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Old September 20th, 2012, 03:39 AM   #1
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Any Experience with Opteka Sliders?

I'm looking at a used 38" Opteka slider, but can't find a whole lot of information on them. Has anyone here used them? There's a huge discount on a 23" version here:

Opteka GLD-200 23" Camera Track Slider Video Stabilization System

Which is kind of worrying. I'd be using it with a Canon 1DMK4 DSLR, and XF300.
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Old October 3rd, 2012, 09:33 AM   #2
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Re: Any Experience with Opteka Sliders?

Well I got the 38inch Opteka slider.

The auction was for the slider on a set of Manfrotto 525MVB legs, 75mm half ball with spreader, and a Chinese ball head. It was the tripod I mainly wanted as I have been using a set of CF legs with a Manfrotto 516 head for video, swapping out the hydrostatic head I use for stills. That was not overly convenient, and leveling the rig via the legs was not the best.

The tripod is excellent, and I am really pleased with it. It is both more solid and lighter than I anticipated, although I have not put the 516 head on it yet.

The slider I am not so sure of. The track is only 45mm wide with the bearings on 28mm centers, which is way too narrow IMO. It was also very slightly notchy out of the box, but the previous owner had it assembled wrong, and I was able to pretty much fix that. I will be stripping the carriage right down when I get a chance with a view to replacing the bearings.

As to actually using it with a camera, I have another job with a deadline I need to meet, so it is not going to happen for a few days. I write again after I have used it. I sure love the tripod though.
(I started my working life as a tool maker, and had access to machine tools right up until I retired eight years ago after 37 years most of which as a design engineer. I sure miss that workshop nowadays.)
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Old October 17th, 2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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Re: Any Experience with Opteka Sliders?

I've had the above slider for a while now, and have been using it regularly - although probably not in exactly the way I had envisaged. The 525MVB legs are now permanently attached to my Manfrotto 516 head, and that is huge success. So that left me using the slider at ground level.

There is just no way it can produce a steady slide with my XF300, because it is too much weight, and too high for such a narrow track, which results in rocking, (and more than that camera's IS can iron out) so I have been using it with a 1DMK4 DSLR, and better still, a little Canon G1X compact.

The latter works particularly well. The G1X has an almost APS-C sized sensor, an excellent lens, and image stabalisation. It shoots 1080p at 24fps, which is not exactly what I need, but Premiere Pro CS6 interprets the footage so it runs smoothly in the same timeline as XF300 footage. Most importantly, the camera is so light, the slider works perfectly with it.

That still left me with a convenient way of lifting the slider off ground level without the hassle of swapping the head off the 525 legs, but I remembered that I had a set of only occassionaly used Manfrotto 756B legs with the 50mm levelling ball. That gave plenty of contact area between the ball and slider base plate, and is working fine with the G1X. I have not tried it with the 1DMK4, which I suspect would be too heavy for the 50mm ball head when at the ends of the slider..

So I shall keep the Optech slider, and perhaps look for a wider tracked motorised slider at a later date.
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Last edited by Trevor Dennis; October 17th, 2012 at 03:08 PM. Reason: typo
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