Matthews 3iSpreader for Ronford-Baker & OConnor tubular metal tripods

The Matthews 3iSpreader is a new spreader that was made to use with Ronford-Baker and OConnor tubular metal tripods. It was developed by working camera professionals to offer a safer, smoother, better-balanced, and ultra-durable solution.

Matthews 3iSpreader

The 3i was invented out of necessity by Mark Irwin ASC/CSC, Matt Irwin, and Ray Irwin. Along with the Irwins, a few handpicked rental houses in Canada, Puerto Rico and the US put the 3i through years of actual production field testing in the most diverse terrain, from city streets to sandy waves to pristine hardwood floors. After being successfully used on lots of productions, they brought the concept to Matthews Studio Equipment.

The 3i system solves three common, annoying, and potentially dangerous problems. First, it eliminates scratching and wobbling which is a common side effect of old-fashioned aluminum spreaders that rest on the floor. Secondly, it removes the need for bungee cords that are unstable, sloppy, and prone to stretching and detaching. Finally, it raises the spreader off the floor, eliminating scrapes and the location department requirements for layout boards and location mats.

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In the all-new design, three machined metal 3iSpuds with rubber caps are securely bolted onto the tripod’s spikes. Once in place, the tripod rests on the rubber caps inches over the floor.

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The 3iSpreader connects the tripod feet with three quick-release pins, eliminating stretch-out issues with old bungee cord attachment. The raised 3iSpreader creates a stable foundation grounded by the rubberized feet.

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For uneven terrain or to accommodate different heights, spreader segments adjust from closed at 15″ / 38cm to fully extend to 28″ / 71cm by increments of 2.5″ / 6.5cm.

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For transport, the system folds down, thanks to its center-pivot bracket puck design with a recessed T-handle in the center. Legs and spreader (even extended to any matching length) fold together and collapse, allowing the spreader to travel within the sticks, in a shipping tube, or hanging on a cart.

The 3i weighs 8.5-lbs / 3.85kgis and it made out of a combination of aluminum and steel components. It’s inner legs, center pivot bracket (puck), and 3iSpuds are made of aircraft-grade 6061 aluminum. All bolts, handles, outer legs and fittings are stainless steel, zinc plate, neoprene rubber or high impact plastic. All metal is coated with an elastomer thermoplastic polyurethane. It is also anti-reflective, easy to grip, scratch-resistant, non-corrosive, and rust-resistant. So it is safe to use even in fresh or salt water.

The 3iSpreader is available through Matthews dealers worldwide for $1,099 USD.

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