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Slider - "must have", or meh...?


jnorman34
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How many of you use a slider regularly?  Do you consider it a "must have" piece of kit, or have you decided it is too much to carry around for minimal benefit, or do you manage to achieve slider type shots with some other technique or piece of gear? 

 

If I purchase one to try out, can I achieve a decent result with a shortish slider, like 24" or 30"?  This will be for documentary work shooting buildings, engineering features, etc, and I need to keep my kit lightweight and easily portable, as I often have to hike quite a distance to get to certain sites.  I assume to get the best effect, you want to place something in the foreground to provide perspective for the sliding action, correct?

 

Is there a reasonably priced slider you would recommend for me to try?  thanks.

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I got a cheap one at $100 and used it for a few shots. When used well, the results are cool. 

 

Is it worth it? It's really gadget-y in my opinion. I am looking now to downsize my gear and hoping to replace all of those (jib, slider, etc.) by a 3-axis stagbilizer gimbal.

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If you need a portable slider, go with the Edelkrone series. They do a cool trick that keeps them very compact. 

 

https://www.edelkrone.com/us/p/287/sliderplus-pro

 

>> I assume to get the best effect, you want to place something in the foreground to provide perspective for the sliding action, correct?

 

Correct. Even small subtle foreground elements can really help to sell the effect. You don't want to use a slider on every shot. But if it adds to the narrative, go for it!

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How many of you use a slider regularly?  Do you consider it a "must have" piece of kit, or have you decided it is too much to carry around for minimal benefit, or do you manage to achieve slider type shots with some other technique or piece of gear? 

 

If I purchase one to try out, can I achieve a decent result with a shortish slider, like 24" or 30"?  This will be for documentary work shooting buildings, engineering features, etc, and I need to keep my kit lightweight and easily portable, as I often have to hike quite a distance to get to certain sites.  I assume to get the best effect, you want to place something in the foreground to provide perspective for the sliding action, correct?

 

Is there a reasonably priced slider you would recommend for me to try?  thanks.

 

I use one once in a while, whenever I have a chance and a need, and whenever I can haul my gear in a car. I don't consider it either a must have or meh. To me it's just another useful piece of kit, among other useful pieces of gear. It's one of those questions for which the answer is it depends.

 

If I had to hike really long distances with light shooting gear, I probably wouldn't take my regular slider with me, unless absolutely necessary. I'd rather settle for a monopod with a video head, with which you can sort of simulate short slides. Just don't make the same mistake I did, get yourself a proper video monopod right from the beginning. You won't regret it. 

 

Yup, whether you're sliding with a slider, monopod or a dolly, something in the foreground is indeed a good idea.

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How many of you use a slider regularly?

 

I do often.  Because it fits the type of corporate gigs I'm doing these days.  It's a short slide 24."  For my jobs that works.

 

I don't do a lot of it though for my personal work though. 

 

However, I recently tested emulating dolly shots hand held with an Oly E-M5 and was very satisfied with the results.  It requires some tai chi body control, but it's very do-able.  I was trying to figure out if I could use the camera on an upcoming documentary that'll put me in the field hiking 15 miles every day for two months.

 

Obviously in that situation I want my kit extremely minimized.  I'm just taking the camera and two lenses... I might have limited gear on that assignment, but with that 5-axis stabilization I don't feel like my shot abilities will be.

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If I had to hike really long distances with light shooting gear, I probably wouldn't take my regular slider with me, unless absolutely necessary. I'd rather settle for a monopod with a video head, with which you can sort of simulate short slides. Just don't make the same mistake I did, get yourself a proper video monopod right from the beginning. You won't regret it. 

 

What kind of monopod would you recommend? I'm considering getting some affordable and fairly lightweight solution to keep with me when traveling.

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What kind of monopod would you recommend? I'm considering getting some affordable and fairly lightweight solution to keep with me when traveling.

 

Manfrotto 561BHDV-1, but that model seems to be hard to find these days. Again.

There's also a newer 562 model which has the same flexible foot downstairs but there's only a quick release plate holder upstairs. I played with one briefly a while ago, and looks like the plate holder is removable. Haven't actually shot with one yet, though.

 

Looks like there are also other similar looking alternatives for the 561 these days, at least from Benro and Sirui, but I haven't had a chance to check those out yet out in the field. Why don't you go and check it out in Scandinavianphoto's brick&mortar shops and let us know what you think.

 

I'm actually considering buying another, rather different monopod soon, and I've checked out two somewhat quirkier alternatives made mainly for camcorders, but which might work with certain dSLR gear, too. I'll let you know if I stumble on something that's actually cool and useful. 

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What kind of monopod would you recommend? I'm considering getting some affordable and fairly lightweight solution to keep with me when traveling.

The Manfrotto MVM500A has replaced the 561BHDV-1. I've used both. They're exactly the same apart from the head. The head on the 500A is supposedly better but it's larger than the 561. I have a 561 and the head is fine. If you can find one it's a bit more compact (not much).

 

However I would really recommend buying the two parts separately - the monopod and the head (Manfrotto sells the large video monopod without a head). Just buy the standard 500 head to go with it, because if you buy them together you get a head that has no panning axis, so it's useless if you want to put it on a slider/tripod/etc. If you buy the parts separately you can lock the panning axis when it's on the video monopod but you have the option of panning on other things if you need it (the Monopod pans using the ball at the bottom near the feet). Of course if you already have a fluid head, you could just buy the monopod part and try that first.

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I think sliders are way over priced i made my own for 100 with ball bearings for wheels then i have two 6ft  pipes for tracks it can support so my big anamorphic ass lens and cage with no problem and i made it portable it does not look professional but its gets the job done just like the 699 dollars one and it glides dam nice and smoth and i can make it any length.  It takes some time to set up but its super awsome

 

I also ordered small motor that i will use to motorize the slider

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I have been using a friction slider on a cheap video tripod. Whilst my results haven't been very good, I can see the potential of it. If you do go down this route, I would recommending spending the money to get a ball bearing slider that's over 60cm long and a sturdy video tripod. Currently I'm eyeing up a 80cm Konova K5 (imported via ebay for about 150 GBP).

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  • 2 months later...

Thought I'd reply here on what monopod I decided on.

 

Visited Scandinavianphoto and tried out some monopods. I was surprised at how good the fluid head was on the Benro A38TBS2 considering how affordable it is - and at 1.3 kg / 2.9 lbs it is lightweight enough for traveling: http://www.benrousa.com/products/monopod-kits/benro-a38tbs2.aspx

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As everyone here seems to have already mentioned, sliders are definitely worth the initial investment. You can achieve some really dynamic and interesting shots without compromising portability. One thing I would say is be wary to not overdo it - it's very easy to get carried away and have every shot sliding in one direction or another. In my opinion, when overused, it can look cheap.

 

Other than that, slide away! The Kessler Pocket Dolly is a great, sturdy and relatively affordable option. http://www.kesslercrane.com/Fixed-Length-Camera-Sliders-s/155.htm

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  • 4 years later...

As usual, there's always something else I'd like to add to my list of equipment. My setup is not super heavy, but with added anamorphic lens it is not light anymore too (GH5S+LeicaR+pre36+filters/diopters+cage+rods).
Anyhow, I kind of cut the list to two sliders:

Cinevate Duzi 4 (built in flywheel) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1279570-REG/cinevate_inc_ciduziv4_duzi_slider_4_24.html
or
GVM 80 (motorized) - https://www.amazon.com/Camera-Slider-Motorized-Panoramic-Shooting/dp/B07B6JT9NG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1541457346&sr=8-2&keywords=gvm+80d&dpID=41gxdxA8baL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

The first one seems to be less complex is setup, and built in flywheel seems to be a neat addon for smooth slides.
GVM has a motor, but it doesn't seem as something that could take any abuse.

I actually wish there was a lighter version of Syrp's Magic Carpet PRO (more affordable and lighter) https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1395919-REG/syrp_0018_lt_kit_5ft_magic_carpet_pro_long.html as this is obviously an overkill for my setup (and wallet too).

Anyone here with experience with any of the above?

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42 minutes ago, mirekti said:

As usual, there's always something else I'd like to add to my list of equipment. My setup is not super heavy, but with added anamorphic lens it is not light anymore too (GH5S+LeicaR+pre36+filters/diopters+cage+rods).
Anyhow, I kind of cut the list to two sliders:

Cinevate Duzi 4 (built in flywheel) - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1279570-REG/cinevate_inc_ciduziv4_duzi_slider_4_24.html
or
GVM 80 (motorized) - https://www.amazon.com/Camera-Slider-Motorized-Panoramic-Shooting/dp/B07B6JT9NG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1541457346&sr=8-2&keywords=gvm+80d&dpID=41gxdxA8baL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

The first one seems to be less complex is setup, and built in flywheel seems to be a neat addon for smooth slides.
GVM has a motor, but it doesn't seem as something that could take any abuse.

I actually wish there was a lighter version of Syrp's Magic Carpet PRO (more affordable and lighter) https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1395919-REG/syrp_0018_lt_kit_5ft_magic_carpet_pro_long.html as this is obviously an overkill for my setup (and wallet too).

Anyone here with experience with any of the above?

 

I have the GVM 80 Motorized slider. It is pretty decent. I would use it more if I DIDN'T have a gimbal (which I use about 90% of the time for my video work, which is primarily real estate videos).

I did use the GVM 80 slider extensively in the following video. All the interior shots were done on the GVM 80 slider. Note that the motor speed was set near or at full speed, so you can't really slide much faster than this when using the motor.

 

I like the slider particularly for the ability to coordinated panning  or uncoordinated panning (parallax effect, where camera moves right and pans left, or camera moves left but pans right).

The main drawbacks for me is it is a bit slow to use. The remote control device isn't the most user friendly. It takes a few seconds longer to use it than it should.

Also, you have to turn the remote off (it plugs directly into the motor and the battery is in the remote device) if you want to "free hand" the slider.  Then if you want to use it motorized again, you have to turn on the remote and navigate through a couple of menus to start using it motorized again. The menus on this slider weren't designed by the guy who designed the menus on my Sony cameras, but I bet you that they are related to each other.

It comes in a soft case with foam. It should last with normal use with light(ish) cameras. It did fine with my D750 and my 18-35 AF-S G, but that is not a really heavy combo. I don't know how well it would hold up to a cinema camera or a 1DX that is rigged out.

For me, if I didn't want the panning / parralax effect, I would probably get a slider with a flywheel.  But you can tell in my video posted above that it is pretty smooth. No way I could slide and pan manually anywhere near as smoothly as the GVM 80 does.

The other cool thing about the slider is that it has shutter release cables for several camera types and you can use timelapse on the slider and trigger the shutter on your camera to take shots while the slider is at rest between movements.

Hope this helps.

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Could be totally wrong but sounds like Edelkrone's SliderOne Pro + Motion Box would be all you need. The Flextilt Head 2 is a useful add as well. Either way with the slider/motion box you get continuous slides, ramp up/down parallax motion, timelapse, stop motion, etc all controlled via bluetooth/smartphone + the entire system's footprint is about the size of a 70-200mm lens. I've never had need for anything else.

 

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