This is a demo of how I setup the Steadicam Merlin with my Canon 7D / 17-55mm f2.8 canon lens. I initially had a lot of problems with the balance until I removed the 1/8 lb start weight at the bottom spar... this helped immensely. But, the Merlin is a pesky little thing and seems to still need a lot of tweaking for balance even after it's been initially setup. I'm sure that's just the nature of the beast, but once you do have it setup correctly it really does work like a champ.
Also, you'll notice that I removed the camera strap as that seems to cause a LOT of problems too. I don't know if that's common practice with most people, but it certainly helped me!
Now that I'm relatively happy with the balance it really shows how much training I need with my walking skills... I bounce way too much, plus turns are still a little tricky for me yet... especially after more than 90 degrees then trying to start walking straight again (without unacceptable left/right wobble).
Here are my setup conditions:
Forward weights: 0 start, 1 mid, 1 finish
Bottom weights: 0 start, 3 mid, 1 finish
Arc size: 310 mm
Mounting Hole "O" on dovetail plate (farthest one away!)
Stage position: -1
Z-turns: 4 down from fully closed
Fore-and-Aft Trim Roller: 24mm from nut in front
Side-to-Side Trim Roller: 5mm from left end of bolt
Estimated drop time: a little more than 1 second.
I mainly put this video together because of a request for my setup conditions, but also because I was just about to totally rebalance for the Sigma 20mm f1.8 and knew I'd feel a little silly if I didn't record my setup since it took so long to figure it out in the first place.
I hope this helps people with the same configuration... good luck!
Have replaced the hose clamp for a fixed metal ring that slides in over the lens when zoomed in, then matches focus ring perfectly when pushed toward it. A big time saver! Check it out on my website!