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The Steadicam® Operator's Handbook by Laurie Hayball, Jerry Holway

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Zoom lenses

In the 16mm and video worlds, zoom lenses are commonly used on a Steadicam. For 35 mm film work, normal zoom lenses are too heavy, so generally only short zooms are used. Often these lenses are used at one focal length for the whole shot and therefore don't require a zoom control.

Having the ability to change the focal length during the shot opens up whole new worlds of operating. With a zoom control on the gimbal handle, the operator can adjust the focal length for each part of the shot — just as having a remote controlled stage can adjust the sled's balance for each pan of the shot. Now an actress's close-up can be in moderate telephoto, even in the middle of a walk through the halls of Congress on a wide lens. The trick is how ...

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