Thread: Straight vs Flexible Tracks

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  1. #1 Straight vs Flexible Tracks 
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2016
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    Hi all,

    I've been finally looking at getting a set of dolly tracks. It's been one of those things that I've wanted but haven't been able to justify the expense for. I know that seems basic but I'm young and with little income so when I started my kit, I bought the essentials and have just been adding to and upgrading it as I've had the means to. Plus, the cheapest I could find was a $900 kit.

    I did some research today and I've come across flexible tracks which is essentially a long bit of rubber that you loop around on itself to create your tracks (I won't show you the quick diagram I did for my partner - it came out very phallic). Seems like a good idea to me but I've not been able find too many of them. But there's one in my pricerange (I was looking for under $500 for tracks and dolly - yep, low income) from GlideGear with metal struts that you can insert to hold them in place: https://glidegear.net/product/glide-...ack-w-spacers/ The problem is this doesn't seem to have had much market penetration so I've only been able to find 3 reviews. 1 favourable, 2 not. And given that people are more likely to complain about a product than sing its praises, I didn't want to be deterred.

    Does anyone have any experience shooting with these kinds of things? Are there any pros and cons I might not know about? Any alternatives (I'm in Australia if anyone knows a local place I might have missed).
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2013
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    That looks pretty cool but its hard to know the quality without trying it out. I think tracks are one of those things where you need to test it first. A couple of years ago I bought this Indie Dolly sytem used from LensRentals and it's been great. Folds up into a small-ish case. They make straight and curved tracks.
    https://www.adorama.com/idstkit.html...SABEgI8yvD_BwE
    https://www.adorama.com/us 841980.ht...SABEgJypfD_BwE
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  3. #3  
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    May 2013
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    Before I picked up a Dana Dolly, I was kind of in the same boat as you. Since you're in the land down under, my recommendation won't work since I live in the US but I'll list it anyway. There is an American company that sells 12 feet of aluminum dolly track for around $200ish US dollars + shipping; Contact them to purchase just the track (They only sell it in 12 foot increments.). I've never used it, but from what I've looked into, it seems like a decent bargain if you don't want to build anything.

    Personally, I would skip the rubber track. With rubber flex track, you're basically stuck using it on smooth surfaces. Otherwise you'll get all the imperfections in the ground showing up in your shot. With metal track, you can use wedges and apple boxes to smooth out any degree of unevenness indoors or out. The rigidity and smoothness of the ride is all depended on the quality of the metal track and how level it is. Personally, you cold probably get away with using speed rail, seamless speed rail connectors, and build some track ties out of wood or aluminum to give you some rigidity. It won't be as quick to setup or transport as "real" dolly track or rubber track, but it would be a cheap option to be able to level out track for a tripod dolly. You can get as complicated or as simple as you need, using PVC and wood or go all out and use stainless steel and all metal parts.

    And I do use those pipe splices with speed rail for my Dana Dolly. Works great for moving a few 4' sections around in a small car. 8+ feet of track can give you a lot of flexibility. Even longer sections (As transportation allows) with a tripod dolly would only be better, I believe.
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  4. #4  
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    Oct 2016
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    It's funny you mention building it because I went to Bunnings today (hardware shop - not sure what the equivalent would be). What's put me off doing DIY dollies is the whole making of the bracket with the skateboard wheels and everything which is a bit beyond my ability (I'm not a handyman). But the tracks are doable. So I may have a go at creating the tracks out of PVC pipe (some swear by them, others insist on your aluminium or steel ones - worth testing on the cheaper materials first and seeing how it works, I reckon) and get the GlideGear dolly with the wheels already on: https://glidegear.net/product/glide-...-dolly-hybrid/

    I'm able to get it locally for $150. I've seen cheaper but they've only had the single wheels rather than the track system.
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  5. #5  
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    Nov 2014
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    wow, I haven't read a dolly post in a long time since the gimbal explosion hit the scene. The Glide Gear Dolly looks quality, they've been around for while so they must work well enough. I've only had experience with the Indie Dolly as mentioned by Aaron, and some cheap ass ebay platform dolly that worked well. Searching Ebay I can't find them anymore, I guess it's all about the slider systems now.
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