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Betz Top Stage or Pro DB-3?


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#1 Billy Green

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 04:48 PM

I'm in the market for a new donkey box/camera stage/top stage/upper camera platform, etc. I've narrowed it down to either:

Betz Top Stage
My link
http://www.betz-tool...m/acc_stage.php

OR

Pro Donkey Box III
My link
http://progpi.com/pr...t/components/1/

I've read around on the forum, but there's no recent mention of either. Any advantages of one over the other or any potential vibration issues?

I'm aware of Tiffen's motorized stage and XCS's upper camera platform, but I'm not in a position to buy an entirely new rig.

Thanks in advance!

Best,

Billy Green
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#2 JobScholtze

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 05:37 PM

There both great topstages. I am not familiar with the DB3, but i had a DB2 on my second rig and have a betz on my first rig. I recently sold the DB2 and bought a betz, so both my rigs are simular. I love the Betz stage, its very good, no play, easy to use, and top service. But the service at pro is also 100%. The big difference was the toolsfree on the betz, but it seems that the db3 is now toolsfree too.
There both great, its up to you. Perhaps price could be a issue
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#3 Richard James Lewis

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Posted 09 November 2011 - 06:23 PM

Very happy with my Betz stage. Rock solid, no vibration at all. Ample amount of travel. Lightweight. The plate just drops in and snaps shut, no messing with tools, quick and easy. I'd buy one again, and recommend you to do the same.

RJL
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#4 Yousheng Tang

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:21 AM

I haven't had experience with the Pro DB-3, but I agree with everything Richard mentioned above. The Betz topstage is something I never have to worry about.
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:58 AM

I have a DB3 which is light years ahead of the DB2. The Betz seems cool, but I'm not convinced I want a tool-less device when it comes to removing the camera. Why? We whip it around & hang it in low-mode. As long as there is a coarse adjustment, I'm happy to have a wrench to take it on/off the rig. Hell, you'll need a screw driver to remove/add the plates and nobody freaks about that. The reason I feel this way is that I use a pile of dovetail plates from different manufacturers depending on the set-up and they all differ a bit in width. I don't want to deal with a plate slipping because the quick-release is too loose - just tighten by hand and know you are good to go.
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#6 Frederic Chamberland

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 10:40 AM

One more vote for DB3.

Never tried the Betz but the DB3 is military grade stuff. My DB3 is being abused each and every day of the week in the last 2 years flying RED's and Alexas and never had any vibrations or malfunction.

Fly safe.

Frederic
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#7 thomas-english

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:14 AM

Big fan of the Betz. I use all sorts of different camera plates (MK-V, Betz, XCS and Baer-Bell) and they are all different sizes but the clamping lever just clamps a little more of less. Totally fine. Betz service is also top-notch.

Never used a DB2/3 but I am sure its very good.

They are both very good.

I dunno which you should get. The tyranny of choice. Have you heard of "Buridans Ass": If you put a donkey between a pale of water and a bale of hay it can die of starvation trying to choose between them.

Now which should I get? Samsung Galaxy s2 or an Iphone 4s....
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#8 RonBaldwin

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:38 AM

Where do you live? Maybe your proximity to one over the other will help decide. Going pro is a no brainer if you live in LA, but if you have to put it in the mail for service anyways...

The db3 is a great improvement over the db2. I have only used the betz a few times on other op's rigs, seemed fine to me but playing for a few minutes here/there doesn't really count. I think Mike Oshea uses betz stages on his nexus rigs, shoot him a pm and ask him what he thinks - I am sure he thinks it's great. I don't think they are that common on this side of the pond...I love my db3 and am not interested in changing horses but would love to play more with a betz out of curiosity.

rb
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#9 Richard W. Davis

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 01:17 PM

My vote for the DB3... Rock solid, easy to use , easy to field service if needed... Jack's service at PRO is top notch. He takes it all very personally and wants it perfect for you. Full disclosure I have not tried the Betz but have used the EFp , 3A, Master Series, Ultra, Pro1 , PRo 2 and PRO 3 Donkey Box... of those my favorite is DB3... all due respects to the others. my .02

Best,

Rich Davis
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#10 JobScholtze

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 03:33 AM

Like i said, didnt use the DB3, but owned the DB2. I changed to Betz becose i find the betz far superior to the DB2. Dont get me wrong, the db2 is just fine, i found the betz only better, and easyer. Also with the rods infront makes it very easy and i can choose how far or close my dbox will be.
I have 2 nexus sleds, both are now with betz stages. Love them. Btw, there cant be any discussion about the betz service, its 200% top


J
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#11 Christopher TJ McGuire SOC

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 02:26 PM

The Betz top stage is solid - Service is 100% and I'm always balancing on the fly....after AC's get to do what they need to do - I need to adjust quickly I dont have time for tools.
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#12 Matthias Biber

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Posted 22 November 2011 - 04:23 PM

I´m very happy with my Betz topstage.
It has mechanics inside, that remove any backlash of the screw drives. Besides a solid construction, this feature is essential to avoid vibrations.
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#13 Billy Green

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

Thanks for the input, everyone!
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#14 RonBaldwin

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 07:51 PM

In fairness to the db3 -- a tool is only needed for the initial lock down, then there is a tools free course adjustment. So once that 3.5 seconds is wasted picking up the 5/32's allen, tightening the screw and returning the tool to the dock you can get on with your shooting.

rb
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#15 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 08:22 PM

And again, I like that wrench as a safety feature. Steadicams are whipped around, handed off, etc. a quick release can be dangerous. Again, the tool is ONLY used to mout or dismount the camera. All adjustments are tools free.
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