What’s up everybody!. Today we’re going to show you something really cool. It is the Tilta Float. We will show you how to set up everything from the camera to the gimbal and at the end on the Tilta Float. In our example, we are using the Black Magic 6K Pocket and the Tokina Cinema ATX 11-20mm.
Gimbal & Alternative
According to Tilta, the Float system will work with the following gimbals: DJI Ronin-S, Feiyu AK4500, Moza Air, Moza AirCross and Zhiyun Crane. But the Tilta Float is not the only gimbal support system on the market. There are other competitors like the Thanos-Prox from DigitalFoto or the G2Gf 505 from Glide Gear. Those are also available. Jason Morris made reviews of those systems. We have linked his videos in the description below.
The biggest advantage in the Tilta Float system is that they have many different accessory, which you can pair with the rig of your setup. In the box, you will get the following items. The Tilta Float system arm, the Tilta Float system post, the power supply base plate for DJI RS 2 tool with cable, 2-Pin Lemo to 2-Pin Lemo Cable, the Tilta Float system V mount battery plate, The Tilta Float system support vest with a shoulder strap, the wireless thumb controller for the DJI RS 2, the wireless control receiver module for the DJI RS 2, the Tilta Float system monitor bracket, the Tilta Float system carrying case, tilting adjustable cold shoe phone mounting bracket, a tool for the Tilta Float system, Tilta Float system cross nato rail post mount, which is stored underneath the arm, the Tilta Float system baby pin docking adapter.
Before we can start assembly, we first need some accessory which are not included in the Tilta Float. The first thing is the Tilta cage for the Black Magic 6K Pocket. Then we need the small rig mounting clamp, the small rig counterweight kit for DJI, a GoPro Black Edition, five, six, seven or eight battery, two one quarter screws and an SSD. The SSD is optional. You can also use a CFast Card for saving your videos, and the GoPro battery is for the wireless remote control for the Tilta Float. You are also going to need a cheese plate to mount the TB50 battery pack onto the Tilta Float with the cross nato rail, otherwise you cant balance it properly.
Now can put everything together. The first thing is you put the camera inside the cage. After that, you can put on the SSD, plug in the cable and tighten the screws. Now we can put on the two screws inside the base plates and position them at the middle, in the second hole. We need two screws because if you just use one screw it’s very wobbly and it’s very unstable. Now that the camera is ready, we can mount everything onto the gimbal. But first you have to take the plate and slide it in the gimbal, because it is not possible to mount the camera on the plate first and then slide it in. Now we can put on the weight. You can slide it behind the plate right at the end and screw on the first weight on the right side. Then you screw another weight on the top right part of the camera cage. The clamp you can put on the outside of the gimbal, we should tight it so it doesn’t move. Now we can put on a rod support, which holds the rod for the follow focus. Then you can put in and secure the rod. Then you can put on the follow focus. Then we take the lens support. We use the most outer hole for this. It is impossible to put on the lens support without it touching the focus, the aperture, or the zoom, so just tighten it on. It doesn’t have to touch it. We are going to secure it behind the lens with this strap. We need this because if it generates any vibration, it gets very unstable. Now we can plug in every cable. First the HDMI into the RavenEye, into the HMDI of the Black Magic. Now we can plug in the USB-C cable. The first one is for the remote control from the RavenEye. The second one, I’ll take the short one, the angled one. This one is for the power of the RavenEye. And the last one is for the focus motor.
After we put everything on to the gimbal, we can now start balancing. In the beginning, we start to remove the plate lock. We can position it a little bit to the front because it’s too back heavy. If it’s too front heavy, which I don’t think is happening on this rig, I have to put it a little bit back, so that stays in this position. Then you can lock it up, put the camera facing in an upwards position. It is now too front heavy on this side, so we can open up the right lock and move it a little bit up. Now it looks not that bad. With this weight, minor adjustments will make a huge difference. It takes a little bit of practice, but after you get used to it, you can balance it pretty fast. If it’s perfectly balanced, it should stay in every position without tilting at all. So now we lock this lock up. After we finish the right side, we can now work with with the back lock. Make sure to hold everything before you open up the lock. Position it so that the gimbal doesn’t move at all and stays horizontal. If it says horizontal you can lock the back lock. Then we go to the bottom lock of the motor. You can open up this lock and tilt the camera onto the side. If it’s not, for example, too much behind, then it will turn. You have to make sure that it stays in the middle. Now that this side is also balanced, you can lock it up on this side and open up every other lock and turn on your gimbal. On the screen you can press on the top right to check if the motors are getting too much stress on it. If it gets too much stress on it, you will see it drag the different axises. If everything is fine, you can start calibrating it, by pressing the top left part of the screen and click start calibrating. This takes a little while and makes some weird noises, but it’s totally fine. That’s the regular process. All right, it is finished. You can check the motors on the screen and try to put the gimbal in every position. It should not vibrate or do any weird noises. Now it’s ready for putting it onto the Tilta Float.
Now, the first thing you want to set up is the battery pack. For this. If you have a DJI Ronin 2, you probably have the battery pack already. You just have to put on this metal bracket and with that on the other side, you’re going to need the cheese plate and nato rail with the two screws. You got to take those out. And with the cheese plate, you are going to place the screws in the center and put in the screws on here. After the cheese plate is secure, you can grab the V mount plate and take this nato rail out and this mount out. We mount this one onto the cheese plate. And afterwards, this nato clamp onto this one. All right. Alright now you can take this cross nato rail and slide it inside. Now, you can mount it on the pole. Open up this lock and slide it in. Now you can grab your already balanced gimbal and the battery adapter. On the battery adapter, you’re going to put on the nato rail and also mark the center of those screws because this is the center of gravity and also mark it outside so you know where to place the nato rail after you put it on the Tilta Float. So now you can remove the upper part of the gimbal and detach it from the battery pack. You can put the bottom part of the gimbal away for now. Then you can attach this onto the gimbal head and slide it with the DC out and the DC in from here, facing towards you and slide it in. Now you can see the marking here and position it perfectly in the middle and lock it up in this position. Now, position it into the middle and now they can plug into the tube and lemo cable and take this bracket, slide it onto the gimbal and clip this one inside, so everything is secured. Now make sure that you remove the lens cap and put everything what you need onto the gimbal, because now you’re going to balance the pole.
Now it’s very front heavy. So you have to extend the battery side until the pole stays horizontal. Also here, minor adjustments will make a huge difference because of the weight. As I said, you have to put everything on both sides. I forgot to put on the the D-TAP cable. I recommend you to wrap it around one time and then plug it in. It’s a little bit heavy on the battery side, so I have to adjust that again. So now you can turn on the battery pack, open up the gimbal and turn it on. As you can see, the pole wants to turn on to the left. So I’ll open up this lock and adjust this nato rail. It’s now really turning on both sides if it’s not centered. So I’ll put the weights down but I recommend you to turn it, opening up and reposition the battery pack until the pole starts to get repositioned to the center. It is not slow enough, so I am going to slide it more downwards. This is very important because if you’re going to pan down and up, the gimbal wont overreact and control it by itself. So now that is finished, we can start putting on our vest and the arm, but for that, we are going outside.
Arm & Vest Assembly
Now that we are outside, I can show you how to assemble the vest. First you attach this bracket. This is for the arm. Slide it in and make sure to lock it. Then you take the back support and slide it over the top and lock it up. Make sure that it’s secure. Now you can start wearing the vest. Make sure that it’s secure and doesn’t slide down. Then you can take the arm and screw it on to the side. Then you can take the pole and put it on to the arm.
So now what you’re looking for is that the arm stays horizontal. So you have to adjust the strength of the springs in order to compensate the weight. So now if I let go of the arm, it tends to move forward. In order to compensate that, I will put down the pole and use the arm screw by the vest and and move it a little bit up. It still moves to my left. In order to compensate that we’ll have to change the second screw by the arm, open it up and turn the arm a little bit. Make sure that it’s secure. Maybe get a little bit tension on it to see if it still turns. If it stays, it’s perfect. So now I can try again. The gimbal is already on. I can start up the remote control with the button underneath here, also I will turn on the RavenEye and connect my phone and put it onto the phone mount. Now we can start shooting.
In the first test, I’ve tried the Tilta Float on the stairs. The steps were not very high, so it was relatively easy to handle by walking up. I had some trouble walking down. You’ll see this with some shakes in the shot. After that, I tried to run with the Tilta Float. This is pretty hard to coordinate. If the surface you are running on is not flat and you try to frame the shot simultaneously, the shots do not come out very stable, as you can see. But I think with a little bit more practice, it is possible to get very stable.
We also went to the skate park with Yannick, a very talented skater from Basel, and we got some very cool shots. So we made a little reel with them.
Pros & Cons
So there are some pros and cons about this set up. The pros are, for example, the build quality. It is real well built and also it is very modifiable. You can see some videos from Best Boy Adam and Camera Rigging Mods, how they modified the setup for the Tilta Float. The cons are the size of it. If you are a regular gimbal operator and you are in a very tight space, this is probably something you cant get into your tight space. You can adjust the pole and also the center of gravity, but this is also limited of the weights you can put behind to battery pack and is not very beginner friendly. So if your new to steady cams or gimbals, you have to learn how to balance it properly. Otherwise you will waste a lot of time balancing it on production. So probably try test it out, maybe balancing at home before you use it in a production. I recommend this to people who want to shoot very steady shots with their cameras while they are running or have to move at some steps because it’s very hard to get very stable shots with the gimbal, if you will try to compensate the up and down movement with your hands. Also, if you shoot for a long time, it can really strain your back muscles. So this is the best way to take off some weight from your arms and the back. The last point is if you want to shoot some special angles, for example, if you want to pan it down to get some really low shots or want to get really high with the rig, it is really nice to get really stable shots and also reach those angles, which you otherwise have issues or getting have to get in weird positions.