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View Full Version : Review: Kessler Pocket Dolly & Hercules Head



Huy Vu
08-04-2009, 02:07 PM
Click here to read the full article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/article.php/19)

Noel Evans
08-04-2009, 02:55 PM
Cheers Huy. Im looking forward to hearing more about the pocket jib with pocket dolly. Now that could be a real timesaver.

Huy Vu
08-04-2009, 03:24 PM
Just an update to the article is that I did contacted Kessler about the faulty handle and they are sending me a replacement head.

Noel, I was considering the pocket jib as well, but then I realized that I'll have to carry an extra 30-40lbs of couterweight no matter what, which might slow me down enough so that it becomes an issue. We'll see though; if I'm sufficiently tempted, it might happen :evil:.

dadoboy
08-04-2009, 03:55 PM
Thanks for the review Huy. I wish we could get more of these - there's so many vendors out there that offer great accessories - it's hard to know the good from the bad and any reviews that are placed in the forums quickly get lost in the heap of postings!

I want something like this myself, not to replace a dolly necessarily, but just as a "slider" with more utility. There's some concerns / questions more for Kessler than for you. I checked out their website and it doesnt have much info on this pocket dolly.

1. The ball head concerns me. All the heavy duty sliders I've used have been placed on a mitchell plate tripod. There's a reason for this - ball heads under heavier loads will always slip, it doesn't matter if it's a $7K head from Sachtler, they do slip especially if levelling the head on uneven ground. It would be great if Kessler developped a version for the Mitchell plate.

2. I understand how you want to be free from supports, but it would be good if there was an option to place C-stands spuds or other types of supports on the far ends of the "track". That way if you do have a heavier camera (I have an Arri SR that with matt box, base plate, dove tail and other gear is 20 - 25 lbs) you have the option of supporting the extremes of movement.

Anyways, those are more suggestions for Kessler. I will talk to them myself once I'm closer to deciding to buy.

Huy Vu
08-04-2009, 04:16 PM
1. The ball head concerns me. All the heavy duty sliders I've used have been placed on a mitchell plate tripod. There's a reason for this - ball heads under heavier loads will always slip, it doesn't matter if it's a $7K head from Sachtler, they do slip especially if levelling the head on uneven ground. It would be great if Kessler developped a version for the Mitchell plate.

I know what you mean. It *can* slip unless I tighten the head very very well. A more solid system would be desirable.


I understand how you want to be free from supports, but it would be good if there was an option to place C-stands spuds or other types of supports on the far ends of the "track". That way if you do have a heavier camera (I have an Arri SR that with matt box, base plate, dove tail and other gear is 20 - 25 lbs) you have the option of supporting the extremes of movement.

There is. On either ends of the dolly there are screw holes that fit 5/8'' male head from my light stands. Although the dolly technically supported my whole rig, I'll probably add an extra stand on one end for safety.

Leo Versola
08-05-2009, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the review Huy... I totally agree with you on the pain/time of setting up dolly/tracking shots in less than optimal conditions.

I'm definitely interested in getting one of these along with the Pocket Jib if it can handle my 20 to 25 pound rig. I read that a backbone upgrade will be available to handle heavier setups but there's no info on when it will be released...

Would be great if you could give us more feedback on the Hercules head after you've had a chance to use it awhile. I'm thinking of using one on the end of a jib instead of removing and using my Miller fluid head.

Chris Beller
08-05-2009, 07:35 PM
First, thanks for the review of our products and your feedback, Huy.

I just wanted to make a quick clarification about the ball leveling on the Hercules head that I saw discussed in this thread. The ball leveling can be "locked out" by flipping the cup washer on the bottom to the flat side when tightening the Hercules to your tripod. This is covered in the demo video on our website, if my explanation doesn't make sense.

Hercules 2.0 Demo (http://www.kesslercrane.com/images/stories/video/mov/Hercules2_420x240bb.mov)

Thanks

Robert Ruffo
09-15-2009, 08:46 PM
I use the Cinevate Pegasus - I like how it attaches to to tripod plate AT BOTH ENDS - works great with a heavy camera (EX1 - adapter - FF - matte box...) Its' also way small and light - a few pounds total. I put the truck in my camera bag, the extra tripod (cheap light photo affair) and the detacheable carbon rails in my tripod bag, and I have the same 2 bags I started out with. Once you get the hang of it, setup takes under 3 minutes. Smooth motion - no bending or tilting - plus looks cool, not cheap or DIY.

cinecall_gal
12-11-2009, 10:54 AM
Thanks for the review. I recently used one of these myself. It took a little time to get used to it, but once I was able to keep it steady, it was really fun. Would love to work with one again and learn more about it.

Bobonli
12-11-2009, 04:59 PM
Nice review.

Huy: have you ever used a skater, and can you offer any comments on which you think is more versatile?

I like the idea that the skaters can do curved moves. How often do you find yourself needing a curved move rather than a plain dolly shot?

bob

Huy Vu
12-11-2009, 06:10 PM
Nice review.

Huy: have you ever used a skater, and can you offer any comments on which you think is more versatile?

I like the idea that the skaters can do curved moves. How often do you find yourself needing a curved move rather than a plain dolly shot?

bob

I don't own one myself, although I've was on set with one for a few hours (the Omni-Tracker, a very nice unit). The tracker works very well, however if I have to go on set with just one dolly then it's not my first choice. The obvious reason is that it really only works if you have a flat, solid terrain. With the Omni we were actually using some pre-cut plywood bolted to several light stands, which does gives us a measure of mobility and adjustability, but if you have a small space, small crew, or a small car then this is just more hassle that a slider wouldn't have to deal with. With a slider I can plunk it down to any surface, maybe with a shim or two apple boxes and I'm ready to go. Once all I need to do was put it between two chairs.

Curve moves are cool, but I seldom needed one just because I'm often in a small space and a curve move takes up considerable room to execute. In fact the last time I had a curved shot in my film was a year and a half ago. With that said, a skater is designed to do those kind of shots and it's a valuable feature if you needed it.

To sum it up I would say that if you can only afford one dolly and you need to be able to move quickly and set up anywhere, I would get a slider. If you don't mind the extra investment in time it would take to make a skater work in all conditions, then it might be a better value. Ideally I would get both, which I'm still planning on sometimes in the future.

Bobonli
12-12-2009, 04:33 PM
Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Bob

Paul Hudson
12-17-2009, 05:33 AM
I believe it is a bad idea to mount a jib on a ball head. There is simply to much chance for slippage. Most pros only mount on Mithcell bases. The tripod looks like a good deal for a tripod but not to mount a jib on IMO.

Chris Beller
12-17-2009, 05:58 PM
I believe it is a bad idea to mount a jib on a ball head. There is simply to much chance for slippage. Most pros only mount on Mithcell bases. The tripod looks like a good deal for a tripod but not to mount a jib on IMO.

That's why we have made our Hercules head, so you can lock out the ball leveling and tilt, if needed.

Paul Hudson
12-18-2009, 04:44 PM
Chris,

If that is the case it looks like you have a winner! Solid construction and a great price!

wgzn
12-19-2009, 11:52 AM
ive been using a manfrotto 510 100mm ball head on 3193 legs under my kessler for about 3 years and ive never had even a hint of slipping