Track dolly Vs Crab dolly at DVinfo.net

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Old March 4th, 2006, 05:26 PM   #1
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Track dolly Vs Crab dolly

I'm thinking of buying a crab dolly. But i don't know what are the disadvantages of it. So far i have seen Grab dollys on the base of tripod.

I assume the disadvantage may be, the crab dolly by some means one of the wheels get struck or moving in a different direction like the cart wheels of any grocery shop carts.

Is it wise to invest on crab dolly? I have a bogen 3192 tripod and i'm thinking of buying crab dolly legs for the tripod from B&H and junior jib to increase the production value.

Track dolly needs a lot of time to setup between takes. Is there any efficient way of using the crab dolly+tripod+jib arm? Did anybody use this setup and been produtive with it?

Please let me know,

Hari
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Old March 5th, 2006, 10:43 AM   #2
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No Comments ???? I guess i have to buy it and find out.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:20 AM   #3
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I was on a set where they used both. The crab dolly was only useful on completely smooth surfaces for short takes. I agree that tracks are a pain--especially when you have to shore up the joints so there's no bump. It can take a long time.

This particular dolly was kind of handy in that the wheels could be removed and replaced by "track wheels." One dolly for both jobs.

Does that help at all? :)
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Old March 5th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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Thanks Lorinda for your feedback. Do you know the name of the company that provides the option of replacing wheels? It would be really helpful. Please let me know. I will also try to find out from B&H.
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Old March 5th, 2006, 05:37 PM   #5
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My pal Cameron was kind enough to send the link. http://www.premierstudioequipment.co.../Cameleon.html
Unfortunately, it looks like you'd have to find it used; it looks like it's been discontinued except for accessories. I couldn't even afford to buy one used, because he said he paid around $10,000 for his way back when. Ouch.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 04:19 PM   #6
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Here we go Lorinda,

http://www.vfgadgets.com/SScooter.htm

It does both terrain and smooth surface also connects to a bicycle for moving shots. Amazing stuff.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #7
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VF Gadgets...hmm....I've seen that name somewhere. I think maybe they're going to be at NAB and are on my list of places to visit. So maybe I'll get to see one next month! If I do, and if you haven't already purchased one, I'll let you know what I think, okay?

Thanks! That looks pretty cool!
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Old March 17th, 2006, 11:26 PM   #8
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I'm waiting for NAB too. Its kind of shopping winter clothes in summer sale. Its a good idea.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 02:58 AM   #9
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Lorinda Norton raised a very important point when she said...

"The crab dolly was only useful on completely smooth surfaces for short takes. I agree that tracks are a pain--especially when you have to shore up the joints so there's no bump. It can take a long time."

A highly respected videographer in my neck of the woods, Mr. Blackball says the problem is crew become too Frisky and try to knock the track up in a hurry. Then blame the track. Take time. Set the track up with a spirit level, clamp the joints and you'll be well rewarded!!!
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 09:47 AM   #10
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LOL, Owen! If Mr. Blackball is so well-respected, how come he keeps getting beat up? Hah hah! (Sorry, folks, my dear friend and I went ‘round the bend a long time ago. Humor us if you can.)

The other day I shot with Mike Teutch’s homemade track dolly out in a field. I simply laid down ten feet of PVC pipe and the dolly went the short distance (three feet) with no bowing. Of course, I didn’t weigh it down with a crane--just a tripod and camera, but it was smooth.

Maybe I’ll see you at NAB, Hari!
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:00 PM   #11
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You're right Lorinda. He has been beaten up a couple of times. I guess that's the price he pays for hanging out with highly strung individuals. (Ha Ha).

I use round metal pipe for track. I mount it on 4x2 sleepers with small locating blocks attached to space the rails at the correct wheel guage. I also clamp the pipe at one end to prevent any vibration or movement from the rails up to the camera. I've attached stoppers at each end to prevent the dolly running off the end of the track.

I have a second set of track that can be joined to give me about a 25ft length. This is made from an old strip light fitting I found at a demolition yard. It is the type they suspend over counters in some shops. It is light made from aluminium, strong, and is half round making it stable. I removed the electrical parts. It can be joined together attached on the inside. With the 16x XL lens on wide angle you can cross the join unnoticed.

You need plenty of sleepers made from 4x2 and wedge shape packers cut from 4x2 to get the rails level to each other and stable.

I've seen photos of rigs on pvc pipes laid on the ground but can't even imagine it producing a stable shot. Surely it must buck and yaw as the piped follow the ground contour.
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Old April 3rd, 2006, 07:06 PM   #12
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You're right Lorinda. He has been beaten up a couple of times. I guess that's the price he pays for hanging out with highly strung individuals. (Ha Ha).

I use round metal pipe for track. I mount it on 4x2 sleepers with small locating blocks attached to space the rails at the correct wheel guage. I also clamp the pipe at one end to prevent any vibration or movement from the rails up to the camera. I've attached stoppers at each end to prevent the dolly running off the end of the track.

I have a second set of track that can be joined to give me about a 25ft length. This is made from an old strip light fitting I found at a demolition yard. It is the type they suspend over counters in some shops. It is light made from aluminium, strong, and is half round making it stable. I removed the electrical parts. It can be joined together attached on the inside. With the 16x XL lens on wide angle you can cross the join unnoticed.

You need plenty of sleepers made from 4x2 and wedge shape packers cut from 4x2 to get the rails level to each other and stable. The slightest movement in the track is noticeable on playback. You can't really take shortcuts.

I've seen photos of rigs on pvc pipes laid on the ground but can't even imagine it producing a stable shot. Surely it must buck and yaw as the flexable pvc pipe follows the ground contour.
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