What's a useful slider length for an EX1 class camera? at DVinfo.net

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Old August 30th, 2010, 01:20 PM   #1
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What's a useful slider length for an EX1 class camera?

I have a 14'x16' studio and do one man shoots around town. I'm thinking of a 3' slider but wanted to know if practically speaking that size is a little too limiting. Or, for that extra foot, is the 4 footer a little too big/clumsy in the way? Also, would you use two supports for a 4 footer vs only a single but good tripod support a 3 footer?
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Old August 30th, 2010, 01:28 PM   #2
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Even with my t2i and hmc150 I find my 5 footer great and absolutely two supports. My friends 3 footer I thought was a bit short and I love overdoing stuff. Mine doubles as a short jib.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 01:47 PM   #3
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But a 75cm GlideTrack fits in the same bag as my tripod and spider dolly, so it's always there. If it's always there, it gets used more often, and therefore earns more money.

And it's 'not another bag' - which is a big thing if you have to fly.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 03:18 PM   #4
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I favour the one metre length. It also will fit in a tripod bag.
For most moves, a metre is sufficient. It's also handy for getting the lens into a position other than being central on a tripod, forgetting any moves altogether, something that tends to get overlooked...
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Old September 4th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #5
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I've found it difficult to get steady, uniform slides beyond 36". Actually even a 36" slide can be tough. I believe Phil Bloom's 7d test video (located somewhere on this site) has examples of short slides and just how effective a small amount of movement can be. Get something in the foreground that leaves the frame and you don't need to travel much at all.

Sliders shouldn't, to my mind, be considered a substitute for a proper dolly. Hollywood uses sliders for small adjustments on over the shoulder shots. Incremental camera moves.

I'm not saying some people can't do a smooth as butter 5' tracking shot with a slider, I'm just saying I can't. On a slide that long you'll have to either change hands or walk along side the slider, for me that makes it difficult to maintain consistent and uniform force on the slider truck.

Having said that, the 5' length is kinda sweet for a crane shot.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 02:49 PM   #6
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I agree with Brian, it's hard to keep uniform speed over the full 36" of my Pocket Dolly. I'm not fully proficient on it yet, (sounds silly but there's a slight learning curve) but the shorter shots definitely still look good and add a good amount of production value to a project.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 09:57 PM   #7
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Thanks all. I went with a 36" from Westside AV.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #8
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I'll third what Brian said. I've got a couple of 48" sliders and never use the full range, as it is difficult to keep the slide going smoothly past 36". Would love to have a 36" that could be tossed in with a tripod bag instead of having to be carted on its own. You made the right choice.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #9
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Yes. I think the 36" is a useful length but in mounting it on my Bogen 540 ART 100mm sticks, I find that the ball and tie down don't keep the slider from slipping with only a little weight on the end of the track. I have the sticks in the center. Is this your experience or is it my ball?
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #10
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Les,

I put a break on the carriage and really encourage shooters to never leave the carriage anywhere but in the center of the track and apply the break, if I let go of the setup. Even if it seems sturdy someone could bump it. In my case I am the likely culprit. And it is much sturdier with the CG centered.

Making the moves I find that I can actually hold the track with one hand and move the carriage with the other. This keeps things safe.

I sometimes use even a 4' track on my Miller sticks. But I then use the wide leg stance and I sandbag the sticks for safety. I do this even with my EX3 and 5DmkII with heavy lens, Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS L.

Sometimes I find play in the bowl attachment to the legs, this can sometimes be fixed easily by tightening the bolts. But you can also send the sticks in for service.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh View Post
Les,

I put a break on the carriage and really encourage shooters to never leave the carriage anywhere but in the center of the track and apply the break, if I let go of the setup. Even if it seems sturdy someone could bump it. In my case I am the likely culprit. And it is much sturdier with the CG centered.
The implied message here is that sliders are one of the easiest ways to destroy a camera. That track is like a camera catapult. I've had a few near misses, almost made a $6,000 paperweight a few times. So I think Olof's advice is great -- perhaps don't even leave the whole unit when it's set up unless you've got it on wooden blocks at ground level.

Also, I believe Igus requires a minimum length of 39" inches -- at least mine started at 39". But I cut 3" off to make it fit in the bag and I like the unit better at that length because I could never quite utilize the full length at 39". ymmv
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Old September 13th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #12
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EPILOG: I picked up one of the 36" Easy Sliders from Westside A V and set it up to give it a whirl. I was stunned at how easy it was to make something decent looking in one try. I'm looking forward to using to distinguish my work

The unit came preassembled and adjusted for smooth sliding. The packaging includes covers for the track to protect it in equipment cases. I found the 36" length to be the extent of what I could smoothly operate end to end. As explained in the video below, the rotatable grip of the Sony EX1R and EX3 are an additional advantage as the grip made the camera an extension of my arm. This was important for controlling the pan during the slide. Another camera feature I found handy was the center marker on the display. This added to the "gun-like" operation to help keep the pivot point steady on the target.

In addition to the quality of the unit, the pre-sales and post-sales support from Westside A V is spectacular. I needed a 1/4" for my tripod head and they would not sell one to me. They insisted they drop one in the mail that day and they did. All the necessary allen wrenches and a nice pad for cleaning the rails all come in a nice small zippered pouch.

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