I used the 32' Hydrascope last night and must say I was very happy with it's performance. I didn't have time to really put it through any paces or ask all the questions I had, but I can say that the techs at Chapman have worked really hard to deliver an exceptionally finely-tuned arm. I know there had been some problems with the telescoping as far as hitting exact marks, etc., but these have been ironed out and starts and stops are sweeeet. The action on the swings and booms is very smooth with no friction problems or "settling back" upon landing. It's easy to lock off at the end of a move (I did it with one hand and it was solid as a rock). The telescoping action was fine and I didn't feel any vibration or chatter. The arm is hydraulic rather than electric, so has to be "pumped up" from time to time but it's no more intrusive than having to do it on a dolly. The tech, James, tells me they are beginning construction on a 70' arm, which I can't wait to see.
All in all, you can call me a fan. The added bonus of having it on the Raptor base for exterior work made the whole thing a very positive experience and I won't hesitate to push for it in the future. Don't forget that the Hydrascope is immune to water, so for rain or underwater work, it's the machine to get.
For more info, visit chapman-leonard.com
PS- I should qualify this review with the fact that I did not actually use the pickle. I just didn't have time to play around with it, so have no experience in how well it works. Anyone who does is welcome to comment.
And i think its a good thing to know that the remote head is waterproof too, the first question that came up on me...
Wow - you guys get all the toys! What remote head where you using with it?
We used the Lev Head which is a Chapman head. We used it on a horseracing movie a few year ago and it was great. It was surprisingly lightweight and the running shots were steady as a rock.
I'm so glad they finally got the valve problem straightened out. It was an unusable crane a year ago and now it's pretty sweet. Still gotta get myself used to that knob trigger after so many years of the toggle switch. Glad it worked out well for you. They really made the effort to take in the feedback from the dolly grips and improve it. Huge difference!
i agree...it is a sweet arm and the pickle is great! i would totally recommend it.
Hey S,The "pickle" is simply the remote control or trigger that controls the telescoping. We call the control for chain motors a pickle also. Sorry, sometimes I forget that we have international readership.
Thanks guys for the feedback.
Stumbled upon this page... thought I would contribute. I have been using this machine, since released. It is currently my favorite crane.I look forward to the gargantuan hydrascope, Chapman is working on...
Some one snagged a video of me, operating on the beach.... with the sweet wheels! I feel like I am operating a mini tank, with a big gun. HA! not as easy as it may, or may not... look... but the moves looked awesome, on camera. Despite all of the elements... as usual. Haha!
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