Weight of Sled
Posted 03 February 2004 - 10:12 AM
Looking at your Picture, are you owner of XCS Sled?
What is the weight of the sled without camera?
Upper Camera platform, Poles & Lower electronics housing.
Compared both PRO Sled vs XCS sled, which is heavier?
Anyone know their weight?
Posted 03 February 2004 - 11:04 AM
The simple answer would be an XCS sled weighs more than a PRO sled. But what everyone needs to decide for themselves is what they want out of a system. Many regard the PRO to be the perfect sled because it strikes a nice balance between simplicity, modularity, reliability, and rigidity while keeping the weight down. Sleds like the Ultra and Ultimate weigh more, but add features. The Ultra boasts a tilt head and four stage post while the Ultimate utilizes intelligent power supplies, a video distribution amplifier, and a 2" rock solid center post that you could play baseball with. Just as the DSD vest weighs more than a front mounted vest, or an Ergo handle weighs more than a traditional gimbal yoke, some think them highly worth it. I suspect many of the cheap knock off rigs weighs less than many higher end sleds, but this is because they have gone too far in stripping away useful features and rigidity to give you their products. Try them all and decide what is worth it for you.
Posted 03 February 2004 - 12:11 PM
I've never quite understood the Ultra idea. I mean, it weighs a ton, and that four stage post is hardly a daily use item. I think you're going to end up carrying a lot of stuff around you hardly ever use.
Posted 03 February 2004 - 03:50 PM
>I've never quite understood the Ultra idea. I mean, it weighs a ton, and that four stage >post is hardly a daily use item. I think you're going to end up carrying a lot of stuff around >you hardly ever use.
Well, it really depends on the operator and what he or she is capable of and comfortable with (weight wise and accessory wise).
Not too long ago I was on a shoot with Larry McConkey, and his Ultra was loaded with quite a few accessories that he didn't use for the given shots. He had a cinetape mounted and an onboard recording deck for example that I'm fairly certain were not used for the shots he did. In any case, one might say that that is a bit of extra weight to be carrying for no reason, but it clearly was no problem for Larry. In the event that he needed to use either of those accessories, they were ready to go at a moment's notice since they were already mounted.
Then again, I'm talking about Larry, who is one of few (I imagine) steadicam ops who has flown Imax cameras more than once (with the aid of the now famous Rubber Band arm mod)!
As for features one would hardly use, Larry did use the motorized top stage to trim on the fly quite a bit, as well as the tilting and telescoping capabilities of his Ultra for various shots all on the same day.
So I'd say that in that particular shoot's case, Larry found his Sled's various functions quite handy.
Posted 04 February 2004 - 05:17 AM
I put my rig on the scale at Clairmont Camera (so blame there scale) the other day
Here the results:
Steadicam Ultra with one BFD: 20.5 lbs
Steadicam Ultra with BFD, Battery: 24.5 lbs
PRO Lite with Preston MDR: 14.5 lbs
PRO Lite with MDR, Batteries: 19.5 lbs
Ultimate with MDR, Onboard, Power and Run Cables: 19.0 lbs
with a Trimpac and a ProFormer Battery: 23.5 lbs
The factory spec for the PRO 2, as I remember them, are sled only: 18.25 lbs
So much for the numbers...
Anybody you ask will tell/claim how heavy the Ultimate rig is, it seams as the electronic box looks so bulky. Due to the design of the rig and distribution of weight with neutral balance in mind the waste of the weight is way below the Gimbal. It results in that you fly your Gimbal quite far from the Camera Stage as supposed to the PRO were you are always very close to the upper Junction box.
I balanced quite comfortably a XL-1 as well as a BL-4 on my rig and that without the luxury of a telesoping post. I have a rigid post.
I personally, changing from the PRO Lite to the Ultimate, it was quite sevire weight wise, but I must say that the additional weight makes for a very nice and stable frame, especially during these very slow creep shots. I got quite used to it and like it very much.
I wouldn't let weight play to big into account these days.. if you like something you will very quickly dismiss that fact.
Again it comes down to preference. Some Ops like the fact that they don't have to rebuild there rig for Super Post applications and sacrifice some rigidity to do so. Some like the fact that they can transmitt framelines to the Video Village, have a power supply but can power a 435 from one single ProFormer and have to carry more and do the adjustments at the bottom of the rig... etc.
You win some you loose some... as long as you win more then you lose, your in the game.
Try everything... see what works for you and then you will come back, after you spend tons of money and months of fine tuning, and say what's the big deal, my rig even though... xyz sucks... performs great... so what the f**k do you bitch about... I'm happy. It works. The shots look great. It didn't blow up. I didn't get fired. My morgage is getting paid... Hell what do I care that the other rig weighs 2 pounds less... If it works and performs better, I'll buy that one...
At the end of the day it's you, not the rig.
Posted 05 February 2004 - 12:06 AM
There just is no substitute for any of the recent advances like tools free adjustments, and wireless stage controls for expediting shots with a Steadicam. It is noticed too, more than I realized. On the first rehearsal of the first extensive Steadicam shot for "Snake Eyes" with Brian DePalma (who I had worked with on many films before this) as I stepped into position and said I was ready, Brian immediately called a halt to the proceedings. "Larry, why aren't you fiddling?" he demanded. It took a moment for me to figure out what he was talking about, and then I showed him the little remote that let me trim out the sled while walking up to the start mark. He had never mentioned this little adjustment period that I always took before each take, but he sure had noticed it!!
Actors have also commented on how troublesome it is to have a Steadicam Operator come in for a shot or two and change the whole rythym of the movie by "fiddling" with their equipment. To not take the time to be sure everything is perfectly adjusted before each take is unprofessional, and to have a system that makes these adjustments faster, easier and more flexible for the operator just makes you seem more considerate and valued on set.
It just depends on the circumstances how important all this is. For me it is very important on most of my jobs and completely irrelevant on others. Again, I think a Steadicam Operator is constantly being challenged to match the equipment he/she uses to the type of work being done and how much it costs is always an essential consideration. It doesn't make much sense to have all the adjustments in the world if you never want or need to make any adjustments. It makes no sense to have lots of accessories if you don't need or want to use them. Simplicity, reliability, familiarity are very, very important, and the more complex the rig, the further you are from them. You must balance all this stuff very carefully and try for the right compromises, and those compromises will be shifting in importance throughout your career.
Posted 05 February 2004 - 09:20 AM
When you weighed the Ultra, which monitor was attached?
Posted 05 February 2004 - 11:09 AM
and that without the luxury of a telescoping post. I have a rigid post.
Do you ever find it hard to operate without having the telescoping post?
Posted 05 February 2004 - 10:39 PM
When you weighed the Ultra, which monitor was attached?
Oh, Oh... here we go.
Greg called me, he went down to the post office to weigh his sled and came in at about 1 pound less for his Ultimate...
I measured Kelly Hernsdorff's Ultra Cine with the High Intensity 5" Monitor.
I'm aware that any and every rig, depending on the set up and AKS, will tip the scale slightly differently... so just use it as a guide line...
I tried it with Anton Bauer batteries and every single on that I own, from the same model, is different in weight and distribution... after every battery change I have to trim the rig slightly...
Posted 08 April 2004 - 11:16 PM
It would be nice to get the "real" weights, not combined weights [motors and such].
So far i have very little info on weight for most of the rigs out there. I will try e-mailing the manufactures directly? but here is what I have so far.
It would be nice to fill in the blanks. (For the rigs like the Pro, MK-V, Bar-bel and Ultimate? we should know which batteries are used in the weight calculation and the number of them used. Maybe we should standardize for comparison sake? say with two Performers???????)
And as Jerry pointed out, we need to know which monitor is on the rig too!
Tiffen Ultra sled only with 5" green screen apx 18lbs
Tiffen Ultra sled only with Ultrabrite ????????lbs
Tiffen Ultra sled with 24 volt battery [with greenscreen] apx 22.5lbs
Ultimate with TB-6 ?????lbs
Ultimate with batteries and TB-6 [?? Battery TYPE??] ??????lbs
Pro 2 with Pro greenscreen 18.2lbs
Pro 2 with batteries [?Battery TYPE???] ???????lbs
MK-V rig only [standard base with Marell greenscreen] ????lbs
MK-V rig [standard base with MK-V LCD without weight cage] ??????lbs
MK-V rig only [Nexus base with Marell] ???????lbs
MK-V with batteries [?battery type?] ??????lbs
bar-bel with batteries [?type?] ??????lbs
Posted 09 April 2004 - 09:06 AM
If no one else gets around to it first, I will weigh my Ultimate with TB-6 and Ergo handle/gimbal as soon as I can. I'll weigh it both with and without the Preston MDR-2, and with and without batteries but no motors, batteries, cables. I'm on a trial at the moment as a juror, but it should end mid next week. I'll post the results ASAP with detailed info (i.e. battery types, etc).
Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:16 AM
As Erwin already pointed out, there are so many factors that change the outcome completely the moment you have to arrive with the WORKING sled WITH camera.
Batteries, wires, Follow focus and the number of motors, transmitters, recorders, screens, extension posts, donkey-boxes, framegenerators, too much to mention and really, there is NO rig similar to another out there.
Yes, some will be more heavy than others, But most of the time, weight means functionality as no manufacturer will put in "dead weight", so it will always be an apples-oranges comparison.
But if this can keep you busy...... go ahead!
Rob van Gelder, Bangkok, Thailand
Posted 10 April 2004 - 12:10 PM
The case is a beast. I'm thinking of an alternative design that will be smaller and lighter. I'm leaning towards a soft case (there are a few around like Rock Steadi's) for while I'm in town and just driving to and from shoots with the rig built, and a hard case for shipping and airline travel that is considerably more compact. This case would pack the rig more efficiently broken down into it's components. The Ultimate disassembles so easily that this seems like an easy way to achieve a smaller lighter case.