Monday, March 28, 2011

In review: Varizoom VZ-LSP shouldersupport

I thought I wouldn't use it anymore after I bought my beautiful, modular Gini rig. But the Varizoom VZ-LSP has held its ground and remains my first choice when shooting with my Sony EX1R.
The biggest advantage over the Gini rig is weight, or the lack of it I should say. The second biggest advantage is the abdomen support. The rig just sits on your abdomen and takes away a lot of strain from  the arms.

The downside is you'd have a hard time mounting a mic, monitor or light to the Varizoom.It just isn't designed for that and there really is no place to do so.

The VZ-LSP has 8(!) adjustable points: shoulder up/down and sideways, camera forward/backward & up/down, handgrip forward/backward, length of abdomen support arm, angle of abdomen support arm and angle of abdomen padded cushion. It adjusts to -and fits- all body types.
  I mounted a quickrealease plate on mine so I can easily switch to my tripod. The unit can be folded down to a very practical size.

Solid machined connections

this screw 'caves in' under weight
 This is a well made, aluminum construction. The only complaint I have is that the shoulderpart has a tendency to 'sink' under the weight of the camera. No matter how hard I tighten the screw, it caves in when loaded with the EX1R. It might be because I'm pushing the weight limit (8 lbs) or because mine is old (I bought it used off eBay 5 years ago) and I will try adding a piece of rubber to add some friction. With a DSLR it won't have this problem. The fact that the Varizoom LSP is still around (its design must be at least 10 years old) is testimony of a great design.  (The only thing they changed is adding more padding for the shoulder-rest) I remember the VZ-LSP was around 350,- new a few years ago. I bought mine off eBay for 100,- Now they are a whopping 629,95!! If that 280,- is for the extra padding, that's a high price to pay for an ounce of styrofoam...

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