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Jarred Land
06-17-2006, 12:21 AM
Click Here To Read Article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/kesslercrane/)

vidled
06-17-2006, 12:30 AM
Great review, Shaun!
Kessler Crane rocks; and great to see some new accessories that I wasn't aware of.

acoreasc
06-17-2006, 01:48 PM
I think this might be a purchase - after an HVX of course

Sean Buck
06-19-2006, 10:17 PM
Great review, Shaun!
Kessler Crane rocks; and great to see some new accessories that I wasn't aware of.

Glad you liked the review. After using it I can't imagine doing a shoot without one now. Will have to put some money together to get one with all of the fixin's.

Sean Buck
06-19-2006, 10:20 PM
I think this might be a purchase - after an HVX of course

We just got an HVX200 and got all of the Redrock gear so now we are moving into the other great toys. The only thing I do not like about the HVX200 is that it is never around. Everyone stops by and sees it and next thing I know it is out the door on someone's shoot. I need to get one just for myself.

keynstring
06-19-2006, 11:01 PM
I love mine. I've had it for about 3 months now. Easy setup/breakdown. Solid as a rock. Immediate street cred when you pull it out. Great support from Eric at Kessler. Two thumbs up.

JwrFord
06-20-2006, 01:07 AM
Any talk of the weights? How the head adjusts? How the head without the attachment sits?

Sean Buck
06-20-2006, 03:06 PM
Any talk of the weights? How the head adjusts? How the head without the attachment sits?

Are you talking about the fine tuning weights? As for the main weights I used a combination of 2 1/2 thru 25 pound weights from the local sporting goods store. Cost me about $50 or so for the set. The fine tuning weights allow for slight shift in overall balance of the unit. Allows you to get perfect balance as opposed to trying to find the right combo out of the gym weights. Just get it close and then move the fine tuning weights back and forth and you are set.

As for the questions about the head I don't think I understand what you are asking. If you are asking about the Fluid Swivel Head you should visit the Kessler Crane website. They have some great video demos of all of the different pieces. This may give you some better insight into the products as the pictures only do it half the justice it deserves.

Let me know if there is anything that I can answer and I will do my best.

JwrFord
06-20-2006, 08:13 PM
Thanks alot man its awesome that your doing this to further all of our knowledge. Kudos.
I was curious how the camera head that attaches to the actual camera sits if you do not opt with the ball plate. I will check back and edit my comment tomorrow if it still is confusing. When I am tired I have "quite the way with words" haha

ie) THE glidecrane attaches the head (IE 501,503) to an L bracket riddled with holes like a fine swiss cheese ;-) so you can select the optimum location for the head to attach.

Sean Buck
06-21-2006, 07:12 PM
JwrFord,

If you do not buy the ball plate deal then there is a couple of ways to mount. There are two long slots with a hole in the middle of them. If you do not opt to go for the center hole you can slide the mounting screw in one of the two slots. It seems as though you would have and infinite amount of adjustment in the center of the plate. I looked at the Glidecrane and it does have a lot of holes. The Kessler only has the three centered on the bracket. Hope that helps.

Sean

maestro1d
07-02-2006, 01:11 PM
Click Here To Read Article (http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/kesslercrane/)

Thanks for the detailed review Jared!

Between your account, other posts here and the great videos at the Kessler Crane website, I finally decided on the KC-8, basket, tuning weights, brake, fluid head, bag, monitor bracket, quick-release screws etc, etc. About a grand for all trimmings + S&H.

I ordered late afternoon yesterday (a Saturday) and 12:40 pm today I received my tracking number. Talk about fast turnaround and on a weekend as well!

I am really amped up about this product... I should receive it in a couple days. I'll let you guys know what I think as well...

Again Jared, Kudos on taking the time to write a great review.

:dankk2:

Jarred Land
07-02-2006, 01:36 PM
thank mr. buck for taking it out and reviewing it.. and thank Kessler for making a great product.

maestro1d
07-02-2006, 04:09 PM
thank mr. buck for taking it out and reviewing it.. and thank Kessler for making a great product.

Woops- I stand corrected.

Thanks indeed to Shaun Buck for the awesome review and pics!

I now return to eagerly awaiting the UPS delivery of my Kessler Crane...

hobbes
07-08-2006, 03:02 AM
hey guys

i bought the glidecam camcrane 200, and i guess i wouldn't buy it again. it's a good product, but i really think the kessler is better. there are no accessories you can buy (the brake is nice) and it bounces a little... but still, if you know how to handle this one, you get some reeally nice shots...

Ram S.O.S
07-09-2006, 03:29 AM
I received my Kessler KC8 on friday and I will be using it on a music video shoot in a few hours. I can't wait.

MiniMan13
07-09-2006, 05:28 PM
I have Setup, and operated the Kessler crane on 2 diffrent Short films, Its a Quick setup, Fairly Durable, and gets the job done. The only thing thats a little annoying is some of the Bolts/Nuts Will strip after alot of use, but we just picked some of the same ones at a local hardware store.

Editor321
07-11-2006, 08:00 AM
Like the review on the Kessler Crane.

Question: Is the "setup" or assembly a one man or two man operation??

Thanks!

Jarred Land
07-11-2006, 08:21 AM
definately a one man operation. Nothing requires 2 people.. unless you of course wanna offload carrying the weights to someone ha ha ha.

maverickstunts
07-11-2006, 08:29 AM
I have a Kessler 12/8 with the short head extension also. The one that makes the crane 5 1/2 feet long for indoor shoots. I have pitched Eric's cranes on this forum before. It is invaluable as a tool on the set. You can also see some of the footage that we shot for national commercial spots on the Kessler site. We won a "Telly" award for "The Garage Lady". This crane and the service that Eric gives you are second to none.
What we did also was purchase a three wheel tripod dolly from Samy's for a couple of hundred dollars. We shot with the crane at the Pomona Fairplex and dollied the entire length of the building with the crane up and with about 3 thousand people on the floor for EASYRIDERS EVENTS.

Sean Buck
07-11-2006, 10:18 PM
A big Your Welcome to those of you who have responded to my article and congrats to all of you who own one. I used the demo one on a 11 day indie feature shoot and it was great. We used it more times than on sticks. The only downside was when Jared came by to visit and saw it in the corner. He drug me all the way out into the parking lot kicking and screaming trying to hold onto it. I guess I have to buy my own now. :crybaby:

maestro1d
07-12-2006, 10:51 AM
Here is the update I promised a few days ago on my Kessler purchase... by the way- this is not intended to replace the awesome "Kessler Crane Review" posted by Shaun Buck. If you are new to this topic, check it out first, as it's loaded with advice and pics:

http://www.dvxuser.com/articles/kesslercrane/

OK, here's my two hundred cents worth:

My Kessler Crane arrived a few days ago... :love4:

First and foremost, this is an awesome crane, a totally solid and reliable kit.

The first test shots of my shy black labrador and bored kitty cat were amazing. Except for the acting. Mental note: labradors hate close in work with matte boxes. Cats are crappy at taking direction.

I tested the Kessler crane on both a Libec LS22 and a Davis & Sanford Provista Airlift; both tripods held the weight of a DVX100B with Cinetactics HD Mattebox & Large Flag, UV filter on one end and 28.25 pounds of balance weights on the other end just fine.

I think the fluid head of both tripods will work, giving you full manual tilt operation with the crane (the Kessler Fluid head which I ordered only allows automatic)- but I actually only tried mounting the fluid head with the crane to the Provista (this tripod was also pictured in some of their documentation).

As mentioned in other posts, these fluid heads will work, but I think you may tear them up pretty quickly with all the weight- I'd order the optional bowl mount from Kessler, and mount your fluid head to it instead.

Kessler KC-8 with a Provista Airlift Tripod:

Setup was very smooth, until I hit a big snag that I think owners of a Provista Airlift should know: The crane mounts OK, but you must use the quick release button to avoid having the whole crane assembly slide out via the release plate- very dangerous to you and gear!

The problem is you can't use the Provista tripod's tightening knob to secure the quick release plate snugly- it wouldn't tighten no matter how i fiddled with it as it is blocked by the bottom of the crane assembly (I even tried elevating the plate with washers). I stress that this is completely a problem with the tripod and not the crane. Anyone have a work around? Please lmk.

If the Provista quick release plate button is enagaged, it will kind of work, but the crane will slide back and forth a bit, when you tilt the center balance plate on the crane itself.

Basically, it should work OK once you have the crane balanced- still, it seemed kinda iffy as you are trusting 50+ pounds of gear with a little plastic button... and if for some reaon the angle tilts, you will get a bump in the shot and potentially injure or scare the crap outta someone on set. Shame, as the Provista legs seem much sturdier for this crane and it's an awesome tripod for the price.

So I went with the Libec Tripod instead...

Kessler KC-8 with Libec LS22 Tripod

My first thought was "yeah right". The libec aluminum legs seemed like they would twist under 50+ pounds of weight, even with the floor spreader.

But no... everything was A-OK. This was my preferred setup: I removed the Libec 75 mm Fluid Head, and mounted my DVX100B to it, then seated it into the optional bowl mount provided by Kessler.

I then used the Kesssler fluid head to mount the whole crane assembly to the Libec LS22 sticks.

That Kessler fluid head is one heavy duty mather honker by the way. Kudos to Kessler. The thing is designed and weighs like an anti-tank shell, but is smoooooth as glass.

The results:

After a half hour of using some muscles in my body that I havn't used since gym class in high school, plus some sweat and profanity, I finally balanced the whole rig out perfectly and then it was like PRESTO! Totally smooth shots, total control.

The KC-8 Kessler Crane can be balanced out just right, and both sides will float, without even a finger on them (use caution here obviously). Tear down and subsequent re-setup were a breeze.

Within minutes, of use, I felt like an old pro and the smooth shots I was able to achieve are amazing (I will try and post some links later).

Buyer Advice:

Definitely buy the fine tuning balance weights. By the way, you already get a set attached to the crane, but order them any way, as you might need them to get the right balance.

I also ordered the quick release plate attachment screws- I actually ended up not needing them, but they are even lighter then the fine tune weights, and I used one of them on the camera side to get that BINGO! Just right weight.

WARNING: Don't even think about ordering any of these Kessler Cranes without the brake bar. I can't imagine balancing or using the crane safely without it.

I DEFINITELY recommend you order the light clamp mount they advertise on the site- it was invaluable to me, but not for the reason's Kessler intended (although it definitely will make the crane usable as a static 'tripod').

The great thing about the Bogen Manfrotto light clamp, is you can put it on any light stand (I used a Lowel DP4 kit stand) and then you can clamp one end of the crane to it while you safely add or subtract weights and balance the crane out. Very convenient. You can leave the top untightened when balancing, and wait until the crane "floats" out of the mount- like magic, you're balanced!

Also, it would be a good idea to sand bag both tripod and light stand during this process.

Note: the Bogen/Manfrotto Clamp shipped separately in my order from the main package delivery, so don't freak if it doesen't arrive on the same day (although mine did).

Overall opinion: An amazing crane, pretty easy one man setup.

Very solid, very well built. Extremely smooth, and I really like the solid Kessler Fluid head. I didn't think I'd need to pop the extra $200 bucks for it, but then was very glad I did after the Provista tripod snag. And I really wouldn't want to put all that wear and tear on a Bogen 501 or 503 head.

I will probably order the Bogen 525MVB or similiar sticks to use with this crane in the future. My Libec LS22 legs will be fine till then, but peace of mind would be better for myself and prospective clients I think with some more solid looking legs.

Extremely cool results, amateurs can get pro cinematic movement shots within minutes of use.

Definitely download the videos about the crane features from their website- it makes first time setup a lot easier than the basic instructions that come with the crane.

Notes to Kessler:

I would make the brake bar, quick release knob kit, bowl mount and padded bag a standard part of the basic crane kit- for the low price you are already retailing the crane for, these items could be added in with the appropriate bump up in price.

It would make the crane less confusing for people to order (quicker initial sales?) and everyone really should have these parts anyway if ordering your product. JMO of course.

Also, Brake bar twists somewhat under crane weight- seems like it may snap or buckle eventually... maybe a grade or two higher on the aluminum weight?

Also, the info videos on the crane are excellent- Maybe a good idea to retail or include a DVD of these with crane? Again, Just me.

:dankk2:
...Thank you KESSLER CRANE for timely shipment of my awesome KC-8 Crane! I totally love it, and will be ordering the 12 foot attachment soon!

Now where'd my dog and cat go? ....sigh.
Good actors are so hard to find these days.

Sean Buck
07-18-2006, 12:07 PM
Glad it worked out for you. Thanks for the detailed account. The more info you can find from people when making a purchase the better I say.

maestro1d
07-18-2006, 01:05 PM
Glad it worked out for you. Thanks for the detailed account. The more info you can find from people when making a purchase the better I say.
Hey Sean!

Yeah... thanks, i agree. It was actually because of your review, that I went with a Kessler, and I'm really glad I did.

But I scoured this site and the net (and Kessler's site) for hours, trying to figure out which tripod I should use.

Thus, my long-winded post- hopefully it will help some other folks out...

:D

DaRedHead
07-28-2006, 09:50 AM
I purchased mine 2 weeks ago. It's smooth and works great.

Adding "Pan Drag" to the fluid swivel and "Tilt Drag" to the crane would be a recomended future feature.

I was missing a few screws in the order, but purchased what I needed at the local hardware store.

I also added a chromed dumbbell handle w/star collars for the weights to make the unit completely toolless. I found one used for $4.00 at a local fitness store.
[/URL]

Eric Wahl
dord.film collective
[URL="http://www.dordperiod.com"]www.dordperiod.com (http://www.made-in-china.com/showdbimage/2ex0ku00rLnQtWmxdEhzMIC/Dumbbell-Handle-Jd-2034-.jpg)
www.myspace.com/ericwahl (http://www.myspace.com/ericwahl)
www.tremontindependent.com (http://www.tremontindependent.com)

SkywalkerG
08-01-2006, 11:32 PM
bummer they were missing a few screws in the order.

i'm in the market for a crane.

So how is this kessler crane compare to the EZFX Jib. looks like there both simliar in price. when both are equally equiped. accesory wise.

recomendations between the two.

robot909
08-20-2006, 12:47 AM
Is there a DVXUSER discount for the Kessler Crane?

Noticed there is a "voucher code" field in the order form.

thanks!

Tom Films
05-17-2007, 05:42 PM
Great review! I'm entirely new to crane operation and have a few questions maybe some of you can assist me with...

1) First off, I'm looking at the 12ft kessler for outdoor shooting. I am wondering what the overall weight of this unit is, how small it breaks down, and how portable it is?

2) What accessories are necessary for best operation? Such as the Kessler fluid head, vertical brake, tooless kit, etc. And what is the estimated additional cost for all these necessary accessories?

3) When balancing the crane, is the objective to put equal weight on the back, so it's neutrally balanced? How much weight would be required for the 12ft and a Canon A1?

4) Are any of the motorized camera control accessories necessary? Such as the electric or hyrdaulic motors? What exactly are these used for?

5) What tripod and/or how much weight allowance is best for this setup?

6) When shoot primarily shots which don't require alot of auto focus, so a HQ monitor isn't necessary, however can someone recommend an affordable low budget monitor setup for framing?


So although the package is around $650, when it's all said and done one should really expect to spend atleast several grand on the setup?



Thanks guys!
Tom

krestofre
05-18-2007, 07:35 AM
Hey Tom. I recently purchased a complete 8 ft. Kessler Crane kit and for starters I couldn't be happier with it. It's a great piece of equipment and I'd buy it again in an heartbeat. I'll try to answer some of your questions, but it's mostly related to the 8ft and not the 12, so you might have to do some guess work until someone with a 12 footer jumps in.

1. The 8ft. crane weighs 17lbs by itself and needs about 8 lbs of weight to balance just the crane with no camera. I'm shooting with an HVX which is about 6 lbs and altogether I use about 22 lbs to balance crane and camera. That means that resting on my tripod is about 45 lbs worth of weight. (17 + 6 + 22 = 45) That number will become important later. The crane breaks down into two sections of 4ft. each and fits nicely in the Kessler soft case which is probably 4.5 ft long. The 12ft. crane will fit in the same soft case, so you can figure having to travel with a 4.5 ft. long case that's about a foot deep and a foot wide. Rough demensions there. It's amazingly portable for what it is, though that soft case gets heavy. :)

2. In my opinion the vertical break and the toolless kit are essential. It you ever want to walk away from your crane on the set then you need to engage the vertical break so that it doesn't move. The toolless kit makes setup and takedown a snap. I ended up buying the fluid swivel that Kessler makes because it's rated to 200 lbs of weight and is considerably cheaper than a fluid tripod head rated to that amount of weight. Also I knew that I wouldn't be using the manual tilt functions of the crane, so I didn't mind losing that option. I feel even better about this decision when I saw the Kessler Hydra turret. That looks like it will do everything without the need of a fluid head on your tripod. This is really a decision that you'll have to make based on your needs.

3. The objective is to neutrally balance the crane. When properly balanced the camera and weight bar will be lined up with one another and you could move the crane with your pinky finger ... if you so choose. The weight for a 12ft and an A1 would be ... um ... more than 22lbs. Beyond that I really couldn't tell you. The weight bar on the crane does allow you to shift the position of the weight so that you can perfect the balance using more techniques than just adding or subtracting weight.

4. Kessler has two motorized controls on the site that they sell, but didn't make. One is cheap and everyone I know who has used it just kind of shrugs and says "It is what it is." The other one is about $1500 and I'm sure is fantastic, but was something I didn't even consider. Take a look at the teaser video for the Hydra turret and see if that will achieve everything you want. It's not available yet, but the potental looks tremendous.

5. The tripod I got was the Bogen 3190 and it's doing well. My 8ft. setup is 45lbs. Your 12 ft setup will be heavier so you'll need a tripod rated high enough to hold everything safely. You can contact Eric Kessler and he can tell you exactly how much the 12ft crane weights and you can be on your way to estimating what tripod you need.

6. The Varizoom 7 inch TFT monitor is nice and affordable. Kessler sells that too, and for a better price then I've found anywhere else. There are tons of monitoring solutions. Just find one that you like and fits in your budget.

In addition to the things listed above, my crane package also included the ball reloactor and a smaller tripod fluid head. I mounted the fluid head to the end of the crane and the camera to the head so I can operate mine from the camera end and get full range of motion, or from the back of the crane and get the automatic mode operation. My total package was around $1,550.

I hope that information was helpful.

David_M_Payne
07-20-2007, 03:22 PM
Hi all I have a pair of Bogen 3246 tripods and a pair of 503 heads will these be strong enough for the KC8 Ultra HD Plus package or do I need new sticks and head too?

David

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
07-20-2007, 04:52 PM
Well, I've heard people have used them (503's) with good results, but beware that you are maxing out the heads weight limit by MULTIPLES.

The 503 is capable of around 13 lbs. The crane I believe is 20 by itself. Add about 5-10 lbs for the camera and accessories (may vary). Also remember your counter weights.... Usually a couple times the weight of your camera depending on the length of your crane.

Although everything I have said were just very vague and estimated guesses, it is clear that you have gone way over.

This just means you run the risk of wearing your head down pretty fast...

Look into the solution kessler has made. It's a "fluid like" swivel base. Although you lose the ability to change the pitch of the camera, it can take lots of weight.

Remember you can always take the tripod head and put it on the crane (below camera).

jjb
07-24-2007, 03:09 AM
I have the 5.5ft. crane and it works quite well with the Manfrotto 503 head but with 8ft crane you could really exceed the limit.

David_M_Payne
07-24-2007, 06:00 PM
I have the 5.5ft. crane and it works quite well with the Manfrotto 503 head but with 8ft crane you could really exceed the limit.

Thanks jj, I'm not sure what I want to do here just yet on a crane but this forum is sure one great resource.

David

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
07-28-2007, 03:11 PM
I just bought the 8foot Kessler and couldn't be happier. It works great!

I have the Kessler Fluid Swivel, which works very well. It is a good piece of mind, as I'm not concerned for my brand new 503hdv head being worn out.

With the 503hdv head out of the equation, I bought the Kessler Ball Relocater, and placed the 503 head at the end of the crane. Now I can have great compound moves with the fluid head while the crane is moving around as well.

I have tested the HVX with the M2 (w/ rails, heavy prime lens, ff, extnrl battery) and it did great.

I was very impressed, but had to pile the counter weights on, because having The ball re-locater moves the camera about 4-5 inches further out on the crane tip and the fully loaded HVX/M2 and 503hdv head added some lbs.

Here is a picture of the setup in my living room. Sorry it's bad quality, it was raining outside and I only had my cell phone camera.

http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/15909/1185656993.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/15909/1185657015.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/15909/1185657038.jpg
http://www.dvxuser6.com/uploaded/15909/1185657058.jpg

FilmBoy77
08-02-2007, 11:15 AM
those pics look great. i have been flirting with the idea of getting a crane. this may be a dumb question but how do you record when the camera is so high up? remote control that came with the camera? how will you know if it's recording or not when so high up?

Jarek Zabczynski
08-05-2007, 10:20 PM
those pics look great. i have been flirting with the idea of getting a crane. this may be a dumb question but how do you record when the camera is so high up? remote control that came with the camera? how will you know if it's recording or not when so high up?

You really need a wired remote like a Varizoom or Zoe when using a crane. Also an external monitor so you can see wha you are shooting. I just ordered the Advantajib, this thing is badass.

http://www.advantajib.com/

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-08-2007, 11:56 AM
I press record and then send the camera up. Yes I lose some p2 space to reposition time, but I've never had a big problem with it.

Also, the crane is not usually that high. I don't often take shots that need the crane 11+ feet off the ground. This means I am usually in arms length of all controls on the camera.

FilmBoy77
08-08-2007, 01:14 PM
I press record and then send the camera up. Yes I lose some p2 space to reposition time, but I've never had a big problem with it.

Also, the crane is not usually that high. I don't often take shots that need the crane 11+ feet off the ground. This means I am usually in arms length of all controls on the camera.

i'll probably go that route also. :thumbup:

Norm Sanders
08-10-2007, 04:24 PM
Nice, simple write up, that really explains a lot about this crane.

I just purchased the 12' pro/HD set up, complete with those heavy duty Manfrotto legs, and MAN this thing is heavy! Thank goodness I got that soft bag to carry the main set up in (it all just arrived today, can't wait to start working with it!), and now I've got to get some kind of soft case for the legs as well. :thumbsup:

Norm Sanders
08-10-2007, 04:28 PM
those pics look great. i have been flirting with the idea of getting a crane. this may be a dumb question but how do you record when the camera is so high up? remote control that came with the camera? how will you know if it's recording or not when so high up?

Ideally, I think if you use the simple remote that comes with the camera (well, with my DVX100 at least), you can still start/stop the camera while it's WAY up there, as well as work the zoom if you wanted. Granted, you can't tilt the camera, etc. when you've got the head at the end, but there's always creative ways to work around things when needed.

Next up, I plan to eventually get the powered turret they sell for this, as well as a slick dolly system. Then a trailer to haul all this stuff around, lol.

Also, as far as seeing what you're shooting, you should be able to get a small inexpensive monitor for at least framing, which you can mount somewhere along the crane.

Robert Eldon
08-10-2007, 06:47 PM
those pics look great. i have been flirting with the idea of getting a crane. this may be a dumb question but how do you record when the camera is so high up? remote control that came with the camera? how will you know if it's recording or not when so high up?

We currently use the Kessler 8'. You can get a Varizoom Iris-Focus-Zoom Controller that will work with the DVX100B and the HVX200 to remotely control the camera and start/stop the record. It works really well. We use an inexpensive portable DVD player for monitoring when we're shooting in remote areas.

And we're using a Manfrotto 503 head on a heavy duty tripod with no problem.

We'll be upgrading to the 12' extension and are looking forward to the new 'hydra-turret'.

Ryan Patrick O'Hara
08-12-2007, 09:37 PM
I hope the hydra turret is smooth. I HATE the varizoom motorized remote pan tilt.... it has the smoothness of robocop.

I feel like I am watching a surveillance camera pan and tilt around. It's only good for repositioning a static shot... I am looking for something where the move can be incorporated in the shot. For now I have my 503hdv on a ball relocator so I can have 'compound' moves.