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Old September 2nd, 2007, 12:42 PM   #1
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Microdolly, Indiedolly, other alternatives?

What are some of the better (between the two mentioned and ideally others I have missed) , and hopefully lower priced (although not so low as to create a product that really just diminish the purpose of the dolly) dollies out there that can do both straight and curved track?

Made for HD video, mainly does not have to handle the camera operator, and wold be better if it could work without one, although with and without options are the ideal. Should at least be able to do a lower height (2-3 feet to about 5 foot tall. could be able to use attachments like a jib or not. All these ads on will add to the price but may also ad to the price of a standard solly so its a consideration.

And have you used any? with what gear (weight) on it? how did it perform? and have you used anything else to compare it too?

And does anyone know where the advantage (smoothnesswise not repeatability) of using the various systems over using a tripod and larger wheels weighted down?

Thanks.

Edit: Also anyone have any prices on the micro? so far I have found out its about 2500 for a basic straight track kit, the indie is 1049, plus track at 500 or so and a curved track at 600 putting a basic straight setup at 1550 and 2150 for both straight and curved track.

The size of the micro seems very appealing but with curved track(whose price I do not know yet) looks to be twice the price.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 01:50 PM   #2
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I have been using the Spider Dolly with the Flextrak for several years now. It is quick and easy to set up, very flexible (literally) in terms of the moves you need to make, and less delicate than many systems--it's really rugged. In the three-wheel (non-rideable) version, quite affordable also.
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 10:28 PM   #3
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That setup looks great as well, the three wheel track setup looks to be 1000.00 for dolly and 400 for a 17foot run of flextrack which can do both straight and curved.

Are you using a 3 or 4 wheel setup? Also any accessories you would recommend? spacer? leveler?
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 10:44 PM   #4
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http://www.vfgadgets.com/SScooter.htm
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 11:01 PM   #5
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the shooter scooter looks very useful, especially since it will likely pull lots of hauling duty to carry all the equipment that is seemingly needed to shoot anything.

At 2600 its a bit high and another 720 for track wheels and a very pricey straight track, luckily it can be used on pvc can it run on curved track? I did not see that mentioned although sort of alluded to.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 02:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Eastwood View Post
That setup looks great as well, the three wheel track setup looks to be 1000.00 for dolly and 400 for a 17foot run of flextrack which can do both straight and curved.

Are you using a 3 or 4 wheel setup? Also any accessories you would recommend? spacer? leveler?
I'm using the 3 wheel, there are often times I wish I had the 4th wheel and platform (riser, seat etc) but haven't been able to justify the purchase as I've never made a dime of rental back on the investment!

I have 6 of the channels, you really only need them on one side as the "bogey" wheel takes care of tracking on the other. I might consider getting a set of the spreaders and spacer etc. which will effectively turn it into a standard set of track. I've virtually never needed the curve, my feeling is that a non-rideable dolly coupled with curved track is a recipe for bad operating (you can't really backpan very well when you are walking alongside).
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 11:40 PM   #7
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Can the three legged version ride on a hard track also or only a flextrack? Has anyone done curves with it since that is the main reason I am looking. Straight is also but I am looking to curves for lots of shots i have in mind and a tight radius is great but I worry about the smoothness of the flextrack, which could be avoided if the option was to just also get a hard track as well.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 12:19 AM   #8
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Yes, it can ride on standard track assuming that it is round diameter. The Flextrak is quite smooth actually. I have experienced a little bit of vibration on longer lens work but no more than I would expect with such a light payload on any kind of track. The system uses good quality skate wheels setup. The same manufacturer also makes high end skate wheel troughs that are arguably the best in the industry for full-size dollies.

If you plan to do a lot of curved track shots with a very specific arc (i.e. rotating around a fixed point), it is not all that easy to lay the Flextrak in a perfect arc. Not impossible, but it takes a bit of coaxing. What sort of curved track shots do you have in mind?
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Old September 4th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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now that you talked me into the spider dolly, anyone know where you can get one thats in stock? The company is not open or shipping until end of September.
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Old September 4th, 2007, 03:50 PM   #10
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Abel Cine is a dealer, but I doubt they would stock them. Worth a call. It's very possible they have a demo on the floor though. I was just in the NY office a few weeks back but I can't quite remember if they had one out.

BTW, you may well find that your Indicam is better suited for the curved track-type shots. It's really a tough operating job to be able to backpan (i.e. keep the camera pointed straight) when going through a curve, especially one that is slightly erratic. It demands a lot from the head in terms of smoothness, and even more from the operator. Being able to ride (4 wheel version) makes this sort of thing possible though. But not wanting to move up to that amount of gear, for those type of shots I'll go to the stabilizer. Spider dolly is great for the precision and locked off feel for simple moves. I bought mine because I was doing a bunch of 48-hr films and small projects and it was annoying to have to build the Steadicam just to be able to push in for emphasis here and there. Having both tools is great though!
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Old September 4th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #11
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Sorry, forgot link:

http://www.abelcine.com/store/produc...cat=352&page=1
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