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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been debating about which of these two to try out- Steadytracker ultra lite or the Hague MMC - The Hague looks more portable to suff in my bag - both in the sub-$200 price range (not interested in spending $800 for a Merlin right now). Input? Has anyone used both / either?
 

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I own a Hague and I'm very happy with it for my SR11. It is compact, simple to calibrate and use, and built pretty solid. But it has a weight limit that won't work for larger camcorders, and that's where the Steadytracker may be useful.


Also, I don't know were you want to use it for, but it seems like the steadytracker is kinda bulky and won't let you bring the camcorder down too much, which I think is one of the great features of the Hague and the Merlin. OTOH, the Steadytracker looks more versatile than a handheld MMC or Merlin.


I would say, buy one and if you're really into it, get the other later too. They seem like they could complement each other (and used for different venues). At $150 and $190, you're still way ahead of the price of a Merlin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, may want to get both - good idea, still have to start with one though



It's for use with the SR11 also but was thinking I might want to put my water proof Sony case on it sometimes which is over the top of the weight limit of the Hague when added to the camera / battery.


In your experience with the Hague, when you take the camera off the unit can it be put back on without going through some set up? Is the balance / perfect set up once achieved repeatable easily? How difficult is it to pan without disrupting the stability? I assume tilting is out of the question without disrupting it.
 

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- You have to calibrate everytime you put the camcorder back with the MMC. But calibaration is easier everytime you do it.
Takes me a couple of minutes. It's interesting to point that you can still use the camcorder normally while the MMC is on (I do that all the time). You can also lean the MMC's end on your body for increased stabitility (monopod like).


- Perfect is a strong word, but it is relatively easy to repeat what you achieve in terms of balance in the past.


- Left-right pans are very easy. You just have to use a light touch. Give yourself an hour and you'll be pretty good at it.


- Titling: everything is possible! But you'll have to it a little bit of time stabilize again (usually one to two swing). Don't miss a shot because you want it perfect... you can always cut the bobbling in post.



BTW I also own the water proof Sony case... pretty nice accessory for the price. And you're totally right... you can't use it with the MMC.
But how often are you going to need to use both?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14334536


I own a Hague and I'm very happy with it for my SR11.

I have read in HDV20 forum that quite a few find that the Hague tends to swing left and right too easily. Do you find it to be a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut /forum/post/14342185


- You have to calibrate everytime you put the camcorder back with the MMC. But calibaration is easier everytime you do it.


BTW I also own the water proof Sony case... pretty nice accessory for the price. And you're totally right... you can't use it with the MMC.
But how often are you going to need to use both?

Is there a nob or pin to touch for panning or do you just push on it close to the handle/mount and let it coast from there?


I got the water proof case so I can use it for outings in our boat (fishing and joy riding)- which is where it will get lots of use - the balance in a boat when in rough water could be a very nice thing to have I think. I'll probably start with the Hague and add the steady tracker next - the steady tracker will probably work better in the boat since it will take the weight of the camera and housing. But for now I can do without it there I guess, there's plenty of things to use as a body brace in the boat.


Guess I'll try to do some match marking or something to speed the set up of the camera on the hague too.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by srode /forum/post/14346773


Is there a nob or pin to touch for panning or do you just push on it close to the handle/mount and let it coast from there?

Just at the top of the handle, where the ball bearing is, you can use your index (or fingers of your other hand) to pan. You have touch it lightly, but it's relatively easy to pretty nice pans that way. 2 hands handling makes it easier too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srode /forum/post/14346773


Guess I'll try to do some match marking or something to speed the set up of the camera on the hague too.

That's how I thought when I got it, but after calibrating it a few times, I just start from scratch everytime. It takes only a few minutes. The one thing that's useful is to keep track of how many (and which) weights you use for a specific setup. Don't forget that the setup will be different if you don't have the exact same accessories on (lenses, filters, battery, etc). And as you'll find out, the vertical placement on the MMC is crucial, a half mm will make the camera bob up or down, so a marking will more or less be useless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a pretty sensative setup alright - I'll see how easy it is when it shows up - ordered it tonight. Any information you have on weights you are using would be appreciated - all I have added on my SR11 is a haze filter and the reflection ring for the waterproof body.
 

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The second you add anything, it will change the receipe, so I'm not sure my numbers will be too useful.


But with the SR11 bare and using the FH60 (stock battery), I was using around ~4 large washers (rings). I played with adding a smaller one (smaller than the ones they provide) to give a little more weight.


With my Raynox 5050-Pro WA Lens, I'm using 5 large and 1 small washers (rings).


YMMV but it should give you a starting point.


I suggest you google Hague MMC calibration and watch some of the movies on how to calibrate it on YouTube (there were a couple months ago).


What I do:

1. Put the camera as you will use it to shoot (no covers, LCD panel open, etc)

2. Starts with a little too much weight on it (bottom heavy).

3. Balance the front-back angle by adjusting the position of the camera on the MMC (front-back).

4. Tweak the weight position to balance the left-right angle (the SR11 is very well balanced, I usually need just a hair towards where the LCD panel is).

5. Use the MMC with the camera by making a relatively slow side-to-side movement (left to right). If the camera wobbles significantly after what you would consider a slow lateral move, then that means you're too much bottom heavy: remove a little bit of weight and repeat #3-5. If the camera leans on one side at rest position, that means you're too top heavy, put a little bit of weight back and repeat #3-5.


NOTE: Don't be afraid of using smaller washers if you can't find the correct balance with the ones that they provide. Typically, you could need a few lighter than the small ones they provide, and maybe a couple in between the small and large ones.


NOTE 2: Give yourself at the least one hour with it before passing any judgement. It does need a little time to get used to it. I was disappointed with it on the first 15 minutes, but I got into it and fully appreciated what it can do for me within the hour. Also record and watch the results, you might be surprised how it turns out.


Hopefully, that will be of some help to you. Please share your experience and settings once you play with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it showed up today - this morning - that was fast! Played around with the set up - it does balance pretty easy - took mayb 15 minutes of playing around - could be done in much less I'm sure. Think I'll get a smaller washer for it - have 4 bigs and 1 small on it now and its a touch heavy on the bottom. Not noticable with slow movements - more so with fast ones but it doe settle down quick. Seems to me the weight isn't centered well over the handle - it tends to turn when I move the camera side to side quickly while standing still. Will play with it some more over the weekend.


One of the first things I did was take the red sticker off the front - looks much nicer now!
 

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LOL
I didn't even take the time to get rid of that awful sticker.



You pay for the shipping, but it is indeed lightning fast...


Let us know what you think of it after a few shoots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It ships from NY - I used the DHL tracking number to figure out the origin. Ordered 25th and it was out on the 26th.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
$150ish for the hague and delivery - it looks like it came from abroad but it you look close much of the shipping information is type in (the information from abroad) then when I looked at the information about my address it was hand written - I believe they are all shipped here with the source information to an importer / customs broker in NY then distributed as orders come at Hague in England - which is why the quick delivery. The DHL tracking number supports this - no way it could be ordered Thursday evening and sent out from a NY location the following morning if they had to ship from England - not cost effectively anyway.


After taking a few shots I do like it - the image is more stable and always horizontal not off angle which is what I bought it for - easy to set up and easy to get used to using including panning etc.
 

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Great to hear you enjoy it.



My two favorite tricks with it:

1. When shooting kids or pets, simply crouch down to their level and follow them with the camcorder. This gives you a kid's/pet's point-of-view that's just impossible to do with the camcorder in handheld mode (or with a tripod since you would have move around to follow them).


2. Walk in front of your subjects and aim the camcorder backyards while walking normally forward. That gives you a way to shoot them in a very stable way while reducing the risks of injury from trying to walk backwards. This one takes a little practice, but you can do some pretty nice footage that way.

Here's a video showing the method (as well as how it should behave on fast movements when fully calibrated, though I have to say I've never quite got it *that* right):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hAw4d...eature=related
 

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Just got my Hague and I like it a lot. My setup is over the 800 gram limit, but it still works.
 

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I was planning to use the Hague for my incoming 5DmkII unit, but I'm not sure I can as the body itself is about 800g. I'll have to try overcompensating on the weights to see if I can balance it. But otherwise, I might have to grab something else. :/
 

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I heard of someone on the hv20-dot-com forum who had gone WAY over the 800g limit without a problem. You may want to search for his post. Actually they have a long discussion on this topic over there.


Also, I've heard it's difficult to put an ext mic on top of the camera. I tried for a bit but couldn't do it. But I will try again tonight. Maybe I need to buy extra washer/weights.
 
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