Steadicam Merlin: The Importance of Hand Positions

There are two ways to hold the Steadicam Merlin. You can hold the Steadicam Merlin with one hand or with two hands. It is highly recommended that you hold the Steadicam Merlin with two hands whenever possible. You will find that you get the smoothest footage when you are holding the Steadicam Merlin with two hands.

By holding your Steadicam Merlin with two hands, you will be able to apply enough force to hold your Steadicam Merlin with one hand while your other hand independently guides your Steadicam Merlin with minimal force. This guideline will go over the proper way to hold the Steadicam Merlin with both one and two hands.

Holding the Steadicam Merlin with Two Hands

When you are holding the Steadicam Merlin with two hands, one hand should be holding the grip and the other hand is used to pan or tilt your camera. It does not matter which of your hands is holding the grip and which is being used to pan or tilt your camera. The hand that is holding the grip will be supporting all of the weight of your Steadicam Merlin and camera. For your hand that is being used to pan or tilt your Steadicam Merlin, you should be using your thumb and two fingertips to very lightly touch the guide ring and the tongue on your Steadicam Merlin.

It is recommended that you avoid letting your hand that is being used to pan or tilt your Steadicam Merlin touch your hand that is holding the grip of your Steadicam Merlin. In the event that you are holding a very heavy camera, place the pinkie of your guiding hand in between the fingers of your hand that is holding the grip. This will provide you with additional support and you should still be able to easily pan or tilt your camera when needed.

Holding the Steadicam Merlin with One Hand

You will have better control of your Steadicam Merlin when you are holding it with two hands. However, that is not always possible, so you can use one hand to hold your Steadicam Merlin when you need to. When you are holding your Steadicam Merlin with one hand, you will want your hand high enough on the grip so that your middle finger is just below the notch that is located at the top of the grip. You will be primarily holding the Steadicam Merlin with your middle finger, ring finger and pinkie finger. To avoid dropping your Steadicam Merlin, apply as much pressure as you can with those three fingers. You will need to use your thumb and index finger to pan and tilt your Steadicam Merlin when needed.

If you are holding your Steadicam Merlin with one hand and you need to pan, you will need to use your entire arm to slowly move your Steadicam Merlin in the required direction. At the same time, you will be using your thumb and index finger to accelerate the guide. It is important that your thumb and index finger do not come in contact with your other three fingers, as this can cause you to pan or tilt too much.