Handheld Steadicam Setup Recipes!!


Handheld Steadicam Setup Recipes


Merlin Setups:

Recipe for Merlin & Sony HVR-V1U (w/NP-F970 battery & Sony stock microphone onboard!)

Plate Hole: "N"
Arc Size: Maximum (14.25")
Z axis: -3 turns
Nose weights: 1 mid weight & 1 finish weight
Lower Spar weights: 4 mid weights & 2 finish weights
G-platz screw: No
Stage mark: just behind +1


Recipe for Merlin & Sony DCR-VX2000 (w/Sony VCL-HG0758 Wide Lens & NP-F750 battery)

Plate Hole: "M"
Arc Size: Maximum (14.25")
Z axis: -6 turns
Nose weights: 1 mid weight & 1 finish weight
Lower Spar weights: 4 mid weights & 1 finish weight
G-platz screw: down completely
Stage mark: 0


Recipe for Merlin & Sony DCR-VX2000 (w/Century 16x9 Lens & NP-F750 battery)

Plate Hole: "M"
Arc Size: Maximum (14.25")
Z axis: -7 turns
Nose weights: 1 mid weight & 1 finish weight
Lower Spar weights: 4 mid weights & 1 finish weight
G-platz screw: optional
Stage mark: 1 mark before +4


JR Setups

I've done a lot of measuring and weighing of individual components so that the info I provide below can be adapted to any kind of "add-on" weight system. This page details how much weight I add and where. Most of the recipes for balancing the VX-1000 on the Steadicam JR do not work with the VX-2000 or VX-2100--so we're back to square one on this one folks! Also, I'm going to refer to using adhesive-backed velcro a lot because without it my suggestions here are useless. (I have to credit Skip Wusnack for opening my eyes up to the versatility of adhesive-backed velcro on this system) So if you're interested in balancing the VX-2000 or VX-2100 as quickly as possible first go out and buy lots of adhesive-backed velcro before you read any further.

*Adhesive-backed velcro runs about $2.50 per package (and I went through 3 or 4!) at any Meijer or Wal-Mart store (in the sewing section, natch) or you can raid the shelves of any local fabric store.

I've covered balancing the VX-2000 & VX-2100 three different ways:
--#1: the VX-2000/VX-2100 with nothing but battery, tape, and lens hood onboard
--#2: the VX-2000/VX-2100 with a Century 16x9 widescreen adapter lens (the threaded model NOT the bayonet) onboard, and
--#3: the VX-2000/VX-2100 with a Sony VCL-HG0758 wide angle lens onboard.
--I've also provided one setup recipe for the TRV-900 with a Sony VCL-0752H wide angle adapter onboard (using a custom-made "S-video to RCA" cable for viewfinding it.


Recipe for VX-2000/VX-2100 w/lens shade only
-- LCD screen closed
-- Heavy Stop Block
-- Hole 8
-- (minus seven) -7 "z-axis" turns
-- 2 long thin Cinema Products weights (1.5 oz each) in lower battery compartment
-- 2 long lead weights (1.75 oz each) velcroed to inner lower spar
-- Use large eyecup (1 oz)
-- Use only FP-750 battery (7.5 oz) with this setup
-- Mount with short screw


Recipe for VX-2000/VX-2100 with Century 16x9 adapter lens
Same as above except:
-- (minus one) -1 "z-axis" turns
-- optional short lead weight (1.5 oz) velcroed on top left side of JR stage beside camera


Recipe for VX-2000/VX-2100 with Sony VCL-HGO758 wide adapter lens
-- Use HEAVY stop block
-- LCD screen closed
-- piggy back the smaller NP-F330 battery (2.5 oz) onto the onboard NP-F750 battery (7.5 oz) with adhesive-backed velcro
-- Hole #8
-- short lead weight (1.5 oz) velcroed on top left side of JR stage beside camera
-- 2 long lead weights (1.75 oz each) velcroed to inner spar
-- 2 large Cinema Products weights (2.5 oz each) & one long thin Cinema Products weight (1.5 oz) between batteries in lower spar battery compartment
-- one long thin Cinema Products weight (1.5 oz) under each C-cell battery in lower spar battery compartment
-- (minus seven) -7 "z-axis" turns


Recipe for TRV-900 with Sony VCL-0725H wide adapter lens
-- Custom-made "S-video to RCA" video cable--DO NOT USE THE TRV-900'S PROVIDED VIDEO CABLE. IT IS TOO LONG & HEAVY!
-- Normal stop block
-- 3 short lead velcroed weights (1.5 oz each) piggy-backed onto NP-F750 battery (already onboard)
-- LCD screen closed
-- Hole #8
-- no weights in lower spar battery compartment
-- 2 short lead velcroed weights (1.5 oz each) velcroed on back edge of JR stage
-- (minus seven) -7 "z-axis" turns
-- one short lead velcroed weight (1.5 oz) & one small (1 oz) lead velcroed weight velcroed to inner lower spar



Click Here to download Steadicam JR Operations Guide OR Click Here to download Steadicam JR Set Up Guide (PDF format)

Complete the Handheld Steadicam Workshop Tour--all written by John Brune


The Workshop Home Page!
Steadicam JR FAQ!
Caring for the JR Monitor!
Balancing the VX-1000 with a Wide Lens Adapter!
Using the XLR-PRO with the Steadicam!
Attaching Microphones & Headphones to Your Rig!
Tips and Techniques
The Support Gear Page!
JR/VX-1000 User Gallery!
Recent DV Headlines!
Using the Zoom Commander Pro with the Cobra Crane!


copyright 2014 John Brune