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Old October 21st, 2003, 09:25 PM   #1
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Bogen Dolly

I need a dolly for a film I will be shooting in the next few months and am on a fairly tight budget. I was just wondering if anyone has ever used the Bogen 3127 Portable Video Dolly (found here: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ku=5382&is=REG)? It is listed as $98.00 and it is the cheapest one I could find. Is there really much of a difference between this dolly and the $200+ dollies? Thanks for any replies.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 10:33 PM   #2
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The weight it will carry and the size of the wheels. I use a 3067 dolly with a set of 3046 legs for a loaded up 150 to do weddings, I like it a lot for the 5" wheels. Weight isn't the issue but wheel size could be for you.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:09 PM   #3
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I use a Manfrotto 3254 Folding Auto Dolly with my Vinten and Miller legs. Folds-up very nicely and sets-up quickly. As Don noted, weight is really not the big issue for these small dollies. Wheel size and features are the price determinants. In the case of the 3254, the wheels can be engaged and disengaged with a single foot pedal located in the center. Very slick.

One matter to be aware of is whether or not the dolly is compatible with your tripod. In general, the groove between tripod's foot spikes must sit onto a bar above each dolly wheel. A rubber stirrup must then be pulled up from the dolly's wheel area and be secured over a stud on the tripod's foot to lock the tripod legs onto the dolly. (It sounds more complicated than it really is.) This type of fitting has become somewhat standard across many tripod manufacturers. But my Sachtler will not mate cleanly to the 3254 and requires the magic fastener (gaffers tape) to be secured. So it's best to check your tripod's compatibility before buying.
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips. I still have not bought a new tripod but I was planning on ordering a Bogen tripod with the dolly and in the dolly's description it says its compatible with all Bogen tripods, so it should be ok. Thanks again, very helpful.
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Old October 23rd, 2003, 04:50 PM   #5
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I have a very old but heavy and smooth set of wheels that don't fit anything made today. I am able to firmly mount my tripod to the Dolly very simply.

This Dolly has hemisperical depressions in the aluminum casting that holds each wheel. I've tried the tape but it will loosen unless I use a lot. Then it only looks amateurish.

I slip an 'S' hook into the space between the bottom of the tripod leg and the top of the rubber foot that runs up and down the threaded spike body. One end goes around the spike body, the other end hangs out over the horizontal Dolly bar. I then use a 3/4" wide Velcro strap to run around that horizontal bar that extends from the center out to the wheel casting. It is long enough to wrap first around the bar once and then around the 'S' hook and the bar twice. Looks like a giant version of those velcro strips that go onto microphone cable with the slot in the end so they end up semi-permanently attached to the cable. Think I got them at Home Depot.

This is a very firm attachment. I mount a 12 volt auto battery on the dolly to run the NRG light and I can pick up everthing by the tripod without any relative movement between the tripod and dolly.

The reason I use this Dolly is that it has the ability to lock all the wheels in one direction so I can dolly or truck in a straight line.
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Old October 24th, 2003, 11:38 AM   #6
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Don,
Just wondering about how these dollys perform at weddings. Do you use it at the ceremony, reception or both? And is there an issue with people tripping over the legs? Is there a lot of drag on carpets?
Thanks,
Bob
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Old October 24th, 2003, 12:33 PM   #7
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Hi Bob,
Yes to both questions sort of.
Actually, I use the tripod/dolly combo at the ceremony if I've been relegated to one spot in the venue. Most times the officiant will let me be at the front by the altar to get the processional and the handoff to the groom, then I make a turn around and head to the back and plant on the tripod for the remainder of the ceremony. Of course that's only in most of the venues I shoot in, some are very flexible some aren't.
As for the reception, Yes I use it there as well BUT only for the Intro's and Speeches. As you know sometimes they go for a loooong time. A couple of weeks ago, I did one, the intros and speeches went for 30 minutes, far too long for me to hand hold a loaded up PD150. Cake and 1st dances and the rest were handheld.
One reason I like the 3067 dolly is because of the 5 inch wheels, no drag on anything, they roll very nicely on carpet. As for people tripping, it hasn't happened yet and if it does, then the person must have been blind. Once I'm done using it, it gets put away by the DJ or bands staff in a corner out of the way.
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Old October 25th, 2003, 08:53 PM   #8
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Im using this one
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ku=5392&is=REG

variable spread folding dolly which is quick and easy to set up...

two things that worry me thou...

the stabilizing feet are about just at 1cm (if nto less) off the ground when retracted.. this can be tough to deal with if the ground isnt level.

the rubber foot holds... basically it uses a rubber band system to lock the tripod legs into place.. my fear is that these will eventually wear and the unit DOESNT come with spares.. (or a carry bag even)

Being variable spread, if you need to get more height, you can bring the spreaders in a little, so your not stuck with full leg spread. And wirks with any leg kit that DOESNT has spikes.. we tried mounting a Miller with spiked feet, and the 2 point prongs didnt fit... basically anywhting with a single solid base foot will fit it.. holds about 15kg with zero drag...

this si the tripod kit im using
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=221742&is=REG
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Old October 29th, 2003, 05:57 PM   #9
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Don and Peter,

I just received the Bogen 3137 variable spread dolly and noticed the problem Peter mentioned. There is very little clearance between the ground and the rubber feet on each leg...maybe less that 1/4". The dolly moves over a solid, smooth surface just barely but the feet drag on any carpet I tested making the dolly inoperable. Was this to be expected? Seems like a poor design and I can't see any obvious adjustment.
Any ideas?
Bob
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Old October 29th, 2003, 07:45 PM   #10
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Sorry Bob,
I'm trying to picture how this would be and can't. Of course, I'm brain dead today but I really have no clue as to what you can do except perhaps use a bigger wheel?
Don
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:11 PM   #11
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Don,
I'm returning the 3137 and will prpbably go for the 5" model you're using. If it rolls okay on a carpet and it has wheel locks, then I'm interested. Trying to make a decision to go with the dolly or the DuoPod I just saw in Videomaker's New Gear section. This looks really interesting since it's a monopod with a side foot for stability and a Bogen 501 head. A bit pricey however.
Thanks for your help,
Bob
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Old October 29th, 2003, 09:59 PM   #12
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Try and find a dolly that has wheel direction locks so you can truck or dolly in a straight line. Very nice addition.
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Old October 29th, 2003, 10:21 PM   #13
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Bogen has one like Mike is talking about but I don't know the model number.
The 3067 wit hthe big wheels,either 5 or maybe 51/2 inches, I can't remember and it's in my car right now, rolls nicely over any surface. I've used it on concrete and asphalt doing corporate work, but it's not recommended.

I keep the wheels a little looser than they come from the factory and I also lub the bearings in the wheels about 1 time a year so it rolls nice.

Now here's something I did that you may or may not want to look at.

On the 3067 dolly there is a 2nd position for the clamps that hold the tripod legs-it's about 4 inches further back toward the center of the dolly. It's very simple to move the clamps, you'll see what I mean when you get it. Those 4 inches means I can get 4 more inches in height without using the center column on my pod and with the 5 inche wheels my cam sits over 6 feet up WITHOUT using the center column. I hate using it because to me it makes everything unstable even though the camera is reasonably light for the 3046 legs. After using this system for a while I took off the wheels and cut the length of the dolly legs back to match the back position of the clamps, redrilled for the wheels and BINGO, I'm very happy and satisfied with my setup.
I'm not advocating doing this but FOR ME it works. I don't have to fold up my dolly I just take the pod off and toss it (place it) in my trunk. It makes it smaller and easier to handle and once again FOR ME it works.
Anyway, thats my story and I'm sticking to it ;-0
Enjoy your dolly and when you get it, make sure you sing Hello Dolly to it. Man thats terrible!
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Old November 11th, 2003, 04:24 PM   #14
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From looking at these pictures none of these will run on any
sort of track, right? So for this to work you will need an extremely
flat surface I'd imagine...
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Old November 11th, 2003, 07:42 PM   #15
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Right, no track as they run on wheels only BUT.....if you adjust the wheels right they will work reasonably and I emphasize reasonably well on slightly and I mean slightly uneven surfaces.

I guess what I'm saying is a dance floor or a church aisle or even a slab of concrete such as a walkway if the expansion joints are pretty far apart is fine. Otherwise, it really doesn't work to well.

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