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Clipper 2/24


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#1 John Pappas

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 08:12 PM

Hi All,

Well I am now close to ordering a new rig. I have been looking at all makes for a while and have finally come down to two - a Clipper 2 or 24, with Ultra 2 Vest and HD Ultrabrite. I really wanted a U2 but cannot justify it with the work that I do. (doh!)

These question are for the current Owner/Operators of the Clipper 2/24 series.

How have you found the rig now that you've been using it for a while?
What cameras / set ups have you been able to fly? eg maximums?
Is there anything you regret with your rig that you'd do differently if you had a chance to do it all again? eg are you maxing out the G-50 most of the time and should have got the G-70?

I am planning to keep the 3A as backup so when and if I need to fly a heavier rig I can do so on this arm instead of the 50.

Thanks,

John Pappas
Pappas Media Services
East Coast, Australia
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#2 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 02 April 2007 - 10:24 PM

These question are for the current Owner/Operators of the Clipper 2/24 series.

How have you found the rig now that you've been using it for a while?
What cameras / set ups have you been able to fly? eg maximums?
Is there anything you regret with your rig that you'd do differently if you had a chance to do it all again? eg are you maxing out the G-50 most of the time and should have got the G-70?


Hi John! I've had my Clipper 2, G-50 arm and Ultra Vest since October. My thoughts are:

1. Very glad I upgraded to the Ultra vest... very glad.

2. I've flown fairly maxed out Varicams and F900 rigs with the G-50 arm; no problem. My daily workout/practice rig including sled weighs about 50 lbs and the arm is very close to max but everything else I fly feels really light! Another note on the G-50 is Tiffen doesn't offer or seem to want to offer an upgrade to interchangeable / longer arm posts for it or the cool beveled socket pin plate like on the G-70.

3. I don't know about the C24 but the C2 does NOT come with a video DA built in, so add a transmitter or DVR and your monitor dims progressively with each device. The only output with a DA is from the framelines output off the monitor. I just had Terry West add a DA to the sled so now all my outputs (4) are good; cost about $400 so plan on doing that mod on day 1.

4. If you think you'll EVER need 24v, Tiffen has been very reluctant to offer the upgrade as an option. You can buy the dual battery holder of the 24 for about $1500 plus other undisclosed parts, plus labor costs and do the mod yourself though or have someone do it. Chris Konash and someone else did their own home-grown 24v mods.

5. The "two section post" on the Clipper 2 is really just one post that telescopes up out of the electronics housing. The three section on the 24 is really a two section just the same. That extra section is substantial though and I wish I had it.

6. The 7" 700 nits monitor with built-in framelines is decent but progressively sucks without adding a DA to the sled with other video AKS. Compared to the HD UltraBrite... there is no comparison. The UltraBrite kicks some major boot'ay but it's a big upgrade expense; like close to $6000 I think.

7. The tilting top stage... couldn't live without it I don't think

8. The rig seems stiff but it's not a big 2" post and I'm such a relatively new op, the finer points of the construction probably escape me at this point but no complaints from clients yet.

In retrospect, I wish I had bought a Clipper 24 right out of the gate for the 24v and longer post but I didn't want to finance and the Clipper 2/G-50 with Ultra vest was the biggest check I could write at that time. I actually considered selling my rig last week and making a deal on a C24 for those two reasons. You know Peter Abraham, give him a jingle and he'll shoot straight with you about it and the exact numbers.

If you're seriously considering a C24 with the Ultra vest and HD UltraBrite monitor upgrades you're probably looking at the $45,000 range without batteries.

I've thought this same scenario through a lot over the last few weeks and it doesn't make economic sense to me for the following reason(s):

The U2 is $59,500 and comes with new electronics technology guts, G-70 arm, HD UltraBrite, Ultra Vest, 6 PowerCubes, a simultaneous four position charger, hard cases for all, motorized top stage and an absolutely huge zillion section post.

So, if I were going to spend $45k, I'd be better off spending $60k because you get so much more in the way of features, benefits and a new design. That means I'd need to get $32k for my rig and still have to find another $28k and that's just not in the cards at this stage of my Steadicam career or my marriage! On the other hand, if I stumbled across a buyer for my Clipper 2 then I would do the bump to the Clipper 24 for the post and 24v but I would wait on the monitor.

Sorry this is so long but it's something I've been "chewing on" for a while now. You've got my number, call if you want to chat or help me cry in my beer for want of a new U2.
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#3 Lars Erik

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:41 AM

Hey John,

if you're thinking of going 24v, I'd warn you about the G-50 arm. 24v cameras are usually heavier than 12v cameras. And the max limit of the G-50 is 22.5 kg (50 lbs). In addition to a heavier camera, you need extra battery plate and a extra battery. So you must at least add another 2 lbs to your rig, in addition to the new type of camera.

I've had my G-50 for over a year now, and I've got a Archer. Which is a smaller rig than the Clipper. But I've been getting more jobs on film, and after careful consideration, I found that the G-50 was just a little to weak. (I've upgraded to 24v) Constantly always maxing out the arm, and the lens height would almost never be at the desired height, due to the arm going down a bit because of the weight of the camera. So I sold my G-50 and invested in a G-70.

There are some lighter 24v cams, like the 235 and the Arri Lite. But in many cases DP's like to shoot on the 435, due to the frames per second options you get on this camera.

So all I'm saying is that check out what cameras you'll most likely be flying, and then the weight of them and what the G-50 can handle.

I'd agree with Robert, I'd rather buy a U2, than a Clipper24. If one can afford it of course.

Good luck


LE
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#4 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:34 AM

John,

"I am planning to keep the 3A as backup so when and if I need to fly a heavier rig I can do so on this arm instead of the 50."

What is the price difference between the G50 & G70? If you sell your 3a arm, how much of that difference is made up? While back ups are good, it shouldn't come at the expense of your primary set-up. I started out with a model 2 sled and a black spring arm (same as 3a, but 51 pound limit). I was always afraid of this low ceiling. What if the DP suddenly wanted to add...... I bit the bullet and spent the 6.5K upgrading to gold springs (different era) so I guess I'm skeptical of a 50 pound arm for film work. Having said that, times have changed and there are much lighter cameras out there but at the same time, we see the heaviest cameras in years being introduced. To me, this means we really need arms that can handle the entire range of cameras without compromising performance. For me, this means the PRO and G70. If some one can't afford it, I understand, but in your case you are talking about holding onto a very sellable item.

Other than that, I think Robert brings up excellent points.
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#5 PeterAbraham

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 03:38 PM

Here's the price differential:

G-70 arm: $ 17,600.00 USD

G-50 arm: $ 10, 600.00 USD

Best,

Peter Abraham
New York
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#6 Chris Konash

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Posted 03 April 2007 - 10:23 PM

John,

I just wrote you an email.

In short if you want to do any film work skip the G-50 and go right for the G-70. The film work I have done has been with the lighter film cameras but I did have the arm near it's max. But do realize I don't have a lot of demands when going to steadicam, therefore most of the cameras I have flown have been fully loaded and not a stripped down version. If I were going for a new rig again I would be torn between the Clipper 2 and the 24. The extra post is a huge help but the 24 volt upgrade is so easy so I'm not sure if I would get it from the factory. It also allows me to use the common Anton Bauer batteries that have run everything I have attempted. But it isn't such a bad thing to be using the V-Lock system. As said on the forum before you can get 6 standard IDX batteries for those regular jobs and only drop the big bucks on 4 of the power cubes for the jobs that call for that type of power, not a bad option.

Good luck with the decision, if you ever back in the states, please hit me up.

Chris Konash
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