Short manual slider

Winter Solitude from Martin Koch on Vimeo.

How long should your slider be? I bet in 99% of all cases you'll just need a short one. Consider this. A rather common 10 mm/s move uses up 100 mm rail per film second. You'll be able to show a pretty long 40 seconds move with a 500 mm rail and 100 mm carriage. In practise the majority of your dolly moves will be under 10 seconds long so a 500 mm rail will be more than sufficient.

The following is a version of the "ZaZa" Slider described in this great dvxuser thread.

My new short manual slider consists of:

  • One 500 mm long Igus DryLin W WS-16-60 rail.
  • One 150 mm long WW-16-60-15 HKA carriage with manual clamp.
  • One cheap Velbon PH-368 fluid head.
  • One Manfrotto 357 universal sliding plate for quickly mounting the slider to a tripod.
  • Two blocks of wood for low slider moves.
  • Four M10 or 3/8" bolts with washers for the end stops.
  • One 3/8" or 1/4" bolt for mounting the fluid head.

A 100 mm long carriage would be more than enough but I had to choose the 150 mm long carriage because the manual clamp doesn't fit on the short carriage. Nevertheless I still can do more than 30 seconds of slow 10 mm/s moves. Plenty enough for me.

The total cost for the complete manual slider is 220 EUR incl. VAT (120 EUR for the Igus parts + 40 EUR for the fluid head + 50 EUR for the universal sliding plate + 10 EUR for small parts). Please note that Igus seems to have different prices for different countries so your total costs can vary from mine. The whole assembly is heavy, rock solid and will work with much larger camcorders than the HF100.

The 8 mm diameter holes in the 16 mm diameter rails are perfect for a 3/8" thread and nearly perfect for a 10 mm thread. I bought the 3/8" UNC tap and 3/8" UNC bolts from RS-Components. Single 3/8" UNC bolts are available from Rosentaler-Schrauben.at.

Smooth manual slider moves are not hard to do after some practise. Nevertheless I couldn't help to try an enviroment friendly, absolutely silent, gravity driven automatic slider version. I bought the rope roll with ball bearings (pulley) some time ago from eBay. I suggest you do a Google product search for possible suppliers.

As it turns out this is also useable to add movement to shorter timelapse shoots. 0.3 mm/s are no problem.

Optional with larger equipment a block and tackle system could save weight.

Without deflection of the rope you can go as low as table height with this system


Canon BP-827 Fully Decoded Compatible Battery

This 2900 mAh third party battery is fully compatible with the HF100 and other Canon cameras i.e. It can be charged in the camera or with the original Canon charger and it shows the battery level on the camcorder display. This battery will power the HF100 three times longer than the battery that came with it.

The original Canon BP-827 battery currently has a street price of $125 / 120 EUR.