cheap dolly, good or just cheap?

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on May 10, 2012 at 5:20 am

So I’m considering getting something similar to this dolly here.

http://www.amazon.com/Dolica-LT-D100-Professional-Lightweight-Adjustable/dp/B0077M2958/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1336626381&sr=8-5

Has anyone here ever bought one or used one like it? Just seeing if I can get a second opinion before potentially throwing my money away.

And if anyone is gonna suggest I can just build one myself, I’d like to avoid that if possible. I’m not the best at building things from scratch. :P

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 10, 2012 at 7:30 am

It looks legitimate . . . for the price. I can’t seem to find any negative reviews on it. I’d say go for it if you don’t want to DIY. I might just do the same ;)

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Just be aware that those wheels are tiny and will require fairly smooth/level surfaces to maintain a steady shot.

Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on May 10, 2012 at 9:46 pm

yeah, I would be using for mostly indoor shots and things like that. So smooth surfaces are plentiful!

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm

You could always replace the wheels on this dolly with something bigger or more versatile. I would probably build a set of corner bracket skate wheels and mount it where the casters are. Then use some PVC as your smooth surface. Then you can shoot indoors or outdoors!

Something like this:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/4974628170/

[edit] just stumbled on this video:
http://vimeo.com/rigwheels/diy-camera-dolly

(I would still rather the larger skate wheels as they will stay on the track better.)

Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on May 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Looks pretty good. I like having that as an option. Once I get it in the mail, I’ll be testing it and seeing if I need to modify it. Thanks for the links :)

Avatar of Connor Justice Norvell
Connor Justice Norvell on May 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

also notate. I’ve gotten smoother shots with just my tripod that with the same exact thing you are getting. i have one from a couple years ago, and it works great! but rolling shutter is a nightmare!
however, there are fixes, so, do what you feel is right.
(those are definitely way more portable than actual dolly systems)

Avatar of O'Ryan McEntire
O'Ryan McEntire on May 15, 2012 at 8:08 pm

I think the key to something like this will be to add a sand bag to the bottom. The more weight you have near the bottom the more stable it’s going to be.

Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on May 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

So I’ve been playing around with it for a few days now and in my experience to get the smoothest results, you need 4 things. Some extra weight as O’Ryan said, a good sturdy tripod, a short focal length ( 18mm is what I used), and you need to have the tripod set up so that the legs are as close to the center as possible. And there is also no way you’re using this outdoors either.

So while it may be not be the best thing out there, I think it will fit my needs just fine. :)

I made a quick little test video with some of the shots I got. If anyone feels like seeing it in action. http://youtu.be/1nTuXCJPWBU

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 16, 2012 at 2:34 am

@Jesse, looks great! You have a good eye for framing your shots. Great balance. Very smooth. Seems like a good investment. Did you upgrade to larger skate wheels, too?

Avatar of Jesse
Jesse on May 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

Thanks man :) and I haven’t changed the wheels so far, but I haven’t ruled it out yet. Gonna be using it a lot in the upcoming week, so I can see if different wheels are really needed.

Avatar of Andy Ainsworth
Andy Ainsworth on May 16, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Let us know.

Avatar of Will Jenkins
Will Jenkins on July 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

Wow the shots came out great! Thanks for posting! I’m always on the look out for dolly options. Have you tried the ‘ol dolly-in-zoom-out warp trick yet? I’d be curious to see how it looks.

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