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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:58 PM   #1
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For those who use Dollies....

Am I doing something wrong?

I just bought a Manfrotto 127 basic dolly. I have now brought it to three events and have been unable to use it. I find if I am on carpet, or any flooring with seams or grout that I just get jiggly footage! So far I have to assume that this thing is only useful on glass, or gymnasium floors which I don't tend to film on either!

Am I missing something? Is there a special technique I'm missing?

PLEASE help! :-)
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:23 PM   #2
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Yeah, I don't like mine either. You probably just have to go slow. It's great on the edge of the dance floor during the formal dances.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #3
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I don't think those devices would work very well on anything other than flat hard surfaces. This is why God invented the stedicam, or the fancy new tripod mounted glide track thingies.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:00 PM   #4
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That thing is not designed to replace other fluid movement tools of the trade. It's just supposed to get you from point A to B with minimal effort. (And stick out like a sore thumb too I might add).

Throw it away. Or put it under your coffee table.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:15 PM   #5
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I think we have the same exact dolly.

You are right. These things bump at the slightest smallest seam or crevice. I guess that's what makes the pneumatic wheels of pro dollies so expensive.

But that said, on a nice smooth tiled or granite surface, it does it's job pretty well.

I actually accelerate my push or pull motion at the beginning of the motion so the wheels have time to align, when I have them in proper position, I steady the movement.

Wide angles provide an interesting effect.

I crouch real low to gain less attention. My back hurts after.

Here's a sample clip ... http://jmagbanua.com/vids/mae_rj.wmv
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Old July 30th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #6
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I think you should make a dolly with larger tires....that way they just absorm the small bumps.

and speaking of dollies, has anyone ever modified a remote control car to use as a dolly for the first dance? that would be pretty sweet I think. get a bunch of cool low circular shots without getting in anyones way.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 10:54 PM   #7
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Nice work Jason! I enjoyed the clip.

Can you share the name of the song?

Thanks
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:20 AM   #8
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The small wheels make it susceptible to most any bump. That's why I have used the 3067 dolly for years. 5 inch wheels which I'm going to replace with a softer rubber wheel. BUT, the bigger the wheel the better and frankly like any other piece of gear you need to work with the dolly before putting it into play. I've been on some pretty rough floors (I love the 6 or 8 inch square cereamic tiles with a 3/8 inch grout line) but the big wheels help to make it better.
I can get some very smooth footage with delicate moves with mine but it takes practice. As I have mentioned before in other posts I cut the outriggers down to a smaller footprint which does make the tripod a bit prone to sway but knowing that I make sure to hold it so it doesn't.

Unfortunatley it's almost impossible to get bigger wheels for the dolly you have and the big dolly weights in at about 17 pounds.
Use it for what it is. A piece of gear to get you from here to there.

Don
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Old July 31st, 2008, 06:44 AM   #9
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In the studio with a flat floor they are great - but even with big soft tyres, even what look like flat floors are 100% not!

On max wide angle and with very slow movement they may work - but the wheels on normal floor are as has been said, simply for between shot movement
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Old July 31st, 2008, 07:16 AM   #10
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Good to see this topic has come up, I have been thinking about buying a set of separate wheels that fit onto the tripod legs but I was having some doubts about their stability as they were quite small. It is also not always easy to find enough maneuvering space without bumping into something. They were quite cheap as it was only the wheels and no other construction, because I needed something easy to transport and set up, but think I will just keep working with my tripod from a fixed position.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 08:34 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone!

Well the good news is that I have 2 wks to return iy for a full refund!!
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:06 AM   #12
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you can carry around a large piece of plywood, or if you're feeling really strong, laminated wood product, very smooth...a large flexible piece of plastic will work, too.

short of that, i use my cheapie $35 ebay dolly as a monitor stand, which is a nice application in the studio -- as has already been said, it gets the monitor from point A to point B....low cost dollies are mostly good for moving equipment, not for smooth moves.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 09:16 AM   #13
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that is why dollies are usually supposed to be on rail.
some rail system can be setup in minutes. others require hours.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
The small wheels make it susceptible to most any bump. That's why I have used the 3067 dolly for years. 5 inch wheels which I'm going to replace with a softer rubber wheel. BUT, the bigger the wheel the better and frankly like any other piece of gear you need to work with the dolly before putting it into play. I've been on some pretty rough floors (I love the 6 or 8 inch square cereamic tiles with a 3/8 inch grout line) but the big wheels help to make it better.
I can get some very smooth footage with delicate moves with mine but it takes practice. As I have mentioned before in other posts I cut the outriggers down to a smaller footprint which does make the tripod a bit prone to sway but knowing that I make sure to hold it so it doesn't.

Unfortunatley it's almost impossible to get bigger wheels for the dolly you have and the big dolly weights in at about 17 pounds.
Use it for what it is. A piece of gear to get you from here to there.

Don

Yep, what Don said. I have a quickset dolly with 4 inch wheels, bought it at a yard sale for 10 bucks, did I say 10 bucks!. The bigger wheels will do much better. Hey Don, let me know how the new wheels do.
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Old July 31st, 2008, 03:37 PM   #15
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Yep, but first I gotta find the ones I want. Kinda like porn. I don't know what it is but I'll know when I see it.

(not sure what I'm looking for for the wheels but I'll know em when I see em ;-)


Don
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