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Thoughts on Master sled

steadicam tiffen master sled

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#1 rupert peddle

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Posted 15 September 2014 - 05:13 AM

Hi,

 

I'd like to hear people's thoughts and experiences working with a Master (Broadcast) sled, and if you guys think it's 'still got it' compared to modern sleds? I'm still looking at upgrade options and have been considering a used Archer2 with G50x arm, but a Master with upgraded G70 is available for a similar price (both with LX vests). The sled has been upgraded with HD-SDI already so should be ready to fly modern cameras. I'm just a little concerned about the apparent lack of flexibility of the monitor and battery mounts and the short post?

 

The G70 arm would allow me to upgrade to a modern 'big rig' sled in the future but just concerned that the old sled design may have some compromises compared to a modern one while I'm working with it? I've not yet had a look and test of either of them but doing some background research at the moment ;)

 

Cheers guys will get there in the end!

 

rups


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#2 JamieSilverstein

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Posted 19 September 2014 - 11:15 PM

depends on the condition and the price.

you can make great pictures with a 3A arm and a 3A sled, and crappy pictures with a brand new (your brand here) sled and arm.

If the stuff works then you can do well.


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#3 David M. Aronson

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 01:30 AM

To be honest, owning a full Master series rig and having used an Archer 2 extensively on a recent event. I personally prefer the Archer, though I mainly fly for broadcast with cameras that have no problem on either rig.

That being said my Master has never let me down. I've never had to turn down a job because I couldn't fly a camera. It's a great rig if the gimbal is in good condition was top of the line for years. If you ask a lot of ops though, the Master sled was the final attempt at innovation from a dying company. There were compromises that got fixed in the Ultra 1 that should have have been there in the first place.

 

The lack of adjustability isn't a deal breaker, but it's nice to be able to move the battery and monitor around. I got an XCS monitor bracket so I could play with the balance more than the built in adjustments and that's been immensely useful. Nine times out ten though, I have my sled set up the exact same way.

 

The post being the length that it is is my only major annoyance with the rig. I'd love to be able to make the sled more compact without taking a saw to it. Carbon fiber has always and probably always will be expensive to make. The K-section is a weird compromise and I've been tempted to rip it's guts out and rewire it with modern cabling.

 

In the end, your rig is what you make of it. The laws of physics haven't changed much in the past few years, just the technology. Use the rigs before you buy them. etc, etc, etc


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#4 Nils Valkenborgh

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:28 AM

I've used a master sled and arm for 2 months on a tv-show, coming home to my baerbel and 3a arm was such a relief. The master arm was stiff as hell and the sled had a lot of problems which I had to fix on the spot. Just make sure the sled you're buying has a decently serviced topstage, otherwise it vibrates all over the place. Adding an HD line through the post is pretty easy though.
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 09:03 AM

The master series wasn't good when it came out you'd be better suited to spend your money elsewhere
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#6 John Buzz Moyer

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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:33 PM

I still use a Master arm and used a Master sled for roughly 10 years during which I consider some of my best operating. Although I am not that good and dont work much at all.
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#7 rupert peddle

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for everyone's input, really interesting!

 

I kind of had it in my mind that the sled would probably be a bit of a pain to use compared to modern designs but that it might be worth putting up with it in order to get a G70 rather than a G50 for the extra payload capacity, and would plan to upgrade the sled when I could, however that might well be quite a way off and I wouldn't want to be stuck with something I'm not happy with. There are a fair few positive views of it so I guess like most things it's about personal preferences and less about outright design flaws. I'm hopefully going to try both the Master on offer and an Archer2 back to back and see how they both feel to operate. With the size and weight of cameras coming down all the time I'm not 100% convinced I would need that extra payload for now, especially as I'm just starting out, but on the other hand don't want to limit my options too much....

 

Eric, I'm in the UK and only really know the Tiffen range after attending a workshop and talking with them, and am only about an hour away from their base at Pinewood if/when support is needed. What other options would you suggest, bearing in mind the kind of price range I am looking at?

 

cheers all!


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#8 richard bellon

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:45 AM

Maybe a good idea to find a PRO1, modular, upgradable...
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#9 John atkinson

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 09:04 AM

Unless you enjoy carrying a lot of weight, I'd look elsewhere.  Probably the heaviest sled ever made.

 

JA


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#10 James Davis

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 04:40 PM

Pro Cine-Live, expensive but you won't need/want to upgrade anything for a long long time :)
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#11 James Davis

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 04:41 PM

Artemis Cine HD pro, also very nice sleds.
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#12 MichaelReedy

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Posted 24 September 2014 - 07:00 PM

You can also check Optical Support for any used sleds.
I picked up a great deal on an HD PRO 2 sled from Chris.


http://opticalsupport.com/contact/


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