By technical editor Matt Allard:
Italian company Smart System have released what they claim to be the worlds first camera slider that uses a fluid drag system- The Reflex S. If your not familiar with fluid drag systems, they are usually found in professional tripod heads. A fluid head literally uses fluid, i.e. viscous oil between the mechanical components that allow the smoothest movement. A quality fluid head will allow for the subtlest of movement with clean starts and stops, as well as jerk-free pans.
Smart System have taken the same principles of a fluid drag system and applied them to a slider. Like a true fluid head, the Reflex S operates directly on the ball bearings rather than using simple friction against the rails like most other slider systems. By adjusting the drag to the payload applied on the slider it’s possible to make regular and smooth starts and stops that will not be affected from any vibration. Special high-speed ball bearings fixed on wheels turned from a special high resistance plastic material and rolling on anodized and rectified aluminum bars are said to offer an unprecedented sliding experience. This in theory should allow for much smoother operation, but not having tested the unit myself I can’t say how well the system works.
According to Smart System it is one of the lightest video sliders on the market: the longest sized one (800 mm of real stroke) weighs only 2.3 kg while the shortest one (410 mm of real stroke) weighs only 1.8 kg. The areonautical aluminum structure has been especially designed to reduce the slider’s weight, that’s less than 2.2 kg and maximize the resistance to bendings and twistings.
The sliding bars are fixed in sloped position to unload the weight on the flat surfaces of the bar itself. Smart System claim a maximum payload of 14 kg has been tested on the slider. The sliding surface that is inside the two sliding bars protects the slider from unintentional shocks.
The two 5 / 8 ” holes placed on the sides let you fix the slider to a common light stand. It is compatible with most popular video plates currently on the market, SmartSLIDER can also be used on standard tripods. SmartSLIDER Reflex can also be fixed to two tripods thanks to two additional connecting plates placed near the two lateral supports. The fixing plates are compatible with standard screws (1/4″ and 3/8″) and are designed to match the photographic plates currently on the market equipped with an anti-rotation pivot.
The sizes available are three and are defined by the available stroke length of every different model:
SmartSLIDER Reflex 410, with its 410 mm of stroke is the shortest one. It’s the best choice for all the videomakers that need to work in small spaces and have to reduce the size of it’s equipment. It’s the ideal slider to make wedding videos also because it can be fixed on a single tripod.
SmartSLIDER Reflex 560, with its 560 mm of stroke. It’s the best compromise in terms of stoke and portability. It’s the perfect slider for all the videomakers that need portable equipments but with a stroke slightly longer than the shorter one.
SmartSLIDER Reflex 800, with 800 mm of stroke is the longest one. It’s very portable also because it weights only 2.2 kg, but it needs two fixing supports to work at best.
The SmartSLIDER Reflex can be motorized with the DigiMOTOR Reflex kit to make high-precision ultrasmooth movements timelapses. The industrial motor inside the DigiMOTOR Reflex case can do both ultrasmooth slow movements and fast sliding also in vertical: the speed range goes from 0.08 mm/s to 80 mm/s.
The SmartSLIDER Reflex can work on any type of surface using the adjustable Outrigger Feet (optional accessory). There is also a SmartSLIDER PRO Padded bag or SmartSLIDER PRO/Reflex Hard case available.
The SmartSLIDER certainly looks like an interesting concept and it will be interesting to see how it performs in an already crowded slider market.
SmartSLIDER Reflex S 410 – Patent Pending Fluid Drag System
EAN Code: 8051411190776
SmartSLIDER Reflex S 560 – Patent Pending Fluid Drag System
EAN Code: 8051411190783
SmartSLIDER Reflex S 800 – Patent Pending Fluid Drag System
EAN Code: 8051411190790