Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm – Will She Fly?

The Flycam Nano video I posted recently with the Canon 60D + Sigma 20mm seems to have been a big hit. eBay seemed to have sold quite a few of them, and I wouldn't be surprised if they would be out of stock soon. It's happened a few times before. After posting my video with the Nano there were tons of questions about the Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm lens combo and if it would fly. The Tokina 11-16mm is an awesome lens for you who aren't familiar with it and it can maintain an aperture of F/2.8 throughout it's range - good for low light stuff. It's one of the top favorites for cropped cameras and wide angle flying stabilizers. (Note: Available for Nikon and Sony also, but won't work on Full Frame cams)

find-price-button Tokina 11-16mm Wide Angle Zoom

I've worked with many different stabilizers and had no doubt that it could fly this weight with ease, but for many of you 'seeing is believing'. Actually I wished I tried this combination earlier as it seems to fly much better than the 60D + Sigma 20mm. The reason why it would fly better is because of the weight. One of the top stabilizer tips I always give out is that you should really load up your stabilizer. Sometimes I'll add weights to the top of the camera and then compensate with more weights at the bottom, just so that I can make it overall heavier. The bearing handles on these stabilizers are very strong, and my experience with stabilizers are that they just fly so much smoother when the bearings are loaded up (especially on windy days). So here it is, and I've included in the video my secret recipe of weights and position for this combination, and also the secret power hidden in the Three Wolf and a Moon shirt (gag gift).

find-price-button Flycam Nano DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

If you're not familiar with the shirt, the history is that someone posted a funny 'review' and then thousands of others followed with their own 'gag review'. It became so viral, you'll now see this available on XBOX controllers, iPhone skins, Laptop cases, and has even been featured in Television Shows like 'The Office'. This is also another great inexpensive 'Gag Gift' to consider this holiday season for your co-workers and close friends. You have to check out some of the Customer Reviews on and also the uploaded 'Customer Images' found here: The Mountain Three Wolf Moon Short Sleeve Tee Hilarious!!

Three Wolf Moon Shirt Gag Gift on Amazon

[Update] OK I lied. It worked so well, I decided to shoot a sample video found here:

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33 thoughts on “Canon 7D + Tokina 11-16mm – Will She Fly?

  1. @Emm - You are so right all the way, practice is the key word. And I learned that whit al light wait camera you really need some compensation wait on top, but also a quick release makes is more easy to find the right stabilization. Because the camera come up higher from the gimball you can add some wait on the bottom. Before I installed the quick release I could only use 2 washers in the bottom (one in front and one in the back). This was not enough to get the right balance setup. When I installed the quick release (40gr in wait but 2cm in hight) I could use 6 washers in the bottom this made it so mush easier to get the right balance. I added one washer on top so I could use 8 washers (4+4) on the bottom, this combination give me the best conditions to get the Flycam fully in balance.

    Emm thanks so mush, your video and explications helped me a lot. THANKS.

    Gilbert, a Belgian photo/video-grapher...

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  3. Emm

    Post author

    @GiBphoto - You'd have to really practice and experiment. That's how all these stabilizers work, practice practice. There are things to look out for like swaying side to side, and there are ways to compensate for this. I've learned that adding weight to the top means you can add more weight to the bottom, and get better stabilization.

  4. Thank you so mush for your quick replies EMM.
    Have I still the question on wish stabilizer you will prefer for me? The Flacam NANO or the U-Flycam?

    So you think the 420Gr will be to low in wait? How mush wait should I ad to the top to get a good stabilization?

    Sorry for the questions, as a beginner this is all new to me...

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @GiBphoto - These stabilizers work best when they are loaded with enough weight. If your camera is too light, I suggest you add weight to the top stage along with the camera. You can add anything like a microphone or LED video light, or just plain washers to add weight to the top.

  6. Sorry I posted this at the wrong place I think,,, Thats why I post it here again.

    Hi there, thank you very much for your excellent video's and reviews.
    The issue why I write to you is on the matter that I’m considering buying a FLYCAM NANO.
    I work a Panasonic HDC-HS700 camera wish have only a wait of 420grams.
    I see all your tests whit the Flycam NANO but always whit a mush heavier (in wait) camera on top.
    Can you tell me how the Flycam NANO works whit a (very) light camera like my Panasonic HDC-HS700?
    Specially because I’m doubting between the Flycam NANO and the U-Flycam (both of the same company) I like your advice very mush. So far I prefer the Flycam NANO but maybe your experience will tell me different?
    Sorry for my bad English but I write you from Belgium (central Europe) because I appreciate your contributions so mush.
    Thanks in advance, sincerely,,, Gilbert.

  7. Emm

    Post author

    @AA - You can go off of the specs, or you can go off of examples. There has been plenty of DSLRs being flown on the Flycam Nano which is why I was trying to show the example that it does work. If you want to be safe, you can get the Flycam 3000 which is the next step up from the Nano.

  8. AA

    Hello, can someone tell me what exactly Flycam Nano needed for 7D?
    7D only body weight 820g..but on many websites & youtube a lot of examples
    flycam fr 700g + 7D. I confused, is it ok 700g+7D or it is better buy Flycam 5000 pro for cameras less than 4.5kg. or Flycam DSLR for 1.5-2 kg.

  9. JR

    To clarify the question, once you get the thing balanced for a specific camera, is it easy to replicate that later?

  10. JR

    AlexT: Wow I was just thinking about getting the Flycam Nano to use primarily with a Panny TM 800 and occiasionally a Canon 60D... it seems like your complaint is a common one, that the learning curve to balance is sorta steep. Do you (or anybody) feel that once you dial it in, its easy enough to swap two different size/weight cameras or is that just asking for too much trouble?

  11. AlexT

    Hi again, now after 2 weels of balancing I'm a doctor in doing this and for all IT IS NOT AT ALL LIKE SHOWING IN DEMO VIDEOS !!! It is a nightmare and you need all your patient available. But I'm a pasionate videographer and it is very nice when after all your tryings and effort you achieve something. So technically I think it is is a little tricky with lightier cameras ( under 500gms). Ofcourse you can add weights on top of nano( for ex a heavier quick release plate( for bigger cameras) but finally you'll have a problem with carrying the flycam . Your next stop will be a steady arm brace or a mechanical metalic arm. I will think about it but for now its good like this.
    Another problem are the weights which come into package: its done very cheap, with bad bolts and nuts and of course I,ve done a DIY set trying do easy up the balancing operation( monting wheights- unmounting wheights) and now I think a have a good result( offcourse comparing with the demo videos which I find from other people and with the limitations of this Steady cam).
    After all it is a very good steady cam for the money you spend, the guys from India are very nice and help me to balancing (a quick dialog done by mail, check this/that, do this, do that...) and after all its OK.
    So guys thanks for your support and I wish you good shooting for everyone !

  12. AlexT

    Hi , I,ve purchased it ! Let's hope that I'll have it soon.
    After testing with the TM 700 I will be back.

  13. AlexT

    thanks Emm, it was nice if anyone from you had make a real test with it. Anyway I've searched about the weight of the camcorders which is supposed to be suitable with Nano and some of them have very close weight which the Pana.
    Hope will be ok.
    I will purchase it, test it an I will post some tests.
    I think I will be the first with this camcorder....

    Another question: there are splitted advices with the OIS: to be or not to be let it in function. My opinion is to be ON. The steady movement correctin will be an great add to the camcorder OIS....What do you think ?

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @AlexT - I've seen that camera, i'm pretty sure it could balance it even with the extra battery.

  15. AlexT

    Hi, all. I am a DSLR fun but not for replacing the real camcorders. I like it just for photo. I have a Nikon D90 and for this is a superb camera. What I'm VERY interested is how this Flycam ( which I'm at a click distance to buy it from ebay !) it will work( I mean balancing in real terms, because I want to do a good job with it) with Panasonic TM 700. It is one of the best consumer camcorder and in my mind I think it will complete very well the quality of Pana in terms of shooting.
    So , the camera loads aprox 400g ( 450 with the extended battery) and from ALL reviews it seems that will work fine.
    So guys, help me to decide( consider that the budget is just for Flycam Nano...)
    Thanks All for your further reply .

  16. Aaron

    Does anyone, or Emm, have the recipe for T2i + Tokina 11-16 + Flycam Nano? (No QR plate) I've been trying and trying to balance it with no luck! Thanks!

  17. If you overload this stabilizer what would happen? Is it
    just a matter of not being balanced or is there a weak link that would fail?

  18. I am curious to know if this set up will fly a 7D with Battery grip and the 126 LED light attached to it. I do a lot of low light club shooting of dj's and crowd shots from a stage POV and i could really use "steadycam' system instead of my current stabalizer the Bushhawk.

  19. Nick

    Do you guys think the flycam nano could handle a 7D + 24-70L? I like the size of the nano compared to the next model up. thx.

  20. jason

    I've been rocking the 7D/Tokina 11-16 steady cam for awhile.

    One thing to note is the minimum focusing distance at infinity because focusing with a handheld steady cam is not an option (at least not a cheap option).

    With the Tokina it's like 10'... not that great.

    I was using the Canon 10-22 and you can get much closer before losing focus. The Canon 14mmL seems to be the ultimate jam.

    A heavy steady cam is a steadier cam.

  21. Humm Good news !

    I have the sigma 10-20 f4/5.6 which weight 465g vs 560g for the tokina.

    I do agree with andrew, a quick release plate is almost essential. Once the rig is balanced is much more quicker to just put the camera in place.

  22. Andrew

    Hey there,

    since you've had the good fortune to handle so many of these stabilization rigs, I have to ask if you think the HD1000 would fly a 5D Mkii along with the 16-35mm and a small shotgun mike like the senn MKE400? from what i can tell the 16-35 weighs a bit less than your sigma 20mm, the difference perhaps allowing me to put on a lightweight mike. could i also squeeze a quick release on there? i really want to fly super light weight, super low profile for a one man gig. any other suggestions would be cool!


  23. LOL! Agree with Amado.. Emm got more 'power' to balancing the Nano, even with 7D (hence heavier than 550 or 60D) because of the shirt. I'm gonna start looking for the shirt on Ebay, so i can use paypal instead 😀

    Like always, great review Emm.Thanks for sharing this.


  24. Amado

    I think the reason you have such an easy time balancing these stabilizers is the t-shirt. I have underestimated the power of the 3 wolf shirt. Howl on my friend, Howl on.....

  25. Emm

    Post author

    the 7D is a much heavier camera and the recipe I provided won't work with the T2i. The best tips I can give is that if the camera needs to balance straight up. If you get any rocking or swaying while moving, then the unit is not balanced "top heavy" or "bottom heavy". Don't add or remove weights, just slide the post up and down to change the weight. It needs to be just slightly bottom heavy. You need to move the post up or down by just 'millimeters' each time.

  26. el tipo

    I've been trying to balance the nano on my t2i (with the Tokina) for the better part of a month now. I was trying to imitate Kaydawgy's recipe for a while and I still can't really get it to consistently not tip back and forth and to the side.

    Thanks and I'll try out your recipe and see how it works out. Any tips for how fine tune the balancing if you think you're close?

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