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pro 3 vs chroszier top stage


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#1 G. Grammatikos

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 05:45 AM

HI can somebody give me an opinion for the two top stage also opinion for steady rig top stage is welcome
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#2 Mike McGowan SOC

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 12:59 PM

I don't know the other top stage but I love my PRO top stage. It does everything I need it to do. It's easy to use and I basically wouldn't change a thing about it.
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#3 RonBaldwin

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 12:05 AM

I think they are both good. I'd like to hear about how easy each one is to adjust/tweak/service yourself (both my db-1 and db-2 were easy to deal with myself). In my case I'd go with Pro because their customer service is great and I'm in LA. Since you are in Europe maybe the chroziel will be easier to service or replace if needed (or god forbid, crashed)?

Ron B
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 07:16 AM

I for one would love to see a good, unbiased head to head comparison of these stages; overall weight, length of adjustment (both coarse and fine in fore-aft). It might be hard to quantitatively test the rigidity but I'd love to see someone try.
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#5 Alec Jarnagin SOC

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 09:26 AM

I've owned my DB3 for several years and I love it. I've had no problems, etc. It is rigid and easy to adjust. I have only played with the Chroziel for a few moments and it does look very nice. One feature that people are quick to point out on the Chrozeil is the quick release is a toolless thumb clamp where as the DB 3 is an allen key which can not be replaced with a thumb screw like you could on the DB2. This has not been a problem with the DB3 however since there is a tooless coarse adjustment as well as the fine tuned worm gears. The end result is that you only need to use your trusty 5/32 Allen key to take a camera on or off your rig. For me, this is a bit comforting because I don't worry about some bizarre circumstance that could flip a thumb switch resulting in disaster. That IS NOT to say that I know of this happening with the Chrozeil; I just know that was one of the reasons GPI opted to do it the way they did it.

Furthermore, some thing to think about is what kind of dovetail plates you use. If you always use a couple of dovetails from one manufacturer, a thumb release probably works better than if you use a variety of plates made by various people. Why? Any thumb quick release needs to be adjusted for a specific size plate. If a plate is slightly smaller or larger, you'll need to fine-tune that adjustment. I own XCS, PRO, and old CP plates. They are all slightly different in size as is evident by the amount of pressure one has to apply when tightening the DB3 Allen key. While I have not tried this with a Chrozeil, I fear that I'd have to readjust the clamp manually every time I switched "brand" plates else it would slip or not let the clamp close. This is simply food for thought - I have no real experience with the Chrozeil and maybe I'm mistaken about how the clamping mechanism works. And again, if you only have two plates from one manufacturer, this should not be an issue.

Charles is right - an objective shoot off would be nice. Otherwise, it may be as simple as choosing based on which company is closer to you.
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#6 James Baldanza SOC

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 11:03 AM

Furthermore, some thing to think about is what kind of dovetail plates you use. If you always use a couple of dovetails from one manufacturer, a thumb release probably works better than if you use a variety of plates made by various people. Why? Any thumb quick release needs to be adjusted for a specific size plate. If a plate is slightly smaller or larger, you'll need to fine-tune that adjustment. I own XCS, PRO, and old CP plates. They are all slightly different in size as is evident by the amount of pressure one has to apply when tightening the DB3 Allen key. While I have not tried this with a Chrozeil, I fear that I'd have to readjust the clamp manually every time I switched "brand" plates else it would slip or not let the clamp close.


Alec is correct. I spent a couple of hours last month coming up with the perfect set of shims on my Ultra Thumb Clamp to work with my XCS and Tiffen plates.

They both lock comfortably now; the Tiffen is a little tighter.

James Baldanza
www.baldanzafilms.com
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#7 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:16 AM

Hi guys, I now use the Chrz top stage (2 years now). I also own a PRO DB2 on my back up sled. I cant compare the DB3 but I can tell you a few things about Chrz. The first pleasant surprise I found, all of my plates work, CP, PRO, XCS. All I did was create a safety tab/screw on the plate ends. I don't really see anyway that the thumb handle can come undone, but the safety on the plates is comforting. Even if the impossible happens, the camera can't go anywhere. This stage is ROCK solid, no play, totally rigid. The quick connect/release system is great and very convenient for low mode conversions, no tools. Controls are comfy and precise. There is a very clever bubble level built into the unit (I love this). As I recall, it may weigh and cost slightly less then PRO. I should add here, I am a huge PRO fan, and George is an old friend of mine (room mates at our first workshop). I own a PRO vest and ARM as well. The only reason I went the other direction on the stage is, I had very specific video needs that his post/electronics system couldn't handle (multiple feeds for tally, extra video, etc) . It was simply a choice of convenience to have my sled assembled in one place. Price played a part as well. The bottom line is, there isn't a bad choice here, Win, Win...you can't loose in either direction. I have never been disappointed in anything PRO makes, and Chrozziel is a very well made and reliable product. Its just another flavor.

Jeff
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#8 Charles Papert

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:36 AM

Jeff:

Trying to understand the 15mm rods on the Chroszeil (or is it Anthrazit, or is it Betz?!)--I can only presume that the entire stage moves so that the rods are locked with the plates? So is it a bit like some of the Steadicam brand top stages, where the adjustments are happening right around the post, so the whole unit above migrates (as opposed to a split assembly like the DB2)?
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#9 RonBaldwin

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 12:06 PM

ok...who in LA has one so we can check it out? The only one I've seen was at cine-gear on one of Howard's rigs.

rb
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#10 Martin Stacey

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:14 PM

ok...who in LA has one so we can check it out? The only one I've seen was at cine-gear on one of Howard's rigs.

rb



Howard used to market the Chroz topstage as the deluxe model for his rigs but has just come out with as new one himself that is very similar in design with a few changes. The front rods are no longer fixed like on the Chroz but are on a mounting plate that can be moved around to get the best position being one of the differences and is a little cheaper than the Chroz. He was showing it off at BSC 2 weeks ago. Looks very solid. With him setting up shop in LA I'm sure he will have some there to check out along with the Chroz version.

Cheers,

Marty

Edited by Martin Stacey, 27 March 2008 - 04:16 PM.

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#11 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 04:18 PM

Howard used to market the Chroz topstage as the deluxe model for his rigs but has just come out with as new one himself that is very similar in design with a few changes.



I'm sure that he "Patented" the new one and says that it has nothing to do with and was designed before the Chroziel one....
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#12 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 06:26 PM

Jeff:

Trying to understand the 15mm rods on the Chroszeil (or is it Anthrazit, or is it Betz?!)--I can only presume that the entire stage moves so that the rods are locked with the plates? So is it a bit like some of the Steadicam brand top stages, where the adjustments are happening right around the post, so the whole unit above migrates (as opposed to a split assembly like the DB2)?


Chas,
It's a split assembly, the lower rods are fixed and used for mounting BFD unit or other. The plates have rod attachments like all the others. I like the XCS plate and rod set up for video, most film cameras, i come off the camera from above. The rods are kind of strange in that they come very close to the rods from the plates. It does limit some mounting/motor options. I will try to shoot some photos on the next gig and post.

Jeff
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#13 Charles Papert

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 11:55 PM

OK, got it--hadn't noticed that the rods were specifically for receiver mounting (did they really need to be 15mm??) Are they positioned relatively higher to the plate than on the DB2/3 etc?
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#14 JobScholtze

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:53 AM

I'm sure that he "Patented" the new one and says that it has nothing to do with and was designed before the Chroziel one....

Your a moderator right? Then act like one will ya......
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#15 Jeff Muhlstock SOC

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 08:03 AM

OK, got it--hadn't noticed that the rods were specifically for receiver mounting (did they really need to be 15mm??) Are they positioned relatively higher to the plate than on the DB2/3 etc?


I dont know why they are 15mm, looks cool I guess. They are positioned higher then other stages, to a fault. They get very close to rods that are mounted at the same level as a plate. They send it with a little riser mount that takes the rods higher then plate level. This opens up the space nicely, I like XCS plate the best when using plate/rod config. As for a mount for the receivers, its very nice, a comfortable distance from center. Photos forthcomming.
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