First few hours with the new budget camera slider, and trying to figure out the best way to to use it. Here’s what I came up with. First thing you need to know, is that the slider requires a tripod head of some sort. If you’ve been following my Spider Trax dolly project, I went through quite a few different inexpensive heads before I settled with the 717AH. To prevent vibrations you need a good beefy mount between the camera and the slider. The 717AH was very heavy duty, but still the cheapest thing I could find that still served as an actual video Fluid Head. If you don’t have a good solid head, check out the 717AH for this type of project.
Next up, grab yourself a good pair of sticks. I have a pair of Manfrotto Carbon Fiber’s but I wouldn’t trust it with a slider like this. You can go with lighter sticks, but make sure you have two of them (one each side). If you’re like me and want to stick with one Tripod, here’s something that’s very solid, and cheap. This FT9901 has the same beefy legs as my WF717’s, but because it’s not the same head, it’s way cheaper. Having a quick release adapter under the slider is heaven sent. Without a quick release plate you’ll be spinning a 3 foot rail around in circles trying to unwind it and could also damage your threads when the weight is shifting. Get yourself a good mounting solution! With a Ball Mount Tripod head it’s also the perfect way to Level your camera slider without having to fiddle around with each individual leg.
For this slider, part of it’s marketing allure is the fact that you can mount it vertically at it’s furthest end points. I did try this, but I found that it was much more stable and easier to just tilt the Tripod Head attached under the slider. Another huge reason why I suggest you go with a good solid tripod and tilt head as the foundation for your new slider. Vertical slides mimic a Crane shot, and here’s a compact way of getting that rarely seen vertical camera movement.
If you attached the quick release plate in the other direction, then you can even mount this thing sideways (if you had to). They say two heads are better than one, and for getting your slider level and positioning it in different ways, I say that’s true. Inexpensive, heavy metal legs, and a ball head mount for quick leveling make this Tripod a great inexpensive foundation for your new slider. And when it’s not used for the slider, it’s still a great inexpensive Tripod to have around.
[Update] There is a new version of the Konova slider available including a Crank Pulley and Motorized Upgrade. Article found here: http://cheesycam.com/konova-motorized-upgrade-kit-now-available/
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