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Old August 19th, 2003, 06:55 AM   #1
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Losmandy Dolly and Jib

How good (or bad) or the Losmandy Dollys and Jibs? And has anyone used their "Free-Styler" yet?

http://www.porta-jib.com/
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Old August 19th, 2003, 01:31 PM   #2
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I spent quite a bit of time with their gear at NAB this year, as I am considering the dolly system. I like the design and construction of their products very much. It's smart and innovative. The "Free-Styler" is a truly unique idea and it works well. There are limitations in tilt by nature of its design, but if one can work around it, it delivers. Even though the operation of pan and tilt is similar to a Steadicam, it wasn't necessarily that intuitive for me to pick up, but within a few minutes I was getting it and it would have quickly become second nature, I think.

As far as the dolly, it's a great idea, very fast to set up and flexible (literally!) The jib also is amongst the best of its class for rigidity and design for the price point.

These guys know what they are doing.
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Old August 20th, 2003, 10:49 AM   #3
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I've seen them @ IBC last year I think. Looked pretty nifty!
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Old August 27th, 2003, 02:29 AM   #4
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Well, I ran out and bought theLosmandy Spider Dolly and Flex track last Friday to use on my Instant Films shoot on Saturday. We only used it for a couple of shots, but the crew took to it very warmly and were all impressed. The results were great, and the ability to shift the track while the dolly is still on board with no worries came in very handy when we were in a screaming rush at the end of the shoot. Nice, nice piece of gear. I only bought the 3-legged version but as time progresses I may start building it up to the 4 leg ridable version--especially if I can get rentals on it (hint hint, anyone in the LA area, keep this in mind...)

Another recent purchase is the Gyoury light system, which is absolutely fantastic but as was mentioned in a recent thread, could cause some sticker shock. John L., I think you are a fellow Gyoury user, yes? It's an exciting purchase.

The great thing about buying support gear is that no matter what happens with the camera technology--like HDV eventually making obselete our beloved XL1's and PD150's and yes, even those still-shiny DVX-100's--your good lighting and grip and camera support purchases will keep working for you for many years to come.
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Old August 27th, 2003, 02:48 AM   #5
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<<Another recent purchase is the Gyoury light system, which is absolutely fantastic but as was mentioned in a recent thread, could cause some sticker shock. John L., I think you are a fellow Gyoury user, yes? It's an exciting purchase.>>

Charles...I picked up a new CaseLite and Scandle...but I've held off on my Gyoury purchase due to the $$$ situation with the 30v battery belt plus the cost of the Slimverter. I never dreamed a 30v belt would cost so much! I still plan to go that way, but I'll have to throw a few more 10 Yen coins in the piggy bank to save up enough to buy the whole rig.

I'm really interested in the Spider Dolly and Flex Track, too. Any chance you might have some production shots showing it in action? (and possibly the resulting shot--I know, I know...a lot to ask for...but doesn't hurt to ask)
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Old August 28th, 2003, 09:21 AM   #6
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<<<The great thing about buying support gear is that no matter what happens with the camera technology--like HDV eventually making obselete our beloved XL1's and PD150's and yes, even those still-shiny DVX-100's--your good lighting and grip and camera support purchases will keep working for you for many years to come.>>>

That is exactly right. Good mics, lighting, and support have not dropped in
price like cameras and computers. IMO, they are not going to either.

The price drops in this type of gear usually because a company
moves its manufacturing to another country, which usually results in
a severe drop in the quality (you pay less, but you get less).

Charles, I would love to hear some of your comments about
your Gyoury light system.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 12:38 PM   #7
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John, sorry to hear about your delay with the Gyoury. Regarding the battery issue, they are also spec'd to work off a 12v inverter so you can use more standard batteries like Anton Bauer, obviously with a shorter run time than the 30v. I was going to investigate this with them this week, I'll let you know the results.

I don't have the ability to post video (still web-challenged, sadly) but we only did a couple of very simply dolly moves this weekend with the Spider and Flextrack, however they are extremely clean. Down the road I will attempt to document the setup better.
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Old August 28th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #8
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<<Another recent purchase is the Gyoury light system, which is absolutely fantastic but as was mentioned in a recent thread, could cause some sticker shock. John L., I think you are a fellow Gyoury user, yes? It's an exciting purchase.>>

Sticker shock yes...I just got a brochure from Gyoury. I've been looking at a Diva Lite setup with a 200 and 400 kit. Any thoughts on pluses and minuses versus the Gyoury gear?
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Old August 28th, 2003, 09:23 PM   #9
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The Gyoury uses the same tubes but with a custom base for mounting and connecting. The principle behind the Gyoury system is flexibility...using two wands (tubes) in a housing, one wand in a mini low-profile housing, bare wands to hide on car visors or taped to walls, two to four wands built into the Chinese lantern...so many ways to skin the cat with this system. The construction is very solid and well-designed.

For the same price as two Diva 200's, you get the same output (haven't compared photometrics, but since they use the same tubes...) from two Gyourys plus a bunch of accessories that allow for all this flexibility.

Haven't seen any minuses to the system yet, compared to the Divas.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 12:34 AM   #10
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Charles...did you get the basic 40' track setup with the Losmandy? I'm upgrading to a new dolly system, and I'm pretty set on the 4 leg version w/ seat specifically for the mini35. As flexible as it iis, was the track easy to shim? It's a great concept, especially for small crews.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 02:15 AM   #11
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Jim:

Yes, I started off with the one section of track, and the simple 3 wheel version of the dolly. It's easy enough to add the other parts when and if I need them. That's the benefit of living in Hollywood, I can just drive over to get the goods! But then again, Vermont sure sounds good--especially when the leaves turn in a few months. OK, you win!

Anyway, I highly recommend the straight channels, very useful and reasonable cost. I got 2 with the track but am about to add 2 more. I believe we used some wedges to help lever the end of the track onto the grass.

Riding the dolly vs. pushing it with just the camera onboard will obviously be more demanding, especially when working on a soft surface. However, the lack of joints plus the yield of the rubber tubing helps smooth out the ride considerably and makes it a much quicker proposition than traditional track.

I think you'll be very pleased with it. It's slick and a good value for the money, and as you guessed, easy for small crews to deal with.
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