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There seems to be a whole choice of stabilisers on the market, some very simple devices and some quite sophisticated. Most are made in China by small engineering firms who are very good at copying other people’s designs but they are well engineered, I can vouch for that. I have “obtained” some examples and they certainly stand up to Romford Baker, Arri. and other well known and expensive types. The advantage of Chinese versions is that they are cheap or at least affordable, they were not designed to be rented out but are manufactured for the “masses” made by the million for wannabe Spielbergs or I should say Wannabe Roger Deakins. Their designs are not always functional but do appeal to those who just want to look the part and then perhaps to sell on as the purchaser realises it doesn’t perform as well as the “real thing” and invest more money in upgrading due to their friends have the better or more “cool” version. At the end of the day it nearly always pays to buy the proper tool for the job even if it means buying second hand. Professionally made tools are designed for heavy duty use which means longevity and should last a lifetime. I still have Ronford Baker heads and tripods made 50 years ago which still work like new albeit new parts fitted during their service. Ronford still service vintage gear and if they do not have the parts, they will remake it. Very few of these old company’s are left now as it’s a throw away society, old gear now means dead and useless. Who wants to be seen using a vintage Cartoni or Miller tripod!!

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