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-   -   Reasonably Priced Sliders available now (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/dolly-track-cable/471467-reasonably-priced-sliders-available-now.html)

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 08:02 AM

Reasonably Priced Sliders available now
 
4 Attachment(s)
I just ordered 80' of Igus track, in full 3.5m (11') lengths. And a bunch of their "trucks".

I have made a number of these already and now I will be marketing them. Even a 2 footer makes a huge difference in a shot. And it is super portable. It can be used on table top or on sticks or on the ground. I have figured what works and what does not, over a one year period of experimentation.

I will offer them in any length, I will do all the tapping and drilling and I provide ends that are small and rugged, and I will offer a couple options for mounting the Camera on the truck.

I have these in stock now.

This weekend I will post more photographs, pricing and ordering information here.

I already make a number of products for the EX1:EX1 Stronger Plates

Here are some photos of a few setups I have made, and I currently am using myself.

If you are interested contact me.
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

P.S. I also have a "ladder dolly" system I have been using with optional motor. That I will be producing soon.

J. Chris Moore January 22nd, 2010 09:53 AM

Looks awesome, I've been thinking about investing in a slider to add to the production value of my work. Are you offering any kind of warranty/guarantee?

I really like that members of our industry are developing products that are affordable and useful. Sometimes I think the high cost of "professional" equipment is a tax on being a professional. I understand that a lot of products have the price of R&D built into them, but a lot of equipment is just simply ridiculously priced. Companies know they can charge an arm and a leg because they know we need their product. OK rant over.

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 10:22 AM

Chris,

I offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don't like my product ship it back and I will give you a full refund.

I feel the same way about pricing, I am a shooter myself, have been for more decades than I care to think about. So I have been making my own stuff for years.

I just stumbled into making these products because people requested it. I also have a machine shop which helps.

Here is my current pricing, I am currently offering 10% off these prices for early adopters:

24" Track, with rubber feet and drilled and tapped for 3/8" or 1/4" Tripod and head: $275.00
48" Track, with rubber feet and drilled and tapped for 3/8" or 1/4" Tripod and head: $350.00
72" Track, with rubber feet and drilled and tapped for 3/8" or 1/4" Tripod and head: $450.00

I can make any custom length up to 3.5 meters (about 11'), longer than 6' is expensive to ship. Personally I really like the portability of the 2 footer, I also use the 6 footer a lot.

Jeff Anselmo January 22nd, 2010 10:59 AM

Hi Olof,

I've also made an Igus DIY dolly last year, but am using rubber bands for "end caps" at the
moment :(

(I've mounted an HV30 on it successfully, even an XL2, but that ones a bit more hair raising!)

What do you use for end caps? And would you sell them separately?

Best,

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 11:10 AM

Jeff,

Yes I can sell you my end caps.

They are made of PVC with Rubber Bumper feet. I also give you a small wedge that you can use under one foot on uneven surfaces, when set up on the ground/floor or a table.

If you tell me what track you used the, ie WS-16-60-S is the medium one and the most common. I can set you up with ends. I tap 3/8 x16 threads in the ends of the track and use a couple 3/8" allen button head screws to hold them in.

This system works very well with no extra weight, and is stable on the floor.

Give me a call, and we can set it up.
olof@westsideav.com
603-383-9283
cel 603-387-4921

Jeff Anselmo January 22nd, 2010 11:59 AM

Hi Olof,

Thanks for the reply. I believe I ordered the medium size (16-60), but I'm at the office. Will have to check this weekend.

Also, I had my father in law tap the ends so I'd be able to screw a bolt (with a thick plastic washer) to use as end caps; but for some reason I can't find the correct bolt to fit (Home Depot/Lowes didn't seem to have 'em)!

Would I need to re-tap the ends to make your end caps fit?

(I guess I should email you all this info instead :)

BTW, here's a link for my DIY dolly: DIYDolly_01 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Hope to talk more this weekend,

Leonard Levy January 22nd, 2010 12:45 PM

Olof,

Besides price, what is the difference between your sliders and others on the market - i.e. Indieslider, Kessler, etc. ?

Chris McMahon January 22nd, 2010 12:45 PM

I'll probably be looking into these pretty soon. Very cool.

J. Chris Moore January 22nd, 2010 01:05 PM

Olof,

Your prices seem very reasonable. What are you usually using to mount the camera to the truck, ie tripod head or similar solution. I've never used a slider before so I really don't know what popular options are.

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 01:28 PM

Chris,

I find the Manfrotto 701HDV nice for EX1/EX3 size cameras:
Manfrotto | 701HDV Pro Fluid Video Mini Head | 701HDV | B&H

For smaller cams a Manfrotto 391 will work fine:
391rc2

These are just suggestions there are many similar heads available.

For more information feel free to call me:
603.383.9283

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 01:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Leonard Levy (Post 1475805)
Olof,

Besides price, what is the difference between your sliders and others on the market - i.e. Indieslider, Kessler, etc. ?

There are quite a few people using the same hardware, a lot of do it yourselfers as well.

The track is actually from the food manufacturing industry, used in their assembly lines. It is a really high quality track system.

I have been experimenting with different tracks for a year now. There are 4 available just from Igus (that is where I get mine). I have figured out what works the best. And I buy the parts in bulk, so I get a good price, and I cut the track to length myself.

I think I have a nice system for the ends, small but rugged and works well on a table and on the ground.

The system is so simple that there really is not much you can do to improve on it.

One small trick is on the largest track, make 2 of the bearings float, I have a simple way of doing this. This makes the truck glide much smoother.

Marcus Martell January 22nd, 2010 02:20 PM

what's the weight of an ex3 with mattebox?
What about a Z1?
thx

J. Chris Moore January 22nd, 2010 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus Martell (Post 1475856)
what's the weight of an ex3 with mattebox?
What about a Z1?
thx

Are you asking because you have those cameras and want to use them on one of these sliders? If so couldn't you just weigh them your self or look on the manufacturer's website to find out? No disrespect just asking.

J. Chris Moore January 22nd, 2010 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh (Post 1475832)
Chris,

I find the Manfrotto 701HDV nice for EX1/EX3 size cameras:
Manfrotto | 701HDV Pro Fluid Video Mini Head | 701HDV | B&H

For smaller cams a Manfrotto 391 will work fine:
391rc2

These are just suggestions there are many similar heads available.

For more information feel free to call me:
603.383.9283


Thanks for the links! I'm sure one of these would do the job.

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Marcus Martell (Post 1475856)
what's the weight of an ex3 with mattebox?
What about a Z1?
thx

I use an EX3 with a 8" Marshal monitor on a 6' slider frequently, the main thing is to have a solid head and tripod attached.

I even made a high-hat rig you can see in one of the photos on my fist post. The one with the hand crank and monitor turned around to be used for prompting. This one uses a heavier track and will support a lot of weight. It is just important that the CG is in the middle of the head, to make moving it smooth.



Also if your head and camera are elevated far above the track, you have to move the camera by grasping the base of the head, not up at the top of the camera to produce smooth moves. It takes a bit of practice with a heavy rig. The truck itself will support 250 lbs, way more than what I would recommend.

Mark Slocombe January 22nd, 2010 06:17 PM

slider noise
 
Hi, does your slider make noise that an onboard cam shotgun mic will pick up?

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 06:53 PM

Mark,

There is a small amount of hiss created that an omni or built in mic would pick up.

But if you use a good shotgun, in a dampened mount, I would say the sound is just about imperceptible, especially if there is some ambient noise in your scene or talent is speaking.

You are always better off with mic off camera for any real serious audio recording. Even focusing the lens makes noise, as does zooming.

In the days of tape the mic would pick up the transport.

I hope this helps, I know it may not seem like a straight answer.

Damian Heffernan January 22nd, 2010 07:01 PM

Quite interested in a 1 metre length one. I have a Miller DS10 and an older manfrotto that runs the video head (think it's a 510 or 530 or something - will check).

Can you advise a setup that will work on the miller legs with either the miller head or the manfrotto? running an EX1.

Olof Ekbergh January 22nd, 2010 07:30 PM

Damian,

I use Miller Solo Graphite legs and DS10 heads myself. I really like the sticks and heads. Spreading the legs to the middle position makes a 1 meter track quite stable on one set of legs, hanging a sandbag from the sticks helps keep things stable. I don't recommend leaving the camera on one end or the other with rig unattended with a 1 meter track on a single tripod.

I use a Manfrotto 701 head (it has a flat bottom and a 3/8" tapped hole in the bottom) on sliders for EX1 and EX3 now, it keeps the CG nice and low:
Manfrotto | 701HDV Pro Fluid Video Mini Head | 701HDV | B&H

I use a Manfrotto 75mm bowl to 3/8" stud adapter on the miller sticks to mount the track:
Manfrotto | 520BALL 75mm Half Ball | 520BALL | B&H Photo Video

This makes it really easy to level the track. You can also run the track on a tilt for a jib up/down effect, just make sure horizon is level and don't pan (unless you are going for a special effect).

Damian Heffernan January 22nd, 2010 08:49 PM

hi, double checked and it's a 501 head (bit older unit). If it's easy enough to run the miller head on it and pop the track on and off that's what I'd prefer to do.

Chris McMahon January 22nd, 2010 08:55 PM

Is it possible to lock out the slider on the rails? Or is it sticky enough when not being pushed that this isn't necessary?

Olof Ekbergh January 23rd, 2010 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Damian Heffernan (Post 1475974)
hi, double checked and it's a 501 head (bit older unit). If it's easy enough to run the miller head on it and pop the track on and off that's what I'd prefer to do.

If the 501 has threaded flat bottom like the current version, it would work fine:
Manfrotto | 501HDV Fluid Video Head - Supports up to | 501HDV

You would need a flat top for the sticks with a 3/8"-16 threaded bolt like this:
Manfrotto | 520BALL 75mm Half Ball | 520BALL | B&H Photo Video

I hope this helps. I will be posting more detail photos today of my setup and recommended tripods and heads, both here and on my website.

Olof Ekbergh January 23rd, 2010 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chris McMahon (Post 1475975)
Is it possible to lock out the slider on the rails? Or is it sticky enough when not being pushed that this isn't necessary?

I have been using this system now for over a year, and I have not found it necessary. There is a bit of resistance that keeps the truck in place. To start moving it has the same feel as a liquid head, there is some resistance, but that helps you make smooth moves, stops and starts.

Yes it is possible to put a lock on the track. I will be offering this as an option, it will simply be a nylon bolt that can be tightened onto the track through the truck. This could be useful if you run track at a slant.

I found about a 7 tilt is enough for the truck to slide slowly on its own. A nice effect. This will vary with the weight of your camera and head setup.

Danny O'Neill January 24th, 2010 03:37 AM

Errrmmm, doesn't this look remarkably like an exact clone of the already
available and reasonably priced [insert name of some other slider here]?

Damian Heffernan January 24th, 2010 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Danny O'Neill (Post 1476431)
Errrmmm, doesn't this look remarkably like an exact clone of the already
available and reasonably priced [insert name of some other slider here]?

Reasonably priced!? Wow, OK. I have been looking for a slider solution for a while and that one certainly seems good but everytime I went to the site I balked at the $537 plus shipping which will probably be another $100 to where I am.

Don't get me wrong the product looks nice and has gone through lots of development but it's pretty expensive for what it is. I have read around the forums and you can buy the track yourself and if you're handy make up a nice slider. But if you don't have the ability or time or whatever then you're going to be prepared to pay, but [insert name of some other slider here] does represent a pretty big markup.

Damian Heffernan January 24th, 2010 05:49 AM

As above. The [insert name of some other slider here] is nice as it is is a reuse of some off the shelf bits you can buy to make yourself a track. This is a similar product using the same bits that anyone can buy and use to make themselves a slider - but we can't all make these things ourselves, through lack of skill or equipment.

Jeeze I just thought it was a bit of healthy competition. Assuming similar shipping costs to me here at the lower part of the world: $630ish compared to $400 ish.

Chris Hurd January 24th, 2010 08:33 AM

A quick note about this thread:

Frankly I'm dismayed that a couple of folks are insinuating that Olof has directly copied [insert name of some other slider here] (and yes that company's name has been purposefully removed from view -- it could be one of any number of similar sliders). I even had to remove a personal flame, posted by somebody who should know better that we don't tolerate personal insults on this site.

Olof's slider DOES NOT "look remarkably like an exact clone" of one specific slider vs. any other. There are very clear differences which are easily discerned simply by examining his photos that make his version unique to all the rest. There are numerous makes and models of sliders out there today; to say that Olof's version somehow copies one, out of all the others, doesn't make any sense. They're *all* sliders, they all work pretty much the same way with the same types of rails, i.e. the IGUS Drylin W linear slide system. They're all variations of the same thing. There is no foul committed here... and many thanks to Olof for supporting DV Info Net.

Olof Ekbergh January 24th, 2010 12:21 PM

8 Attachment(s)
Here are some more details photos and actual setups I use.

I just finished shooting the family portrait.

I will soon have all the info on my website and you will be able to place orders there.

You can still order by email or by contacting me.

If you have any questions or comments contact me:
olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

Olof Ekbergh January 24th, 2010 12:28 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Oops one more photo. You don't have to use a use a tripod with a bowl.

It is easier to level if you use only one tripod.

I often use 2 light Manfrotto tripods with my six footer. It is really easy to carry around. Just fold the legs in and carry rig on your shoulder, it is well balanced and light. Be careful though if you leave the camera on the truck.

Charles Papert January 24th, 2010 08:02 PM

Perhaps some are not aware that ALL of these sliders are essentially copies of the full-size versions we have been using for at least a decade. Giving a manufacturer credit for figuring out how to downscale, simplify and sell an existing design for less is fine, but it's not the same as originating the concept.

I've been using the afore-UNmentioned slider for the first time on a current shoot, and I have to say that there is way too much resistance for my taste. I'm used to a system with metal bearings that glides (sorry; insert other verb here...!) free to the touch, with a variable drag that allows one to create exactly as much resistance is desired. Shouldn't really be that expensive to incorporate circular-raced ball bearings into this sort of design--should it?

Olof Ekbergh January 24th, 2010 08:17 PM

Charles,

I have been using different versions of dollies, sliders, cable cams, jibs and steadicams for 20 years or more.

There are lots of choices in making dynamic moves.

This very reasonable priced hardware, works very well and is very portable and fast to set up. It is not the end all system. But I find it very useful and cost effective. It is also very rugged. Ball bearings and sand don't get along well. This system pretty much cleans itself.

I don't find the drag objectionable, it sort of feels like a liquid head.

Are there better solutions. Of course. But do they fit everyones budget?

I would not make these or any of my other items if I did not think that they are great.

Just my nickel.

Charles Papert January 24th, 2010 08:33 PM

I look forward to trying your version Olof. What I do know is that while using this particular slider, three of us took turns doing slow back and forth slides during a series of interviews and it took a fantastic amount of effort for us to "make" the camera move smoothly--way too much friction going on. Maybe ours has an issue, not sure--but looking at the design, I doubt it. Who knows.

Brian Luce January 27th, 2010 12:23 PM

If a little bit of friction is what we require from a tripod head, why isn't also desired for a slider carriage? I haven't tried a completely free-sliding slider yet, but I'd imagine it'd feel and show every hestitation, tremble, or shake. A tripod head on a lubed ball bearing wouldn't work very well.

Charles Papert January 27th, 2010 07:10 PM

I probably should have been more specific about this--the best setup is a free-gliding assembly on bearings coupled with a dialable friction control.

To answer your question, consider that two different fluid heads could have a level of friction dialed in that is quantitatively equivalent (requires the same amount of force to drive at a specific rate) but could have a very different feel to the operator. A great fluid head allows you to ramp from zero to whatever speed smoothly and invisibly; a bad one will jump into motion as the resistance is overcome (a function of friction or stiction, I never remember which).

Similarly, a smoothly running slider with properly applied braking will allow you to achieve effortless starts and stops and maintain whatever consistent speed you desire. What I experienced with the particular slider in question was a really stuffy feeling action that required significant attention to deliver the desired effect--not at all effective with longer lenses as the starts and stops appeared bumpy.

So in a nutshell--there's good friction and bad friction!

Olof Ekbergh January 27th, 2010 08:38 PM

There are a few tricks to using these linear sliders from Igus.

First if the truck or carriage is not aligned properly, it can be knocked out of alignment in transport, though I find this to be rare.

Igus recommends an 11 lb downforce on the carriage when tightening the 5mm allen bolts (on the 16 series track) to align the 4 slides. I like to finger tighten all four first while pushing down on the carriage with about 10 lb force (my guess) check that the slider is sliding very freely, then tightening a little harder still with the downforce. If you just tighten them it can cause the torque of the allen screw to turn the sliders a little, this will cause extra friction.

If your slider seems really stiff, loosen all the allen screws, and try the slider with them loose. It will probably slide really freely. That is how it will slide when properly aligned. So now try tightening as I described above. If you get it right, it will slide as easily now as when all the screws were loose.

The other trick is to push on the slider at the base of the head just above the truck, don't pull it or push it with the handle on your head. You can still turn the head with your other hand as you are sliding. But the main push should be on the center line of the carriage. I sometimes do both with one arm, I use my elbow to turn the handle while my hand is on the center of the head moving the carriage.

I will have more tips on my website soon. And video showing real world shots with this system. It is not hard to set up and use, and once adjusted it will stay smooth for a long time. I have not adjusted my 6 footer in over a year. And it is still real smooth.

All my customers, or anyone interested in more info can call me for immediate help and advice. I usually answer the phone myself.

olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

Brian Luce January 27th, 2010 09:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Charles Papert (Post 1478185)

So in a nutshell--there's good friction and bad friction!

What type of camera set up did you have on the slider you tested?

Brian Luce January 27th, 2010 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Olof Ekbergh (Post 1478224)
I like to finger tighten all four first while pushing down on the carriage with about 10 lb force (my guess) check that the slider is sliding very freely, then tightening a little harder still with the downforce.

How are you able to finger tighten allen screws? Mine are flush mount. You system isn't?

Olof Ekbergh January 28th, 2010 07:15 AM

Brian,

I have been using my oldest system for more than a year with an EX3. Initially with a Miller Solo 10 head, now I use a Manfrotto 701 because it has a flat bottom, with a 3/8" threaded hole.

I also have an EX1R and a Canon 5DmkII with lots of lenses from 17mm - 400mm. My favorite lens on the Canon for video are 17-40 f4, the 50 1.4 (very light), and the 70-200 f2.8 (this makes the camera as heavy or heavier than the EX3). I also have a couple relatively small Canons and Panasonics SD cams.

All of these work well on the slider system, if set up right. I usually have the EXcams set up with a NanoFlash as well.

What I mean by finger tight is, hold the 5mm allen wrench (I supply all the tools you need with my system) like a straw not by the angled part, or the T handle. Twirl it between two fingers and your thumb. Remember to push down on the middle of the carriage while you do this. Remember the carriage should slide as smoothly when screws are tightened as with them loose.

If you still can't get it to slide smoothly give me a call. I have a few more things to try.

Olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

Check my website for tips and sample footage, there will be a link on my homepage soon just for Slider information and ordering:
http://www.westsideav.com

Olof Ekbergh January 28th, 2010 03:44 PM

OK my slider web pages is now up:

Reasonable Priced Sliders ? Westside A V Studios

We are still finding out the best rates we can get for shipping. But the stock is here and there are photos and videos on the pages.

The pricing is on the website. I am still working on the online ordering part. And I will be updating the site with more photos and videos soon.

We are still offering a 10% discount for DVinfo members until the end of January. You have to email or call me to get this discount.

olof@westsideav.com
603.383.9283

D.J. Ammons February 1st, 2010 11:16 PM

Olof,

Are you still offering 10% off your prices? If so that would make your $305 one meter slider $274.50 correct? Do you have shipping charges figured out yet?

I saw several posts talking about friction and the amount of effort needed to move the camera on some sliders. What type bearings does your slider have and can you talk some about the amount of friction, smoothness of movement, etc?


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