[Above] SpiderTrax Rotational Video Dolly
The SpiderTrax Rotational video dolly is an interesting little product with a long personal history. I recently caught several articles on the web about the SpiderTrax dolly and how I (myself) have been dabbling in DIY versions of this. I've even received several emails about what I thought about the product and 'reviews' i've done. If you don't know the history, I actually created this product and design. Before this simple 4 wheel design hit the Internet, the most common 'skater dollies' were based on a three wheel design by P+S Technik which ran over $6,000 dollars.
[Above] P+S Technik Skater Mini
DIY'ing a three wheel rotational dolly isn't as easy as it looks. After sitting at home for many months seeing what was available on the web, I decided to tackle the project more simply - Just use four wheels. I tested different designs for several months and then finally placed the product into the hands of PhotographyAndCinema.com. After my initial video showcasing the simple design with upside down axles (to get lowest possible angle), tons of new rotational dollies have spun up. So even though I did a great job at separating myself from this product, just remember that every single knock-off four wheel rotational dolly with upside down axles stemmed from a tiny little blog called Cheesycam.com.
[Above] Sample use of P+S Technik Dolly
[Above] Sample from my own personal SpiderTrax Rotational Dolly - over a year ago.
The SpiderTrax Dolly project for me was successful in making a very simple, low cost design and still be able to replicate all movements of P+S Technik. Forward, back, side to side, and rotational shots were just as fluid. Now before you start searching for a SpiderTrax Dolly, i'll let you know that the original version is out of stock. It's a discontinued item [will there be a v2.0?? Hmm...].
So if you're shopping around for a rotational dolly, there are other versions out there mostly found via eBay. You can tell homemade stuff just by looking at photos, I would stay away from that stuff. If you're looking for a solid product, check out this new version. Smaller than my original design, and cheaper by a few bucks. Anodized plated with fancy markings and graphics. I wanted to see how they went about copying my design and decided to check it out for myself.
Ok not bad. It's actually pretty nice compared to what's out there on the current market. A finished looking product. They took the round axles and shaved them flat underneath. This not only brought the axles lower to the baseplate, but allows it to lock down fairly snug with more contact area. Instead of using the 52mm skate wheels, they went with RollerBlade type wheels. I didn't go this route because I wanted the lowest possible profile. It also added more contact area when turning. I personally like the wider skate board wheels. Outside of a few differences, this Rotational Dolly should be a solid option to replace the now discontinued 'SpiderTrax Dolly'. So if you've been waiting for the original to come back online, sorry it's not, but good news is that here's a great alternative above all the other hundreds of rotational dollies now on the market.