Here's an interesting video that Nitsan has shared to help smooth out your video slider movements. By using the Konova Slider with Crank Handle Kit (seen here), a weight is added in place of the Crank Arm. The momentum of the spinning weight prevents jerky movements or harsh stop/starts. As mentioned in the video, it's best to use a balanced weight. Another modification was to flip the belt pulley backwards so that it's operating on the smooth side. Great little tip, and it makes a bit of sense. Let me know if you guys try this out and leave some comments below.
Portable camera sliders are great, but they can't replace very long tracked dolly movements. Here's a recent DIY Seated Video Track Dolly project from Vimeo member TLA Productions. If you're planning on tackling one of these projects, here's a video with some tips to make your platform more stable, and some considerations about working on uneven surfaces.
I've actually built one of these before, and the most critical part is assembling a good wheel set. The wheels really have to be drilled perfectly to sit on the track exactly the same. Not an easy thing to do when you have a 16 wheels. If you drill just a few millimeters off, you'll notice it once you're going down the track.
For DIY projects, you'll most likely be using off the shelf pipes instead of professionally laid out tracks. For this, the swiveling design wheel set is the best because it can move and correct for misaligned tracks or imperfect alignment of your wheel mounts. A good set of swivel assemblies can also be used on curved tracks. Keep in mind you'll have to dish out more for a decent set of wheels and high quality bearings. There's a few good looking assemblies on eBay (Click Here).
A follow up video on the DIY Roller Bearing DSLR video camera slider. This is one that was posted about less than a week ago, and might give you some good ideas on crafting your own. It might not be suited for everyone, but you have to appreciate the effort put in to the instructional build info. [Thanks Sunny]
YouTube member Sunny01 shares a a simple DIY roller bearing slider most people can build out. A few T-shaped joining brackets on each side, some carefully spaced bearings on top and bottom allow the carrier to ride over the PVC pipes. If PVC isn't your thing, there's no reason you can't redesign around some lightweight copper piping. [Thanks Sunny]. Judging from the build and how it maintains itself on the rails, you'll need a minimum of 12 skate bearings. Normally these bearings come in packs of 8.
Awesome DIY motorized JuicedLink slider from Vimeo member Gary Bagelman. Not much on the details of the parts used, but i'm sure we'll be hearing from him soon. Gary has updated his video details to list the parts used to create his motorized version. I attempted the same using some inexpensive parts (all found here), but I didn't take the time to make it robust enough for vertical slides. Mine was mainly based on double sided tape and the cheapest servo available.
Gary claims that his setup can pull his JL slider vertically with no problems using a cog style belt driven pulley. [Thanks Gary]. I would love to see some examples of this. The great thing about the JuicedLink slider kit is that you can make your roller bearing as long or as short as you want. You can always swap rails depending on your requirements. With a smooth roller bearing slider + slow speed motor, you're able to achieve some very consistent slides on a budget. You can find some additional information about the JuicedLink DIY sliders (click here).
Opteka's new 23" Slider video sample from Vimeo member skooKILLfilms. Camera used was the Canon 60D + 18-135mm kit lens and Samyang 8mm. The Opteka 23" slider is based on the IGUS rails, and offers a decent start for those who aren't looking to modify or DIY their own. It's an inexpensive slider that can provide excellent results, especially if you're shooting on a smaller format camera like the Sony NEX or Micro Four Thirds system, these linear rails should work fine.
Your inquiries have been answered. Not long ago Greg Royar mentioned on this blog about a DIY DSLR bearing based slider he made. Here's the video explaining how it's all put together. Of course Greg does mention he's had some help from his Machine Shop to get everything a bit more accurate. Sounds like you'll all have to pressure Greg in pricing out a quote to get a few more of these things run off for sale. [Thanks Greg]
Details from the video:
The slider was built with some simple C-Channel aluminum acting as a rail, and the block is solid aluminum that's been ground down and bolted together. I picked up a box of replacement skateboard bearings from the local sports shop. The bearings were $8 for all 8. Right now I have the slider bolted onto a saw horse from home depot, but I'll probably be buying the popular fold away version so that I can get dolly shots from the ground.