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Tiffen/Klassen Dual Mount vest


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#1 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 25 July 2006 - 08:45 PM

I was just curious if anyone out there has bought one of the Tiffen/Klassen "Dual Mount" front mounted back mounted vests?

This product has been out for a little while now and I would love to hear from anyone who has been using one on set.

I own the Traditional Deluxe Klassen vest, but I am very curious about this new design. I fly a lot of video cameras so I was wondering if this new vest might make my life a little easier on live gigs [due to the decreased weight and smaller footprint.


I regret not trying one on at cinegear?
I have followed this topic on the forum, but little new has come out over the last months...
so does anyone have one of these on set???

Thanks
rich
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#2 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 12:22 AM

Given that one of the ideas behind the Klassen is longer shooting time due to the improved body ergonomics, I would imagine that for live gigs the backmount would be preferred...?! Also I think of the footprint as more of an issue with single-camera narrative than live work--not often you have to slip through a doorway onstage during a concert?
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#3 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 09:09 AM

Charles,
I agree with your points but I have been thinking about this potential situation:

Live music gig on a small stage with a multi-piece band.
Steadicam works on the stage.

With my Klassen vest I keep the vest?s arm as close to my body as possible, but that leaves like 3 to 4 inches of the vest?s arm sticking out the other direction . This makes for a nice hook that could catch hanging stingers and mic lines as well as something that can pull over a mic stand.

I could put gaffer tape from the vest to the end of the arm. This would make a ramp so the cables could not get hung up on the vest? but you can see that sometimes while you might not need to walk through a doorway on a live gig, there might be tight shooting situations.
The stage always looks big when it is empty, but once you get all the sound gear and the instruments on stage, your walk-able area decreases.
I can be clumsy, so bumping into the wrong stuff always worries me.


Another situation on live gigs?

I do a thanksgiving parade in Philly. It is a three hour show, but we have a huge rehearsal marathon the day before the show. This past year on rehearsal night, I had a few people bump into my back and two got hung up on my vest momentarily.


If you read my posts about my back mounted vest from the past years, you will see I love my vest as well as my friends who make it in Toronto. The gang at Klassen FX are always making the vest better.
I told Walter, it is like giving a super model plastic surgery.

Anyway, my curiosity remains about the front loading, back mounted vest?
But I still do not know of anyone who owns one?
rich
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 06:24 PM

Rich,

You could also try super-glueing the stands to the floor!

I have tried the front mounted version of the Klassen. While I'm the first to admit that the theory is solid (not going to revisit that one - been there done that), I found that in practice the vest is not as solid as the theory. I prefer the back mounted because I find the front mounted version still flexes a bit and was not as comfortable on the belly (if the back mounted version flexes, it pushes in on the lower back, adding support rather than trying to snap away from you). Also, I like the range the back mounted arm has for height adjustment. Garrett and I discovered I have unusually long arms and I was able to max out (barley) the G-70 arm with the socket block at the fixed location on the front mounted version, but the back mounted allows me to move the socket block to optimize the boom range for a set-up. Also, take a long hard look at the front mounted Klassen versus the backmounted with the low-profile arm. When you get out the measuring tape, you'll find that when all is said & done, the arm is not really sticking out any farther with the back mount (really!). Of course, the back mounted vest does boast a bigger profile in the back, but c'est la vie.

Truthfully, if I may be so bold, you are spending too much time thinking about it; just get comfortable with the killer set-up you have (you did get the XCS sled, right?) and go out and have fun, and operate!

Cheers.
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#5 MarkKaravite

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 02:38 AM

Dear Rich,

I had Walter add the GB front mount to my harness last summer, so I have had it for about a year now. Certainly, I always make every effort to stay back mounted. I only switch to the front mount for the occasional narrow doorway. Besides that, I never use it. I was considering buying a 2nd front mounted vest strictly for these doorway situations, but when Walter & Garrett had the idea, I tried it. For me, it was a less expensive fix to my problem, and I don't have to cart around a 2nd vest.

There is a big difference in the feel, and fatique factor between front and back mounting. Front mounting on a back mounted vest jsut doesn't work as well, but it certainly has it's purpose. In addition to that, you don't have the nice adjustability of the socket block positioning while under weight. I have had to add shims to tilt the front mount towards me, so the sled doesn't want to run away from me, and it's still not perfect, but it certainly eases my nerves while rapidly approaching a tight doorway.

As far as concert work goes, I agree with Charles, and that decision is a no brainer. For me, it's back mount all the way. I have done concert work for years with both style vests. In the old days, after a 3 hour nonstop gig, I would be pretty sore in the morning. My first job with my Klassen harness was a music video for R & B artist, KEM. We shot for 11 hours of conceptual / close up performance stuff, followed by a full concert. I was carrying a Sony F900 / zoom for a good part of the day, and then only stopped for 1 battery change during the concert. I woke up the next morning feeling like I could do it all again (although pancakes and a hot tub felt better). I called Walter that day to tell him the amazing difference in strain.

I know some guys swear by front mount vests, and it's totally a personal preference. For me, it was a welcome change to the forces on my body to go with a Klassen harness. I personally think it will add years of operating to anyones career. If you really have your heart set on front mount for concert work, then I would probably reccommend looking into a PRO (or other brand) vest for those jobs. I wouldn't suggest using the GB/Klassen front mount for such sustained shooting lengths.

Hope that helps,

Mark Karavite
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#6 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:09 PM

Mark,
Thanks for that post and your much appreciated input.

Alec,
You are 100% correct on two counts.
1) I do spend too much time thinking and worrying about the gear.
2) I did end up getting the XCS sled. Not wanting to worry about my gear helped drive me toward an Ultimate.

But back to the point you were making? I do spend too much time thinking about the gear and not enough time in the rig. I used to spend too much time doing both, but over the last two years I have been neglecting the skill development. For the last 6 months I have been particularly pathetic with training.

With that said, I will be off-line from the forum for a while? playing with my rig. I will be back soon? but not till I killed this lazy cycle. Thanks for your "boldness" because you have said something I have been telling myself for a while?

I think the way this works is I admit I have a problem and then I do something about it?
Sincerely,
Rich Cottrell
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#7 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 06:42 PM

Rich,

Now you are the bold one.....

Work hard and have fun.
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#8 AdamKeith

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 08:34 PM

Owners of both back and front vests, which do you use for work on stairs if space is not an issue.


Regards,
Adam Keith
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#9 jay kilroy

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Posted 10 August 2006 - 09:19 AM

Mark,

Do you notice any difference in the "action" of the arm when you switch between the front socket black and the back? Just curious.

jay kilroy
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#10 MarkKaravite

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Posted 03 October 2006 - 10:08 PM

Jay,

The biggest difference regarding the arm is it's position while front mounted. The angle of the arm is very different between front and rear mounted. For harness clearance, the footptint for the arm is as helpful as not having the carbon arm attached to the harness.

As far as feel or "action", I think the arm reacts similarly in either mode. As I said, I hardly use the front mount, but when I do need it, I'm glad it's there.

Mark Karavite
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#11 Jurgen Badenhorst

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Posted 18 October 2006 - 04:35 AM

hey Guys...

I bought a GB vest from Walter last year December and have been working with it for about a year now..I must say I have only worked on the GB vest so it is hard to give input on the diffrent vest BUT one thing i can say is that after doing a 2 hour Idols "live" show without docking once i was really impressed. I have use the front mount only once but 80% of the time i am on the back mount...

Still the best thing I bought this year...

Stay safe..
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