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Experience with Kupo Grip Equipment


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#1 Carlos Rojas

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 09:18 AM

Wondering if anybody has had any experience with the Kupo brand. Do they hold up well?


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#2 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 10:45 AM

Highly recommended. They're the closest thing I've seen to Avenger kit in terms of build quality (I've replaced a bunch of Matthews stands with Kupos and am much happier with them). They've got some really interesting designs too, like their c-stands which expand or collapse in about 1.5 seconds, their triple-function combo heads, and their heavy duty grip/magic arms (which are the most solid I've encountered to date).


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#3 JD Hartman

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 11:47 AM

Founded in 2000, around for 14 years, will they be around in another 10 or 20?  Will you be able to get parts off the shelf or will they have to be ordered because nobody stocks parts and nothing interchanges because all the hardware is metric and so are the tubing sizes?  I was a big fan or Manfrotto/Avenger, but they share the same disadvantages. 

 

If you go to sell it, will it retain its value like Matthews, Modern, Norms or American Grip does?  To me it looks like Amvona brand, just prettier.

 

Some of Kupo's stuff is slick as snot, but unless your going to be a one man owner/operator, unique grip can sometime baffle other crew who are used to time tested designs and features.

 

Additionally, will you have dealer support in Georgia?  The Atlanta dealer doesn't mention Kupo on their website.


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#4 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 05:35 AM

Kupo is cheaper than Avenger, but not close in terms of quality. Pretty to look at, but the Kupo gear I own (not a lot) has not held up well.

I have American and Avenger. My vote is for Avenger 1st American 2nd. Although if I lived in the US it would be American 1st, Avenger second.


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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 03:40 PM

Most G&E guys that I know prefer American first, Modern second, Avenger and Matthews in the middle, and Norms last. Not sure where Kupo fits in there.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 07:31 PM

The more recent Norms stuff I've used/seen hasn't been too bad. I know some of the older Norms kit I have has held up; but it's pretty crap (though most was free, so whose complaining). I much prefer American.


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#7 JD Hartman

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 09:23 PM

What in particular did you find wrong with older Norms grip gear?  Specific pieces or fit, finish 'n functionality on the entire line?


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#8 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 19 July 2015 - 09:59 PM

JD, I have had just one experience with Norms gear. While shooting Moonrise Kingdom, we struggled to find local equipment in Rhode Island because there were 2 other big films shooting in New England at the same time - and one was an Adam Sandler movie, and we were a small Wes Anderson movie being shot on 16mm, so we didn't get a lot of attention from the local rental houses. So a small local Grip rental house bought all new gear from Norms for us. I mean everything ! It felt so good on day 1 to have all this shiny new gear on set. By the 3rd week most of the gear was rusty. Stands were jamming, frames were not coming apart or being assembled very easy.

The gear was being handled very well. The owner was on set supervising how his kit was being treated :-)

I have heard that Norms has become a lot better since then, and I am sure thats true, but what I saw was incredible.


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#9 JD Hartman

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 05:38 AM

Thanks Sanjay.  Have only a few pieces from Norms, never see it anywhere.  Always just thought it was an alternative to the big guys.


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#10 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 06:59 AM

I believe they have since had a big overhaul and are now a lot better than they were. 


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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 July 2015 - 04:25 PM

For me it just seems that while, yes, it holds up pretty well for it's age, it also ages rapidly. Though yes; the newer stuff i've seen therefrom has been very nice. They even make a nice alternative to a Dana Dolly.


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#12 Edward Lawrence Conley III

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Posted 22 July 2015 - 02:21 PM

Norms had a bad spell there for a sec but as mentioned they are good now and have been for about 8 years.

 

At least we have had no problems and they have updated their grip to be along the lines of  American, Modern etc.

 

Kupo- I didn't like it for rentals because their stands are just a bit off on the good ol standard design. Just like Avenger was with their beefy c-stand legs. Good product if you want to purchase for yourself.

 

We outfitted our vehicles with Matthews C+ stands and then Norms for just about everything else. Not that Matthews are that far superior,  it was just a decent c-stand that worked well for us because a lot of our clients liked the turtle base option to make quick backlight stands with a Baby Junior adapter in it.

 

Norms has been good to us- no huge discount but good service and the products are good now.

 

Kupo- just like just about everything else is manufactured in China. China Made doesn't bother me per se but it is nice to give money locally.


Edited by Edward Lawrence Conley III, 22 July 2015 - 02:22 PM.

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#13 Sanjay Sami

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:39 AM

Kupo is from Taiwan as far as I know. Generally better quality than mainland China.
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#14 JD Hartman

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:49 AM

Anyone have any stands or grip gear from B&M (Cali.) when they had their brief journey into that field?  To the best of my knowledge, they were designing and manufacturing, not importing.


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