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Geoffrey Shrewsbury

Archer 2 sled with G50-X arm use in the field

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I am an operator in Memphis, TN. I've been asked to do Steadi enough times that I'm looking into taking the class.

Before investing in my own rig, I have access to an Archer 2 sled with G50-X arm. I know the accessories and add-ons are vast, but my basic question is: will that combo work for most modern camera/lens set-ups?

I also understand there is not a single yes/no answer, so I'm looking for a general yes/no. Most of the work I do now is with Alexa Minis and small zooms anyway, but sometimes we use the Varicam and some bigger glass and I'd like to hear from people that know this combo.

The bottom line is: if I drop the cash on the class, will the setup I have access to be useful for 85% or more applications; i.e. will I be able to rent this setup and work without making the full investment into my own gear right away?

Thanks for your time.

Also, I posted this in the newbies section earlier, but I'm not sure that's correct now, so please forgive me for cross-posting if that's agains the rules.

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Hey Geoffrey,


I have this combo and I have never been let down with the Archer2 and G50X. I have flown a lot of Alexa Classics with heavy panavision lenses while having an oboard battery on the cam and my arm still had plenty of room for lift adjustment.


Strip what you can off the heavy cams and you'll be fine. Also having power cables to fly different cams is great. I recently flew an XT with some heavy lenses and I had the AC take off the top handle and eyepiece.


I have lots of Alexa Mini and Red jobs and I seem to always add more to the cam to make it heavier. The arm performs better with some weight on it.


I have never had to say no to a setup yet with this combo. Hope this helps.

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What Josh said. I have the same set up and It's great. Just make sure to ask the right questions before you take the job so you don't end up with something out of the weight range of the sled. Which can happen, but for most set ups it works perfectly fine.

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Hi Geoffrey,


I recommend taking a workshop before making any purchase decisions. That will give you access to a few types of sleds, arms, and vests. While the workshop rigs are usually all under the Tiffen umbrella, other rigs (and typically other vests) do appear. You'll also meet a lot of operators who may own other brands of gear, or know operators in your area who do, and may let you try it out.


Overall, try before you buy! See what works for you, and know the camera payloads that are used in your market on the jobs you want to be doing. Larger union shows might have beefier builds that is pushing it for an Archer setup, though small corporate work might have smaller cameras that are perfect for a mid-size setup. It's possible to fly larger builds on an Archer, though make sure you are not constantly overloading the sled (Archer or whatever you go for), as it can cause unseen damage over time.


Happy flying!



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