March 30, 2014

Add All the Length You Need to Your DIY Dolly System with RigWheels' New Collapsible PortaRail

Whether you're a get-in-get-out filmmaker, or just someone who doesn't want to lug around a big, awkward piece of gear, having portable tools  is a definite boon on any project, which is why RigWheel's new rail system, PortaRail, which will be showcased at NAB, is such welcomed addition to their indie-focused line of motion and mounting products. These collapsible, DIY rails aim at offering an affordable camera movement solution that will allow you to set up, tear down, pack up, and go.

A while back, RigWheels came out with their dolly wheels that were geared at cutting down cost, upping portability and flexibility, and allowing users to add different components to their systems easily. Their PortaRail system is no different. Here's a bit from the product description:

Our new PortaRail collapsible camera slider rail now available. Sections are 40″ (1 meter) long and can be screwed together seamlessly via the threaded connectors. These rails are constructed from high grade 6061 aluminum which is much stronger than the architectural aluminum that is sometimes used for similar applications. The stronger material provides much more rigidity which means a more solid system with very little flex. At 80″ the camera slider rails have less than 1/8″ of flex with a 40 pound load placed at the center.

The most attractive thing about the PortaRail is that it's collapsible, allowing for easy transport. As stated above, each rail is 40" (3.3') long, which is means that these things could easily fit inside your car if you're traveling, or inside a closet (or wherever) for storage along with the rest of your gear. But, if you're concerned about getting that long tracking shot, you can add as many PortaRails as you need for the job by using RigWheel connectors. You can even use RigWheel rail brackets for a suspended dolly system.

Check out this video to find out how PortaRail works.

Here's a video that demonstrates the rail brackets.

RigWheel offers their PortaRail system with several kit combinations. The least expensive is a 4-rail system with 2 connectors that will cost you $499, but if you've got more cash to invest, $1099 will get you an 8-rail system with 6 connectors and 18" rail brackets (that's a 13' suspended dolly system). If you want to add just a little bit more length, you can buy each component à la carte as well (a single rail costs $125, connectors are $30).

Check out RigWheel's website to find out more about their PortaRail system, as well as their other useful products.

Links: PortaRail Kits -- RigWheels

[via Cinescopophilia]

Disclosure: RigWheels is a No Film School advertiser.

Your Comment

9 Comments

Here's a much more refined solution;

http://www.aviatorcameragear.com/products-page/product-category/the-rock...

http://www.aviatorcameragear.com/products-page/product-category/travel-t...

I own both the base kit and the carbon fiber 'Travel Tracks'.

If you are on a budget, you can just get the base kit, then pick up some cheap EMT pipe from a hardware store. If you go the EMT pipe route, you can make tracks that are up to ten feet in length.

Very nicely made system - light and robust. I was one of it's Kickstarter backers, as well as backing their previous product, the Aviator Travel Jib.

March 30, 2014 at 12:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Yep, also second that product. Been used on some major jobs too :-)

March 30, 2014 at 12:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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marklondon

I have and love their pocket jib, but when I tried out their dolly last year at NAB (so his display model) it was extremely disappointing and bumpy. I think it's because of the design of aviators wheels.

March 30, 2014 at 1:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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That was a prototype. No such issues now. This thing is smooth.

March 30, 2014 at 1:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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They are also going to NAB!

March 30, 2014 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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To me, it seems like a short portable slider - of the plate-on-a-rail rather than skates-on-rods variety - is more versatile, durable, portable and considerably less expensive
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFUdva8vGf8 ]
or
[ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbJIRVZG3aM ]
.
And there are other sub-$100 sliders (using the plate-on-a-rod system, with 3 to 5 feet in length available) from the likes of Film City, although there may be QC questions about their product.
.
For longer shots, IMO, one may as well get a jib or a MoVi type stabilizer anyway.

March 30, 2014 at 2:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

I heard quite a lot of complaining about the previous rig wheels offering on how bumpy they were, so i'm really skeptical on this product.

March 30, 2014 at 5:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert A.

personally I would rather have the choice to pick up some extra length on the go from a hardware store, instead of having to travel with all the weight of the tubes.

March 30, 2014 at 5:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Robert A.

I agree. I am interested in their ends so I can just buy EMT of any length when i travel or have a variety of lengths around the shop. I have not been able to put anything that worked as well as those bar ends with DIY. I plan on using it for my DIY dolly based off the 'Cinemover' design.

March 31, 2014 at 1:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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AdRath