Light Craft Workshop’s Trapezist Portable Mini-Jib bears an apt name: Portable. Mini. Jib.
When I first opened the review unit, I was shocked at just how compact this jib is. The Trapezist is extremely lightweight and breaks down to where it can easily strap onto most photo backpacks.
On my first outing with the Trapezist, I went to a local park with a buddy who works as an AC or grip on shoots with much higher-end gear (RED, Alexa, etc.) and he was blown away at the compact size and light weight of this jib. For an HDSLR rig, the Trapezist is a one man band’s dream jib.
Vertical movements with the Trapezist are smooth when you achieve proper balance with the counterweight. You get around 6-7 feet of travel from the bottom to top of the Trapezist vertical range when the jib arm is fully extended. There’s more extension on the high side due to the position of the pivots on the mount that attaches to your tripod. As a result, if your tripod is extended to a 5-foot height, the you can reach up to about 9-feet high with the jib arm.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij7to7PAqdQ&w=640&h=350]
While it works best with some barbell plates as the counterweight, you can pack along the included bag and pick up some rocks or bricks at your location so that you don’t have to pack along 10 lbs. or so of extra gear.
The Trapezist includes an articulating Israeli arm, which alone retail for $30-40 for an off-brand version. This allows you to mount a camera monitor on the side of the jib so that you can see your shot without having to crane your own neck to see the camera’s LCD.
The kit also comes in a dedicated carry bag; however, I found the bag to be larger than it needs to be and could stand to be shrunk down a good bit. That said, it would make a good light stand bag. If you’re going to go minimal on gear to pack around though, I’d recommend working the jib into a smaller bag or with your existing camera kit bag. When I’m packing light stands, I just put the jib in my light stand bag. Otherwise, it will strap onto most larger camera bags that have straps for tripods.
The only other complaint that I have is that I wish there was a way to make it all compact to a one-piece unit instead of popping out the counterweight arm during tear down. However, that engineering would likely cause the price to go up – and at $299, this jib hits all the marks just right.
The Trapezist Portable Mini-Jib is an affordable, lightweight and very effective jib. I can highly recommend it for HDSLR and video shooters looking to spice up their footage without breaking their banks or their backs.
The Trapezist Portable Mini-Jib is available direct from Light Craft Workshop for $299 at the time of this review.
Light Craft Workshop is a sponsor of Photography Bay; however, this is not a paid review and the opinions in this review are my own. Light Craft Workshop provided a sample unit for review with no conditions on how the review was to be conducted or whether the review would be positive or negative. That said, it’s a freaking great jib at a great price.