, I balanced it with the included shotgun microphone on, with the kit lens at full wide, and the shot looked nice and smooth. I wouldn't want to try it for more than 5 minutes or so though....

Actually come to think of it, I DID have the Heliopan filter with Amazon screw on lens shade on the front, and that does make a difference. I don't think you are going to be accessorizing the FS-100 on a Merlin, but I think it's pretty cool that you can get some shots with it. A lot of the weight is added by the kit lens, so if you got something small, it might work even better. Something like
the little E mount 16mm lens might be great for the Merlin.....
More to come tomorrow when I have a little time to post some video....

cheezweezl
07-20-2011, 01:04 AM
Im impressed that the Merlin could actually carry this :D I'll trying the balance on the Pilot, hopefully it will work out fine.

Looking forward to see posts.

I flew the FS100 on a pilot a couple weeks ago. It's really a perfect match. I flew it all day and never got a backache. Twas nice.

legrevedotcom
07-20-2011, 01:12 AM
I flew the FS100 on a pilot a couple weeks ago. It's really a perfect match. I flew it all day and never got a backache. Twas nice.

Nice.. could you share some input on balance... how many weights and such? I know we probably don't have the exact same setup, but would be nice to get a hint :P I bought the shoot35 base for the AF100 for it and a manfrotto 625 quick release to match my tripod. But apart from that no other accessories.

Kraut69
07-20-2011, 08:22 AM
Hey, alaskacameradude, which hole did you use on the plate? The rest is pretty easy to figure out. The 16mm lens with the wide angle adapter should be a good lens for the Merlin.

alaskacameradude
07-21-2011, 01:49 AM
Hey, alaskacameradude, which hole did you use on the plate? The rest is pretty easy to figure out. The 16mm lens with the wide angle adapter should be a good lens for the Merlin.

I used hole 'M'. Realize that is with the kit lens. The 18-200 zoom lens is much heavier than the 16mm lens I am guessing, which is why I had to use that hole, as there is more weight on the front of the
camera with a bigger lens. So that may not help you much. I then had the plate slid to between 2 1/2 and 3 on the stage. 1 middle and 1 end weight on front. 1 start weight, 4 middle weights and 1 end
weight on bottom. Tweak stage rollars....voila.

alaskacameradude
07-21-2011, 01:51 AM
As promised, here is the FS-100/Merlin test. Now realize that I am no steadicam expert by any stretch of the imagination. And, besides that, I haven't used my Merlin
for about 4 or 5 months as I haven't had any jobs that needed that type of shot. Also, using it down by the ocean with wind blowing is kind of tough. Ok, so now all
my excuses are out of the way :) ....here's the footage:

http://exposureroom.com/members/alaskacameradude/88db986568be412ba5b0b0bfa2e89c80/

Paolo Carrino
08-20-2011, 07:42 AM
So, after a few hours messing around today, I FINALLY got my FS-100 balanced on my Merlin. Of course, anytime you change the zoom, you have to rebalance. However, it looks pretty nice so far. Keep watching this thread for video examples and I can post my settings on the Merlin as well if anyone is interested. Of course, this will only get you in the neightboorhood, as any different lenses or accessories will change the balance.Can you send me The conficpguration of Merlin and f s100? It's going to make me crazy!!!!Thank you a lot from Rome!Paolo

Drew Ott
08-20-2011, 07:49 AM
One of the hardest things about the Merlin is learning to balance it. I suggest not trying to rely on any "cookbook" settings and learn the hard way. If you understand how it works, you can balance any camera in under 10 minutes. It takes a lot of trial and error, and will be frustrating, but it'll pay off. With the cameras people are using today, there are just too many variables for sharing settings to be effective.

reem12
08-20-2011, 08:08 AM
ThT LOOKKS very smooth and leveled like your on a dolly. great job. It wasn't suprising to me as I use to balance an hvx on the merlin.

alaskacameradude
08-20-2011, 09:31 AM
Can you send me The conficpguration of Merlin and f s100? It's going to make me crazy!!!!Thank you a lot from Rome!Paolo

If you look a couple posts up, you can see that I gave the configuration. This is with the kit lens, at 18mm, no handgrip or viewfinder, I did have the shotgun mic
on if I remember right.

I used hole 'M'. I had the plate slid to between 2 1/2 and 3 on the stage. 1 middle and 1 end weight on front. 1 start weight, 4 middle weights and 1 end
weight on bottom. Tweak stage rollars....voila. It balances pretty decent for a steadicam novice like me.

alaskacameradude
08-20-2011, 09:34 AM
ThT LOOKKS very smooth and leveled like your on a dolly. great job. It wasn't suprising to me as I use to balance an hvx on the merlin.

Thanks, I'm definitely no steadicam expert, but the Merlin seems to be kind of 'intuitive' to use, in my experience. Of course if I have any questions, I am lucky enough
to live in the same town as Mikko who IS a steadicam guru!

Rick Burnett
08-20-2011, 10:59 AM
I use the FS100 on a Blackbird Stabilizer, and I have to agree, the FS100 stripped down in pretty much at the limit of what I would use on the Blackbird, or the Merlin. I think in the future I am going to consider a Pilot because it's just going to make it easier. I flew a 7D on the Blackbird for a year and a half and that size worked perfect.

One question, I see you are getting some swaying in the image. Do you think that is from walking on uneven ground or are you getting some back and forth movements while you walk? Was there any wind you were dealing with? I get a bit more sway with my FS100 even though I have it balanced perfectly and i am working to get rid of it. The Blackbird has a drag setting on the gymbal that helps a bit for that.

morgan_moore
08-20-2011, 01:13 PM
A thought

I have not done small stabilisers since I got my Pilot

Anyway I have been powering my FS100 with a dummy batt from hawkwoods

Also (for other reaosons) I have a sony power plate from HW

I think there was a flat plate available for the merlin bottom

Seems like this external batt could get some mass from above the gimbal to below it and cut the mass a little

S

alaskacameradude
08-20-2011, 01:30 PM
I use the FS100 on a Blackbird Stabilizer, and I have to agree, the FS100 stripped down in pretty much at the limit of what I would use on the Blackbird, or the Merlin. I think in the future I am going to consider a Pilot because it's just going to make it easier. I flew a 7D on the Blackbird for a year and a half and that size worked perfect.

One question, I see you are getting some swaying in the image. Do you think that is from walking on uneven ground or are you getting some back and forth movements while you walk? Was there any wind you were dealing with? I get a bit more sway with my FS100 even though I have it balanced perfectly and i am working to get rid of it. The Blackbird has a drag setting on the gymbal that helps a bit for that.

Well, there are a couple reasons. First, and probably most important, I am not a experienced steadicam op, someone who knew what they were doing would probably do a much better job
at eliminating that. I was walking on the dock, which isn't as stable as the ground is (waves when boats drive by) and it was pretty windy out as well. I also think that because
the FS-100 is close to the upper end of the weight limit for these rigs, you tend to have to put a lot of counterweights on them, and sometimes it ends up making it hard to balance
your rig without it being 'bottom heavy'. When you are 'bottom heavy' you tend to have more of the 'swaying' in my experience.....kind of the 'pendulum effect'.

Rick Burnett
08-20-2011, 02:03 PM
Well, there are a couple reasons. First, and probably most important, I am not a experienced steadicam op, someone who knew what they were doing would probably do a much better job
at eliminating that. I was walking on the dock, which isn't as stable as the ground is (waves when boats drive by) and it was pretty windy out as well. I also think that because
the FS-100 is close to the upper end of the weight limit for these rigs, you tend to have to put a lot of counterweights on them, and sometimes it ends up making it hard to balance
your rig without it being 'bottom heavy'. When you are 'bottom heavy' you tend to have more of the 'swaying' in my experience.....kind of the 'pendulum effect'.

Well wind and a moving dock, you did great! :) And yes, I agree on the weights. The problem for me is I had to take out the gymbal extension on the Blackbird which I use with the 7D and I think that extended gymbal really helped with the stabilization to me. I am continuing to experiment with it. Also, the length of the FS100 is a lot longer so the weight distribution is a lot different it feels. It's very odd.

In any case, thanks for sharing!

alaskacameradude
08-20-2011, 05:26 PM
Well wind and a moving dock, you did great! :) And yes, I agree on the weights. The problem for me is I had to take out the gymbal extension on the Blackbird which I use with the 7D and I think that extended gymbal really helped with the stabilization to me. I am continuing to experiment with it. Also, the length of the FS100 is a lot longer so the weight distribution is a lot different it feels. It's very odd.

In any case, thanks for sharing!

When I used to use the PD-150, I always had the same 'swaying/pendulum' action. Then I talked to Mikko and he told me that my drop time should be slower. I got it between 1 and 2 seconds, and
immediately got rid of a lot of the 'swaying'. I haven't been able to get my drop time slower with the FS 100 yet, so I don't think I really have it balanced correctly. It's balanced, but
not balanced if you know what I mean. Because of inertia and the amount of weight on bottom, anytime you take a step, there is a little swaying. I'd work on it more, but the past month
has been pretty horrible, no way in the world I am going outside in that weather, YUCK!