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LAING steadicams, arms and vests
  • I am moving all to separate topic to have focused discussion.


    LAING options

    Quite good opinions about them. Good quality.

    First, more light set, for cameras up to 7.5kg.

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    One for 7-15kg range comes in case:

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  • Laing M02, available on our deals now, you can PM me to get details.

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  • Laing P-03 stabilizers (MC and XC versions, MC is longer one)

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    MC versions specs (XS is same, but smaller): image

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    Comes in bag: image

    Separate sled offered in sets also

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  • Single spring set

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  • Gosh I want one of these. Gotta figure out a way to justify spending $1600. Maybe I'll have a garage sale.

    Is that Hong Kong?

  • @bannedindv

    No such country as Hong Kong exist. :-)

    It is Chinese manufacturer.

  • @bannedindv The YouTube demo videos above were shot by Eric Teotico, based in the Phillipines.

  • Hi Chris, thanks for the invite. This is a very interesting and exciting forum. It's a perfect place for me since I'm planning to buy equipment to set up a small studio that's flexible enough to also do location work. With just aquick browse, I already saw so many attractive deals. Kudos to Vitaliy_Kiselev for creating and sustaining this community. Great help for others. There's only one downside - you're gonna spend your money here with too many irresistible deals.

    I did more tests on my Laing M-02 after I upgraded my bottom sled with the new adjustable Monitor bracket and Battery sliding plate. This is the standard accessory that comes with their most advanced model. It gives me more flexibility to achieve static and dynamic balance. The sled is now heavier though. I haven't weighed it in yet. I did more spring tests after our last discussion in the other forum.

  • @eteotico Welcome Eric! do you have a link or picture for the upgraded monitor bracket and battery plate? I thought the M02 was their top model. I am looking forward to more info/video? :) regarding optimum spring loads ...

  • Yep, it'll be also interesting to discuss possible improvements.

  • It is but I think I got an early model. The bottom sled that holds the battery plate and monitor is the same as the M-02c version. Everything else is the same as their advanced model. So they gave me an upgrade on the monitor and battery bracket (same as the M-02 ad posting).

    The main advantage is that the monitor bracket can now be moved higher and lower down the post, which makes for easier fore and aft adjustment of both the battery and monitor. It allows you to have more balancing options and increases pan inertia. The downside is, it's a little heavier. (I'll post weights and pictures.)

    Update on my tests: I had a eureeka moment on the arms. After you told me about the 30 inch boom range and isoelasticity of the the Flyer, I wondered why I wasn't achieving it since both arms had basically the same design. I re read the Steadicam Operators Manual and this part struck me on page 263 "The Flyer arms new trick is the use of a single steel spring across the diagonal, which greatly reduces the complexity of the arm. The spring is bigger than normal - it pulls about three times harder - but the angle of it's pull is reduced to 1/3 the height of the parallelogram."

    I decided to to use a harder spring on the lower arm (Tracy gifted me with an extra set of spring since I purchased it on my bday - NICE!) Spring O.D is 28mm at wire size of 4mm, Stainless Steel.

    I then turned the lift knob to it's lowest setting. The Steadicam manual was right. I achieved isoelasticity and greater boom range. NOTE: Isoelasticity did not cover the full range of the arm but somewhere between 12-18 inches. It still gently settles in the middle but requires little force to boom the 12-18" range.

    The stronger spring was too hard on the upper arm so I kept the medium spring ( O.D. 24mm at wire size 3mm) on the upper arm.

    I will post flight tests and pics of my mods in the next few days.

    For those who have lighter rigs like DSLRs, the M-02c is a very good option. I tested the medium springs (O.D. 24, Wire 3mm, SS) and achieved limited isoelasticity near the lower lift knob setting. The sled has to be very light though. With my FS 100, I could only achieve it using my super light pancake lens, unloading the monitor and battery and replacing it with the supplied weights. A very light rig has it's advantages and disadvantages. (This could be another thread.) I hope they supply M-02c with an adjustable socket block . Personally, the adjustable socket block is important.

    One of the features I like most with the Laing arms are the springs they use. They are standard extension springs. I can experiment and tune my arm springs as I much as I want. Light or heavy loads? - bring it on.

    In the future, I can give an instructional video on how to change the springs.

    Those are my latest mods. I hope I didn't give you guys a headache.

  • @eteotico thanks for posting, I'm really interested in this rig. just a few questions:

    1. is the gimbal movable to adjust the drop time? are there any counter weights included?

    2. How did you get the different springs? Sometimes I might be using something less than 2 kilos, so "weaker" springs could be the answer (maybe turn that 2-15 kilos into 1-10 perhaps?)

    3. have you tested low mode, would be great if the monitor and battery brackets could turn.

    4. did you have to pay customs? (I live in Sweden, the most money grubbing government ever when it comes to importing stuff. Then tax upon that. So I think I'm pretty much screwed to pay like 25-35% extra)

    5. How's pulling cables through the post? HD-SDI should be okay, just add connector afterwards. But HDMI with a pretty big connector? Powering to camera and monitor?

    sorry if you've answered these questions somewhere here or somewhere else. I've googled loads of forums so I'm quite tired, I forget time when reading about stuff that excites me :)

  • I'll try to answer some

    1.is the gimbal movable to adjust the drop time? are there any counter weights included?

    Yes, movable. Some :-) counter weight are included as far as I know.

  • Yes to all. I'm from the Philippines, taxes here are even crazier. It's easy to pull cables. They included this in the design. Even HDMI cables won't be a problem.

    A 2nd spring is not part of the package, you can PM Vitaliy about it.

    My arm came with the 3mm spring. It can already handle most loads.

  • Awesome, thanks guys!

    Last one before pulling the trigger: Is it coming with a manual or do I have to figure it out all by myself? (I'm looking at you Glidecam!) Otherwise I'm pretty much convinced :P

  • I understand that they are preparing a manual. The one enclosed in my package is useless. I didn't need it coz this is my 3rd stabilizer system (my first one was a handheld Glidecam 2000, the second was a poorly made Indian rig). But even if it already comes with a manual I suggest you download a Steadicam Flyer, Pilot, or Ultra manual. I also suggest you buy the STEADICAM OPERATOR'S HANDBOOK by Jerry Holway and Laurie Hayball. You'll learn dynamic balancing, proper postures and operation, exercises, invaluable tips and advise, etc. This book is a bible to anyone wanting to learn how to operate the stabilizer system be it Steadicam, Glidecam or Laing. There's so much precision, physics and research in the evolution of the steadicam, it's fascinating. It seems so simple but it's a very complex machine.

  • Thanks for all the help Vitaliy & eteotico! I think I still got my Steadi-Op Handbook somewhere, I got it during training. I'm actually a certified operator since a few years back but I could never afford a rig until recently when I got a used Glidecam 4000 Pro (awful to balance) with the Smooth Shooter arm (single) and vest (not very adjustable) for about half the retail price. It was in pretty good shape, but the manual was rubbish. I found some videos on vimeo and it was different to balance compared to a "normal" steadicam. But it was a good start and I really want to get back to it (I became a editor and colourist because that was the jobs in demand and I'm good at it.) But I love flying a Steadicam, so when I can finally afford it it's time to go back to the gym and build up those back muscles again :)

  • You're quite advanced. Happy flying!

  • Got my M-02 a couple of days ago, will do a video review as fast as possible but I need a couple of weeks of flying it first and before that I need to modify the vest a bit. Otherwise it looks really good. Unboxing photos:

    Package at the door, 10 days from order to delivery. Customs around 10% of price: image

    Everything was in a soft bag (would've loved a hard case with cutout foam but for the price I paid I'm happy):

    The manual, chinese only, not useful for me:

    The vest is really good, but I need to modify it (I always "destroy" a new vest when I get one): image

    The stabilizer, got markings on the post for easy and precise adjustment, great if you need to move to another location and reassemble your setup quickly. Same kinds of marking on the dovetail/camera sled: image

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    The arm has it's own small bag, that's great! This is the part that needs the most protection: image

    Tools and different parts (screws, pins, spare parts): image

    Additional springs:

    Counterweights (x16) and the docking bracket at the upper right corner (you need to get a stand and a good one can be bought fairly cheap. I already have one): image

    So far, so good. I'll be back as soon as possible with more :) Thanks @Vitaliy_Kiselev for making these deals possible! :)

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  • Cool! Your post has markings already. That is sooo useful. I had to make my own. You've got two sets of springs too. Yahoo! Test the springs that's already connected on the arms. If you like it, stick with it. I think the soft bag is more useful and practical. My hard case is so huge and heavy I moved everything to another case. It now sits in the storage room. Here's an early tip. To change the springs, you first need to turn the lift knob to it's top setting. You can only turn the lift knob when the arm has sufficient weight (you probably know that). This will shorten the distance of the spring. Insert a strap, cloth belt or string inside the hook opposite the lift knob. Pull the spring away. Can't wait to see your test flight. I've been practicing flying using a high camera angle. I've got the tilt plate at around 25 degrees. Awesome perspective.

  • @hempo22 What is your opinion on the camera trim adjustments on the top stage (e.g. smooth travel? easy adjustment? good position for quick changes? firm locking? long travel?)

    Also, we have not seen any hard measurments of the arm's performance yet. If someone can get a set of digital luggage "hook" scales and measure the human lift/push required at different points of the boom travel, this will help us understand the performance of the arm under different sled weights.

    Ideally an arm should require only around 1kg max of even force to boom it through the entire range. Keep in mind that "just because it has springs and it bounces, doesn't mean it will perform like a true Steadicam".

    @eteotico Have you settled on your favourite set of springs? Did you use some from the Century catalog? What total sled weight are you operating? Can you include breakdown of weights for camera, monitor, batteries/weights.

    The more data and precise measurements we have for this rig, the better informed our buying choices will be. Without such data, a purchase is a gamble. Putting together this data is pioneering work. Pro Steadicam companies do not issue this sort of precise data, but with those companies you can go on their track record or pop down to the showroom to try one or speak to any one of the hundreds of operators using them. In this era of Chinese rigs, the data will be critical to sort the wheat from the chaff.

  • It's very easy to adjust, the dovetail is adjusted with a cog wheel, pretty much like a follow focus. The markings on the top is awesome and the travel is very long, about as long as the length of the dovetail. very precise, millimeter precision. solid lock. easy to add screws anywhere on the dovetail and change between 1/4 and 3/8.

    I don't have a digital scale to check how the arm perform. Haven't tried it out at all yet, I have to modify the vest first. Just a tad to small for me, I'm a big guy.

  • Hi cp, The combined arm 's length is 26 inches. It's nice and short. Without springs, it probably has a boom range of about 24 inches. I want to answer your querry about isoelasticity. It has a sweet spot of about 12 inches at 1 kilo torque. I am using a strong spring-4mm (lower arm) and a medium spring-3mm (upper arm)

    This is my crude way of arriving at my estimates. I placed a weighing scale on the table. I mounted the stabilizer (vest, arm and post) and placed the 6.8 kilo sled on top of the scale. I bent up and down, and watched when the scale would register past 1 kilo. I noted my height and calculated the difference. Hahaha. I hope hempo has a spring scale. I don't think it's isoelastic compared to the flyer or ultra. However it has a beautifully smooth ride with a limited boom range. It's precise, well built and has many features found only on more high end rigs and a price to beat. It's like comparing a BMC with a Red Camera. The BMC has awesome image quality but has many shortcomings. Well that's the reality of a 3k vs 8k price. (I'm waiting for the BMC deliveries to stabilize before I upgrade my FS 100.) I think the Laing will be a great tool for the BMC.

  • @hempo22 Vest fitting can be a SERIOUS health issue. I had the opposite problem with the Chinese vest (same one but via different seller) ... I could not adjust small enough! (Surprising given it would be sold extensively in Asia!!!) I could not pull lumbar support in tight enough and same with chest straps .. resulting in slop and loss of structural support and numb legs. Many mid-size people may find it fits easily (see fitting instructions below). EDIT: It will be possible to cut and re-stitch some of the straps/padding to improve the fit of the Chinese vest for small people.

    An ill-fitting vest can be DANGEROUS, doing permanent damage to the nerves in your legs if worn over a period of time. If you ever get any tingling or numbness ... re-fit the vest! Chris Fawcett, the designer of the new Tiffen ExoVest emailed me on this subject:

    "The tingling sensation you describe is 'meralgia paraesthetica', and comes about when the inguinal ligament traps the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve underneath it. It's a common complaint of Steadicam operators and fashion victims. Yes, tight jeans can bring it on too. The vest must have been too low or too hard at the waist, or just badly made. By the way, that tingling seamlessly transitions into permanent nerve damage, so it's best avoided."

    "TO FIT THE VEST: place the middle of the waistband level with the top of your iliac crest, then adjust the shoulders so that the buckles are level with your collar bone, not higher. The waistband should be as tight as you can get it, the chest straps should be tight, but not painfully so. You should be able to walk stairs without disturbing the vest. If you sit, you'll need to shorten the vest, or it's nerve-damage time again."