Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

Started Apr 26, 2013 | Questions
callisto11 Forum Member • Posts: 69
Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

Hi,
Can anyone give me advice on which to get? I want to get a portable jib that can fit in a suitcase and add some flair to some videos I take. I've seen video samples of both which look good and if anyone has any comparison to give me I'd appreciate it. I want to use it with my Panasonic camcorder, and maybe a T4i from time to time. I'll be using a Pearstone VT-2100 tripod.
 From what I can tell by comparing the products:
The Aviator seems more well known, costs $100 less, comes with a carrying case (The Kessler charges an extra $60), and weighs over 1lb less.
The Kessler is easier to adjust the counterbalance, plus offers drag control and locks (I am wondering how much importance others place on this). If this is significant and worth it, I am willing to cough up the extra $100.
One other characteristic I've noticed with the Kessler is its center mounted camera platform. Since I want to use it with a camcorder though and there is about 3.75" from the mounting hole to the back of the battery, I wonder if the distance you can lower the camera will be hindered.
They both are 1 piece units, easy to set up and well made.
Any suggestions?

 callisto11's gear list:callisto11's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic LX100 Canon EOS Rebel T4i +2 more
ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Canon EOS Rebel T4i (EOS 650D / EOS Kiss X6i)
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Bluephotons Veteran Member • Posts: 6,690
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

I'm also in the market for a portable jib. Have you consider this one?

http://www.adorama.com/PMCFUJA.html

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Bluephotons
Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now. Bob Dylan

 Bluephotons's gear list:Bluephotons's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 25mm F1.8
silyn Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

callisto11 wrote:

....
The Aviator seems more well known, costs $100 less, comes with a carrying case (The Kessler charges an extra $60), and weighs over 1lb less.
The Kessler is easier to adjust the counterbalance, plus offers drag control and locks (I am wondering how much importance others place on this). If this is significant and worth it, I am willing to cough up the extra $100.
One other characteristic I've noticed with the Kessler is its center mounted camera platform. Since I want to use it with a camcorder though and there is about 3.75" from the mounting hole to the back of the battery, I wonder if the distance you can lower the camera will be hindered.
They both are 1 piece units, easy to set up and well made.
Any suggestions?

I own Kessler Traveler Jib, and before buying it (was one of the first to get it) had a chance to work with Aviator. So,

1. Both suck as jibs, you cannot do anything serious with them. Because of this, you need to look at most important features when you use a jib for traveling, in remote locations and/or in limited space.

2. The first is load. Kessler Traveler supports 10lb vs. 6.5lb Aviator (carbon fiber version supports 7.5lb but costs more). 6.6/7.5 vs 10 Does not seem like a big difference - believe me it's huge for this type of equipment. Even with small cameras when you start adding extras your load suddenly becomes higher. Plus, alas, you change cameras these days more frequently than jibs. Plus, higher load capacity means more stability - see #3.

3. The most vulnerable part of both is that their arms are very much susceptible to lateral forces. Because of this, the arm is not stable and can easily sway in both cases. It happens in windy conditions or even because of the inertial forces. Keeping in mind #1 above, Kessler is significantly more stable. It seems it relies on a prestressed design (though I am not a specialist in such things).

4. One of the big flaws of Aviator is the type of counter balance it offers - a bag hooked to the opposite side of the arm. With Kessler you can also use bags but you will not want to do that. Instead, you buy one or two 2.5lb weights (in any store that sells sport equipment - I bought mine for $2.50 each). The problem with bags is that they amplify many times the problem described above in #3.

5. Higher capacity and stability offered by Kessler comes at a price - figuratively and literally. Up to you to decide if you are willing to pay it.

6. I am not sure how you come to the conclusion that Aviator is more well known. It is true that Kessler Traveler Jib was released not long ago, but Kessler's reputation in the industry is well known as a manufacture of the highest quality equipment used by pros all over the world as well as its excellent service and support. Nice Industries (that the name of the company which manufactures Aviator) does not come even close in this respect to Kessler Crane.

7. You mentioned some other minor things - they do not seem important and can be easily solved.

foosiemac New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

What camera are you using?

My camcorder is an XF100 with an additional wide angle lens which totals about 4.3 lbs.

I had the same questions last week regarding the Kessler vs Aviator Travel jib. The Kessler was out of stock as soon as it was put on sale so I finally ordered the Aluminum Aviator ($300 more for  carbon fiber version seemed an excessive price difference to me in order to gain a pound more capacity). The jib arrived yesterday. Today I'm driving 40 miles to buy some 2.5 lb barbell weights. Anything which hangs (and swings) from the back of a jib is a pain to work with. If you do need to use this kind of ballast be sure to take a bungee cord or something to strap it on the the ballast end  to prevent movement.

I'm able to use the Aviator jib with the XF100 at it's lowest angle without any problems. I've managed to balance the jib with a gallon jug of water "swinging" off the rear end. I need to weigh this to not be over 8lbs capacity. I've noticed if you don't lock down the aluminum tubes they will shift to the right or left causing the camera to tilt in the same directions. I'm uncomfortable "cranking" down on the aluminum lock tighteners. I feel like I'm going to strip the threads like I did on a set of Aluminum Gitzo stix years ago.

The side to side movement is very smooth on the fluid head, the up and down of the jib is smooth as well...my only real concern is the overall weight of my camera and ballast.

Frankly, if the Kessler had been in stock I would have ordered it simply because of the company's reputation and known customer service.  Although Nice Industries and Zeke have responded quickly to emails there isn't a way I've found to phone them...email only. Kessler is made in Indiana and the Aviator is made in China not Oregon and the Aviator is Nice Industry's first and only jib product. This is worth considering.

I'm looking forward to hearing other peoples opinions on these two mini-jibs.

silyn Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

Interesting review of Kesssler Jib Traveler

OP callisto11 Forum Member • Posts: 69
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

Well first of all thanks for the replies and links.

With regards to what camera I'll use it depends on the situation, but for my next outing I seriously need to travel light so I will be using a Panasonic TM700. Other times I may use a Canon t4i.

I'm surprised there is not more talk about this since they are comparable and there are a lot of people interested in both products. I am leaning towards the Kessler though, as noted it may offer more stability, and any kind of wobble really looks bad (another reason to use weights and not sand bags, although I think the Aviator allows that also). It seems to me saying 'they both suck as jibs' is not very constructive; if you are comparing a Ferrari to an Accord and say the latter sucks, it is not a really fair comparison. The online samples and reviews though are all I have to go on, and many of the shots look pretty darn good (granted those are the best).

For the Kessler reviews the link in the reply above must be new, but also very welcome. I've seen the one from Philip Bloom, but it's more of an ad than review - I guess if you get one for free and are friends with Mr. Kessler it's no surprise. There was one other I saw, that seems the most objective, at http://vimeo.com/64490999 and ironically is used as a promo for Kessler.

At any rate, still hope for any other input.

 callisto11's gear list:callisto11's gear list
Panasonic FZ1000 Panasonic LX100 Canon EOS Rebel T4i +2 more
silyn Regular Member • Posts: 382
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

This time, a good review of Aviator Travel Jib. Interestingly, the reviewer talks about using plate counter weights but does not actually show how to attach them securely to the jib. Also, a good discussion at the end of when and where to use the "travel" type of jibs - valid also in my experience for the Kessler Traveler jib.

ZekeK New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler

Hi,

I'm the guy who designed and makes The Aviator. So please take that into account, but I do think our jib is great. There's been amazing feedback from our users, too. It's being used all over the world on national commercials, documentaries, music videos, and even feature films.

It's very easy to use plate weights with our jib. They attach at the back with a simple screw mount. You can see an example in our promo video here: http://youtu.be/Hlo7iKNTnUk?t=1m43s (it should start playing at the right part).

The video shows the prototype of the jib and we've since made improvements, but the plate weights still attach the same way.

I'll do my best to check in from time to time on this thread, but for a much faster reply, you are welcome to email me if you have any questions. I answer all emails personally. Just send it to: info (the at symbol) nice-industries.com.

No tool is right for every situation. You wouldn't take a class of 3rd graders on a field trip with just a motorcycle. But if you've got 15 minutes to get yourself across Manhattan during rush hour, a motorcycle is a handy piece of kit to have.

Cheers,

Zeke

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