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Showing 1-10 of 42 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 46 reviews
on October 2, 2011
Overall, the rig is very nice. I'm happy with it. Easy to hold, and the mount is broad enough to use HD DSLR or full sized camcorder like the Canon XH-A1. I have only tried it out around the house, making home movies of our new puppy, but even though there's no counterweight, it isn't heavy on your arms.

Hand Grips are comfortable. The machining isn't quite precise, as the holes are VERY tight, and it is difficult to slip the rods through. I needed to pry it open with a flat sided screwdriver. However, the threads are tight and responsive. The thumbscrews are plastic, so we'll see how long they last. But I think it is a great option for newbies who can't afford Zacuto or Cinevate rigs.

If you are looking for other options, I would choose eBay. There are better rigs and better prices. I also saw this same item that came straight from the factory for $290. That set includes a chintzy matte box that looks pretty useless (I bought it because I needed a follow focus). I am keeping the one I bought from Amazon because at least I can return it if I need to. I've contact ePhoto through their website twice thus far asking about their LED lights, but no response. So this is a "take what you get" Here is the list of second hand items
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on September 7, 2012
I should start this review by saying I use this all the time, but make sure to work out your upper body because it has some pitfalls. Also I am going to break this review down in two parts because it really is two different products that you are getting bundled.

The Shoulder Rig: 3.5 out of 5
The shoulder pad itself, is primarily something you can use to push the rig against your body to stabalize your shot, and it works well. There is not counter weight system, all the weight is put on your arms, partly extended, and after a few hours of shooting, it's a work out to say the least. I have run a gambit of different dslrs and lenses and it can take pretty much all of them, it's a pretty sturdy build, at first I questioned the plastic knobs that tighten all the pieces but they have worked really well. A big thing for me is space, and this product disassembles really easily and I can pack it in pretty much anything, which is one of my favorite things about it.

Follow Focus:
For the price I have yet to find something of this quality. I was blown away by how good this thing was. I have since bought a 15" whip that I works perfectly with it. I also use this bad boy off the rig and on a tripod, this follow focus alone is worth the money I spent on the whole thing. One not so great thing is the actual gear ring that goes on the lens is one straight piece that connects to itself so you can't have the focus go 360 around, which I know, I would never need to use, but It's just a small complaint. The focus itself would work great with some 3rd party gear rings, but it hasn't bothered me enough to go out of my way to buy it.
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on February 5, 2013
Cons: Follow focus has a little play in the internal worm gear (this might be adjustable, but I have not taken the time to check). If you are truly wanting to mark out and preform bidirectional focus pulls, it might be 2-3% off, one way pulls are on mark.

Full size DSLRs or battery grips will need to use rail spacers to fit the focuser (spend your money on a better rig for a D4).

The shoulder pad could be better.

Pros: Well made and engineered. Very nice cuts and finishing. I was not expecting the quality for the price. Like all good rigs, this one is just a few hex bolts (metric) from perfect. The blue nuts have the VERY NICE pull up to adjust feature that I wish my more expensive rig had. My XH-G1 and Z1U fit well and are usable but if you are looking for a full 15mm bar solution for a nice head, look to spend the correct dough on something more suited.

Nitpicking: The rails could be a bit thicker walled. The grips could be better (but after days of shooting, I have had no problems after I locked them in place.

Modifications: It depends on your cameras and lenses, but I would recommend reversing the top plate with the three 2.5mm hex bolts. You will also need a set of 6mm metric hex to tighten down the grips (use blue Loctite as well). A tiny dab of contact cement (no need to let it set up) can give you the well needed friction you need if you use a heavy hand (true about every tube rig).

Overall: I have three rigs, and none of them are perfect out of the box, but this cheap rig, has been the best overall. Using Nikon d7000 d800 and d600 cams with lenses from 15mm 2.8 to 70-200 2.8 with this rig is a pleasure. Features like the pull to adjust thumb screws, and overall versatility, make this a great buy, and a good starting point for anyone wanting to add stability to their hand held shots.
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on August 14, 2011
When I first saw this pop up on amazon I was very skeptical, I know you usually get what you pay for. After getting this I realized when you spend $500-$1000+ on a rig and follow focus you pay for the brand name (red rock, zaucto, etc).

This rig/follow focus seems very sturdy. When I took it out of the box I was expecting a very light cheap set up, but the whole thing has a very high quality feel. The only thing that I could see maybe breaking years down the road are the blue thumb tightening screws since they are plastic.

The follow focus is very nice, the whole system has no play. The final gear to the lens has a SMALL amount of play nothing I am concerned about. The gear for the lens stays in place and I have not had any issues, I just need one for each lens now. I trimmed about an inch off the end so I didn't have as much hanging off the end and I can still get around all the lenses I have.

The mounting block has 4 tripod mounting holes and is made of nice solid metal. All the rails are very high quality and seem very sturdy.

The only part of this that is not amazing is the shoulder mount, I didn't expect it to be amazing from the pictures. It really needs the shoulder and either a mono pod or a 2nd support for the torso.

Overall if you are an indie HD DSLR film maker or are looking for a cheap non DIY follow focus rig this is a nice high quality rig that I will be shooting with for years to come. I would highly recommend this to a friend.
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on February 14, 2016
I honestly didn't get to enjoy this product. I brought it almost 3 years ago and I'm now leaving a review. I just didn't know better and was new to video and filmmaking. Looking back, this was a bad investment. It just look silly and unprofessional. It's so bad for your back which is why I never used i much over the years. Leaving a review now and if I could go back I would tell my inexperience self not to waste money on this JUNK. Trust me, I had it for 3 years and IT'S NOT an INVESTMENT. I think my biggest issue is that I tend to never return stuff and I kept it. Wish I didn't because the follow focus never worked properly and the wheal slightly move irregular. Yep, 3 years later and I'm just upset I made this purchase.
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on July 2, 2013
I purchased this item hoping that the lower price than some of the more reputable brands would only have minor implications. Sure, it's going to be less quality, as a consumer that's a given. However, you hope that a cheaper item will still actually function. I wanted a focusing knob, first and foremost. Well, upon opening the package, the knob was already bent out of alignment, making it very wobbly and unusable. Ok, I thought, maybe I can replace that. I still wanted to see what this thing could do. I spent about 2 hours filming with it, and then the counterweight fell off. It seemed to be held by a rivet, which makes it impossible to fix, unlike perhaps...oh I don't know, a screw maybe? So...I'll let you decide. Maybe mine was made by a disgruntled worker.

Minus the specific problems I had, my review from what I was able to test out:
The Counterweight isn't as heavy as it needs to be. It may counter the weight of the rig itself, but not really the camera attached.
The handles are flimsy about half way down, meaning the shaft that attaches the rubber handle grips only goes to the middle, making them feel unsteady and rubbery at times. The screws holding the handles on will only go so tight and then have a stripped feel, and they turn while your moving the camera. Not ideal.
The construction itself is simple, which is GOOD, but the screw knobs holding everything together would probably not hold up with steady use.

Bottom line, if you're trying to use this rig professionally, don't! It will let you down at some point which could cost you in the long run. Fortunately, it let me down in the first hour, giving me time to secure an alternative. An amateur trying to get some practice would be the only person I'd recommend this item to.
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on December 31, 2012
This is a discount rig that does a lot well, but not flawlessly.

As others will tell you, it comes with ZERO instructions, so bookmark this amazon page so you know what your setup should look like. You will need to tighten all the blue clamps with a pair of pliers. Hand-tight is not sufficient, and therefore this is not a rig that can be setup and torn down quickly.

The two main issues are the screw mount for the actual camera (which never seems tight enough to hold my D600 from moving and then the handles. The two handles are not completely solid and can flex at the bottom. So if you are supporting the rig with both hands, then try to switch to a single hand to follow focus with the other, you'll get some movement. It's not a lot, but if you're out at 100mm+ (especially without a VR lens) it will be a noticeable dip.

The follow focus will work with other lens gear-rings (like those made by Redrock), but not seamlessly. There is a tiny difference in the gear teeth, it's a nit picky thing, but you'll notice it. The gear-ring that comes with the rig is fine, but because it is soft plastic it has a tendency to float a bit while sitting on your lens' focus ring. The tightener for the ring is pretty poor, just a screw pin.

Oh, and the "shoulder pads" aren't going to win any comfort awards. They're there, but really don't compare to the molded versions on higher priced models.

For the $150 price tag in Dec.2012, it is worth it if you can't spend the $400+ for other models.
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on June 14, 2012
For the price, this product is a no brainer. Considering what comparible units cost from other brands this unit works well and is surprisingly well built. It only took a few minutes to assemble and have it up and running. I used it at my first event his past weekend and it held up and worked great. Not having to hand-hold my camera any longer is a godsend.

Now for the cons. The first, and biggest, is that the mount doesn't work with my Nikon D7000 when I have my battery grip installed. The grip makes the camera sit up too high for the follow focus gear to make contact with the lens. For reference I tried both an 18-200mm and 24-70mm F2.8 and neither worked. This is a big bummer as the stock battery doesn't last very long when shooting video footage. Of course the mount still works without the battery grip, but again it's a big drawback.

The second con, which isn't as big of a deal, is the quality of the attachment between the shoulder pad and the support rod. The pad simply screws into the rod with a few shallow threads and don't hold very well. Most likely I'll be using some sort of thread sealer to try and keep it in place better. Also, the shoulder mount could use a little bit more weight as well to help hold things steady.

All in all it's a great product, and for under $300 it's still a steal despite its few flaws.
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on May 4, 2013
Bought this for use with my T3i, and like other reviewers, I've been left impressed. It's simple and intuitive to set up, the follow focus works fairly smoothly (I did a little adjusting with a square-key just to tighten it and a few other joints on the rig a bit, and it indeed comes with a focus ring included for whatever lens you use it on), and all in all it functions as it should. To be fair I don't know why other companies can justify charging hundreds upon hundreds more for something that is, in essence, the same or at least a very similar product. I'm sure there are some differences in cosmetics or functionality but I doubt enough of one to charge much more than this...

My only pet peeve with this are the rubberized grips, in which the metal doesn't run all the way down, so about a third of the way down each handle feels a bit flimsy and malleable -- nothing deal-breaking, just my only reservation with the build quality. The way this is designed it'd be easy enough to replace them down the road anyway.
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on January 15, 2012
So I have been staring at this item for almost two months now...To say the least i was very skeptical...I finally decided to bite the bullet and make the purchase, I figured the worse that could happen is I loose out on shipping and decide to return it...BUT WHY WOULD I EVER DO THAT! Now that it is in my hands I really don't understand why anyone would spend big bucks on big name brand stuff. I am a video production major and also film weddings and other free lance projects. Trust me this is worth the buy! I have my Canon 7D on it with a 24-105mm L series lens and it fits perfectly. With the easy to adjust follow focus I don't ever foresee running into any problems with any lens purchase.

In fewer words...Buy this, You won't regret it.
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