Depending on your shot, you can lock your spectrum down to a slider to tripod with a simple QR clamp. Or angle your slider or tripod and mount spectrum ST4 on a slope using a ball head or monopod head. By using Arca clamps and plates the spectrum ST4 has the ability to mount and be mounted in a variety of useful ways.
Mounting your camera to the spectrum ST4’s tilt arm requires an Arca compatible L-plate. You have universal options, which work with a variety of camera bodies, or brand and model specific L-plate options. Pick up a heavy duty L-plate for larger cameras that push the spectrum max payload of 12lbs for video and 15lbs for timelapse.
Learn the best practices for mounting your camera to your spectrum ST4. It is best to keep your camera’s center of gravity low and close to the tilt arm, and balanced front to rear for the best stability.
Here is an example of a well-balanced, properly mounted rig:
There must be careful attention to detail to the vertical and horizontal position with respect to the pan/tilt axes of the spectrum ST4, as well as properly balancing front to rear. This article will cover what to do, and what not to do, when setting up your camera to help you get the most from your spectrum ST4.
Vertically, we want the camera as low as possible. A lower center of gravity provides a more stable system. This is achieved by adjusting the position of the L-bracket via the Arca clamp on the tilt axis:
Avoid mounting the camera too high, mount it nice and low:
The L-bracket should lie as close as possible to the base of the spectrum while maintaining tilt clearance for the bracket and camera/lens.
Ideal horizontal alignment is achieved by changing the position of the mounting plate on the L-bracket.
Please take note of the notch on lower arm of the L-bracket that coincides with the pan axis on the spectrum ST4. The size of the camera body will obviously dictate the position of the mounting plate but, ultimately, we want the center of your lens to be as close to the notch as possible. If the camera body does not allow us to achieve this placement, having the camera positioned outward of the notch is OK but less stable. Here is an example of a RED camera mounted centered and outward:
Balancing the camera front to rear requires the forward/back adjustment plate & clamp:
Lens length and battery weight will greatly affect the rig’s center of gravity. When compared to adjusting vertical and horizontal position, balancing the camera front to rear requires a little more nuance and a trial-and-error approach to find the best position.
For example, in a shot where we tilt up to the horizon, we would want the camera to be positioned so it is slightly front-heavy with a forward-weight bias. This way we utilize the weight of the lens as a counter-weight against the motion of the tilt and effectively eliminate any shot effect from the minor backlash in the system.
We have two options for counter-balancing, a forward-weight bias and reward-weight bias (white circle is axis of rotation and red cross indicates center of gravity):