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-   -   Cineslider mini-review (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/dolly-track-cable/482821-cineslider-mini-review.html)

Andrew Dean August 2nd, 2010 10:10 PM

Cineslider mini-review
I haven't espoused opinions about gear for a bit, so i thought i'd do some more...

The Cineslider!

There's a lot to love about this slider, but a few frustrating things too.

i find the combination of the resistance dial, the rotation knob and the ability to disregard both to be very liberating. I've found that a small amount of resistance helps in some scenarios, but not others.

For ultra slow moves, I've found knob is indispensable. Its hard to describe, but as long as you are applying outward pressure as you spin around - like you are trying to rotate around a slightly larger circle than the knob allows - that you can get a very consistent move at slow to medium speeds. If i use any resistance, its just a touch. At medium+ speeds, i find it hard to keep the speed even with the knob.

For mid speed shots, i'll dial in a bit of resistance and move the camera by pushing the head while trailing my thumb along the smooth surface of the side below the rivets. I personally need the finger-resistance to keep the shot smooth across the whole surface while having to reposition my body as i slide. This is my most common use so far and it feels great.

For fast stuff, i dial in a bit more resistance, and push the camera by hand, sometimes with trailing thumb sometimes not.

My favorite part of the cineslider is how the rails are protected from most impact/bumps by the construction walls. The core unit packs down into the portable case nicely.

There are a few downsides too. The most logical way to mount a cineslider is to pop it onto a tripod or two. However, its design fights you on doing that. The middle of the slider, where you'd natural put a tripod only has large holes to attach to the hercules head. There is no threading to connect a normal head here. That kinda makes sense so you are discouraged from resting a 70 pound rig on a single 1/4" screw, but it doesn't take into account that a center tripod plus one or two light monopods on the ends would be perfectly safe.

So, the next obvious solution is to put a tripod on each end. The problem there is the threaded holes are really close to the ends. All my heads are rather large (mmmm) but there is not enough room for them to mount on the ends due to where the holes and feet are.

My solution was to make up a custom center mount so i could center mount the slider despite not owning a hercules head. It works, so i'm fine, but i dont think kessler spent much time rigging the cineslider to non-kessler sticks. I suppose that makes sense.

I bought an old heavy duty but not very nice head awhile back that I now use as a center head with my 528 legs and connecting to the cineslider with a 5/8" bolt through one of the holes and into a nut. I wouldn't trust it with a heavy rig, but its perfectly robust for dslr shoots and quite versatile/portable. At some point i'll either make an adapter to allow larger heads on the end, or possibly buy a pair of monopods to add peripheral support without much extra travel footprint

I ordered the raised bowl assembly. Its well machined and comes with a special bowl screw to make sure even long bowl screws like the manfrotto can thread up. Its a bit of a hassle to connect because you have unscrew any quick release plate you might have on the slider and screw on the bowl. The screwing isnt the worst, but managing lots of screws while on set is a pain. I'd leave the bowl on but it would make the slider assembly or rails vulnerable to impact. That and it doesn't fit in the case.

Which brings me to the case. Its padded, its fitted and its very handy. My only concern is that it gives the sensation that the slider is ruggedized like a tripod in its bag. A good jar in the wrong spot could still damage the unit, so I treat it fairly gingerly still.

A slider is a bit of a specialty kit, but with a little creativity can replace much heavier gear and save a fair bit of time/money. Its fairly expensive, but if you are getting paid for your work, it doesn't take much at all to offset the cost with saved time, say nothing of additional production value. Once i have it on a shoot, I always find an excuse to use it for "extra shots", which i never do with a track dolly or jib. I reckon it took 3 shoots to feel the cost was justified. Thats not bad, really.

There are so many sliders on the market all built from the same core, its hard to compare them. I've only used a few, and honestly I can't remember which was which. I made the decision to go with the cineslider on the hope that the "knob" and variable resistance would allow ultra slow moves with some control. Thats exactly what it has proven to do for me, so I'm pleased with the purchase. Nice piece of kit.

I meant to write a "proper" review, but got kinda busy. If you have any questions/clarifications/corrections, please bring 'em on!


Phil Wolf November 18th, 2010 05:36 PM

Issue w/ cineslider
We recently purchased a kessler cineslider at the Kennedy Center. In our few test runs with it we've found that we get stuck on the screws that mount the slide to the tripod while dollying. We loosen the screws to get them aligned to the point where they don't block the plate but the obvious result of that is a loose slide. Did you ever encounter this problem, and if so, how did you get around it?

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