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Used: What to look for?


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#1 Afton Grant

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 11:46 AM

I've begun the search for a rig of my own. Most likely, it will be a used or possibly demo item. I'm wondering if there is anything specific I should look for when buying a used rig - other than the extremely obvious. Are there any parts that are more prone to wear? Are there any tell-tale signs that would indicate a bad piece of equipment? Conversely, is there anything that indicates it's in great condition?

Certainly, if at all possible, I'll look at it and test it out myself. However, a veteran mechanic will test drive a used car in an entirely different manner than a casual buyer.

Thanks!
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#2 PeterAbraham

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 03:15 PM

What size rig are you looking for? Flyer......... Archer..... Ultra? EFP....... Master Series....... ?? That will help some of us with experience in older rigs and newer rigs give you some things to look out for.

Every Steadicam is different, and so the suggestions on what to look out for are different. I will be glad to offer a few general thoughts.

Have a seasoned op fly it and look over the package. You are correct- we will see and feel things that you won't know to see and feel.

Make sure the monitor fires up. Sounds simple, but hey- get someone else to fire it up if you live far away from where it is. Try to ascertain the provenance of the Steadicam. How was it maintained, and by whom? Some folks out there claim to do repairs/maintenance/upgrades and are perhaps less than reputable. Others are as good as gold. Read through the Forum, you will get a sense of what folks here think.

Are you overbuying or underbuying? If your career is moving from Mini-DV cam to larger video jobs, you will want a rig that can handle full-weight High-Def camera systems. Similarly, if you are moving from video into film shoots, you will want a rig that is accessorized to be friendly to all formats and power needs.

No doubt others will chime in with lots of things I am not mentioning- there's tons more but I'd rather hear from you as to the rig you forsee purchasing before offering more specific thoughts.

Best to you,

Peter Abraham
New York
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#3 Afton Grant

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Posted 16 August 2005 - 04:20 PM

What size rig are you looking for? Flyer......... Archer..... Ultra? EFP....... Master Series....... ?? That will help some of us with experience in older rigs and newer rigs give you some things to look out for.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hey Peter,

Thanks for the tips so far. The rig will be a high-end video/low-end film rig. I've found a couple used Master series packages, and I'm also looking at some of the newer Vector demos. My goal is to eventually have consistent film work, but I realize most of my work will probably be video for a while.

Thanks again!
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