Gimbals changed the game for independent film productions. These days they simply continue to get better. One of the latest for creators is the DJI RS 2, a relatively affordable and feature-rich handheld stabilizer. Even after various improvements, there are still some hassles with gimbal use, mainly related to alternate configurations and mounting. The Tilta Float Support System seems to help address many of these problems.
Coming from Bestboy Adam – who also has a DIY solution – is a deeper look at the Tilta Float for those who have the funds to pick one up. Sometimes it’s a lot nicer and easier to get everything ready to go, and the Float kit is quite complete.
If you take a look at it, it’s hard to argue that it looks well built. Adam put some weights on the arm and it handled that no problem. The arm screws on and locks into place on the belt. It’s missing an easy quick-release system, so any removal will require rebalancing.
Being a belt-based design makes it a lot quicker to take on and off. While not as good as a full vest, the extra speed could be a benefit. There is a back support and shoulder strap if you need some more support. After 6 hours with an 8 kg, he had no discomfort.
On the back is a quick release plate system. This is a huge benefit to Adam as he was able to convert it into a two-handed support system. A major concern is that the belt is velcro only, which is quick but less secure than a buckle would be. He simply added an extra strap.
Checking out the post you’ll find a smooth operating carbon fiber construction. There’s even a power connection that threads through the inside to help cable management. Tilta will be providing a cross connector to help balance various battery solutions.
On top of the post is a gimbal rail with a single direction of adjustment. You’ll be balancing on the RS 2, and that is perfectly balanced at the center screw anyway so you shouldn’t need multiple directions.
Power is versatile, as you can choose between multiple power options, including standard V-mount and Gold mount. It comes with options to set up different power and there are weights to keep it balanced in the different configurations.
To control the system there is a wireless module. This gets you setup to have remote operators to perform focus pulls and other moves. Plus, the module will work with the Nucleus-M focus motor to control things like iris in addition to focus.
With that over with, you’ll want to get it ready to film. Mount the battery to the bottom of the post with the cross-dovetail plate. Then take the NATO rail and attach it to the RS 2 baseplate. You’ll want to balance the RS 2 using the hand grip before moving it to the adapter and plugging everything in.
Something Adam does is make a marker on the base plate that has a line that matches up with the RS 2’s center of gravity. Make sure that lines up and then balance the system by adjusting the bottom rail.
You’ll now need to balance the post based on where you want the center or gravity to be. Think about the types of shots and the position of the camera so that you can adjust length and make balance adjustments accordingly.
For roll balance you’ll want to do it in two steps. You’ll do right-left balance first by adjusting battery position. The next is to find the center of gravity of the counterweight. This might take some trial and error to get just right.
Balancing the arm is another step required to get this all working. This requires changing the adapter that connects the arm to the belt/vest.
This is a great system. It provides everything in a ready-to-go system. If you want to save money a DIY system is great, but if you have the cash just invest in the Tilta Float and you’ll be very happy.
[source: Bestboy Adam]
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