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Great arm + great service = pure happiness with Steadyrig

Rig Engineering Steadyrig Silver Spring arm Hugo Langer

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#1 Tuomas Viitakoski

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:30 PM

I want to share this with the community and especially with the new operators who consider buying a new arm.
(disclaimer: I do not work for the manufacturer/company I'm referring to - sure would like to - but I don't)

But there's a company called Rig Engineering in Australia who manufactures Steadyrig Silver Spring arms that stems from CP's IIIA arms. They look kinda alike, are based on the same design but the engineers have made quite a few tweaks and redesigned parts.
The arms are all new (made in Australia) so even they're not just refurbished IIIA like you'd first think.
Attached File  arm_lg.jpg   22.97KB   26 downloads
- Silky, noiseless, smooth operating, no cluncks in the end, the arm really does it's duty - carries the load for you (13-63lbs / 5.9-28.6kg)
- Slim profile, very nice to use with back mounted vest that makes you wide as a rhino.
- Friction control knob for arm post, easy to adjust in advance if need to get through tight spaces.
- Simple design, weatherproof. If dirty, just disassemble and wipe of the tar and feathers. Otherwise maintenance free.
- Exceptional customer care.

And this is how things work out when you deal with great people (please prepare yourself with a cup of tea/coffee/Red Bull):

I've been a service technician in a rental house now about eight years and among the cameras I've been rebuilding and servicing random rigs and arms.
While overhauling this kind of gear, testing them, hearkening to chinks and cleaning up coke from bearings I've had a chance to try on all kinds of stuff.
Then it was time to buy my own gear. I thought it would be easy after all this but it sure wasn't. Knowing what I want and knowing that I dont have the $$$ for it put me in a sticky situation so I started to gather my gear piece by piece. After reading all the posts in steadicamforum regarding the user experience it was pretty clear that GPI Pro's Titan was really popular as well as Tiffen's G-70x. I had my budget but neither of these could fit into my it so I started looking for used ones without success.

One day wandering in the great internet I bumbed into this arm by "Steadyrig". Sounded like one of those Chinese companies selling .. umm.. rather 'interesting' rigs in eBay but this one seemed a decent stack of aluminium with some steel springs in. So I looked it up but found very little about the company or the arm but everything I found was very positive and that got my attention. I went through forum again looking for second hand Steadyrig Silver Spring arms and found one - emailed the guy asking for price but his answer was that he had decided to keep the arm. That got me very interested..

I sent an email to Steadyrig and later my phone rings - it's this man with a slight Ozzie accent, introduced himself Hugo Langer, calling from another side of the world asking about my needs current situation and tells me about his plan to start this "rent-to-own program"* (which I didn't completely understand in the beginning but later learned that it ment leasing). He said that he understands my financial situation and that he could help me out(!). I was like.. "where's the catch..?", called my accountant and told about the terms and she said it's more like installment plan than leasing since I'd own the arm after the signing the papers. So I ordered one without further hesitations. Had never tried on a Steadyrig's arm so it was like a dive into a murky creek wearing shackles. Anyhow this arrangement made it possible for me to buy the rest of the gear I was lacking. Without Hugo's kind offer I would still be without an arm, monitor, batteries.. It's a great help for operator starting up business. A lot of bills to pay in the beginnig but yet not enough jobs to make cash to cover it all.

The arm was delivered in pieces (by my choice) which didn't freak me out since I had been playing with arms and powerful springs without damage so far. Hugo even called me to help with assembling and after the phone call it took me less than 15mins to put it together (while watching telly) but nowadays it takes me 15mins to disassemble, clean it from dirt and to assemble it again..
Attached File  Skeleton.JPG   266.94KB   21 downloadsAttached File  Assembled.JPG   337.67KB   22 downloads

First I was a bit suspicious about the need of the allen key to adjust the springs (Steadyrig arm comes with a speed crank that makes it whole lotta easier) - however after the first gig I noticed that there was no need to do adjustments later. I was so used to twist the knobs to tune the lift perfect for the shot. Now the load could get a bit heavier or lighter and the shot change dramatically and still wouldn't need to adjust. The arm is very forgiving like GPI Pro Titan.

Here, see me thrilled:
Attached File  Smiling.jpg   270.86KB   23 downloads

Hugo calls me every now and then and we chat about .. stuff.. business related and not business related stuff. And note: it's 3 a.m. in Melbourne when 6 p.m. in Helsinki so he must set an alarm clock to perform a phone call??
First of all I feel safe and know that if a truck drives over my arm I'll have a replacement in a day from Sweden (Hugo has one ready in every continent e.g. Janice Arthur's in the US).
Whenever I test other arms at my work I'm having this sour face.. because I miss my own..
Silver Spring is pure happiness. Thank you Hugo for helping me.


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#2 Christopher Hedberg

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 03:33 AM

Hi Tuomas,


Thanks for sharing how you feel about your Steadyrig.  Is there anything the Steadyrig does not do that a comparable Steadicam arm does? 

Also, can you give a ballpark estimate of how much your arm cost?  Also, do you plan on keeping the SteadyRig as your primary arm forever?  I find myself wanting to practice with a large weight arm but not pay the Steadicam price.  





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#3 Tuomas Viitakoski

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:56 PM

Hi Christopher,
Thank you for your comment!

A small sidenote: I don't consider myself that experienced operator that I would feel comfortable comparing the models.. I'm sorry.

I've tried on various different arms from different manufacturers and some of them have been brand new but most of them almost 20 years old yet well maintained. Each one has been unique by their properties.
New gear always costs a lot (everyone defines their own "a lot") so used/refurbished is usually good idea in the beginning. It's absolutely recommended to have a second-hand arm properly inspected and serviced before taking it to work. In a worst case the price may get so high that adding a few thousand bucks would get you a new arm - but then again you need have steadicam operator's career well set up or to be a millionaire / have a high-paying job and no kids/house or other hobbies to finance over this one :)

Going to trade shows, open houses and especially taking a steadicam workshop was really helpful to me but as I mentioned in the original post the superb customer service, financing option and me willing to work with this one arm for "considerably long time" finally made my decicion (I looked for 6 years).

Because you are asking "right kind of questions" I guess you've gone through the whole forum scouting for arms. I'd suggest you to contact admin[at]steadyrig.com (Hugo Langer) and ask where would be the nearest Silver Spring arm available for testing!

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#4 Kevin Andrews SOC

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:54 PM

Diddo. It's my main working arm and kills it everyday on set. You can see it's well made just by looking at it, and you know it's well made when you fly it. Footsteps in the shot, forget about it.

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#5 JensSchroeder


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Posted 16 March 2014 - 02:20 AM

And I just can second it - Hugo is a great guy you can 100% trust, he seems to never sleep. Calls me too somestimes when it's nighttime for him, just to check if everything is ok. And the products are very well made, I fly his battery hanger.
My 2c.
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#6 Blaine Baker

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Posted 17 March 2014 - 11:50 AM

So glad to see this is working out well for Hugo, I know the rent to own program could not be working better for me. The best part of the whole deal was how unbelieveably easy it was to get an arm on a lease when I was putting my first rig together, while other people turned me down on loans because I didnt have enough industry experience (even though I had a seperate job that would have paid for it).


Hugo did this without question and I've been flying almost exclusively big cameras since I got it, which I didn't think was a reality when I first started (I assumed naturally, if you're a newbie, you're flying smaller cameras... but it seems everyone wants to shoot on alexa these days, and they're always thrilled to hear they dont have to strip the package for my sake)


So yet another shout out to Hugo, thanks for everything so far! It helped me get my career in operating started and I couldnt be more thankful for that.




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