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Jib search

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Tony IngrassiaJib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 5:53:08 pm

I'm looking to get a jib/dolly combination. I'm thinking about EZ-Jib or Kessler Crane for the jib, and a Matthews Doorway Dolly. Anyone had any experience with these or any other recommendations?

Right now we're shooting with the JVC GY-HD250, but looking at getting the new Sony EX-1.



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Jason JenkinsRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 6:04:16 pm

What's your budget for the jib? I can tell you about some higher-end jibs, but it might not be applicable.



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Tony IngrassiaRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 6:07:01 pm

Well, the EZ-Jib is around $1,200, and I think probably around $2,000 or so for a nice steerable dolly. We'd like to stay under $5,000 if possible. However, if all we'll get is junk for under $5,000, please say so.



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Todd TerryRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 6:46:39 pm

I can't say enough good things about the jibs from Porta-Jib. They are a little bit more expensive than the ones you mentioned (the Porta-Jib Traveler that we use is about $2500, I think), but they are really well thought-out and well-built pieces of hardware.

I think one of the best things about the Porta-Jibs is that you can easily vary the length... many other jibs have varying length as well, but with most of those you have to add or remove sections... with the Porta-Jib it just telescopes in and out, so you can easily make no-tools and no-parts adjustments on the fly.

We've had ours for almost ten years and it's still going strong.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Jason JenkinsRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 6:56:07 pm

Are you looking for a portable jib, or will this live in a studio? What kind of height do you need. Do you need remote pan and tilt control?



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Tony IngrassiaRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 7:02:27 pm

We're looking for primarily a portable jib, but we'll probably use it in our studio as well. For height, somewhere in the 9 to 12 foot range (6 seems too short, 16 to tall). A remote pan/tilt head would be nice, but not sure if it's in our budget. I've seen a sort of manual pan/tilt arm that comes down from the camera position that another operator could maneuver.



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Jason JenkinsRe: Jib search
by on May 14, 2008 at 7:17:26 pm

I haven't used this one, but I'm really impressed by what I see on their website: advantajib

You need to watch the videos to really see what you get for the price.



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Steve WargoRe: Jib search
by on May 17, 2008 at 8:56:22 am

We have an EZ-FX jib and it's great for our larger cameras. However, I don't think I'd buy it for the small cameras. Take a really close look at the Porta Jib combination. You can actually start small and add to the system. And the price is right too. Their machine work is first class.

Leave yourself open for a powered remote head, either from VariZoom or from Camera Turret.




Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Bob WoodheadRe: Jib search
by on May 15, 2008 at 1:37:09 pm

In EXACTLY the same buying mode as you, and have spent considerable time researching. I've had numerous shoots using the Seven jib ( http://www.longvalleyequip.com ) that a fellow shooter owns, and only had two complaints; 1- it tends to "bounce" a very small bit when trying to swing into a final rest position (usually during a more "dynamic" kind of move) 2- when you're "out of balance" position (say during a high to low move), the jib naturally tends to want to return to balance, thus making it slightly harder to hold on the out of balance position.

I've talked at length with the owner of Long Valley (GREAT guy, AND a DP), and he feels the 1st issue is one that will go away as the jib is used more - that the bearings still need some more "swing time" - and with decreased friction, that small "bounce" will diminish. The 2nd issue is probably the same with almost ANY jib arm (as it's simple physics). That said, PortaJib has a new "vector balance" thingy that they say helps. After reading their page carefully, it appears it's not a dynamic doohickey, but that you need to adjust it for the shot you're doing. (CAVEAT - I have *not* talked to them on that point.) As to "bounce", I *assumed* that having a pan friction control would help stop bounce, but after talking to Doug @ Long Valley, it seems more friction would only make bounce worse.

Now, I've talked alot about these 2 issues, but they're really VERY picky topics. I'll say that the Seven jib is very fast to set up, works great. I tend to use the LCD on the camera, so monitor mounting isn't a big concern. As I'm using a HPX500, rear controls, etc would add $$$ (my remote zoom/focus are just long enough for tripod use), so that wasn't part of my decision.


So on jib, I've decided to save $1100 and go with the Seven. It's got a fantastic build quality. I think the couple of extra features on the PortaJib Traveller just wouldn't come into play enough to make it worth it for me. (Given someone else's $, I'd buy the Traveller.)

On to dollies. Initially thought I was going with the Losmandy Spider Flextrak dolly. Seemed like an awesome concept. After much thread searching, seems like a great idea that's not so hot "in the field". Seems the Flextrak needs a really smooth surface to lie on. Also, the track stiffens below about 50F. Doorway dollies... also have found many comments that it's just "not enough"... great for smooth floors, but usually relegated to hauling gear, not camera. Chapman, Panther, Fisher, etc - right out due to cost, weight, crew.

Have read many success stories about skate wheel dollies, running on either ABS, PVC or standard metal track. IndieDolly, Microdolly, Supertrack dolly (from Long Valley), Glideshot dolly (VERY similiar to Supertrack Dolly). Indie & Micro, besides being $$ more than the other two, don't offer a way for cam op & AC to "ride on", or add weight (heavier = smoother, usually). Seems to me the simple design of a platform for your sticks & op, riding on skate wheels is the way to go. So I'm opting for Long Valley's Supertrack. That said, given OPM (other ppl's money), I'd buy a Matthews Doorway Dolly, along with Matthews Hot Buttons to ride it on track. But I'll save $$ instead. (PS - going to try to mod the Supertrack platform into a doorway dolly by adding removeable pneumatic wheels on top side of wooden platform.)

Hope this helps, as it's the end product of my research into your question.

"Constituo, ergo sum"

Bob Woodhead / Atlanta
http://www.CoolNewMedia.net
Quantel-Avid-FCP-3D-Crayola
Panasonic HPX500


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Bob WoodheadRe: Jib search
by on May 15, 2008 at 1:43:13 pm

Oh yeah, for all of our shooting so far, going above the reach of the Seven hasn't been an issue. But that's all about what you need. I see the Ezfx jib has options for longer... not a bad choice.


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Jeffrey GouldRe: Jib search
by on May 17, 2008 at 3:21:27 am

I've been using EZFX Jibs for 8 years and I can't say enough about the use/accessories but mostly important, about the customer service. They are the most customer friendly company that I've ever come across...and that's after the sale. They go above and beyond to make sure you get the most out of your Jib. They also carry accessories for camera control/tilt-pan, etc..... http://www.ezfx.com

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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Steve WargoRe: Jib search
by on May 17, 2008 at 9:06:36 am

Agreed on the dependability of our EZ-FX unit. It is very tough and our jib has been through hell.

As for the Losmandy dolly track issue, the flex track is an indoor thing. However, if you lay the rubber track in a piece of channel metal, aluminum or steel, it works anywhere. The bulk of our dolly shots are indoors.

We also have a Matthews Doorway Dolly. We've used it outdoors in gravel using the rubber tires by laying a couple 1x6s on the ground and rolling the dolly on top of them.



Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Jeffrey GouldRe: Jib search
by on May 17, 2008 at 7:53:34 pm

Steve, I have only used the EZ jib with larger broadcast type of cameras, not the handheld. I do they just came out with a riser to facilitate working with the handheld type. I had an issue where my battery was hitting the jib in certain positions and they were going to design a piece of equipment just for me to help me out....that kind of service is unheard of.

Jeffrey S. Gould
Action Media Productions


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