Element Technica Mantis Handheld System

Daily $85Weekly $255

  • The Element Technica Hand Held Rig uses standard bicycle style grips on rosette mounted handles. These handles include a home for the Origo remote start button and are connected to the rosette cross bar with telescopic handle extensions that range from 8" to 14" in length. The rosette cross bar at the front of the dovetail is adjustable side to side as well as rotationally. The clamp that holds it in place is very strong and can support a fully loaded ArriCam with 1000' of film and a 5:1 zoom. For those who like a more traditional approach, our rosette cross bar and clamp can be quickly removed from the dovetail and attached to a universal mount on the iris rods.

    The most significant feature of the system is the variable relationship between the shoulder-pad and the dovetail. We spent many months studying how different camera operators work with a shoulder mounted camera. Most systems offer the ability to balance the camera fore/aft while on the shoulder. Since the shoulder has some amount of downward slope, most systems have some angle built into the shoulder pad to help keep the camera level. The problem is that everyone is different and the shoulder angle can vary dramatically from operator to operator. This results in most operators attempting to hold the camera level while they are trying to compose the frame and pay attention to moving. Rather than letting the shoulder pad settle on the shoulder into a stable equilibrium the operator is constantly applying a torque in the roll axis to hold the horizon. As soon as they make a direction change, the amount of torque required to level the camera changes and the frame tips in one direction or the other. This makes any camera feel top heavy and unstable. This is one of the main reasons operators have always placed such an emphasis on making the camera's CG (center of gravity) as low as possible. We discovered that as soon as we made the angle of the shoulder pad variable, it was possible to adjust the angle so the weight of the camera package would settle into a very stable equilibrium with a level horizon.

    As we worked with a larger sample of operators we realized that in addition to the varying downward slope of the human shoulder, there is also a varying amount of forward rotation of the shoulders. We have also noticed that when an operator stands straight and looks forward that the camera's LOS (line of sight) actually crosses the operator's LOS. To compensate, most operators actually pan their upper body or entire body slightly, relative to their direction of travel. By offsetting the angle (pan axis) of the shoulder-pad relative to the camera, we were successful in making the camera's LOS and the operator's LOS perfectly parallel without any neck/torso twisting or side-stepping.

    Our shoulder pad and dovetail are connected by an extremely low-profile 2 axis gimbal that allows adjustment in pan and roll as well as a fore/aft linear adjustment independent of the dovetail/bridgeplate. The pan angle is set before the camera goes on your shoulder while the roll angle or horizon can be easily set with the full rig on your shoulder. It is so easy it can be tweaked in between takes. The biggest impact of these additional adjustments is felt in terms of endurance. A fully dressed camera rig will stay comfortable for a much longer period of time.
  • ElementTechnicaHandheldMantisRig