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Tiffen Steadicam M1 modular


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#46 Jerry Holway

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 01:15 PM

Iain-

 

Tiffen determined the post size (and construction) that worked best for all the various and competing design desires for the M1 as the Tiffen engineers and inventors and designers saw them, including strength, weight, multi-post, indexing posts, clamps, mounts, multiple wires and HD cables up all the posts, innovative modular/custom connectors, gimbal pan bearing sizes, and more.

 

Fixing on some other manufacturer's idea (formed, perhaps, many years ago) of what's an ideal diameter is not necessarily in the best interest of the product or the future. It's not that what they did then (or CP did) did not make sense then, or now, or was a bad idea. It's just not a good place to start thinking about something new.

 

Choosing to go to a new post diameter, like choosing to make a new stage, or to innovate in any other way, sometimes means wiping the slate clean and starting over - just as everyone has done for years, including all those who changed from the original, "standard" .625 post diameter (!!), or the "1.500" diameter of the model IIIa.

 

As a friend of mine used to say to folks who touted some tradition as the proper way to do something: "Then we must look to the future."


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#47 Iain Baird

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Posted 03 December 2014 - 03:52 PM

Jerry, to a point I agree .....

but there are many standards that could certainly be adhered to without engineering compromises. In this case they haven't even stayed consistent to their own previous post size. You mentioned stage design changes, which were advances made without changing the size of the dovetail used with it. I'm not knocking progress but having some sort of standard that customers could rely on staying consistent for years to come seems like a good move to me.

iB


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#48 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 02:34 AM

The entire world is either 1.5" or 2" (Sachtler does 1.8 but that can sleeve out to 2") Cinema products came up with the 1.56" center post for the Master series citing "Increased rigidity" and while rigidity does increase by a power of 4 the actual percentage of the increase was less (far less) than 1%, it was done for one reason and one reason only. So that operators would quit buying the Model 3's gimbal to put on their brand new PRO's. 

 

Now Tiffen is following suit with their "Modular" rig. Making a new post diameter that doesn't even cross to a Tiffen rig. No matter it won't cross to anything else in the world because those are old and outdated according to a Tiffen representative. What they seem to be missing is that cameras are getting smaller (that lowers torque/bending forces) and lighter (more torque and bending force reduction) With a 1.5" post I can play with wall thickness and material properties and make it for our purposes just as stiff as a 2" post. I may add some weight and it's carry structure weight which isn't desirable  but I'm not going to add that much weight so it's a good tradeoff.

 

PRO, XCS, Sactler, Hell even Glidecam cross on their gear. the only company that doesn't play is Tiffen. And while they call the M1 modular it only crosses to the M1 and that's not real world modular.


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#49 Justin Besser

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 05:41 AM

There are Definatly components within the Tiffen M1 system that are very interesting, I do hope there is some solution to potentially integrate with other brands, there is a large market out there who are open to picking the best component for their needs..
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#50 Jerry Holway

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Posted 04 December 2014 - 10:04 AM

Tiffen - and CP before it - are the leaders and innovators in making Steadicams for smaller payloads, with smaller posts, so any claim that "you can play with wall thickness and material properties" – as if Tiffen hasn't actually been doing that for years - is beyond silly. A manufacturer also has to account for the power and video cables, weight, multi-post capability, connections, clamps, mounts, indexing, actually working with the carbon fiber guys, gimbal design, etc. 

 

Engineering 101 stuff is not the be all and end all. A 2" post too big for some hands, and as stated above, unnecessary with today's materials. A 1.5 inch won't work for multi-posts and the other needs, so the Tiffen engineers chose very carefully the best size, materials, and structure for what they (and clearly I) think is the best compromise of all the design needs for a big rig.

 

There always tradeoffs making things that interact with humans, the need to be light and strong, and the like.


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#51 Thomas Gottschalk

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 01:46 PM

I just heard a price for the M1:

 

M1 sled

G70x arm

Fawcett Exovest

 

$49500,00.

 

I am not quite sure whether this includes the tilt stage and /or motorized stage options yet.


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#52 Lars Erik

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 02:32 PM

What was the price for the U2 again? Think it was in the same ballpark. Notice that U2 is removed from their website, meaning that they are no longer making them? No super post option for the M1?


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#53 Libor Cevelik

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 05:54 PM

So that puts the price of the Sled somewhere in $27k .. 

 

Cool


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#54 Alex Kornreich

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:02 PM

This thread got me to look up the definition of modular, because I'm curious how it's being advertised as such, when its components don't fit any other brand, and not even its own. 

 

1. having parts that can be connected or combined in different ways.

2. constructed with standardized units or dimensions for flexibility and variety in use.

 

source: Miriam Webster

 

It doesn't seem to fit either of these definitions, unless one considers modularity to be the ability to be taken apart and put back together only with itself.


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#55 Alex Kornreich

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Posted 23 February 2015 - 08:20 PM

 

Tiffen determined the post size (and construction) that worked best for all the various and competing design desires for the M1 as the Tiffen engineers and inventors and designers saw them, including strength, weight, multi-post, indexing posts, clamps, mounts, multiple wires and HD cables up all the posts, innovative modular/custom connectors, gimbal pan bearing sizes, and more.

 

Fixing on some other manufacturer's idea (formed, perhaps, many years ago) of what's an ideal diameter is not necessarily in the best interest of the product or the future. It's not that what they did then (or CP did) did not make sense then, or now, or was a bad idea. It's just not a good place to start thinking about something new.

 

Choosing to go to a new post diameter, like choosing to make a new stage, or to innovate in any other way, sometimes means wiping the slate clean and starting over - just as everyone has done for years, including all those who changed from the original, "standard" .625 post diameter (!!), or the "1.500" diameter of the model IIIa.

 

As a friend of mine used to say to folks who touted some tradition as the proper way to do something: "Then we must look to the future."

 

This is such a strange argument from someone who is trying to sell a product based on modularity. You're calling the M1 modular, yet you make the case for changing standards as a means of "looking to the future." So again, it's modular, but it won't actually fit with anything else.

 

This would be like Arri coming out with a new baseplate, but it only fits the Alexa, and it uses the new and wonderful 17mm rods because their engineers think it's better. The engineers won't tell use why it's so much better, but we should buy it anyway.


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#56 Nathan Chapman

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 03:39 AM

I can only presume it's intended to be modular with future products (i.e. the M2 - just upgrade the gimbal, leave the stage from your M1!) - but I've got nothing whatsoever to back that up.


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#57 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 10:24 AM

Apologies aside, I can not keep my mouth shut any longer... sorry.

 

I am tired of this argument.

Why do you guys continue to jump all over Tiffen for calling the M1 "modular"?

 

I feel you are trying to add something to the meaning of "modular" that is not a fair basis of comparison.

 

At the basic level , the M1 is modular in design.  

I think what you guys are wanting is an  "Interchangeable" and more specifically an "open structure" system, and you are adding all that to what you feel "modular" should mean.

 

At this point, with there being so many options in good,  solid, and  professional sleds, the other rigs are not as interchangeable as it seems has been argued so far against Tiffen's M1.

 

 

For example, I fly the XCS Ultimate.   I have had it for years.  It works great!  I can take it apart, swap the post;  I can mail in components for upgrades without shipping the entire sled.  I can buy new XCS components and swap them around as i see fit.

It is modular for sure, but far from interchangeable.

 

Turning back the clock a little, when XCS designed that first 2" center post sled, that design feature become a limiting factor in the center post's "interchangeability".

 

Until MK-V, Sachtler and BarBell jumped on the 2" center post bandwagon, the only gimbal I could put on the Ultimate with it's stock 2" post, was the XCS one.  

I only wanted/needed the XCS gimbal so who cares... but the point is,  [correct me if i am wrong] until the other manufactures jumped on board with 2", I could not put a different gimbal on my full XCS sled even if i wanted.

 

BUT that new 2" XCS gimbal could be fitted with a sleeve so it could put it on all sleds in existence at the time.  

Did that fact make all non-two inch gimbals no longer modular?

NO.  They were just not "interchangeable" with the new post size.

 

Now days, i would think anyone looking to design an "interchangeable" gimbal might need to make sure they support a 2" post if they want to ensure its "interchangeability", but as long as it is swappable within some system, it would still be modular, would it not?

 

 

Back to my sled,

Now maybe I want to put just my xcs lower electronics on a stock GPI-Pro?  

[I do not think that can happen.]

While I can buy an XCS center post to be wired for a PRO sled, I can not just get something off the shelf to put XCS electronics together with the GPI-Pro donkey box and PRO electronics.  It is not as simple as "Plug and Play"

 

Could it be done?  

Sure, we have many engineers who can move the world,  but I can not just make one call to GPI-Pro and one call the XCS, Inc. and have two boxes show up via FedEx within the week to make that happen.

 

So does that mean the GPI-Pro and XCS sleds are not modular?

NO.

 

They are just not interchangeable.

 

Is seems like people are arguing that a "modular sled" is only modular if it is interchangeable with the GPI-Pro echosystem.   While MK-V and Sachtler have embraced interchange with GPI, others have not... 

 

does any of this make sense?

or have i been missing something?

rich 

 

P.S. Notice i did not say "standard".

 

P.P.S  Shit, i just did

 


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#58 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 24 February 2015 - 09:58 PM

Rich - makes perfect sense.


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#59 GrantCulwell

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 01:48 PM

Well said Rich.

A quick call/email to Tiffen can usually clear up some of the questions and speculations.

Nathan, you are correct in thinking the M1 is designed with future products in mind. If/when changes or updates are made, the M1 provides the ability to easily switch out components. Also, as new components are added, the operator can customize the sled to better fit their individual needs.

They also feel it is modular in that the rods on the top stage, monitor mount, and batteries are 15mm, allowing for 3rd party accessories to work on the rig.

The first few additional components they will offer are a 3 stage post (one above the gimbal), motorized top stage, and volt meter on battery mount. They said there are other things they are designing but aren't ready to announce.

The M1 is also designed to allow for field servicing.

Hope that helps clear up a few things.

Fly safe.
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#60 chris fawcett

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Posted 27 February 2015 - 04:16 PM

Thank you, Rich. Well said.


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