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Heden M21VE motor question

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#1 brooksrobinson


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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:54 AM

I am wondering if anyone uses Heden M21VE motors, and how they perform. I used them several weeks ago on a project, and really liked their size and weight. They belonged to the 1st AC, and were used in conjunction with a 15-40mm lens, with M21VE motors on the focus and iris (we were not utilizing the zoom). He liked them a lot, and I was curious as to how they performed long-term. I am assuming they would not be up to driving the focus on a 50mm Primo, but I thought they would work out well on the iris or as a 3rd motor on a lightweight zoom.

Aside from their performance, how is the customer service at Heden? Is there a place in the Los Angeles area that services them? Any other questions I should be asking? Thanks in advance for any help.

Brooks Robinson
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#2 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 12:17 PM

I own both digital the 26 and 21, using the 21 for iris only, absolutely zero issues.


there is currently no service facility other than Heden (sweden) directly


i had to get one of my old analog motors serviced, once, super fast turnaround, had i back within a week...





The only place for service here might be Camadeus, they are selling and servicing Cmotion systems in the US (LA)



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#3 Ben Rowsell

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:10 PM

They will turn a light lens no problem, think Optimo & Alura LWZ, Cooke Primes, Masters, etc.

Heavier lenses such as Primos, or heavy movement standards, supers, etc are pushing the limits. I think they were mostly designed for Iris. They also have a relatively small gear so the calibrate time on larger diameter lenses is longer, however once done they turn the lens fast enough for most dramatic situations.


The M26 is a more versatile motor and is available in high torque flavour, or you could look into the 21L, which is a higher torque version of their small motor.


Ben R



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#4 Jess Haas SOC

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:00 PM

Hedens service is great even from across the pond. Service takes a week round trip.

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#5 brooksrobinson


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Posted 19 March 2014 - 03:11 PM

I just purchased two Heden M21VE motors for an upcoming job. I bought them directly from Heden (which I would strongly suggest looking into if you are based in the USA instead of using one of the North American vendors) after trying them out on a recent job, and hearing the positive feedback I received here on the forum.

My upcoming job was going to be using Panavision G-series anamorphic lenses, and I was hoping the new motors would be strong enough to turn both the iris and focus rings (the Gs are light and easy to turn for anamorphic lenses), although I was not sure they would be strong enough for the focus. At the last minute, we changed from anamorphic to spherical, using the new Primo V lenses; which meant that my plan for using the M21VE for focus was not to be.

We decided to take a look at them when I dropped the motors off at Panavision yesterday (my steadicam prep was the other day but the motors had not yet arrived). The camera assistants were doing lens tests, and I put one motor up just to see how it would mount with the built-in bracket. Since it was there, we decided to engage the motor to the focus ring of the 35mm Primo V that was on the camera to see if it would actually turn. Sure enough, it spun just as I would expect one of my Preston motors to. Intrigued, I had the boys put up the 50mm with a clip-on mattebox (typically the hardest of the Primo lenses to turn) knowing that the tiny motor would surly never spin it. Much to my surprise, it did turn the lens, and quickly. After recovering from my disbelief, I remembered that in all fairness, these are new lenses in new housings and probably much easier to turn than an old-school 50mm Primo (although still the same size and weight). It was impressive none the less.

I would not buy these motors with the assumption or expectation that they would turn any lens thrown their way, but they are remarkably strong for how small and light they are, and I am very happy to have them in my kit. Thanks to all who replied to this thread as to the quality of Heden products and customer service. That helped with my decision to purchase the motors, and I am glad that I did.

Brooks Robinson
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