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PRO Vest - Low Mode Bracket


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#1 Iain Baird

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 02:45 PM

Many moons ago I switched from my original Master Series Vest to the Klassen GB dual Mount. The Back mount is perfect for 80 percent of what I do but since I was only going to have one vest I decided on the dual mount for the tight doorway situations that were bound to arise. It was a lifesaver on more than one occasion but I still felt like my profile was bigger than I really wanted it to be, especially in really tight spaces. I decided to purchase a PRO vest as my low profile vest. I’d heard great things about the fit of the Vest and PRO is well known to make great gear. When it arrived I fitted it at home then brought it into work to give it a trial run in between shots. I knew it would take a while to get used to the feel of a front mount again and I didn’t want that to be on company time. When I first picked up the sled something felt wrong, the vest fit but the steadicam arm was in the way of my right elbow. I had become so accustomed to the arm being in a lower position on my BM vest that all of a sudden this new position felt alien to me. I tried all day to get used to it but every time I boomed up or down I was smacking my elbow or having to adjust my wrist to see the monitor properly. It wasn’t working for me, not to mention I couldn’t boom down as low in regular mode as with the BM vest. It’s easy to add height with longer arm posts but unless you want to add an F bracket it’s not that easy to get lower. My old MS vest socket could slide up and down to change the height but the PRO vest is stationary.

After a few different design ideas I took my cut out piece of paper and requests to Walter and Taku at Walter Klassen designs in Toronto and here’s what we came up with. I’ve had a day to try it out on set and it feels great, the switch between vests feels much more comfortable now without any real changes required in the arm setup other than flipping the socket on the arm side, 10 seconds with an aircraft pin.
The name was Walter’s idea but who am I to complain? After a few more days of testing we’ll send it off for anodizing. If anyone else is interested in this bracket contact Walter. I believe Walter has also built a goofy foot version.

Attached File  iBaird.jpg   192.37KB   651 downloads
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#2 RonBaldwin

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 06:52 PM

wow -- that is pretty sweet. I'd love one!
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#3 Nicholas Davidoff

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Posted 21 March 2010 - 11:23 PM

$$$-???
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#4 Iain Baird

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 07:23 AM

Since we haven't finished the piece yet I'm not sure what the cost will be, any questions should be sent to WALTER KLASSEN FX at Tel: (416) 778 - 7848 or jennifer@walterklassen.com
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#5 Ken Nguyen

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 01:29 PM

Hi,
Is it a good idea?
I think learning to operate with the socket block at its original position is better than using the mod.
Say, if the force exerted at the original socket position is A.
Using the mod will multiply the force A by the distance of its displacement from the original position (about 4inches in this case, I guest)
So, you will feel the rig is heavier than normal.
Cheers,
Ken Nguyen.
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#6 Iain Baird

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Posted 22 March 2010 - 01:49 PM

Hi,
Is it a good idea?
I think learning to operate with the socket block at its original position is better than using the mod.
Say, if the force exerted at the original socket position is A.
Using the mod will multiply the force A by the distance of its displacement from the original position (about 4inches in this case, I guest)
So, you will feel the rig is heavier than normal.
Cheers,
Ken Nguyen.


Not the case Ken, the forces are only magnified when you extend the rig farther away from your body, sliding the socket up or down doesn't make a noticeable difference. Having flown the rig quite a few times now with the new bracket I can tell you that other than the arm being clear of my elbow now, it feels the same. In fact I used to adjust my MS Vest all the time for different shots and didn't notice a difference then either.

IAIN
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#7 Erwin Landau

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 02:21 AM

Iain,

As I appreciate any new or crazy modification... (And I like this one), you are aware that you just effectively void any warranty on your vest, Right?
I am not seeing that fairing well with GPI. Every time you lengthen the attachment point or change the angle of attack you are compromising the adjacent parts and are inflicting increased stress. Any wear or tear from here on will be blamed on the new piece... Even though it doesn't look like a big deal, I can see stress cracks appearing
eventually at the chest spar...

Just saying...


I had four PRO vests over the years and must say that I am used to operate that way... did I miss the adjustability? Yes, but looking back at the 3A vest that I used to fly and I must say that I adjusted it once and left it there... Very close to where the PRO socket block lives...

Oh well...

Erwin " party pooper" Landau
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#8 Iain Baird

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 05:28 AM

Iain,

As I appreciate any new or crazy modification... (And I like this one), you are aware that you just effectively void any warranty on your vest, Right?
I am not seeing that fairing well with GPI. Every time you lengthen the attachment point or change the angle of attack you are compromising the adjacent parts and are inflicting increased stress. Any wear or tear from here on will be blamed on the new piece... Even though it doesn't look like a big deal, I can see stress cracks appearing
eventually at the chest spar...

Just saying...


I had four PRO vests over the years and must say that I am used to operate that way... did I miss the adjustability? Yes, but looking back at the 3A vest that I used to fly and I must say that I adjusted it once and left it there... Very close to where the PRO socket block lives...

Oh well...

Erwin " party pooper" Landau


Erwin,

My feeling is I'd prefer have the vest function properly for me and void the warranty then live with what I felt was a compromise in my operating. If I stress the adjoining piece then I'll go ahead and strengthen that one as well. Truthfully I don't see this bracket being so extreme as to cause any problems with the spar, especially since I'm only using hole #2 of a possible 6 in the extension. I'd rather move forwards with a product to get it to where I am comfortable then accept what I find to be a detriment.

Is the GPI base designed to have a shoe attached to place it on flat surfaces? Probably not, I have a PRO base and have seen the flex in the point of attachment caused by placing the rig down on the batteries. Regardless some forward thinkers went ahead and made one anyway because they felt it would help their setup, counting on the fact that the gear was built strongly enough to handle to added stress. Does adding elastic bands to your arm to allow you to fly heavy cameras sound like a good idea? not really, but hey if your arm can't handle the weight it's what people do, again confident that the gear will withstand the added stress.

I understand that testing the limits of your system can eventually cause problems and I'm not trying to critique any design choices or some gear limitations, however I do feel that what has advanced the steadicam over the years is people NOT accepting the norm and finding ways to improve upon existing gear and equipment.

How many mods have you done to your equipment in your career? I've done quite a few, and will continue as long as I see improvements can be made.

Respectfully,

IAIN
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#9 Henry Gelhart

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Posted 23 March 2010 - 08:23 PM

Hey

alright.... price for this little modification is probably gonna be $775 plus shipping.
I contacted WK yesterday and got a reply within hours.. (love their service!)
They currently have three in stock.

Great idea, but like Erwin said... GPI's warranty is more likely gone with that....

Henry
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#10 nealnorton

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 07:19 AM

Hey Iain:

I use the PRO vest and this would never have occurred to me. . . I think there are some applications for this little accessory such as working around tables and clearing obstructions that would be GREAT.

Just to stick my finger in the pie, it would even be better if the device could be used both 'down' and then reversed and used 'up'. Because the PRO mating point is symetrical this might work, huh?

Warranty? Boy has the steadicam business changed:) Work it till it breaks and then make it better.

Thanks, Iain. Great Idea!

Neal Norton
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#11 Benjamin Treplin

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:07 AM

Doesn't work for goofy I guess. Gets in the way of the waist pad latch.
I was dragging this in my head for a long time. Nice to see it happen.
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#12 Iain Baird

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 08:46 AM

Doesn't work for goofy I guess. Gets in the way of the waist pad latch.


I've never seen a goofy foot PRO vest, I assumed that the clamps would be reversed so you strapped in from the right side, if not then you wouldn't be able to use it.

However; I know it would be easy to reverse the chest strap because the threaded holes are on each side, I guess you could tap three new holes in the waist plate to reverse the strap system. Probably quite possible, some sewing would be involved to reverse the waist straps and flip the foam pad. I'm not sure about the shoulder strap but it may be possible to flip the hard clip from one side to another.

As for the Flipping the bracket idea for super high, I think the arm would be in a very awkward position if it were mounted that high, not to mention that by reversing THIS bracket the socket would be facing in instead of out and angled out instead of in. You would need a goofy foot version to work for the regular side and a regular version to work on the goofy foot side. Keep in mind that you can easily switch back to the original socket block to get the socket higher again.

Cheers,

IAIN
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#13 Iain Baird

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:17 AM

I've since had a chance to look at my vest and have reconsidered the goofy foot change over.

Only the bottom strap would have to be changed, and you would still enter the Vest from the left side. It would require tapping three new holes and some sewing but would be quite easy.

You would have to put the lower tightening lever on the other side but leave the connecting buckle in the same position (the 2" buckle connected behind your back). The female end of the buckle would need a very short strap, sewn to the left plastic vest piece, to leave it in the same position but the male end would require a trickier design change. A single strap would need to be sewn to a strap coupler (a metal rectangular loop is what I'm picturing) that would sit exactly mirrored to where the buckle is now. The strap would be fed through the loops on the back padding to the male end of the plastic buckle and fed through this buckle in the same manner as before to allow tightening and loosening of the strap. You would then just use the same strap that is still attached to the tightening lever to complete the mod. Loop the free end of the lever strap through the metal rectangular strap coupler and sew it to the slot on the right plastic vest piece. The system should behave exactly the same except the lever would now sit on the right.

I've in fact done a few sewing mods already to my vest by changing out the back buckle for a single button version that is less likely to get broken. I've seen too many of the other style over the years half snapped off to trust them completely.

Attached File  vest 2.jpg   142.06KB   313 downloads

Cheers,

IAIN
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#14 Iain Baird

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 03:15 PM

The completed piece just back from anodizing

Attached File  photo.jpg   114.27KB   383 downloads
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#15 Charles King

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Posted 27 March 2010 - 05:36 AM

Great looking finish Iain. Well done. Unfortunately I do not own a pro vest. A custom EFP vest. :) I hope you get back what you put in :)
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