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Old March 23rd, 2013, 08:56 AM   #1
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Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

This looks interesting. My mate has a B. Hague K12 Jib/Crane which I have "anytime access" to...but the trouble is it takes ages to set-up and is big and heavy. So, guess what, it rarely gets used, especially for anything I do commercially where time is often a factor (and I typically work alone). Sure, this jib is a lot smaller but this looks like it was designed to address many of those issues whilst still allowing some great shot potential.

Feeling a bit flush at the moment (it's been another good year for my business!) so I might order one. At a shade under $600 the price seems reasonable (even once I've factored in shipping and added UK VAT costs and any extras). Still pondering. Only thing I was a bit concerned about was that there seems to be quite a bend in the jib (with just a Canon DSLR on it) in this demo video. My typical use would see a slightly heavier Canon C100 on the end.

I know it's not available yet/no one will have actually have one (Kessler website says availability is from 29th March) but I'd be interested in any thoughts you guys might have. Perhaps people with the other Kessler jib versions might have some insights?

Link to Kessler webpage for this jib here:
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 09:51 AM   #2
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

I just took a look at the video. This jib, as with most on the market, only booms up and down, and swings left and right. That's it. All you need to do is use your slider in a vertical position with a ball head to boom up and down. The range of movement may not be as great, but you'll get exactly the same look without having to spend anything on a jib. The only truly useful jib is one that has a good pan/tilt head on it.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 11:10 AM   #3
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

Warren has a good point - most people don't exploit the full potential of sliders. They can go up and down, not just side-to-side and in/out!

I do think that this beast is a little different, though; but how valuable those differences are will depend on your intended use.

It's collapsible and fits in a suitcase. That's a tremendous convenience for those that need it. My jib pieces have to go diagonally in a pickup truck bed, what a hassle! But, it isn't really a subsititute for a full jib, it's not going to carry the weight of a servo pan/tilt head, though I'd guess you could get a small head on the end of the stick. But a manual head on the end is going to be limited to how high you can operate it, and we're back to Warren's complaint, that it doesn't give you much more range than a (larger) slider.

That longer slider won't go in a suitcase...

I'm not bothered by the curve in the spar, that's going to happen with something light and fast. The design keeps the camera centered, so the horizon doesn't roll when the spare flexes, like it does with many lightweight jibs. However, having used the lightweights, look closely at the video at 10:21. See the counterweight wiggling there? The camera is going to be doing the same thing, typical of lightweight jibs. It take some practice to get good shots on a light jib.

This Kessler doesn't strike me as a substitute for its big brothers, but if I really needed a fast, light, small jib for small cameras this looks worth checking out. Wouldn't it be nice if you could rent one for a day and see if it works for what you do?
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 03:45 AM   #4
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

Thanks guys. Excellent insights.
Andy K Wilkinson -
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
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Old March 25th, 2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

This looks like a killer product. At work, we have the Pocket Jib and K-Pod, which is much, much heavier and doesn't get used much. That said, we also have the dolly tracks and an adapter for a 75mm ball tripod head, so I can perform complex moves, if needed.

The flex doesn't look like it would be an issue - as long as you do slow moves. And guess what? When doing establishing shots and travelogue-type images, you want really slow moves anyway. Unless you are tracking the subject, 24fps video judders easily, even at 1/48. The general rule of thumb is to go no faster than about seven seconds from edge to edge on a pan, so that should be no problem for this jib.

When I first got the Pocket Jib, it was a bit loose and had excessive twist - and it has two main elements, rather than one. The Traveler will likely twist like the Dickens, but that's okay if you hard mount the camera and move slowly. It's far from okay with a fluid head at the far end.

The real difference is that the Traveler would be great for establishing shots and b-roll. The Pocket Jib with track and tripod is better for narrative scenes when you need to track an actor and make complex moves from point A to point B. But you need a crew to run it that way - one person pushing it down the track, another one operating the tripod, maybe a separate person on the boom, and a 1st AC for focus. You also need setup time and practice to get everybody in sync. A good Steadicam op would be faster in many cases. I've done some solo work with it, but only for simpler moves. When it all comes together, however, it's really rewarding and smooth.

But for most of my work, the Traveler and a simple ball head would be fantastic. It would let you go out solo, set up in a garden or scenic location and get nice dynamic shots. ("Traveler" is the perfect name.) But if you want to use it for narrative shots, it's probably too simple and can't be upgraded for that level of use.

I'll check it out at NAB...
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Old April 8th, 2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

I've just received on of these and the bend in the middle isn't due to any parts flexing, there's a small amount of play after the two halves connect together which results in the visible bend but it doesn't change in use, the bend stays the same.

I've just posted a review with a load of photo's on my blog if you want to see more

Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler Review | Paul Joy – Freelance Filmmaker


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Old September 11th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #7
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Re: Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller

Hi Paul.

Any more to say about the Pocket Jib Traveler now that you've had it awhile? I'm looking to pick something up in the next day or so and am trying to decide between this and the Aviator. I'm only looking to use a 6D on it for now, but it would be nice to use a C100 eventually as well.

I read a review that said after a couple of weeks the pocket jib traveler loosened up and became squeaky with a lot of vibration. Have you experienced this?
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