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Merlin Steadicam Hardware Problem or User Inexperience
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:04 PM
Daniel M Daniel M is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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Default Merlin Steadicam Hardware Problem or User Inexperience

I have recentely purchased a steadicam Merlin. Balanced it after 30 min, put on an accesory and haven't manged to balance it again for days and days.

Watched all tutorials and videos, read through many forum opinions and links, read all instructions, cookbooks, magic formulas and the like.

Camera: 5D MII, 17-40mm Canon Lens. Merlin on hole "N" with nose weight 1 mid+1 finish, lower weights 3 mid+ 1 finish. drop time under control

After I discovered a strange thing about my Merlin, by mistake. I wonder if it's normal or if it's damaged in some way and thus my impossibility to balance it properly.
I have the Merlin set up on the original bracket so it's easier to handle.

Please watch the video, it's a much better explanation than the textual one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYwyaxJgGpQ&feature=youtu.be

This is the strange issue:
I can only balance it if I turn the grip at a certain angle (25-30 degrees) on the Y(vertical) axis, relative to the position of the grip with the place where you put your fingers aligned parallel with the Merlin spars. If the grip si facing forward (as the Merlin nose weights are, for example) I can not get it to balance whatever I do, even when bottom heavy. If I turn the grip at that certain angle something seems to turn with (inside?) the gimbal and I have a steady point to balance the Merlin on.

Is it normal to be able to balance the Merlin only under those conditions and not to be able to rotate and turn the grip independently with the camera holding steady? I don't think it should be...

As seen in the video, the Merlin displays some friction between one edge of the ball holding the gimbal and the inner wall of the cylinder ring, if rotated (camera un-mounted and stage turned on a side).

I would like your opinions on this. Will send the video to Tiffen as well.

Is this behavior normal as I'm a beginner at this or is there something wrong with this particular Merlin unit?
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