PROTECH are best known in the West for their custom camcorder shoulder rigs, but they do make other products and at the Interbee show in Tokyo they were displaying their brand new CHOI JIB. They were demonstrating it with a large ARRI Alexa setup, but I was told it can take camera payloads up to a massive 500kg. Of course, in reality you unlikely to have a camera package that ever gets to come close to that limit, or find a tripod head that would support that weight, but it gives you a good indication of just how well made it is.
What impressed me about it was that the mount that attaches to the tripod could be positioned in two different locations along the length of the jib. When you attached the jib to the point nearest your camera it requires less counterweight to balance – although obviously this means the range of motion is less. In this configuration it can comfortably hold up to 40kg without the need for additional weights. If you want greater motion then simply attach to the mount points nearer to the opposite end and add more counterweight.
The CHOI JIB has two metal rods the run down the inside and can be extended out at the operator end to provide further fine tuning of the balance. Even with an ARRI Alexa, cinema zoom and a large tripod head the CHOI JIB was perfectly balanced without the need for additional weights.
I can see this jib being very useful in tight locations. The design means you can operate in smaller spaces where normal jibs would be too long.
One of the other nice features is that the plate that holds the tripod head can be inverted so you can hang your camera upside down to achieve extremely low shots. The CHOI JIB is also completely tool less which makes re configuring and balancing very quick.
A tension adjustment lets you set the right amount of friction depending on the camera payload. In my brief time with it at the show I found was fluid and responsive, allowing for very smooth controlled movements.
The CHOI JIB can support 75, 100 and 150mm tripod heads using included adapter plates. If you have heavy camera package and are looking for a solidly made jib with a big payload capacity then this jib looks like a pretty good option.
The CHOI JIB weighs in at at just under 20kg with all of its pieces and folds down to a maximum length of 1.46m (4.79ft). The CHOI JIB is available to purchase for 398,000JPY ($3590US).