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Baer-Bel Opinions

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Hey y'all,

I'm excited to be new to the steadicam community. I haven't even purchased my first rig yet, but I'm super anxious to do so. I'm going to look at someone's Baer-Bel rig and wanted to get the communities opinion about this brand before I make any drastic moves. I realize it's not "top of the line," but would it be a good start? Is it compatible with other brands so I can upgrade some components as I go, like a new arm? Would it be difficult to have any maintenance done if I have any issues? 

Any knowledge y'all have is appreciated. I just don't want to make any major mistakes right at the beginning of my career. 

Thank you, 

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Went and looked at the rig. It seems like a decent set up from my novice opinion. The post is a super rugged 2.0" titanium and it runs on AB batteries with 12 and 24 volt power options plus hd video from an XCS base. The gimbal is in good condition as far as I can tell. 

The vest is a little diy if you will. Original Baer-Bel with some customizations to make it more user friendly. I didn't get it quite tight enough, but it seems like there is room to make it smaller. 

The arm I noticed has a little oxidation happening in spots and is quite heavy. It also doesn't have quite the nice smooth action that I've felt on other people's rigs, but this could be an upgrade in the near future. 

The owner is incredibly kind and offering a pretty good rate. 

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  • 1 month later...
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@Dustin Supencheck, Baer-Bel to the best of my knowledge is German and technically no longer exists. There is a company called Catgriller (named after the plate for which the Baer-Bel founder is also known for) that still actively makes various steadicam accessories.

From what I know through digging the forum (if you search Baer-Bel you'll find some good information) they are solid rigs. Sounds like you were looking at a hybrid since it has XCS lower electronics. I don't know enough about Baer-Bel to know what the post connectors look like on either end, but if it's a 2" post with XCS lower it might be an XCS post which is carbon fiber, not titanium or the original owner had the titanium post modified to XCS bayonet mount. If that's the case, you could definitely upgrade the top and bottom stages with other XCS components or reach out to Greg Bubb at XCS who does make modified connectors so you could use a GPI Pro top and bottom stage. Being a 2" post, the gimbal, since you haven't specified could be XCS, Baer-Bel or MK-V (think that's all the 2" compatible gimbals). The arm could absolutely be upgraded. The only thing would be making sure the arm posts fit properly inside the gimbal handle properly. 

Since you're in LA, you have the advantage of being surrounded by highly skilled operators and engineers who can likely help you do any modifications you need.

Did you end up buying it? Post some photos if you've got them. 

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@Maxwel Fisher thanks so much for your reply and sorry for the delay in mine! I actually ended up looking around a bit more and decided to make a more expensive investment into a gpi pro cine live sled with Atlas arm. I'm really happy I decided to keep looking and have been having a blast learning the skill. 

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