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Steadicam Vector


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#1 Brian W. Hall

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 03:26 PM

Hey everyone. This is my first time posting. I am interested in buying the Steadicam Vector with a cost of about $45,000. Im wondering if this rig will be able to handle every kind of format. I plan on doing mostly video using XDcams and HD but want room to grow into film if my career takes me there.

Im a first time steadicam buyer but I have been operating camera for over 6 years. Ive played around with some smaller steadicams and know this is something I want to do.

I know I should have posted in "steadi newbies" but I wanted to make sure I got the most response from everyone. Is the Vector a good rig? And will I end up having to spend an extra 10k on accesories? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.


Brian
www.brianwhall.com
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 08:07 PM

Hi Brian,

The Vector is an excellent system. If by "every kind of format" you mean video, film, hd, etc, the EL and CN packages can support all of those, the 12 can support only 12V cameras. The only real limitation of the system is the G50 arm - with a gross weight of 50lbs it will not be strong enough for larger setups. However, I'd be hesitant to call that a limitation. Stay within its weight range and the arm will perform beautifully. The sled itself is only a few bells and whistles off of the Ultra.

I was lucky enough to recently obtain a very nice second hand Master Series as my first rig. Prior to that, I was entirely prepared to purchase the Vector. As far as accessories go, you can spend as much as you want, seriously. Something I'm learning more about each day. $10k is a good start.

Best,
Afton Grant
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#3 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 08:16 PM

Make sure you check out other companies like GPI, MKV, and XCS. Also check the classifieds for used rigs and arms. You might be able to find a good deal with accessories. I started out by buying all used gear and then I upgraded later when I was confident this was what I wanted to do. It might save your wallet.
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#4 Brian W. Hall

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Posted 09 October 2005 - 11:33 PM

Can I mix and match gear? For example buy a Steadicam Vector but without the arm and buy a Glidecam Gold arm? Is all gear compatible with other companies? Thanks

Brian
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#5 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 01:00 AM

Can I mix and match gear? For example buy a Steadicam Vector but without the arm and buy a Glidecam Gold arm? Is all gear compatible with other companies? Thanks

Brian



Why would you want to use a Glidcam arm when the Vector has the G50/G70 arm which is FAR superior to pretty much anything else made (Other than the Pro arm which is it's equal but different)

The answer to your question is yes (With some adaptation parts) with the "Big" Rigs you can swap out parts to your hearts content. For example I have a PRO/MKV/XCS Rig
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#6 Afton Grant

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:23 AM

Why would you want to use a Glidcam arm when the Vector has the G50/G70 arm which is FAR superior to pretty much anything else made (Other than the Pro arm which is it's equal but different)


Well, one could argue the reason would be to save a couple thousand dollars, which would be the case. The Glidecam Gold arm is about $8k and the G50 is about $10k. I believe what Eric is saying is that the G50 is much more than $2000 better than the Glidecam (if that makes sense). If you're out to buy yourself an entire package and you're spending in the neighborhood of $40-$50 grand, $2000 suddenly becomes a relatively small expense, and in this case, well worth it.

Very few operators own a package that only has one brand on it. Different companies excel in different places. As BJ mentioned, check them all out. Read the past posts of this web site. There's more information on all the equipment than you'll ever want to read. Visit some fellow operators' web sites and check out their equipment lists. You'll see just how choosy you can be.

Best,
Afton
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#7 Anders Holck Petersen

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 11:53 AM

The last time I checked (August 2005) the VECTOR packages was still delivered with a Master series arm to support cameras heavier than the G50 supports. You can of cause exchange the arm with the G50....

Tiffen also offers the cheaper CLIPPER 2, which is basically a 12v Vector EL sled with a 2-section post (max. 97 cm), a newly designed camera stage (with tilt head) and the G50 arm. You can get the Vectors 3-section post (max. 124cm) as an ($2999) BTO option.

I guess the Vector packages will be upgraded with the G70 arm once it's finalized.

If you are considering the higher spec'ed Vector models, be sure to compare the price with the lower spec'ed Ultra models also... I think they start at around $50000.

As the others are saying, it's better to try out different rigs before you invest your hard earned money.
Some like anodized aluminum and kip-locks, others like carbon and snap-locks.
There is nothing worse than being in the wrong $45000 trousers....

Regards
Anders
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#8 Brian W. Hall

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 06:28 PM

Thanks for your comments. I understand that a lot of operators use a lot of different companies components. can someone tell me the websites of these other steadicam comapanies? ive done some searches and havent found them. The problem with mixing components is that I dont have a basis to go from. I figured it would be best to get a complete system from the same company so that I know everything is there and works together. then down the road selling and upgrading to different arms or sleds if i see fit.

Is anyone willing to help custom build a package for me? I'd love to save some money if I can but more importantly I want a rig that will last and I'll be happy with 5 years from now.

Im hoping to have a rig by mid january because I have some potential jobs coming up that I'd like to practice steadicam with. thanks for being patient with me and all of my amateur questions.



Brian
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#9 Afton Grant

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 07:41 PM

...can someone tell me the websites of these other steadicam comapanies?

Im hoping to have a rig by mid january because I have some potential jobs coming up that I'd like to practice steadicam with. thanks for being patient with me and all of my amateur questions.


For the links, Erwin Landau has a great collection. Check out his site:
http://www.landaucamera.com/links.htm

For putting a rig together, there's plenty of advice already on this forum and I'm sure anyone here would be willing to give you what you can't find on your own. It would be my bet that the first piece of advice anyone gives out would be to take a workshop of some sort. You could buy the best equipment on the market, but if you don't have a good base of practical education, you'll likely end up mighty disappointed when you're not getting the shots you would like.

Best,
Afton
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#10 PeterAbraham

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Posted 10 October 2005 - 08:31 PM

Everyone gets their two cents. Here are mine. It's disingenuous bordering on outright insulting to say there are lots of other steadicam companies with lots of other steadicam websites.

There is one Steadicam site. It's called http://www.Tiffen.com . It's capitalized, and is a registered trademark of The Tiffen Company. Just so we're all very clear about this.

There are folks all over the planet claiming to make Steadicams. They're not. They're making their interpretation on a given situation and accessable ( or, outright stolen.... ) set of designs and ideas. They're each using their minds and desires to solve the same problem set. Some solutions are poor bastard substitutes, some are astonishingly fine or clever. Some are baldfaced theft. Free Market Society and all of that.

However, there are not many steadicam companies out there.

The comments about finding the dividing line between the very high-end Vector and the basic Ultra are good ones. I'd encourage you to fly both systems ( with G-50 arms, of course ) and talk to Owner/Ops of both systems before you chose which one you will go with.

The Vector is a very robust system from what I have seen of it. I haven't ( and, cannot ) flown it but have handled it out of the box and poked around at it.

The Ultra is, well. God. It's the Ultra. You will love owning either system.

Peter Abraham
New York

Well, Afton is surely right on the money.

It's wiser to buy ANY rig having been educated as to how Operating works. Consider a good Workshop as a part of the cost of getting into the Steadicam business. It is not a luxury, but rather a necessity for taking the first good solid steps on the road to perfecting our Gentle Art.

:)
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#11 JobScholtze

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 04:11 AM

Everyone gets their two cents. Here are mine. It's disingenuous bordering on outright insulting to say there are lots of other steadicam companies with lots of other steadicam websites.

There is one Steadicam site. It's called http://www.Tiffen.com . It's capitalized, and is a registered trademark of The Tiffen Company. Just so we're all very clear about this.

There are folks all over the planet claiming to make Steadicams. They're not. They're making their interpretation on a given situation and accessable ( or, outright stolen.... ) set of designs and ideas. They're each using their minds and desires to solve the same problem set. Some solutions are poor bastard substitutes, some are astonishingly fine or clever. Some are baldfaced theft. Free Market Society and all of that.



:wacko: I am just so happy that there are more company's making stabilizers. Its very good for the market. It helps tiffen to lower there overpriced prices. ( not that the do that ) The where the only one for many years, and now it all changes. We all have a car, but drive different brands, SO WHAT.
Its totally crap to scream that tiffen is the only one on the market that makes good stabilizers. Thank god for the competition. And its great to have the possibility to mix and match to your own needs.
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#12 PeterAbraham

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:10 AM

Dude, you need to carefully read what I wrote. I didn't "scream" anything about Tiffen being the only company making good rigs. In fact, I said in part, " some are astonishingly fine or clever ".

I would also never dispute that many of the best Ops on the planet ( and some good friends of mine ) do the mix 'n match thing quite heavily.

It is the Operator, not the gear. Right? My post solely addressed the issue that...well...it addressed !

As for overpriced, you're bathing yourself in hypocrisy. Last time I checked, Tiffen was selling an arm that has been recognized as revolutionary in all aspects ( the G-50 Arm ) for less than HALF THE PRICE of what George Paddock now feels his arm is worth. Word is he just RAISED the prices of his arm. So, yes, competition is good. Apparently competition didn't serve to lower his prices any, now did it?

:D
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#13 Nils Ruinet

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 05:26 AM

Peter,
The price of the G-50 arm can't be compared to the price of the PRO arm, as it only carries up to 50 pounds...
It should be compared to the G-70, which is indeed an excellent arm that will (hopefully) be much cheaper than the PRO.
;)
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#14 JobScholtze

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 06:10 AM

Dude, you need to carefully read what I wrote. I didn't "scream" anything about Tiffen being the only company making good rigs. In fact, I said in part, " some are astonishingly fine or clever ".

I would also never dispute that many of the best Ops on the planet ( and some good friends of mine ) do the mix 'n match thing quite heavily.

It is the Operator, not the gear. Right? My post solely addressed the issue that...well...it addressed !

:D

Peter,

No you didnt scream, it just felt a bit different, thats all. If that wasnt, than ok, i'll keep my big mouth shut, if so, well just ^*&%(* :D
Just like to add that its very good that people can make a choice now for there needs. And yes, that G70 arm is awesome and i hope good prices. But untill now, there prices where very high. Lets see what happends.
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#15 Chris Haarhoff

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Posted 11 October 2005 - 11:00 PM

After everyone has wound their necks in a bit, back to the original question and my two cents worth. This is a perfect time not to buy a new rig. Spend your money on excellent accessories that will stay with you, buy a good model III arm, a tricked out second hand rig and a comfortable vest. Then forget about the gear for a while and concentrate on your operating and spend less time on this board.
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