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    Glide Gear DEV 4 a poor manDana Dolly for less?
    #1
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    Im asking, not saying.

    This is a $200 roller track dolly system for you lucky Americans. But even for me Id have to import it it would be way cheaper than a Dana Dolly.

    Now, its obviously not quite a Dana in every detail, even some quite large details. But Im really liking the look of this thing. Looks like it should work with a fairly heavy rig.

    Maybe some of you have used it?


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    #2
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    Sorry about the title. I accidentally posted before I was done, and it looks like I cant change it now. Man, this forum really isnt geared up for iPhone use.

    I also wanted to throw in a hyperlink, but here you go instead:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...dev_dolly.html

    Maybe a kind mod could fix the title? Ill take any improvement.


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    Resident Preditor mcgeedigital's Avatar
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    Without a 100mm and 150mm bowls it is simply a smaller version for mirrorless cameras, not a direct competitor, IMO.
    Matt Gottshalk - Director/ Dp/ and Emmy Award Winning Editor
    Producer/Director, Digital Creative for the United States Postal Service


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    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    Let's be honest, it is a piece of metal with holes drilled into it and skate-wheels attached. If you are going to take a chance on "knock-offs" or imitators, gear like this- gear with no electronics and no optics- is where you do so. I know of several Grips who have made their own skate-dolly and they look a lot like the one you linked. In fact, someone has one for sale on the 'bay right now:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-fabr...QAAOSwSRlf1QJi

    With the Dana-dolly you are in part paying for the name. So when a client asks "do you have a Dana dolly?" you can answer "yes" and not have to explain that you have something very much like a Dana dolly. The days of clients requesting specific makes of gear are waning. More and more clients will simply ask if you have a "slider" rather than ask specifically for a Dana dolly. Also, the Dana-dolly commanded a premium price because for a time it was the only thing out there like it.

    Now, all that said, the big difference between a Dana dolly and the product you linked is that the Dana dolly has a hole for the tripod head and the DEV 4 does not. There is no bowl-adapter or ball-adapter. It will necessitate using a tripod-head that has a flat bottom or a tripod-head for which the "ball" section detaches. I have an older Manfrotto head which allows for separating the head from the ball portion.

    Because the Dev 4 lacks the ability to mount a ball-head tripod-head, I'd consider going with something like this, albeit more pricey than the DEV but still well under the Dana:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Camera-Slid...cAAOSwR2RZ~LP0
    Big sources matter.


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    Its hard to get a sense of scale from online product photos, and the specs dont give key dimensions like the centre-to-centre distance between the pipes. This might be smaller than I envisage it.

    Glide Gear also makes (or imports from China like so much of this stuff?) a $500 model that seems to be a direct Dana competitor:

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ack_dolly.html

    Doesnt look as polished as a genuine Dana, though.

    This $200 model is more interesting to me. A stills ball-head with a flat base should sit on it and keep the camera low. No panning or tilting during a move.

    That Doug Dolly on eBay strikes another interesting price-features point.


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    Ah.. dollies!

    Mechanical engineering.. my degree subject.. question one in design.. 'what are you trying to do?'

    I guess the three biggies are..
    how long the slide?
    the mass of the camera?
    pan/tilt during a move?

    Some thoughts..

    Overall think 'is this crew kit?' or my solo op stuff. Crew shooting means you are doing the will of a director. They WILL want you to pan/tilt during a move, they WONT have time to strip down the camera, they WONT allow you to use a 'crappy' B cam. The whole A cam WILL be going on the dolly. You WILL end up on an 85mm.

    If you are the director you CAN use a small camera and restrict the move and lens length.

    As a crew shooting basicaly you need 100mm bowl and a scaffolding dolly minimum.

    How long? Dana and other systems that clamp standard tubes mean you can own different length tubes or even buy tubes at a foreign location. I took my floor dolly to Portugal and bought PVC tube there to film a load of hotels.

    Basically 'A' cameras are heavy cam+monitor+lav receivers+VC14/arri plate+matte box.

    Joining tubes is always a fail unless you are Ronford Baker or Solid Grip Systems. Clever poor people have different size tubes for different shots or jobs. (unlike system 1)

    The mass of the camera is of course critical ball heads only for 'photo cameras'

    The lowness of the camera mass is super important, the glide gear seems a nightmare.

    If you want to pan/tilt.. and I think you do.. you will need a proper video head.

    ===

    I would look for ..
    100mm bowl slot
    as low as possible
    tubes that can be swapped for longer/shorter. Easy purchase tube diameter.
    wheels at 45 degrees as they always 'fall' into being a good fit.

    The first actually seems very cheap for the wheels and wheel mounts.. you could buy that and get a 100mm plate in the fullness of time.

    My homebuild.. one thing.. the bowl can be flipped so one can hang the camera for low shots or pointing the camera down.
    slider01.jpg
    _SMM1526_03.jpg
    _SMM1531_01.jpg


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    #7
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    you will see the slider sits on tripods. (whose height and angle can be hugely manipulated)

    I shot something and we used (longer) floor dolly when possible but on rough ground floor dolly was not happening.. so a big spec of the slider was the abiity to set on rough/sloping ground - I dont get putting danas on light stands.


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    #8
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    This one.. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Custom-fabr...QAAOSwSRlf1QJi

    it seems that having single wheels not vee wheels pairs is a possible cause of wobble.. also four not three contacts points (wheels) can lead to wobbles.


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    #9
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    That’s a sweet home-made dolly system that even looks to have some improvements over commercial systems, morgan_moore. Super low. Nice job.

    That said, I’m wondering if there’s yet another way to do this.

    Putting the wheels’ axes of rotation at right angles to each other (on each bogie or truck) is desirable because, as you say, gravity makes them fall into place and that guarantees straight tracking with no play. And I take your point about three wheels (like yours) also eliminating a potential source of wobble or judder that four wheels (each with no trail) might provoke.

    However, once you have two tracks (pipes) and three or four bogies at fixed track spacing, you now have to make sure the bogie spacing exactly matches the pipe spacing. That’s inelegant and might cause its own problems, no? Because one bogie or the other, depending on a bunch of factors, has to ride up the pipe a little to take up any spacing error.

    I wonder if a better system might be to have a single main load-bearing pipe, two longitudinally spaced three-wheel bogies on the dolly riding on that pipe, and a third outrigger wheel riding on a flat plate parallel to the pipe and offset by maybe 12 inches. The outrigger would be a single narrow wheel (like an in-line roller blade wheel) rotating in the vertical plane, centred longitudinally between the two weight-bearing bogies, and it would be free to track wherever it likes on the flat plate (inch-wide or so). This way you’d avoid the need for precision in matching the spacing of the dolly bogies and the pipes.

    How important is torsional stiffness of the two-pipe system in Dana-type dollies? That is, if the pipes were the main beams of the ladder frame of a vehicle, does the vehicle’s torsional stiffness matter? I ask because the $200 Glide Gear seems to rely on pipes clipping into plastic end pieces. That might be a weak point.
    Last edited by Samuel Dilworth; 01-08-2021 at 03:44 AM.


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    #10
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    One thing about these dollies on pipes is that they dont travel anywhere near as long as the pipe. You have to subtract twice the clamp width (each end) plus the length of the dolly itself, and you dont really want to be slamming the dolly into the stops at the end of the travel either. The shorter the pipes, the more of their length (proportionally) you lose to these factors.

    To clarify, I am far from a professional and can shoot however I like with no client pressure. Moreover, I dont have big cameras.

    My fluid head has a 75 mm half bowl, but I think I could use a locked-down stills ball-head, because I still dont know why Id need to pan or tilt during a move. Examples of that?


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