Kessler Crane CineSlider Review

I have owned the Kessler Crane 3′ CineSlider for nearly a year now. I have been using it for time lapse photography and for b-roll. Shooting in a multitude of environments, I’m very impressed with the linear rail. I chose the CineSlider over Kessler’s Pocket Dolly and the Philip Bloom Signature Series Pocket Dolly for several reasons.

For me I wanted a rail that had the most long-term versatility. The CineSlider’s payload capacity of 80 lbs, durable construction and drag control knob were the top selling features for my purchase. I also choose the three foot version for its portability. When using it on a flat surface, or with the All-Terrain Outrigger feet, the rail can be placed in many environments.

Smooth?

Very. I had purchased, and now have sold a lesser quality system. I found the simple linear rails are jerky and limited. When operating the CineSlider with the drag control knob, the photographer can make micro-adjustments based on the angle and the payload weight. The cart’s wheels sit on carbon fiber stanchions, which makes the movement super smooth. Setting the drag with the least tension, the cart can slide very fast. Or one can use the knob to lock the cart into place by increasing the tension to maximum.

The rail weighs 9 lbs and a separate bag can be purchased, which I highly recommend. I also recommend purchasing a pair of Manfrotto Rapid Adapters. These work really well for mounting the rail on light stands. There are 1/4-20 and 3/8” tapped holes on the underside of the rail. I chose to use the 3/8” holes for added strength when mounting.

Using the CineSlider for daily assignments isn’t easy, but it can be done. I generally use it for long term projects. I used it for one b-roll clip in John Glenn, several shots for Big Brother and it was also used for the Bethel Cycle commercial. Having linear rail shots in conjunction with a tripod adds tremendous production value to a video.

As the old saying goes, “you get what you paid for.” I view the purchase of the more expensive CineSlider as an investment in my business. Not only is the rail great on its own, but it can work in conjunction with other Kessler equipment. Adding a fluid head by using the flat mount adapter, you can pan/tilt while moving the cart, giving your shot an even more dynamic feel.

Employed as a photojournalist and multi-media producer for Newsday, I need a piece of equipment that is lightweight and portable. Most important, it has to be simple for a “one man band.” There are many dollies and rails on the market that are much larger, but working alone has its challenges. Since I still want to add dynamic movements to my shots, I tend to gravitate to equipment that can be easily operated without a crew.

Overall, an excellent tool.

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2 Comments. Leave your Comment right now:

  1. by Jeremy

    Thanks for the review. I’m considering buying this dolly and the Hercules Head for a short film I’m going to make. Like you I see this as an investment as I hope to make more films and can see this being very useful.

    One question: this review was published May 2012, so now almost February 2013, have you found any issues with this equipment or is it still performing just as well?

    • by chris ware

      Hi Jeremy,

      I’m still very happy with my investment. The equipment is solid and functions as new.

      Feel free to ask more questions if you like.

      Thanks,

      chris…

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