A handmade slider by Rob, the retired engineer

A few weeks ago, I got to test a Varavon 80cm camera slider. Quite unimpressed by the track which didn't allow smooth movement and footage at all. I guess it needed to be oiled big time. I only needed to see how it looked on screen to know it was pointless to bother recording it since we didn't have time to oil it or figure how to make it work. There are some instances where you could get away with a bumpy footage, but that's not often the case and that's a ridiculous amount of work in post for cheap gear.
That's the kind of stuff you really need quality material to be worth using.
I don't really felt a great need for a slider but this experience challenged me to find something better and still at a low price, considering I wouldn't use it often anyway but would appreciate to have one every now and then.
And I found this really helpful chap, Rob, with his own version of the slider (turns out there's also an angry fella selling a similar version but I'm not going to entertain any discussion around who's the original designer). Rob's slider is much wider and with quite a different design from the vast majority of entry level sliders out there.


I've done my first tests using the first tripod I could find (Slik with a Velbon vid head, which turned out to be not the best suited for the job since it's a bit wobbly), put the slider onto the Velbon quick release, and then I used the 3/8" screw to mount the camera. A note here to say how I wished we could all stick to the metric system as these quarters and three eights don't mean shit to me :-D
Anywho, I then figured I could just mount another tripod head so it's always on and mount the camera on it, as otherwise it is time consuming to try and screw the thing onto the camera with the narrow space you have under the plate. But this will be for the next time.

The tests I did today were done fixing the camera straight onto the plate.
For a first tests, and the first proper times I got to use a slider, I'm pretty happy about it. It tends to bend a bit on both ends, which is noticeable on the footage but I expected to be worst. I was using a 5D MkII with a 24-105 L lens, so, 'bit of weight. (1.5Kg according to dpreview...). I think 2 tripods on each ends (or a tripod with a better head) and a bit more pressure on the camera and I slide (along with a better rhythm on my end) would be ideal in my opinion.







I think its main strength are the wheels and how they roll.











Have a look at the 3 tests that I made. Like I said, I barely had practiced this before so my "technique" doesn't compliment the slider at all, and neither does the use of just one tripod at its centre with a lousy video head, please bare that in mind. Also I've used most of the length, I'd say 3/4 of it on each scenario. I haven't tried vertical slider. I'd need to get my hands onto another tripod head that would allow me to rotate it 90 degrees. I'd be interesting to see how it does with downwards shooting in the semi vertical position.

Hope that's helpful !