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Author Topic: Question on Sliders: Konova? what length is optimal  (Read 4717 times)
MichaelEzra
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« on: September 29, 2012, 09:03:46 AM »
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I am just starting to play with motion and looking for a good slider.
Konova sliders appear to be great in reviews, but they come in various length.
I'd like to be able to do the dramatic sliding effects and at the same time have a slider that is portable for handling in the city and on the plane.
What is the optimal length for a slider? Insights appreciated!

Here are some reference specs of Konova sliders:


« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 09:42:54 AM by MichaelEzra » Logged

MichaelEzra
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2012, 09:17:45 AM »
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One more question, if I'd like the smoothest movement and most flexible system, is it better to get the crank kit or a motorized kit?
Thanks!
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Bern Caughey
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2012, 02:11:25 PM »
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I have Kessler's 3' CineSlider, & their 2' PB PocketDolly (which I pulled the labels off). Both these come standard with cranks. While I never manipulate the cranks directly, their inertia helps smooth out the moves.

A good motorized slider is typically much smoother, & repeatable, than manual pushes, but even the most quite motors are often too noisy if recording sound. My preferred method, especially with the 3', is to have an assistant push the sled while I operate the fluid head. If your not panning/tilting while sliding this is less necessary.

The 3' typically takes two people to setup, raise/lower, & relocate, while the 2' can easily be handled alone. But the 3' does provide for a longer move before bumping into either end, which is all to easy to do.

Combined camera, & head, weight can be an issue if you plan on mounting on sticks, & even if I shot bag the legs, I also support the 3' on either end with monopods. Some users prefer mounting sticks on either end of the slider, but I find it easier to raise, & lower on one set of legs. With either length I use a Manfrotto half-ball to attach it to the sticks as I prefer not to attach it on top of my fluid heads, which are only rated to 20 lbs, or so. And given the option I'll skip mounting any slider to sticks, & instead use Apple Boxes as setup is much quicker, but be sure to bring some wedges for uneven floors, ground, or boxes.

Another factor to consider is how high above the slider you'll mount the camera. Typically lower is better, & I generally use a ball relocater which puts the head off to the side, but also carry a dedicated Hi-Hat While the Hi-Hat raises the height overall which can effect stability, it helps clear the end of slider when dollying straight in/out at the subject.

If your not using a Hi-Hat, or ball relocater, & still need a fluid head, then most likely you'll look at Manfrotto head that can be flat mounted, & a leveler below that for Dutching. Manfrotto "fluid" heads are OK at best, but their flat mount is useful on sliders, monopods, etc, so I have a handful of different models that all use the 501PL camera plates.

The beauty of this system is Manfrotto also offers a Quick Release adapter (577) that I mount on shoulder rigs, 15mm LWS baseplate, etc, so I can quickly switch from one configuration to another, & Kirk offers an Arca-style QR release adapter that I use on the rare occasion I need to support a dSLR style camera.

www.kirkphoto.com/SQRC-501PL_Manfrotto_Quick_Release_Clamp.html

But best of all the 501PL plates are compatible with Satchler's FSB series fluid heads that are equipped with the "Side-Load" quick release (but not the "Touch & Go"). My FSB-8 head is so much nicer to work with than any Manfrotto that it alone made my operating much smoother, especially sticking the end of a move.

I have a couple styles of levelers below the Manfrotto heads, but my favorites are Acratech's. They very well made, & even the smaller version is very strong. I keep them under all the flat mount heads, including the one attached to the monopod.

http://acratech.net/home.php?cat=2

When you fly a 2' slider is much easier to deal with. I've put them in luggage, but typically it lives next to the Satchler sticks in a TuffPak rolling tube case (along with SteadyBags, & monopod), while the 3' goes into a dedicated Storm Case designed for rifles, which can draw the attention of the TSA.

And while it may be impractical for your needs in NYC, I suggest looking at the Dana Dolly. It's truly pro kit, & used on all levels of production.

http://www.danadolly.com/

Lastly I'll add whether you truly want a slider. While they can add value to some shots, mine rarely linger long in the edit, & I'll often just make handheld moves instead. Simple shifting the weight on your hips can mimic a short slider move, & handholding can lead to more complex camera movements, especially when time is short. If handhold moves aren't smooth enough for the shot I'll often opt for an EasyRig, &/or slow motion.

Best,
Bern




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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2012, 05:33:34 PM »
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Bern, thank you for such an informative reply. It is very helpful.
Dolly with a track looks like the most scalable option, but I am unlikely to use it yet.

I tried various moves handheld, but expect that slider will easily win in the smooth continuity of motion, although still linear, unless with the rotating fluid head in the base.
This specific aspect of continuity seems to be a defining difference from still photography and makes me want it more and more:) I feel that I am craving to move the camera and will never be satisfied with simple movements, but would need to grow in that direction step by step.

I am picking between 80cm and 100cm sliders, is there a significant difference in practical applications with these length?
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Bern Caughey
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2012, 09:30:50 AM »
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I'd likely get the longer slider. Doesn't seem the extra 8" in length would make it much harder to transport, & support, but might make it a bit more flexible in use.
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MichaelEzra
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2012, 10:18:20 AM »
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Thanks, Bern, just as I thought. To be more flexible I might get a slider and also something for better controlled free-hand movement, a cage or one of a steady cam supports. Could you share your thoughts on use of cages vs steady-stuff?
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Bern Caughey
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« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2012, 11:03:03 AM »
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SteadyCam requires LOTS of practice. On a professional level, years of endless practice.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2012, 06:27:37 AM »
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Random thoughts..

Camera moves are best related to the action on screen in some manner - therefore electric sliders seem pointless to me apart from time lapse
A move done by a skilful operator is far more organic

A slide can be a useful move but a slide mixed with a counter pan is often stronger (circling the subject)

A slider works well (therefore) with a panning head which ups height mass significantly requiring a stronger device

My conclusion.. IMO

A short slider is a fun toy/tool with a light camera (DSLR or smaller)
A longer slider is often a bit rubbish as setting up two sets of sticks and the like is a PITA and still not rigid enough
A track that moves your sticks is amazing and actually simpler to use than a bigger slider arrangement

LongValley seem to make a well thought out dolly.

Id get a lil slider and a big dolly and skip a big slider IMO

S







« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 06:31:53 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Hywel
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2012, 03:16:10 PM »
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My experience has been much the same as Sam's.

I have a 1 m (3 ft) slider and to be honest it is a pain. It needs two tripods to mount and it still wobbles. It is fine sat on a flat surface but the footprint with two supports is so large it is actually easier to put down track. We hardly ever use it.

A cheap and cheerful solution is a Hague dolly, which runs on plastic pipe:
http://www.b-hague.co.uk/hague_tripod_tracking_dolly_d5.htm

It doesn't lend itself to curved track but is great for most things (and you can get a lot of the counter pan effect by using straight track, just coming at the subject at a bit of an angle).

For less than 250 Uk pounds you can hardly go wrong and it provides remarkably smooth results.

So definitely a ditto from me- short slider and a big dolly is the way to go for everything except timelapse.

  Cheers, Hywel.


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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2012, 03:39:25 PM »
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doesn't lend itself to curved track but is great for most things (and you can get a lot of the counter pan effect by using straight track, just coming at the subject at a bit of an angle).


By counter pan I mean tracking L-R and Panning R-L which means a head .. with the Hague or other systems you do that.

It is also very quick to remove the sticks from the dolly and shoot some OTS (over the shoulder) Noddies (shots of the interviewer) on the sticks if you have done an interview on the dolly

Hague make some nice stuff IMO and some shockers, but Ive been surprised considering the prices..

A dolly is almost always smooth due the the mass/inertia of the sticks camera system which is far far higher than a camera on a slider.. inertia = smooooth

S
« Last Edit: October 07, 2012, 03:41:45 PM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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Mikesantos
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2014, 07:47:35 AM »
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Liked the slider smooth effect.......smooth as butter....javascript:void(0);
javascript:void(0);
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IG1ui-65R10
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bill t.
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« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 12:10:01 PM »
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A 13 year old kid down the block gets terrific "slider" shots using a roller skate and a 6 foot length of laminate-covered bookshelf plank.  I think he bought the skate on the 'bay, it's got soft plastic wheels and a cheap ballhead.  He's got a handle on the thin side of the plank.  I've seem him skateboarding up and down the street with the plank in one hand, and the camera and skate in the other, but practice before you try that.  The skate would easily fit in a suitcase, and if you can't check the plank into baggage, on the way to the hotel have the taxi stop at a Lowe's when you reach your destination city.

Put a couple of 1/4-20 or 3/8-whatever T-nuts though the top of the shelf, and you have tripod mounts.

The skate wheels can also be adjusted to create a circular motion around an object at various distances.  I suppose a piece of plywood would be the kit for that, or an existing table surface.

Have seen much shakier schemes used on major motion pictures.
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