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Which Arm?


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#1 Andy Voegeli

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 09:16 PM

So I want to be a steadicam operator. I found a good used pro sled for a reasonable price. Now I neeed an arm. Pro, Masters, or 3A. The pro obviously is an excellent arm, seems to need very little maintenance and easy to fix in the field should you blow a cannister. I've worked on lots of jobs as an assistant with pro arms and never a problem. Oh yeah, its $20,000. The masters arm, very smooth and adjustable while weighted, great if you want to adjust moments before the shot. However If something goes wrong with it your screwed, and I've seen these fail not pretty very expensive just to be looked at and to fix, and you lose it for a few weeks. The fact that the mechanism is open to the elements it seems to get dirty quick. I have no experience with the 3A arm but i'm told it's very reliable with a reasonable purchase price for a new one. However I was also told that the 3a arm is very springy and not as smooth through the boom as the pro arm. Now, maybe i'm putting to much into this but the arm seems to be 90% of the system. I am just beginning so maybe I should buy a cheaper arm, however I don't need equipment malfunctions early in my career or at any point for that matter. So do I buy cheaper early until I start earning as an operator or do I get the best I can early to help my chances. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Marc_Abernathy

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 10:10 PM

not to give a lengthy discussion but i would start out on a used system. upgrade as your money and time allows, and dont just upgrade because you can afford it.. if it aint broke dont fix it... invest in a good focus system and the little trinkets you will need for various camera systems, etc...

starting out on a brand new top of the line system (especially if you have not taken a workshop or have been using a Rig) IMO wont give you the experience you will need to maintain it and keep it up when out in the field if/when something happens. used systems need more TLC than their newer siblings and the experience you get working on a used system will give you the knowledge you need when you can get your dream system.
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#3 BJMcDonnell SOC

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 12:26 AM

Check out Rig Engineerings silver spring arm. I just got mine about two months ago and it is very nice. It is basically a better IIIA arm. The PRO arm is awesome but I agree that you should start out with something used and then upgrade.
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#4 thomas-english

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 02:25 AM

im really interested in the new silver springs.... but am waiting for it to prove itself a little more over time

are u really happy with yours?

its not "no tools" right? u need an allen to change the tension?

does that mean its centre sprung as well? u change tension without a load on?

are u happy?
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#5 Howard J Smith

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 03:03 AM

Hi Thomas

I have 2 Sliver spring arms and they are very well made.
If you would like to try one please let me know.
(I still use my PRO arm - but the sliver springs are very nice - they are for MK-V Hire UK)
Also I will have the silver spring arms on my booth at Cinegear if anyone else would like to try one.

Also in answer to the question by Rush164 - I agree with the other replies - I started with a 2nd hand mk3 (many moons ago) and it did me fine - apart from the electronics.
I still have the arm and vest from that kit as they work very well. As long as the system is reliable and you are happy with it, it does not need to be the latest and greatest.
All I will add is, try and plan for a year ot two down the line - as in what type of work you will be doing then (hopefully) and make sure your system will be suitable for that as well.

If you are intertested, we have devolped a new system called the Genesis for ops like your self, it is a very simple, lowcost and compact sled - but it still uses the electronics from the Nexus system (12v and 24v) and is totally upgradable if needed - I will try and get some photos up on www.mk-v.com as soon as poss.
- just a thought.

Hope this helps
all the best
Howard J Smith MK-V
www.mk-v.com
howard@mk-v.com
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#6 thomas-english

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 05:55 AM

ive got your box rig.... and im well chuffed with it

playing with a load of ultras and masters last week..... and i much much prefer my setup.

i suppose if i did want to genisis my rig i just need to replace my cage with new bars.

the silver springs arm takes 13lbs to 60lbs... do u change springs for that? how long does it take?
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#7 Howard J Smith

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 06:19 AM

Hi Thomas

No you do not need to change the springs in the arm - it is just like a mk3/3a - EFP arm - it also has a very nice little tool to make this a lot quicker.

Cheers
Howard MK-V
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#8 guillermo nespolo

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 09:30 AM

best advice i can give u its to try at least one time each arm ....think as u buying a car...u dont buy a cat i f u dont now haw it is....from ho are u buying and take tha car for a little spin

i have work 2 years allready with a efp modify by howard and its great..also now that the silberspring its great...

as for HOWARD of MK-V i have to say that he is a great guy ..always help me with any question i have ...and his gear its more than exelent
i have a mk-v and never have a problem ...(one time a broke the internal cable for the mk-v and hi seand me one the next day....i have to say that i live in argentina and howard on machester uk...i think its the more far away place to be from howard) next day i was working ok ,......
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#9 Michael Stumpf

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:10 AM

Rush164,

Who are you? Where do you live?

It's nice to know who we are talking to. Just a user name is so impersonal.
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#10 Gus Trivino

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 11:46 AM

Rush.

visit www.steadyrig.com
I have one of them and all that I can say is:
wonderfull.
Not only the arm, the service after sell is wonderfull too.

the better advice:
think all twice. :ph34r:
Best regards,

Gus.
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#11 TJ Williams

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 08:30 AM

Just starting out might also consider the "rebuilt" actually new arm that Derrick whitehouse (www.whitehouseav.com)sells these are very nice arms very reliable and cheaper even than the Rig arm.

The other side of springiness is the dead feel of the tiffen arms, which feels to folks who have used the classic arms for years like they aren't taking out as much bounce.

Everyone who has been at this a while knows Derrick who has a first cabin reputation
developed over many years.

Buying this cheaper arm will allow money for Preston etc. which will get asked about a lot more than which arm you use.

All The Best on your new career
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#12 nick franco

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 10:58 AM

You can also try Robert Luna, at 323-938-5659. He builds and services arms, sometimes has some used stuff I think. Good luck, Nick
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#13 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 07:09 PM

You can also try Robert Luna, at 323-938-5659. He builds and services arms, sometimes has some used stuff I think. Good luck, Nick

I'll second that one. He works magic with both 3a/Master style arms and is a great guy. If you should ever have a problem, turn around time is beyond quick.
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#14 Brett Manyluk

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Posted 02 June 2004 - 11:14 PM

Also consider the Baer-Bel arm. Similar to the Pro in that it is a compression spring arm with different spring sets that can be changed "quickly" (5-10 minutes). The heavy springs can hold more than most operators ever want to fly (I had a Panastar with baseplate and full optics, a thousand foot mag with film and three Anton Bauer Propacs plus follow focus and it still had lots of crank left!)). It also has a Jacob's Ladder design at the joint that prevents the joint from bangin together during dynamic movements (like running). It is significantly longer than the 3a style (greater boom range) and very smooth. I bought one last year after trying all the arms (except Howards, which I'm sure is an outstanding product, and the steadyrig version) and have really enjoyed its performance. I've had it in +43 degree heat (I think that's over 100F) and in -20 cold with no problems or performance hicups. It's also much cheaper than the Pro. Worth checking out before you make your decision.

www.baer-bel.de

My 2 cents...

(No... I don't work for Markus at Baer-Bel, but I think he owes me a drink for that advert ;) )

Brett Manyluk
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