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What to look for in a used rig?


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#1 Blair Phillips

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 09:51 AM

If a thread like this already exists, my apologies.

When one is purchasing a new rig, what are the key things to look for?

Are there particularly important places to look for signs of wear?

Are there especially bad brands one should avoid?

Anything you can think of would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Blair
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#2 Emre Tufekci

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:50 AM

If a thread like this already exists, my apologies.

When one is purchasing a new rig, what are the key things to look for?

Are there particularly important places to look for signs of wear?

Are there especially bad brands one should avoid?

Anything you can think of would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Blair


Hi Blair,

I think its best to start with what your budget is. Depending on if you have 6K or 60K to invest, the tips and reccomendation will be very different.

Emre
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#3 Blair Phillips

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:09 AM

Hi Blair,

I think its best to start with what your budget is. Depending on if you have 6K or 60K to invest, the tips and reccomendation will be very different.

Emre


Good point, thanks. Looking to spend no more than 15k on the rig, then maybe 6k on accessories.
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#4 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 09:50 AM

Good point, thanks. Looking to spend no more than 15k on the rig, then maybe 6k on accessories.


$21k is a tight budget but with all the used rigs on the market at this time you should be able to get a good start on something decent.

Arm payload, sled features and monitor quality are the main characteristics. The problem with some of the entry level new rigs is that they have limited options for additional power and I/O needed for video, focus systems, transmitters.

James Baldanza has good rig close to your price range and it's full-featured. Mark Morgan has a G50 arm for sale and also I think "Crazy Eric" has a Masters series arm in the mix.... someone does.

This way you won't be limited to small cameras and you'll have some expandability.

The biggest thing you need to do is assess what level of work you are currently doing or likely to be doing in the year or two.

I'm on rig #4 right now and frankly wish I had of ponied up at rig #2 to get what I have now: PRO arm & vest, XCS Ultimate 1 and Transvideo monitor but that was beyond my $$$$$$ pain threshold at the time.

Robert
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#5 Blair Phillips

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 10:31 AM

Thanks!

You mentioned a lot used arms for sale. Is it possible to insert a g-50/g-70 arm onto say, a flyer, to increase payload or will I simply break socket/socket block?

I guess more generally, can I upgrade a kit piece by piece like one would a computer?
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#6 Mark Schlicher

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 06:17 PM

The socket blocks are not compatible between Flyer and big rigs, but you can put a fullsize socket block on a flyer vest.

However, you would not want to!! The vest clasps will very probably fail under the increased loads. Even if it didn't, the flyer vest does not give proper support for loads above its design spec.

Once you get to the big rigs there is a lot of modularity, but the flyer is in a lighter weight class and pretty much stands alone.

There is much wisdom in Robert's advice.

Now, you could buy a "big-rig" vest and put a Flyer socket block on the vest in order to use a Flyer arm and sled. That would be a better future-proofing, as a lot of ops stay with their preferred vest for years even as they move from sled to sled and arm to arm. But, you still need to make sure the vest fits properly...have you done a Workshop yet? Much will be answered!

Thanks!

You mentioned a lot used arms for sale. Is it possible to insert a g-50/g-70 arm onto say, a flyer, to increase payload or will I simply break socket/socket block?

I guess more generally, can I upgrade a kit piece by piece like one would a computer?


Edited by Mark Schlicher SOC, 02 June 2010 - 06:18 PM.

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#7 Blair Phillips

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 07:15 PM

Thanks, that was very helpful. So if I want to upgrade piece by piece, the vest is where it all starts.

I am signed up for a 2 day flyer/pilot seminar in Tampa this July and I am not planning on committing to a rig until that is done. Before that happens I would like to use my time to learn as much as I can to maximize my experience there.
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#8 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:42 AM

Read the archives of the Forum for the answer to about every question you could possibly ask and another half-dozen variations on the theme. The archives are invaluable. Taking a two-day "Flyer?" workshop is the place to start as well.

I'm not sure about the G70 arm but I do know you can add a Flyer / Pro-vid sized cap to the post on the G50. So yes you can fly a heavier payload but the entire design / build of the Flyer is centered on a specific sized payload. The arm and sled may lift it but the gimbal, top stage and other parts will eventually fail, plus there's an entire other issue of stiffness and vibration. The rigs / arms are built specifically for a "range" of payloads; your car may go up to 140 mph but it's not meant to go 140 mph all day... at least most cars are not.

As to modularity and upgrading as you go, that is an excellent question indeed. You'll find "All In One Box" manufacturers such as Tiffen who offer a few select options per rig but not a lot of interchangeability between models. That's not necessarily a bad thing. One the other side, as you look at the rigs of the veteran operators, they almost without exception have hybrid rigs where they've picked the best from each component and have entirely custom rigs, arms, monitors and vests. Charles Papert and I mused over this at NAB looking at his "NimbleCam Rig" which is a hybrid of parts and modified parts from virtually every manufacturer and some who are no long with us.

My point is, don't be afraid to get some guidance and build your own "Frankenrig" with interchangeable parts; it's not black magic to do it. Or, if you want the All In One Box concept you can go there too as I did on my first three rigs and those rigs served me well.

You can do it and we can help!

Robert
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#9 Blair Phillips

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:51 PM

Read the archives of the Forum for the answer to about every question you could possibly ask and another half-dozen variations on the theme. The archives are invaluable. Taking a two-day "Flyer?" workshop is the place to start as well.

I'm not sure about the G70 arm but I do know you can add a Flyer / Pro-vid sized cap to the post on the G50. So yes you can fly a heavier payload but the entire design / build of the Flyer is centered on a specific sized payload. The arm and sled may lift it but the gimbal, top stage and other parts will eventually fail, plus there's an entire other issue of stiffness and vibration. The rigs / arms are built specifically for a "range" of payloads; your car may go up to 140 mph but it's not meant to go 140 mph all day... at least most cars are not.

As to modularity and upgrading as you go, that is an excellent question indeed. You'll find "All In One Box" manufacturers such as Tiffen who offer a few select options per rig but not a lot of interchangeability between models. That's not necessarily a bad thing. One the other side, as you look at the rigs of the veteran operators, they almost without exception have hybrid rigs where they've picked the best from each component and have entirely custom rigs, arms, monitors and vests. Charles Papert and I mused over this at NAB looking at his "NimbleCam Rig" which is a hybrid of parts and modified parts from virtually every manufacturer and some who are no long with us.

My point is, don't be afraid to get some guidance and build your own "Frankenrig" with interchangeable parts; it's not black magic to do it. Or, if you want the All In One Box concept you can go there too as I did on my first three rigs and those rigs served me well.

You can do it and we can help!

Robert


Thanks Rob! I am looking at the archives and they are helpful, except they only seem to go back to 2004 where people say "looks at the 2001 thread on the same topic!"
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