Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest

Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest

Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest

No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • Upgrade Kit for Merlin Stabilizer
  • Fits Body Types from Approx. 50-350 lb

Steadicam MERLIN-ARMVEST Overview

  • 1Description

The Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest is an upgrade kit for the Merlin and Merlin 2 camera stabilizers. It fits body types from approximately 50 to 350 lb, and secures by thin hook-and-loop fasteners.

This upgrade allows the Merlin to operate with a vest and arm for a more professional feel and longer shot capability.
In the Box
Steadicam Merlin Arm & Vest
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Steadicam MERLIN-ARMVEST Specs

    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 12.5 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 20.5 x 14.5 x 8.85"

    Steadicam MERLIN-ARMVEST Reviews

    Merlin Arm & Vest is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 44.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The steadicam arm is amazing The two part steadicam arm is amazing. It is really easy to adjust the force it applies and attach your sled. The vest is easily adjustable. Once you adjust the velcro to fit your body, it's easy to get in and out of it because it has snap-in strap attachments. I use it with my Glidecam 4000HD. I did need to buy an adapter pin, though. I can't believe how much easier it is to use the Glidecam 4000HD with this arm & vest. I can easily go for hours without getting tired. The arm also makes the movements smoother as well b/c it absorbs the shock. It also makes up and down movements easy b/c your arm does not have to hold the sled in place. The load is distributed into your torso and legs.
    Date published: 2012-02-28
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Bad quality and craftmanship Setting up the vest and arm was fairly straightward although the instruction could be better. For the most part, I had to figure it out myself as the instruction was poorly documented. Overall, the vest and arm worked as advertised with little effort from the user. The biggest complaint I have is the shotty quality in craftmanship and material. The front was all plastic and the shoulder velcro straps was glued to the pastic front piece only. It was peeling off during my first initial use. For $ you'd think someone would actually sewn the velcro parts together.
    Date published: 2010-08-09
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Its brought me to the next level. I bought this to be a central part in my feature film next year and I know that it takes time to get proficient so I bought this now and boy am I glad I did. Sounds dorky, but I feel that after a couple of weeks and about 10 hours of flying it, it's starting to feel like a part of me... and I'm making money and creating some awesome looking footage. Ultimately it's a new toy that's a huge gamechanger. The quality is top notch. The components work, The arm is strong and solid, the connection is great, the vest is so lightweight and perfect... The only thing that is not very good is the manual. Its the worst acutally.. Absolutely aweful MANUAL that comes with it. Well Tiffen wants people to go to seminars or buy books.. but I found some info online and that helped. It's not hard to setup but it's hard to get it to your comfort level. I love this vest and arm...
    Date published: 2011-07-16
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Steady as you go! I love camera movement and this is a great investment together with my Glidecam HD2000 and 60D. I have to modify and make an adapter to fit the HD2000s handle. Check the photos. You can get a machine shop make you this adapter. Its basicly a thick rod and the machinist just threaded it half inch. The rod should fit perfect in the Glidecams handle so theres no play. The vest is really comfortable and the arm is well put together. Great quality overall. With little practice, you can do anything with this.
    Date published: 2012-12-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from It really does live up to expectations After trying to fly a Glidecam HD-2000 with either a Nikon D7000 or a Canon HF-S100, first by hand, and then with the Arm-Brace... I decided to take the plunge and purchase the Vest & Arm! (The other two options just led to sore wrists, forearms, and shoulders...) I'm happy to report that it is TOTALLY worth the investment! The fatigue factor when flying a fully loaded rig is now a thing of the past. However, as all other reviewers have noted, this thing does take some practice... Sure, you'll be able to smooth out your ride when you first strap it on, but to get those Pro start & stops, operate almost hands-free, and completely eliminate the slightest wobbles... you'll need to PRACTICE! I suggest doing some research first on the Steadicam forums - once you have an appreciation for the art of operating a Steadicam Arm, you'll understand the need to practice and the desire to master the technique. (Once you take the plunge to own one, you'll also want to take a training class.) If you are really committed to get the best flying footage possible, then invest in the Vest & Arm. It's possible to get near the results using the Glidecam only (by hand) or with the Arm Brace (moves strain to bicep & shoulder), but once you reach your physical limits you're done flying for the day and your footage will show it. (Not so with the Vest & Arm.) The other factor you'll have to content with is the return on your investment. Are you really capturing that much flying footage that you require a Vest/Arm? In my case, not as much as I thought once I really started using it. At first it is tempting to capture all your footage this way, but it is overkill. You'll quickly realize that adding variety to your shots is more captivating than Steadicam-only footage. (Remember, if you fly a DLSR you'll need to use your wide angle lens and stop the aperture down to keep more in focus. - This starts to cramp your creativity with things like rack-focusing or subject isolation using bokeh.) It is a production to put the vest on, mount the sled, do a balance check, and then mentally switch your brain & motor-skills to control your body mechanics to optimize the abilities of the Arm/Vest/Sled combination - that is IF you want Pro quality footage. Sure, it's fun to run around with it and capture great looking footage, but when you start editing it together with B-Roll or tripod footage you'll see where practicing is the difference between cool and WOW footage. As for the actual product itself... It's the best option for a dual spring arm in this price range. Don't bother with getting any knock off product - as they say You buy cheap, you buy twice! Combined with a Glidecam this is definitely the best bargain for you buck. All the materials are high quality as you'd expect for this price. My only complaints are: * The rolled/bent steel at points where there's and elbow shaped bend show signs of cracking - which I believe are inherent to the process of manufacturing. When I first saw them, I thought I may have surpassed the load capacity and the arm was starting to show it. However, upon close inspection, it looks like the steel got that way when it was shaped. * The design of the shoulder buckle/strap is not the best - it is good and does the job, but it could be better. Overall, I highly recommend this to any serious videographer. Just be prepared to make a commitment to PRACTICE.
    Date published: 2011-03-31
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Essential requirement for the Merlin I bought the Merlin with a very light Sony mini cam and was able to get great flowing shots with it, but the quality of the video pales in comparison to my three chip Panasonic HMC 150s. You can't hand hold the Merlin with a 5 pound camera for more than a few minutes. I sent the minicam back and bought the Steadicam arm and vest (for the same amount as the tiny camera); it is a dream machine. I shot a wedding a few days ago with the Merlin and the Arm and Vest. It was a dream come true with flowing shots that look like I am on a Hollywood track system. I can wear the gear all day with no fatigue. I can run or walk with it and the shots look as smooth as glass. It is designed so well that it fits comfortably on any body type. Once you adjust the Merlin and Vest you will wonder how you could have gone so long without such a well designed system. Get it and impress your clients and get more business.
    Date published: 2011-06-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from yes For the money you can't beat this package. You can use with literally any hand held stabilizer out there. It's the same vest as the Pilot. You're basically paying for the arm which is extremely well built. This is a great 'my first steadicam' rig. I use it with my Glidecam HD4k and HDSLR. Thoroughly impressed.
    Date published: 2011-07-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Effortless! After using the Merlin with my Sony Z1 on its own, it sure is a work out!! But using the Vest & Arm I can go all day, one can have as much lift or as little as one like. You really can concentrate on your shot without thinking about the weight one is carrying. It's a lot of money but once you have it, it sure is worth it.
    Date published: 2008-09-16
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