Bright Tangerine has announced a new 15mm & 19mm support rods called the Drumstix, which are made out of Sterling Titanium.
Traditionally, carbon fiber, stainless steel, and aluminum have been used to make support rods, with each one offering their own advantages and weaknesses. Bright Tangerine says that by using titanium they can offer the right balance between weight and strength.
- Quarter of the weight of stainless steel rods
- Won’t bend like aluminium or shatter like carbon fibre rods
- Manufactured to high British standards with two microns of tolerance
- Available in 15mm or 19mm in a range of lengths
- Backed with a lifetime warranty
Bright Tangerine says that they are using high-grade titanium which has gone through an internal process to get it to their specifications which will remain straight, even on the long 18″ bars with zero flex. They are made to 2-micron tolerances which allow every rod to be exactly the same. Usually with lower grade rods, you can find differences from one rod to the other causing wiggle room when trying to clamp down with your accessories.
Titanium is commonly used in other industries because of the lightweight yet strong properties, used in sporting equipment like bike frames, golf clubs, automobile, and medical implants.
With carbon fiber rods, they tend to flex on longer runs and aren’t able to support the same amount of weight as steel. Carbon fiber is also not ideal for cold weather as they can become brittle.
Sometimes, using aluminum and lightweight steel rods can get dented if the rod clamp is tightened too far. The MAP-2 can clamp down quite tight on rods, causing dents to form on the thin lightweight steel or aluminum rods.
If you’re a traveling cameraman or camerawoman, any weight you can reduce in your kit is always welcome. Since support rods are mostly a necessity, you can’t just decide to leave them at home when using other accessories like lens supports, follow focus or rod mounted matte box.
For aerial and gimbal work, every gram or pound saved can add to flight time. Rods also generally stick out further away from the center of gravity, so if they are lighter it will make the setup easier to balance on a gimbal.
While 15mm rods are usually not that heavy, it all adds up. Small differences in weight can also be the deciding factor in whether a setup balances on a gimbal or not. When you have a large studio build. Two of the 19mm Drumstix at 18″ weigh in at 232g/.5lb (118g/0.25lb each) compared to Wooden Camera’s 19mm 18″ steel rod at 900g/2.04lb (450g (1.02lb each) is almost a quarter of the weight.
Pricing & Availability
The pricing for the rods is slightly more than Wooden Camera’s steel rods but less than ARRI’s lightweight support rods. They are also priced very similarly to the Element Technica ultra rods.
You can buy them in singles or in pairs. The prices are per length, regardless of diameter. The pricing chart below in $USD.
|Size & Length||3″ (15mm only)||6″ (15mm only)||9″||12″||15″||18″|
The Drumstix are available online from Bright Tangerine’s online store or through authorised dealers.
LockCircle also has 15mm titanium rods called the Rod Rocket. It differs in that it is only available in 15mm and comes in a pack of modules which need to be joined together to create a total length of 6″. They retail for $299 USD.