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The Archer or Clipper 2

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#1 Lars Erik

Lars Erik

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 11:05 AM

Hello friends.

Just did a steadicam workshop. Looking into investing in a rig. The ones in mind are the Clipper 2 or the Archer. Most work will be done on high end video cameraes + maybe some 16mm. Not 35mm.

So what do you experienced operators think of the two above mentioned rigs? + and - for both would be great. Did a search here, but didn't find much on the archer.

Thanks for any constructive advice...

Have a nice day

Lars Erik
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#2 Afton Grant

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 12:26 PM


It sounds like the Clipper 2 might be slightly more suited for what you're looking to do. It's a step up in its abilities, from the Archer. It's also a step up in price, but it's justified. The systems both utilize the same G50 arm which is great, but their sled configurations are very different. Although Steadicam's sleds aren't always the most modular sleds on the market, the Clipper is definitely more easily configured to suit each unique setup. Get what you can afford and what you need and remember that both systems (all systems) will perform just fine within their means.

Don't forget to check out the other makes besides Tiffen.

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#3 Colin Donahue

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Posted 30 October 2005 - 05:07 PM

My name is Colin Donahue and I am new to this forum. I have been shooting video for 25 years and decided to learn steadicam in July of 2005. I am 48 years old! I took a private course from Paul Taylor at the Tiffen factory in Burbank. Paul is a great teacher and I speak with him often.
I used the Clipper 2 for my class and the camera was a my own DXC D35 with PVW 3 dockable deck. The camera deck and lens weigh 20.5 lbs. ... no focus or iris controls attached. I had tried steadicam a few times in past years and it seemed extremely difficult. Using the Clipper 2 was a much more enjoyable experience. They had an archer, but I was told it was a prototype and not quite ready.
Because I had the oportunity to do several episodes of a home remodeling show, I decided to purchase a rig and I chose the Archer. It is $10,000 cheaper than the Clipper and has the same arm and vest.
It took over two months for them to finally manufacture and deliver it. They had agreed to loan me a masters until mine was delivered. That rig including camera, iris control, vest and arm, was 80 lbs, and it would really wear me out.
When I finally recieved the archer, I had a hard time balancing it with the camera on the show.. a Sony XDCAM with Bartech Focus and a microwave and dionics 90 on the back to power the microwave. I left the viewfinder on because I dont completly trust the lcd monitor for exposure. The sled would not dynamic balance with a propac 14 or hytron 120. If I used a smaller battery, the sled would not drop, even with the post extended all the way. I ended up taping two anton bauer trimpacks to the battery rods and using a hytron 50 at the base battery mount in order to get it to drop with a short post and to dynamic balance. The max camera and accessories weight this sled will handle is 23 lbs and that is with the post extended all the way.... unless you add weight to the bottom. You cannot use propac 14s or hytron 120's and get it to dynamic balance. I have since had two custom weights made that slide onto the battery rods each weight weighs about 2lbs.
The monitor for the Archer sticks out very far from the post. The distance from the back of the battey on the base of the sled to the front of the monitor is about 25". This makes it a little tough to pan in tight spaces, and it is almost impossible to see when doing a don juan. I am thinking about getting a different monitor mount. Despite all of these issues, I am glad I made this purchase. The clipper 2 is a beefier and more rugged sled, but for a few hundred dollars, I have made the Archer work for me.

Colin Donahue
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