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Dana Dolly


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#1 Travis Gray

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 08:46 AM

Was looking into maybe picking up a decent dolly system, and finally gave the Dana Dolly a serious look over the weekend, but didn't feel like I found exactly what I was looking for in terms of questions.

Anyone here use it at all?

I was originally thinking of getting a Kessler k-flex system, but I'm now thinking the Dana might be a little more flexible (no pun intended). At least as far as different heights go in setting up rails and getting lower or higher shots.

The later plan was to be able to throw a jib onto the system as well, and I would think that the Dana could handle it (rated to 100 pounds, and with the proper balancing, I'm guessing it would be fine).

And then the Dana Rental kit looked like a bonus too, figuring if anybody had an interest in it, why not spend the extra change to get the full kit, instead of just the basic kit and then a flight case.


Would love to hear any opinions on it or if it may be a complete waste of money, or the Kessler idea is better... I dunno. I don't exactly have $6k to drop on a Doorway dolly just yet haha
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 12:31 PM

I'm not enormously excited about those flex track systems. They work OK, but like any plastic track you're at the mercy of whatever the floor is like. You end up having to carry all this 3/4" ply, which you should factor in to any portability considerations.

Conversely, I very much like sliders in general and I feel like they do a lot of what dollies are actually often used for. I shot this on a slider that's probably not as good as the one you're thinking of, and I think it's quite effective, as well as being extremely quick to set up.
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#3 Travis Gray

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 12:39 PM

I'm not enormously excited about those flex track systems. They work OK, but like any plastic track you're at the mercy of whatever the floor is like. You end up having to carry all this 3/4" ply, which you should factor in to any portability considerations.

Conversely, I very much like sliders in general and I feel like they do a lot of what dollies are actually often used for. I shot this on a slider that's probably not as good as the one you're thinking of, and I think it's quite effective, as well as being extremely quick to set up.



Thank you for pointing this out. I've watched this a few times (great work btw, saw it when Sony posted it promoted the 700 and I was like, oh! i pretend know that guy! haha), but I didn't think of looking at this when I was looking up GOOD dolly moves.
I like that the Dana can at least provide some expansion, but I was also trying to think if it would really be worth it to me. But I love the moves in this. I just see so many people who buy a slider and make everything a move, and I don't want to become some cheesy DSLR-type hobbiest.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 12:45 PM

I don't believe the Dana Dolly uses Flex track. I was always under the impression, from their site, that it uses speed-rail....
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#5 Travis Gray

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 01:06 PM

I don't believe the Dana Dolly uses Flex track. I was always under the impression, from their site, that it uses speed-rail....


It uses anything that's 1 1/4. The flex system was just when I was looking at the K-pod + flex track. But it theoretically looks like I can use the flex track too, I think it says it works with 1 1/4 stuff. But, it doesn't look like the Dana wheels can handle anything curved.

So I figured, if anything, I can build more into the system by getting flex track and even the k-pod with track wheels down the line too. But Dana looks like it's more versatile right now. Was just interested to see if anyone hated / loved one system over another.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 05:32 PM

Sony posted it promoted the 700




Sony did what?!
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#7 Travis Gray

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 11:46 PM

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Sony did what?!



I'm relatively certain that they tweeted the link to it at one point. I'll see if I can dig it up. They tweet a lot of stuff.
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#8 Travis Gray

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Posted 03 July 2012 - 09:09 AM

Couldn't find it, Phil. They may not have tweeted the link. I may have just seen it in the FS100 vimeo group. I remember seeing it at least two places. I think you posted it here and then somewhere else.


In other news, just ordered the Dana. Rental kit. Pelican Storm case. So, if anyone in Boston is interested in playing with it... haha
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#9 Chris Albert

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 10:54 PM

Travis as an alternative you may want to have a look at the Australian Wally Dolly...the Aussie and the Brits love the thing.

 

www.wallydolly.com


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#10 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 08:49 PM

Couldn't find it, Phil. They may not have tweeted the link. I may have just seen it in the FS100 vimeo group. I remember seeing it at least two places. I think you posted it here and then somewhere else.


In other news, just ordered the Dana. Rental kit. Pelican Storm case. So, if anyone in Boston is interested in playing with it... haha

 

Let us know how you go with it Travis. I think the Dana Dolly has a tonne of appeal as a quick-setup, longer track run alternative to a slider. Though of course you can never operate a slider move as precisely as you can a ride-on dolly move, so it's a win-some-lose some affair.


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#11 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:42 PM

I have a Dana Dolly and I'd highly recommend it. I use it with 1 1/4" steel conduit from Home Depot or speed rail. I've also used it on collapsible dolly track. It's a very useful bit of equipment, and very affordable.
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#12 benjamin dell

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Posted 25 November 2013 - 01:00 AM

I have used a Dana Dolly for a few years and it comes in handy on nearly every shoot I do. Nothing beats it in terms of ease to setup and portability and the weight of the cameras it can take.

 

I recommend getting the American Lowboy Combos...much better than the norms stands.

 

It can handle curves...I think someone actually makes curved track for it.


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#13 Gavin V Murray

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Posted 01 July 2014 - 08:31 PM

Hey Travis, I've used the Dana Dolly a lot, it's great, fast to set up and break down. Works great with a couple of low boys and speed rail, or throw the speed rail on the ground  or apple boxes if you need to get really low. It does work with curved track. It's great in that it's light too, easy to move around and reset. Though, that's also it's draw back. It's sometimes hard to feather the moves due to it's light weight nature, sometimes it helps to add weight to smooth out changes in speed.


Edited by Gavin V Murray, 01 July 2014 - 08:31 PM.

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#14 Jim Ritscher

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Posted 03 August 2014 - 08:50 PM

I recommend getting the American Lowboy Combos.

 

Yes, I agree with this. I have a pair in Arlington, near you. Get them with wheels.


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#15 Justin McAleece

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 03:26 AM

The Dana Dolly is the best. I can move it around by myself but it's still super sturdy. The Norms stands are kinda garbage. Definitely get the newer Matthews or American stands that are made specifically for sliders. They're perfect.  


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#16 Albion Hockney

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 02:34 PM

Dana dolly is ok. If you have a heavy camera you really need heavy stands and a middle support for 8ft of track and even then it can wobble a little.  but I think any of the slider systems you run into stability issues as they are smaller/lighter.


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#17 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 November 2014 - 02:43 PM

Agreed on stability and weight things. Generally for myself If I'm going 8' or more I'm looking more into a real Dolly. Things like the Dana are great on ULB stuff, or tight situations, or for little gentle moves here and there in my own opinion. I'm partial to the Norms Stealth Slider; though, as opposed to the Dana but they are much the same.


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#18 Bjorn Schumacher_66340

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Posted 12 November 2014 - 02:33 PM

If u want to buy a slider just for fun and to swing it in to the set once a month than a Dana Dolly might be good.

 

rogier-2-1024x682.jpg

 

If u want some serious equipment with endless possibilities, take a look at the Twin Kit dolly systems from Solid Grip systems. It's not only just a very good slider, it's a very nice tool which helps you in difficult circumstances and you can expand the package as far as you want. For example, you can turn it to a truss dolly with 2 extra brackets and you can extend the tracks as long as you want!

 

Don't feel like buying the whole kit? You can use the dolly itself on regular (ladder) truss aswell, it's all compatible ;-)

 

Got curious? Check it here: http://www.solidgrip...olly/twindolly/

 

P.s. i'm not a salesman, just a satisfied and enthusiastic user ;-) 


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#19 Jimmy Gilmore

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Posted 25 November 2014 - 11:38 AM

Dana Dolly works well, easy to transport, fairly fast to set up, and can handle a pretty heavy camera setup 45 - 50 lbs. Works better than anything else I've seen in it's price range. Not sure that I'd fly a jib off it though. It's basically a hi-hat with skateboard wheels and would flop over with an unbalanced load.

 

My only experience with Kessler products has been mixed. Been fine for DSLR work but not for cinema cameras and lenses. 


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#20 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 26 November 2014 - 02:39 AM

Solid Grip Systems makes really good stuff. It is probably more expensive than the Dana Dolly.


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