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Evrim KAYA

Upper monitor mount on ULTRA2; should it stay or should it go?

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Hello guys,

I decided to make a little mod on my Ultra2 and before I go ahead I’d like to have some input from U2 owners.

I want to get rid of the upper monitor mount on the post3 in order to be able compress the rig another 3 inches or so. Since I bought my rig last June I never used the upper mount. In normal use, I place the monitor as down as possible. Even when I setup the rig to the extreme high or low mode the upper mount never seemed useful to me as it places the monitor too up high to my taste.

But when I fly lighter loads like an epic, not being able to shorten the rig another 3 inches translates to either less space to move the gimbal down on post2–harder to go to low mode- or too much space above it.

Also when I put a codex or OBI-1 deck at the base of the sled while shooting Alexa/Raw setups, the up-down weight ratio forces me to collapse the rig fully and every inch counts!

Even if an unpredicted situation presents itself, I can have another 15cm or so to raise the monitor by placing the monitor rods in reverse.

In order to take the mount out I have to undo the wires in the stage which is not an everyday job. That’s why I’d like to hear your input on the subject.

Do you use the upper mount? In which situations?

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The idea for the 2nd monitor mount was to bring the monitor into a more favorable position when operating in ultra high mode.

It's been a while since I used an Ultra, but if memory serves me right, you can't move the monitor without moving a section of the post too. Right?


According to Jerry it's not very complicated to remove the K-section, it's just labour intense.... many many cables to disconnect and reconnect.

I would check with Tiffen or at least with Terry West or any of the Steadicam gurus.


Sorry not really helpful... I tried.


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The lower monitor mount is placed on the lowest post-which offer 15 cm of travel distance.
The ability to mount the rods in reverse gives me another 15 cm of range.
The electronics box occupies the first 13 cm of the rig.
The midpoint of the monitor is located 10 cm from the rods.


All these numbers might be summed up to: the lower mount gives me the opportunity to place the monitor midpoint anywhere between 23cm (9”) to 53cm (21”) from the base of the sled.

Now the question: is 21” from the base high enough to be the upper travel limit for the monitor? Or should I keep the upper mount in order to be able place the monitor higher?


where i usually place the monitor:



upper limit of lower mount point:



upper limit with reversing the rods:



edit: in these pictures the rig is nearly fully collapsed with the upper mount still on.

Edited by Evrim KAYA

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The upper mount is there for balancing with extremely light cameras, or in super long long mode, especially long low mode (if you have enough weight to balance).


It simply gives you options for balancing and viewing, and does not prevent the rig from getting any shorter. It can also be used as a solid mount for accessories (gyros, a program monitor, recorder, whatever...)


Note to Erwin: No, not ever called the K section. That ended with the Master series.



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Hello Jerry, Erwin,

Thank you for chiming in.

For extremely light loads I could mount the rods in reverse. Couldn’t i? The photo I posted represents a collapsed rig (light load) and by mounting the rods in reverse I reach even higher than the upper mounts normal use.



And for super long mode use; I didn’t feel the need to use upper mount since I got the rig. My logic was; putting the monitor even closer to gimbal would force me to lengthen the sled even more which makes it less maniable. As long as I could see the monitor comfortably, and I did by putting the monitor rods in reverse, there was no need to lose valuable counter balance.

About making the rig shorter, the low mode docking ring and the upper mount prevents me from fully shorten the post 3. Am I mistaking by thinking without the mount I could shorten the post3 another 2 inches or so?

The design of the mount makes it very sturdy, so using it to mount other accessories makes sense to me. But as the design is unique to Tiffen ultra sleds it would be very hard to find a bracket compatible with it. I guess if I mount a 3rd party accessory, I would mount it via a simple ring/clamp design.

By the way what is a K section?

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Hi Evrim,


The K-section was the word that somebody at Cinema Products came up with to describe the monster box that was the Lower Electronics housing on the Master Series (apparently). In my opinion it resembled more a "Z"... the original idea was (according to the original patent drawings) that an intricate pulley system would connect the Monitor Bracket with the Battery Bracket, so that if you pushed in or pulled out either of the two, the opposite would do the same at a predetermined rate.


You pull out the Monitor, the Batteries would get pushed out to keep the Sled in Balance, either or, or both Dynamically as well as Statically. It never made it into production and the pulleys where abandoned, (wonder why...ehm). But at that point the industrial design was set and it went into production that way... at least that was the story that I was told by different sources at CP back then. I actually liked the look of the Master quite a bit, it beat the look of the 3A that I was able to use at Clairmont Camera at that point in time... until I actually had to use it during the workshop and later on set... then my left knee was magically attracted to that part of the rig, especially on stairs.



I was taught to call that section of the rig the "K"-section at the Cinema Products Malibu Classic back when. We were using 2 of the Ultra prototypes, besides 2 Masters, A Provid and a Mini with the rejected Mini Prototype arm which became later the Pilot Arm I believe. Even at trade shows it was referred as such as late as the introduction of the Ultra 2... At least to me... as I recall the conversation: ("...we got rid of the bulky K-section, we would call it... I don't know... like a miniature K-scetion, the little "K"?... the equivalent of the lower J-box on your PRO... big laugh...). You might want to re-educate the staff at Tiffen about that change then...


What would you like me to call that part of a Tiffen rig then? Mine is and always was the LEH (lower electronics housing) on my Ultimate and before that the Lower J-box (Junction box) on my PRO's. I always like to learn something new... I am waiting impatiently at the edge of my seat!





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Wow! That was informative! Thanks Erwin. I wonder if a working prototype still exists… I operated with a master series only once. I agree with you about the look of the rig. It is very 80’s futuristic style :)


I’m gonna do the mini-mod next week when I’ll have some buffer between jobs. I’ll share the result afterwards. But I’ll still appreciate any feedback until then.

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Hi Guys

K section is used on the drawings for the Master but nowhere on the Ultra (yes, I was sad enough to look) which maybe because the Master had an internal frame whereas the Ultra was built around the post. The Ultra 2 which is what Evrim has definitely isn't a K J L M or any other letter!


  • Upvote 1

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Thanks Robin,


Seems though as if people still refer to it as the K-section or at least "older" people like me, that don't know better.... so what is it called? Seriously I would like to know!





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