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Upgrading to Volt, which gimbal is best, Pro or Tiffen?


Remi Tournois / SOC
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I've been a happy Pro owner for over 10 years now. Love the simplicity, reliability and feel of it.

Looking at adding a Volt and still debating whether I should go the full Volt/Tiffen gimbal route or get my Pro gimbal fitted for the new toy?

I'll definitely want to keep a back-up none Volt gimbal system for the unforseen needs and emergencies. So do I go Volt mounted on my Pro gimbal and shop for a back-up gimbal or keep it simple (and cheaper) by going  with the Tiffen Volt/gimbal sytem and keep my Pro VZ gimbal as a back-up?

Any thoughts?

Thanks

 

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  • 5 months later...

Hi, Remi

I know it's been a while since you posted this but have you decided on either way or still thinking? I'm in the same boat now, debating whether to go one way or another. I'm a little leaning toward the PRO gimbal conversion + get a back-up PRO gimbal route. 

 

If you have gone either way, would you please share your experiences and thoughts? 

 

Thanks,

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Koji,

     I recently tried to send in my pro gimbal to tiffen to have the Volt attached and tiffen was unable to make it work. Tyson at Tiffen suggested I get the whole Volt setup instead of trying to convert my pro gimbal over. They sent me the whole Volt kit with a disclaimer that it might not fit perfectly and I might possibly need to send in my sled post to have it fitted. In the end the step down rings they sent with the Volt fit great. Now I just keep my pro gimbal as a backup. 
 

-Gareth

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  • 3 months later...
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Just chiming in here because it hasn't been mentioned in this thread specifically, but over on the steadicam FB group, I believe Ron Baldwin originally (and now others) swapped the Tiffen pan bearing in the volt for a Pro bearing as they are the same dimensions and those who came from a Pro gimbal found the Tiffen bearing to be abysmal.

There is a big discussion in this thread - https://www.facebook.com/groups/thesteadicamgroup/posts/10157578206271629

 

Edit: I have an XCS gimbal so I have no personal experience with this, just trying to help spread some good knowledge about a well discussed inquiry.

Edited by Maxwel Fisher
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  • 6 months later...
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Hey Remi,

I bought a Volt the end of last year.  Knowing Tiffen has (admittedly) had some problems with the Volt, I think you're on the right track to continue to carry a spare.  I went a different route, purchasing the new Volt 1 3/4" gimbal, and the new XCS 1 3/4" carbon fiber post with PRO connectors.  I had a XCS 2" carbon fiber post with PRO connectors before, with a XCS gimbal, and I keep that as my backup post / gimbal.  I also am holding onto my Wave for now.

With all the above, including a MDR4 (I still had an MDR2 on my sled), cases, cables, etc... it was close to $30K, but I have a solid system and am basically state of the art from an equipment standpoint.  People are starting to ask for a Volt, but that's not why I bought it.  It was really Garret's and Geoff Haley's comments on the Walking Backwards podcast that convinced me the Volt was more than a crutch for guys with bad horizons.  Flying neutral balanced and removing all pendulum effect is very nice.  I've also lightened up my sled quite a bit.  Where I used to add weight to cameras for stability, now the Volt provides that stability in a lightweight setup.  Aside from the operating advantages, I think the Volt will extend my career, much like I feel my Klassen harness did.

The downside is that the Volt is not as robust as PRO or XCS gear.  You will have issues, and it's frustrating.  I've had more equipment issues in the last 4 months than 30 years of operating.  Some of the issues were my lack of familiarity with the best way to setup and dial in the Volt.  Tyson at Tiffen has been very responsive about working with me on this.  But some of the issues were straight hardware failures (I had a motor go bad in the first month) and issues related to design flaws (like an assymetrical gimbal).

When it works, I really am coming to like the Volt features, particularly changing headroom via the push of the button.  Larry McKonkey's button extender is a must.

I'm sorry I don't have any experience with modifying a PRO gimbal for the Volt.  I would suggest sending both post and gimbal  to Tiffen for fitting, which I did.  If you decide to pull the trigger, give me a call and I'll point out a few deal points.

Best,

Mark

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