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Thread: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

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    Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    This is unorthodox, but I really like the result and want to pass it on.

    For reasons unrelated to large format photography, I have a Matthews Slider Stand with the 8" wheels shown in these videos. The Slider Stand (link below) is much more compact than the stand in the first video.

    I've started using this setup instead of a tripod with my 8x10. The combination is rock solid and highly manoeuvrable on rough ground, whether in the country or in the city. I can just push the stand and camera around. Obviously, it isn't a solution if you're climbing boulders, but it works extremely well for the terrain that I deal with.

    Kupo also sells a slider stand, very good quality but less expensive. Being Matthews, these particular wheels are crazy expensive (I lucked into a set from B&H at half price), but it wouldn't be hard to do the same thing with large rubber, pneumatic wheels off the shelf. It might be necessary to enlist the help of a machinist for the hardware for the wheels.

    You have to click on "Watch on YouTube" to see the second video.

    B&H Link: Matthews Slider Stand

    The link has specs for the stand. Working height is 61cm (24") to 117cm (46"). The wheels, which are easy to put on and remove, add 25cm (10"). The stand has two "Rocky Mountain Legs". The length of these legs can be adjusted for levelling.

    It's a "Junior" stand. The female receiver at the top is a robust 1 1/8" (29mm) in diameter. I attach the camera with a Matthews Junior to 3/8" adapter plate. The setup is rock solid: the stand weighs 6.4kg (14 lbs).





  2. #2
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    In the studio, I use a Junior rolling stand as a cheap alternative to a camera stand. It worked fine for lighter cameras.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt View Post
    In the studio, I use a Junior rolling stand as a cheap alternative to a camera stand. It worked fine for lighter cameras.
    This is a rolling stand, except that it has 8" wheels instead of standard casters. These wheels can be used in a studio, but as the videos show (especially the second one) the idea is a rolling stand that can be used outdoors. Combine that with a stand that has Rocky Mountain Legs for levelling and you're in business.

    The maximum load for the Slider Stand is 36.3kg (80 lbs). I have no doubt that the load capacity number is real. With a healthy 94cm (37") diameter footprint, the stand ain't going anywhere.

    As you no doubt know, Slider Stands are typically used in pairs to set up a dolly. However, they can also be used singly to support a camera or a light/light modifier.

    This video shows Matthews Slider Stand setup for typical dolly use:

    Last edited by r.e.; 30-Jul-2021 at 03:29. Reason: Spelling correction.

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    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    This is a rolling stand, except that it has 8" wheels instead of standard casters.
    Yep. Got that.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer, Nothing You Don't Already Know

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    yes, these can work for a view camera or other cameras.. what is the bulk and transport weight, set up time, distance the stand could be "pushed" to and back. Once the entire outfit is done after a long hard day of making images, this entire outfit demands to be packed up and taken back to where it lives.


    Bernice

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    yes, these can work for a view camera or other cameras.. what is the bulk and transport weight, set up time, distance the stand could be "pushed" to and back. Once the entire outfit is done after a long hard day of making images, this entire outfit demands to be packed up and taken back to where it lives.
    The stand weighs 6.4kg (14 lbs) and its collapsed length is 61cm (24"). That's right, 24". It takes about three seconds to deploy the legs (gravity does it for me), and 10 to 15 seconds to retract them depending on how well you've got the hang of it. My Gitzo and Ries take longer. Tripod head setup is unchanged. Once set up, I just push the stand and camera around.

    In the video above, it took the cinematographer, working at an unrushed pace, less than five minutes to set up two slider stands, track and a dolly, mount her Cartoni fluid head and fully kitted Panasonic Varicam camera, and test the stability and smoothness of the setup.

    I should note that, in general, it's best to use a tripod head instead of the slider stand's Rocky Mountain legs for levelling unless you take off the wheels. If there's more than a small difference in the length of the legs, the stand/wheel connection looses rigidity.
    Last edited by r.e.; 30-Jul-2021 at 03:38.

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    How does the camera gear and film holders get transported with this roller?

    Bernice

    Quote Originally Posted by r.e. View Post
    The stand weighs 6.4kg (14 lbs) and its collapsed length is 61cm (24"). That's right, 24". It takes about three seconds to deploy the legs, 10 to 15 seconds to retract them depending on how well you've got the hang of it.

    In general, it's best to use the tripod head instead of the legs for levelling unless you take off the wheels. If there's more than a small difference in the length of the legs, the stand/wheel connection looses rigidity.

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    How does the camera gear and film holders get transported with this roller?
    That's one of the things that I like about it. It's a solid steel stand. No carbon fibre or plastic anywhere. You can attach just about anything to it. Matthews, Manfrotto Avenger, American Grip, Modern Studio and Kupo offer dozens of clamps and related attachment hardware. I won't use a clamp on my Gitzo's carbon fibre legs.
    Last edited by r.e.; 30-Jul-2021 at 03:48.

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    I have been interested in 10" 2K spot/Fresnel lights, De Sisti and Strand Quartz Color Castors. Some of these I have converted to electronic flash and also adapted some to use 2 contact bayonet halogen bulbs and Edison sockets. These lights weigh about 30 lbs. with barn doors. A suitable stand with a Junior receiver and caster base is essential to work conveniently with these Fresnels. These Flashpoint stands from Adorama are excellent quality at a very favorable price point of $180 delivered.
    https://www.adorama.com/fplsrb12.html

    I have also been able to adapt speaker stands from Unlimited Support Systems to accept a Junior pin.
    http://www.ultimatesupport.com/produ...ng-stands.html
    These stands are very light weight and can support 100 lbs. Unfortunately, casters are no longer available for these. These are great stands for location use.

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    Re: Interesting Alternative to a Tripod, Especially for Rough Ground

    Quote Originally Posted by Neal Chaves View Post
    A suitable stand with a Junior receiver and caster base is essential...
    This is a good video from Mark Wallace about his evolution to the robust stands used in filmmaking and studio photography. At 3:40 he shows a "Low Boy" stand, which gets us close to a Slider Stand but is still not as compact. Further to the post two above, at 4:30 he talks about using a Mafer/Super Clamp with a U-hook. That's one way to hang film holders on one of these stands.

    Last edited by r.e.; 30-Jul-2021 at 07:20.

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