Here's a review I did on some known and unknown devices. Most of you high end pro's might not really care about my findings in the low end world but if it makes you feel better. Just take this review as a good read. For those others, hope you enjoy it.
IBC 2009 device review
A shame you didn't introduce yourself and acted like a "wannabe" operator, even in your posture! I understand, it's your way to prevent commercial speeches. But had you ask your questions, listed in your review, directly to us, we might have enlightened your concerns immediately.
We use specially made hyperelastic Latex straps, with a special process during vulcanization to achieve "hyperelasticity" and make them unbreakable, at least when they are installed in our arms (you can of course cut them with a knife). That's why we offer a 10 years warranty on the straps, and replace them for free, no matter the cause (in two years it didn't happen yet).
Yes, it makes our arm extremely light. The new little Arm for the AIGLE TITAN weights 1,2 kg (2,7 lbs). The CHD 15kg payload arm weights 4 kg (9 lbs).
The LTX straps also make them perfectly silent - this amazes anyone who are used to old spring arms.
The fact that we don't need a payload adjustement mechanism (you just add or remove straps), make the quality of the arm "undying". No play, no noise can grow anywhere.
Last but not least, the boom-range is huge (84cm/33"), the isoelastic feel is great, the elasticity is impressive, no walking effect at all. See what Charles Papert wrote after NAB this year (thanks again, Charles - what we discussed about will be useful).
Now, your questions :
1. Temperature. How does it affect the strength of the elastic?
By high temperatures, you need to add one or two straps more than usual.
By cold temperatures, you need to remove one or two straps less than usual.
2. Precision placement of components when the need to quickly change the lift and/or feel of the arm / 3. Fine tuning the arm on the fly is impossible.
The way to do it, is to prepare the arm with a stronger payload capacity than needed. On the fly, you just have to pull one or more straps away.
4. The need to carry a large amount of elastic bands in a bag and taking them out on set and getting the looks from studio crew…
As an aspiring operator, you surely care about looks from studio crew. But this fades away in time. Besides you might want to try and explain them the great advantages of this technique.
5. I think, most important of all, would you trust a rented 35mm or your own very expensive camera on a system that uses elastic bands?
. There is absolutely no chance that all the unbreakable straps break suddenly all together and that the camera on the stabilizer fall all the way down along the boom range of the arm. Even if you snick them all with a knife, the arm would just boom down and not go up easily anymore. That's all.
Our arms aren't just one piece of "elastic" - there are sturdy aluminium parts, bearings, screws all around!!
There are a lot more risks to see a spring breaking, and pieces of metal flying through the air directly into someone's eye.
Besides, our CHD system accepts 15kg payload. It doesn't suit most of 35mm cameras.
As for the backmounted vest, you absolutely have to adjust it for each bodies, as accurately as possible. Hence the minutes you waited for us to set the harness to your size. But once it is done, you don't have to do it again.
Now vests or harnesses are a very personal matter. For your XXL body, we would have proceed with other fine-tuning adjustments. But this takes time. And you were on the run and didn't really want to give the products a chance.
Anyway, we couldn't imagine anyone of this little world, outside of experienced operators like CP who have nothing to proove, saying that our "Not-Steadicam", not expensive products are just great, maybe this or that to improve, like for everything else on Earth, but great. That's not a problem for us.
Now, we know your face! Next time, we'll be able to talk to you properly.