Check out this interesting new pulley / counterweight kit that mounts to Varavon Sliders. The counterweight allows you to position your slider in slanted angles so that you can lift the camera with ease or to keep your camera from crashing down. A plate mounts to the slider carrier, and the counterweight is hung through a wire and pulley system.
Your counterweights are just common water bottles, which means you don't have to travel with heavy weights. Just pick up a few when you arrive at your destination.
The kit is shown to work with a variety of Varavon sliders including the Slidecam Lite or the Slidecam S. Take a closer look and notice the basic screw mount, which I'm guessing could even work with any Cinevate, Konova, or other aftermarket slider as well. The Varavon Slider Counterweight Kit starts under $50 bucks via eBay (click here).
Varavon has released a new Multi Finder that is more compatible than their early versions which were very model specific. The new Multi Finder has more adjustments side to side, forward and back, as well as up and down to fit DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. The entire loupe can be removed to leave behind a sunshade, or remove the entire LCD Multi Finder with the quick release baseplate.
Earlier this week, Andy sent over a few videos about his DIY Motorized Video Slider that can be controlled through an Intervalometer (time lapse remote). Through this remote, he was able to control speed and also delay movements of the slider. The most exciting part of this build is the basic parts used, and the simplicity of the design.
The Servo setup is pretty straight forward. Battery + speed controller + servo motor. The Timelapse remote (intervalometer) was then integrated with a small board to interrupt the circuit, and with it's extensive settings acts as a smart controller. You can get more details and a list of parts from Andy's YouTube Video (Click Here) [Thanks Andy].
You can check out the inexpensive prices of the basic parts used on this build via eBay (below).
Varavon sent out a few units of their latest product - the 'Varavon Sling'. The Varavon Sling is a Focus Zoom Lever, and we decided to try them out for one of our shoots. We weren't doing a lot of tracking on this set, and It's not a required piece of gear for everyone, but the guys on set found it useful. It's a similar idea to the DIY Focus Lever using a silicon kitchen jar opener, but the Sling has a firm plastic handle and fairly long adjustable band to fit almost any lens. Beats setting up a rail system, follow focus, and lens gears when trying to knock out something quick. Check out the Varavon Sling via Vifocam.com
Varavon has released a new product called the VaraCrane which is a solid bar designed to mount a fluid head on one side and a counterweight on the opposite end. Throughout the VaraCrane are 1/4-20 and 3/8 threads for various mounting points or to reposition the counterweight or fluid head.
They also show examples of how the VaraCrane can be used to extend travel distance when combined with the new Slidecam S video slider. Adding wheels to the VaraCrane turns it into what they are calling a Dolly Cart. Hmm.. Both are available now, but let's leave this open for comments and what do you guys think about the new products? Find the new products via eBay (click here).
Jordan received a replacement Varavon slider and it shows off a few added changes. First, the legs now have it's own dedicated bag instead of being thrown in with the entire slider. That's one thing I mentioned when I first received mine. If they all sit in the same bag together you could easily have parts getting scratched up. Nice to see a new bag.
Another addition is an added mounting plate under the slider. For those who have the original version, the carrier brake can sometimes get caught up in the middle mounting hole if it wasn't raised completely. They have solved this issue by relocating the mounting threads to a mounting plate rather than on the track itself. [Thanks Jordan].
I shoot a lot with smaller cameras, and i've tried plenty of small camera sliders. The IGUS was the best thing working for me when I cut it down to about 24", but now it's all about Varavon's new Slidecam Lite. This thing is very light, but solid. I'm very pleased with the overall build and finish of the product. The only thing I wished they would have provided is a seperate pouch for the legs. Everything is placed inside the slider bag, but once you unpack the bubble wrap you'll be putting the legs in with the slider. I feel like the aluminum legs will be scuffing together. It would have been nice to see separate pouches for the legs like what Konova provides.
[Update] Here's a link to the Slidecam Lite manual on how to adjust Friction with the Bearings (click here).
I don't plan to use it for much more than my small vacations and casual travel plans, but it feels like it slide a normal sized DSLR with a wide lens pretty good. This thing is not too short, not too long, and easy to hang on my camera backpack. I'll have a video up soon where I show what's in the bag and have it next to the larger Konova K5 Slider for size reference. If you like shooting with smaller cameras, but still want all the creativeness a slider, this Varavon is definitely a must have in the gear bag and it only took a few days to get here.
There were a few questions on whether or not the Varavon Slidecam Lite had a brake system. Although the video always shows such a robust setup, the Slidecam Lite is a completely new slider product for Varavon targeting lightweight cameras. The more affordable Slidecam Lite is offered as small as 24" for the growing market of people who travel with small lightweight cameras. This new video just posted today, shows a bit more of the features including the brake and how the legs are assembled. This new version is the smallest of several different Sliders from Varavon, and they can be found via eBay (click here).
Wondlan seems to be on a roll with releasing products, but not so much when it comes to pricing them against already successful existing products on the market. This time they are offering a new DV Mini Slider Rail (not really mini), so far in lengths of 80cm and 100cm (32 inches & 39 inches). The new Wondlan Slider Rail probably wins for the 'most unflattering pair of legs' i've ever seen on a slider, but I guess they wanted solid support for their low Vertical positions.
Wondlan DV Mini Slider Rail
Now the pricing isn't per say 'terrible', and it is around the same pricing as the smaller Konova units. But in my mind, unless you have something very different to offer, Konova's slider is leading with a huge head start and proven performance. Konova has also laid out some future groundwork and have been showing motorized and crank additions to their K3 and K5 sliders that should be backwards compatible.
Even Varavon has released their latest Mini Lightweight slider, that appeals to the Micro camera market. The only thing that could possibly make a difference is the bearing carrier design for Wondlan. The Konova carrier can be a bit finicky and takes some adjustment, and Wondlan's does appear to be different. We'll just have to wait and see who's got the better slide. You can find those new Wondlan Sliders online following the link (click here).