Zolinger Video Jib or Weifeng Camera Crane?

Vimeo member Zolinger puts up an example of a compact video jib. Pretty cool stuff, but I have to say it looks very very close to some other models available on eBay for about half the price. You make the decision.

Here's a link to Zolinger's eBay store (click here)

Zolinger Video Crane Jib
find-price-button Zolinger Camera Jib

Here's where you can find what looks like the exact same camera cranes for sometimes less than half the price (including pan head and tripod).

find-price-button Video Camera Cranes Video Jib

24 thoughts on “Zolinger Video Jib or Weifeng Camera Crane?

  1. I recently bought the Zolinger ZP1800, while I was considering other jib arms (came-tv) looked the best to me, they have two versions with sightly different shapes of the fluid head mount, they both have pan/tilt locks & drag, which the zolinger does not. I picked the ZP1800 because it can fold for transport and has two lengths of the arm while the Came products are fixed at one length.

    The ZP1800 is well built and I was able to pick one up off of e-bay for under $600. The came modles are $450 with shipping from China, so the Zolinger does have a premium price, but for me the two features that made it worth it were the two arm lengths and the ability for it to fold smaller for transport. I could not find a jib that had all the features I wanted, at a price I was willing to pay, so I found the ZP1800 a reasonable compromise.

    I am using this with a Manfrotto HD504 and a Canon C100, so all the "affordable" jibs were out due to the weight capacity I needed, 10KG or 20+pounds.



  2. Cody

    Thanks for the review Chris! You're awesome! I will be traveling from the USA to shoot in rural areas in India and have been looking for something that can fit in a suit case. The zolinger looks like the only one that seems sturdy enough and compact enough to work.

    Richard, the boomer crane is still 48" disassembled. The Zolinger is about half that.

  3. CD

    Thanks for the review Chris. I've been looking to unload my ezfx jib. I find it a pain to use a boxed section jib.
    I'm using a JVC HM700U (12 lbs) and a Sachtler video 14 II (5 lbs or less) I hope this amount will not overload ZP 1500.


  4. chris

    @ CD and Andy.

    About weight. I've mounted all sorts of gear to this jib. But for lightweight work lets start here. Canon MK3 with what ever lens on a 504 head fully extended with counter balance of 10lbs on the rear. I can move the jib single handed without too much effort. But for most work the sticks will be on locking wheels for re-comp.
    Jib alone with no gear mounted to a decent pair of sticks and you can move jib easily!!! Like over the shoulder move and plant.
    The Jib can support heavy loads. I've taken my cineslider and mounted it to a beefier head and then mounted the cam to the cineslider without problem. I use this method for using the Jib as a tripod arm for rapid re-comp work.

    The more you mount, the more heavy it is obviously. But if you mount a head and a HDSLR you can maneuver solo.

    The ONLY thing I really don't like about the zolinger is that the base mount of the jib should be able to lock so that basic rise and fall movement would be easier without operator drift side to side. I'm sure most and jerry-rig a solution to overcome that though, or just try and be really steady.

    Overall, the crane is light, fast, built well and very portable.

  5. CD

    Chris, what weight did your set up run...camera and tripod head type. Any video samples of the jib shots?


  6. Andy

    @ Kim
    The Weifeng looks nice and solid, but at the end of the day it's just a standard bulky jib. Can't fold it and looks heavy. I guess carrying size must be around 120-150cm and weighs around 15-20kg.

    @ Chris
    Thanks for your review! I've been considering buying a ZP Jib and have just placed an order with Zolinger. I need a lightweight and compact jib...nothing out there compares with the specs of the ZP1500 at the moment.

  7. Tony

    Yea, Zoli...you make the track dolly also? Maybe they added a screw or two to call it their design. I guess reverse-engineering has been.... reversed. lol

  8. chris

    No Prob, Emm.

    Again, the biggest feature is the folding design. They hit it out of the park with that one. You don't need a single tool to set this jib up.

    The thing I forgot to mention is that if you are in a tight space, the shorter settings on it are quite nice.

    I've also ditched the screw in counter balance bar and just add my weights that I posted to the slide out bar. So in doing so, If I need to make slight adjustments to the counter balance, I can either slide the weight itself fore or aft.

    I think I'll save lots of time with the ability to use this jib speedily. There is also a 3/8th hole drilled on the top near the mounting bracket to attach a magic arm for monitor.

  9. Emm

    Post author

    @chris - Thanks for the update. Sounds pretty solid for people that need to travel compact.

  10. chris

    So I received the zolinger jib. It's very light and the build is an 8 on a 1-10 scale. I do love the folded compact size, that is a major plus! Mostly metal. THe tightening knobs are plastic but that can be switched out easily. The one thing that concerns me is that the counter balance bar screws into a plastic thread. We'll see if it holds up.
    ABout the notches cosmetically worn, thats just the powder coating coming off. You could easily remedy that with washers. No big deal.

    The jib is smooth. I loaded 25 pounds or so on it and it's quite fluid. There are no locking breaks on the jib though. But it's capable of handling a heavy load and smoothly.

    Worth the money? Depends. I like the folding design. Major plus there. It does stay level. So that is good. But I think the jib is worth maybe $700.

    What separates this from the little jibs (like the dslr-devices folding crane) is that it's a full easy to use device. Having that bowl plate in front makes all the difference in that you can mount a sturdy fluid head and get panning while using the jib. I'm sure the dslr-devices folding crane is fun, light and what ever, but test a swing move on it and if it sways on the stop of the move, the jib is limited. The Zolinger stays pretty well put on the stop of a swing move.

    Another reason I mount to a jib is to recompose shots. I use the jib as an arm to lower or raise the camera for quick camera work. With the zolinger, I'm confident that I can mount my slider to the end of the jib and make it 10% front heavy and support the arm with a light stand or monopod. Thus I can get the camera on a slider from 2 feet off the ground to 6 feet of the ground in seconds. then, in seconds more, remove the slider and put the camera back on the head and jib away. Speed is the key.

    Takes about 3 minutes to set up the zolinger. I balance it with these: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/5194-REG/Manfrotto_172_172_Counter_Balance_Weight.html

    Would I recommend it? Let's say I don't regret the purchase. That folding design is quite nice. It's a very light jib and I know it will last years.

  11. Jonpea

    Agreed with Patrick.
    The notches appear cosmetically worn, and most likely due to a very high friction/wear area.

    Probably not the best video to advertise your product with visible wear.

    @cody i personally have a dslr-devices folding crane, which has so far performed very well for a mini portable crane which can be folded up placed on a back pack strap.

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @jason - Interesting comment. The weifeng is the same 'ingenious folding design'. Also, where do you actually see that the product is made in Europe? I don't see that information listed anywhere. And they just happened to upload a new track dolly video here: https://vimeo.com/40540005

    Interestingly enough, the same company that sells the jibs happens to have the exact same track dolly: Camera track dolly video slider

    Just trying to figure this out, so if you have that additional information, please share the link.

  13. chris

    I bought the Zolinger and should have it today. Reason I picked this was it's folding up into a compact package design. Also, the fact that you can extend and shorten. I found that when you chimp on price, there is usually a reason.
    I'll comment back after I set it up and let you all know how the Zolinger is.

  14. jason

    You can't compare this to the weifeng Cheesycam, the main difference is the ingenious folding design that makes this a really interesting product. Normally you are carrying around jibs with a total length of 1,5 meters and a carrying size of 1 meter if you're lucky. The Zolinger jib has a carrying size of 65cm and a total length of 230cm. Another bonus is the two variable shooting lengths...and the fact that it comes from Europe and not China. Anyway, I'll try to get one soon.

  15. I have been looking at the weifeng jib for a couple weeks now... seems like a good replica of the libec jib. for that price I'd rather get the weifeng than the zolinger.

  16. Patrick

    The lower bar on the crane the way it pops into those notches looks iffy to me it looks very thin and could break real easy

  17. Cody

    Emm, do you know of any other budget priced collapsible jibs like this? That's a huge selling point for me since I shoot mainly documentary type stuff and need to keep my gear small and compact.

  18. Tony

    Way to put him on front-street, Emm! 😉 Like I said in another post, I'm a little disturbed with the pricing of some of these new so called products being intro'd at high end pricing. sheesh.

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