Grips (The Steadicam JR).

9 replies [Last post]
JamesE
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Joined: Oct 23 2000

Hi there

I'm looking for some cheep grips! The main one I have in mind is the Steadicam JR. Does anyone know where I can get this rig, cheaper than OpTex and CP?
Is anyone trying to sell one?
I've heard of the cheaper ones like Steadytracker, Handyman and Glidecam but I am mainly after the Steadicam JR.

Thanks for any help!
All the best
James

Alan Roberts
Alan Roberts's picture
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Joined: May 3 1999

I've good experience of the Hague stabiliser. It's only £195, make in the UK, all metal, and works like a dream (although getting the excat pivot point right takes some time). Try something like www.b_hague.co.uk, or search these fora (I've mentioned them here before)

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Alan Roberts

Get my test cards document, and cards for 625, 525, 720 and 1080. Thanks to Gavin Gration for hosting them.
Camera settings documents are held by Daniel Browning and at the EBU
My book, 'Circles of Confusion' is available here.
Also EBU Tech.3335 tells how to test cameras, and R.118 tells how to use the results.

JamesE
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Joined: Oct 23 2000

Alan

I did already get in contact with Hague and they said my camera wouldn't be suitable as it has no monitor and one couldn't be attached.

Do you use one?
Thanks
James

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

Ah, I see. Yes, I use the Hague beast with a Pan DX100. It's changed my shooting style dramatically. However, the Hague mechanism for getting camera balance right is fiddly to say the least. So now I've replaced the top sliding plate (the one the camera fixes to) with a camera slide unit (Manfrotto, about £30). That gives me a fast, rough balance using the slide, and I fine tune it with the Hague mechanism that moves the slide bed plate, if you see what I mean. Plus, the Manfrotto slide plate is a quick release platform, so I can whisk the camera off and onto a tripod (also fitted with fluid head and slide on top) and be ready in a few seconds. At least, it all works for me.

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[This message has been edited by Alan Roberts at work (edited 30 October 2000).]

Snake Plissken
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Joined: Sep 17 2000

I snapped my Steadicam JR in two this year. The Steadicam is all plastic and more than a tad fragile, as I found out to my cost. It's also a git to balance - if the camera is too light or too heavy you've no chance. The best thing about the steadicam JR is the screen and the nice instructional video that comes with it. I had the Hague stabilizer when it first came out a couple of years ago and it was as good as the Steadicam in terms of the shots one can achieve but I admit it would be hopeless without a monitor. Also, the Hague stabilizer was much less attractive looking ( but more sturdy ) and the gimble made an annoying squeeky noise that got picked up by the mic of my camera - which is the reason I sent it back and bought the JR.
I can help you if you have any more questions about the JR.

JamesE
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Joined: Oct 23 2000

Hi!

Is the JR really worth all of that money!? And where did you get it from?

Thanks
James

pcwells
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Joined: Jun 10 1999

Optex sell the Steadicam JR.

Learning to use it is a bit like learning to be a puppeteer. It's difficult to avoid a seasick feeling with your footage, but then practice makes perfect.

I have one that I use with my VX1000, and the best thing about it is the way it folds down to let you use the cam shoulder-mounted. The B&W LCD is useful too.

Is it worth £500? Only you can decide that!

Hope that helps,

Pete

JamesE
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Joined: Oct 23 2000

Hi 'PCWells'!

I have been in contact with OpTex, and because Cinema Products is being handed over to Tiffen, there won't be any Steadicam's until Feb-March next year!

Now I'm looking for a second hand one. Don't suppose anyone knows anyone....?

Thanks
James

incas
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Joined: Oct 7 2000

Are these steadycams really worth it or just a gimmick? I saw one at an exhibition attached to a Panasonic DX110 (same as mine) and I had a 'go' on it and I didnt rate it much cop. What style of footage are you guys taking with it and the £150-200 price tag seems a joke when you look at what it is!

Alan Roberts at work
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Joined: May 6 1999

I don't reckon it's a gimmick. I have a Hague beast for my DX100, and it lets me do a lot of hand-held work that I would baulk at otherwise. It isn't the universal answer, a full armour plated Steadicam will do that, but for the price, it gets you places you can't get otherwise. I've used it to circle a table of people talking, continually pointing inwards, and it looks like I was on rails. You have to get the counterweight exactly right though, so if you've tried on and didn't like it, I would guess that you didn't spend enough time setting it up (it takes me about an hour to set up for a different camera unless I got a table of previous settings). Don't take that as a criticism, but as encouragement.

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alan@mugswellvillage.freeserve.co.uk. Delete village for a spam-free diet.