Dear Porta-Jib dudes,
I thought I’d jot down a few comments about my new Porta-Jib Explorer. Wow! What a well thought out, masterly crafted piece of equipment. It is very obvious a lot of brainpower went into its planning and design. I really like the fact that all the pieces “clip” together as well as tighten. This makes building it very speedy and solid. It takes maybe 3 minutes from case to camera-ready.
Although you don’t really recommend it (do you know many operators who DON’T push limits?) I’ve had great success mounting a fully loaded Arri SR3 and a stripped down RED One for our B-roll cameras at NASCAR races, as well as (why you designed it) the more lightweight HVX 200 cameras.
The weight bucket is a fabulous idea! No need to carry around extra weight when out on location. Accessories, bottles of water, rocks, anything... counterbalance is easy (and actually kind of fun in that respect).
The switch over to trolley mode could not be any more simple in design or execution; quick and easy – particularly thanks to the gas piston that aids in lifting and lowering the whole set up. It has now replaced a more expensive ladder dolly system.
Dolly wheels? You can do simple compound moves in jib mode. The wheels are very heavy duty and roll smoothly on almost any type of “track” you put them on; Flexible tube, pvc, speed rail, angle iron. An assistant/dolly grip and an operator can get some really nice shots, and no need to lay the track perfectly parallel, which is a very cool thing when you’re running and gunning or just need a quick shot.
One final thing…all this is really great but not of much use if you can’t travel with it. Completely built, without camera and weights, one man can lift the whole jib with ease. I’m mean, walk across the street with it if necessary (been there, done that). It even fits in a flatbed golf cart with room for camera gear, much to the chagrin of our 1st AC who had give up his lounge area! Solid, lightweight, portable, well-designed…genius!
You guys really did a great job. And my peers seem to agree, too.
STR Production Group, LLC