Jump to content

Brent Johnson

Zephyr Arm broke during a shoot yesterday

Recommended Posts

Speaking from my experience with Tiffen and the Zephyr, if I were to make the buying decision now after having a few more years experience, I would have bought Charles' NimbleCam™ when I had the chance. He offered to sell it to me at the time for not much more than what a Zephyr was going for, but with my lack of knowledge, the Steadicam branding got to me.

 

I'm not saying that the Zephyr is a bad rig. It works well for me, but I'm definitely buying into modularity and compatibility with other bands on my next rig. Everything is modular these days, and it just makes sense. I also have had problems contacting Tiffen on more than one occasion. In contrast, I'll send an email to Jim at Bartech, and I'll always get a quick response which has always solved my problem.

 

As per the issue of overloading: The weak point in the Zephyr system is the gimbal, not the arm. If you overload it, that will be the first to go. I know this from experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David,

 

Again... you get what you pay for.

Many people would rather go with a spanking shining new rig that will cover there needs short term then look further into the future and buy a system that is modular and will be upgradeable.... AND USED!

Yeah, Tiffen is filling the void for those in-between rigs in weight range and price and that is great! Where the problem starts is that people will buy those "prosumer" rigs or low-end pro rigs and then end up with a set up that there rig can't handle. Does the op go out and rent/borrow an appropriate rig? No!!!

 

He over loads the Arm, he stresses the Gimbal to the max, bends the spar on the Vest, etc.. and then come back and tells us how shitty the rig is that he bought and wonders why he doesn't get a response from the people that sold him said rig.

 

He learned his lesson! (I hope)

 

I can always go lighter with my high-end set up. I paid the price and it will handle ANY Camera/Media combo thrown at it.

 

You are lucky that you can get professional gear for quite a cheap price these days, there is no excuse for not doing your homework... You can find and buy a professional set up for $10K... you just need time and effort and listen to experienced folks.

 

By dismissing and pissing off people on this forum... that won't get you far. Might even prevent from others actually replying in the future.

 

If you don't like the answer, move along or wait for somebody that has more to say... not every post/attack/remark warrants a response...

 

Rant over.

 

Erwin

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eric, I have a great deal of respect for your previous comment regarding companies that stand by their products. Though I'm new to this industry myself, it appears to be a trend that companies pop up offering to fill a supposed product gap, only to abandon their customer support when high end equipment proves capable of serving operators on ALL gigs.

 

I by no means am trying to make enemies; there are excellent people at Tiffen, and excellent operators using Steadicam brand equipment. But facts remain facts, and I haven't seen a thread about a problem with Pro or XCS that hasn't seen a response on or off the forum within a week, and that goes for many other manufacturers as well.

 

Chalk it up to newer operators using Tiffen products and making silly mistakes (I've just recently been in that group myself), or chalk it up to glaring quality issues. I don't have the experience to tell anybody why we see the sort of feedback we do, but we see it none the less.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all;

 

Erwin has explained this perfectly. This crazy pro-sumer/professional world that is fast either merging or not merging depending on your point of view, is the issue.

 

Would-be money earners are trying to maximize their income by buying what they can afford- NEW then trying everything possible to make the rig work for weights higher than they are supposed to carry.

 

Like Erwin said, its easy to call up and give a credit card and get a box delivered to your door with a rig that at new list price won't carry the camera and accessories that will sometimes come up. Its not a fault of anyone that's why you called, them; "Tell me what I need/can afford." for this situation.

 

If you take your time, do homework, maybe even pay someone to advise you, and have patience you could buy a full-sized rig that at used prices will be more serviceable in the long run. Yes, you will probably have SD and maybe you'll have to put an HD monitor on later and/or run a cable on the outside; none of that is bad.

 

When you outgrow that rig you can upgrade again, and guess what you'll be 10x smarter too and have some clients!

 

Again as Erwin stated so well, don't complain when the gimbal or arm or something else gives or bends.

 

This is nothing new, those who have been around long enough remember when there were only big rigs and then the EFP rig came along. We suddenly had new ops, telling people they had a "Steadicam", and we, the existing operators had to reply to their capabilities etc. It was maddening then too.

 

You're all so sharp now, to the point of amazing, this is just where we are now days.

 

JA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What Erwin, Eric and Janice said.

 

Also, glad you're not hurt as something like that with that much leverage on it could have hurt you and or cast and crew.

 

Even the best equipment if assembled improperly or operated at it's max range all the time will fail sooner rather than later though I think the upper tier manufacturers probably build a bit more "headroom" into their specs.

 

My wife's Mercedes SL55 AMG has a claimed max speed well above 175 mph and maybe it does go that fast but I don't have the balls to drive it that fast. Even if I did and ran the car full out all the time my guess is I'd spend a lot of time and money in the shop with it.

 

Tiffen will repair it, they'll probably charge you and rightfully so and you'll have learned an expensive lesson. Hopefully you have spares of those little hardware store C clips holding the other pins in the arm as well.

 

Be very grateful no one got hurt.

 

Robert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...after having a few more years experience, I would have bought Charles' NimbleCam™ when I had the chance...

I'm not saying that the Zephyr is a bad rig. It works well for me, but I'm definitely buying into modularity and compatibility with other bands on my next rig...

 

exactly my thoughts...What annoys me most about the rig is the incompatibility, f.e. the different socket block size...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had exactly the same thing happen on a corporate shoot over the summer last year with my Flyer LE. The arm had be put down hastily on a Peli case & a careless crew member knocked it off. I was cross but didn't think too much of it, until the arm seemed to fall off the socket block & I almost had a very embarrassing moment! The pin must have just been knocked enough to unseat it from the lower hole.

 

We were only half way through the day & the only thing to do was to bend that bit of the arm back straight over the edge of a flight case, and hey presto! Good to go again. I will be getting another pin though as I think the original was bent itself in the accident, which interestingly has had the effect of preventing it unseating ever since!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mine's ordered - $75 for a 4-ball locking pin.


Cost of an equivalent to the original is actually under $3. One ball, only held in place with spring tension. Not to Tiffen-bash too much, but they could do a button release version for not much more $$ where'd you have metal on metal behind the balls. It takes very little force to slide that pin out, whether it's upside down or not.


Maybe we could slip a $20 to the factory janitor to disappear that parts bin...

Edited by Chris Van Campen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got a quote from Derek over at Tiffen today. It's $117 and thats including shipping. Good news for sure. I'm looking forward to hear what locking pin works best so I can upgrade.

 

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

    Ritter Battery

    Betz Tools for Stabilizers

    Paralinx LLC

    GPI Pro Systems

    Omnishot Systems

×