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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:51 AM   #16
Inner Circle
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,109
Reply to Larry

Hi Larry:

I have no formal experience with the Kessler. Based upon what I have read from users, I think it is probably the low end inexpensive model of choice. I have used the Glidecam 200, which I thought was horrible so I can definitely recommend not buying one. I have used the Cobra Cranes and I am not overly impressed with them either.

I think I would seriously consider the Kessler or the EZFX if I were on a tight budget. Jibs are deceptively inexpensive. Besides the jib, you need counterweights, a sturdy tripod, cases, monitoring, zoom and focus control, longer cables, it all adds up to a lot more money than you would think.

You need a great tripod to use one effectively, thats why I bought the Losmandy LWT to go with the PortaJib, my Miller Solo DV tripod I use for shooting was not up to the task of holding the PortaJib with the Varicam and about 40lbs of counterweight for a total of about 120lbs with everything. That would be some good advice, regardless of which jib arm you get, don't scrimp on the tripod that is going to hold the whole thing up, you will regret it.

I bought the Traveller and the scissor arm because I find that operating the camera from the front of the jib gives me a lot more control and flexibility. I typically shoot in 'normal' locations with low ceilings so I don't really need an 8' or 12' jib arm, it would be useless in most homes and businesses and I don't shoot jib stuff outdoors very often (when I do, I will often rent a 35' jib with it's owner/operator, that's a whole different ballgame) so for me, at 29lbs and a short length, the Traveller is the hot ticket.

I guess it all depends on why you need a jib. I am planning on buying the Losmandy Spider Dolly in a few weeks and my jib/dolly will serve much as a Steadicam for tracking shots with talent, narrartive shoots indoors on location, etc. I also shoot a lot of tabletop and the small Traveller is ideal for that as well.

I did a documentary on car racing a few years ago. Now for that, a 10' to 15' jib would have been the thing, my Traveller would have been too short. Just depends on what you need and how you want to use it.

The AdvantaJib is not too expensive and I was tempted to get it instead of the PortaJib but I was not thrilled over the fact that the AdvantaJib could not hold a Varicam and that it was rear operated and made in Canada so service would have been a BIG hassle.

Good luck in your hunt!

Dan Brockett is offline   Reply

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