I grabbed one of these little starter rigs to use for a prototype product i'm working on that will be an addition to existing rigs on the market (it will make more sense later). I decided to share the unboxing and assembling images for the 'Thanks SJ' Gini rig. If you're curious what 'Thanks SJ' means, this odd little title for a rig came about after the death of Steve Jobs.
This is one of the cheapest Gini configurations he makes available that has a shoulder pad, handles, camera mount, and tripod mount. That's pretty much the bones most people are looking for in a basic shoulder rig. There are two foam pads depending on if you want firm or soft cushion. The firm pad is is very very firm, and I can only imagine it to be uncomfortable.
The provided Camera Mount / Tripod Mount is actually a quick release design.The large knob on the side tightens up the top stage so you can dismount your camera very quickly and easily. If you are planning to add something else on the top stage (another quick release adapter), the knob provides plenty of clearance and sits low enough to be out of the way of any obstruction. Anything you place on the top camera mount will have a wide level surface.
Meh, need one of those apple baseplate, anyone selling them? They are lovely 😀
@Jason - It will work fine.
Hoping you guys might be able to help me out. I'm in need of a new rig and we're running Canon 1D MK4 cameras. Will the Gini rigs take them?
Thanks in advance
What do you think about the gear belt? Have you used them? Do they work just as well even though they look a little clunkier? They can be had on ebay for less than $9. Too Cheesy?
@Christoffer - I am also waiting for this new SJ rig to be delivered to me... You are right, unlike Emm's version the new ones lack the handles extensions, the baseplate is not quick release and we only get one shoulder pad but if the follow focus is any good I think it's actually a better deal for the same money (I won an auction at 209.5$).
Thanks Emm! The filmmaking community is very lucky to have you!
@Gerry - The follow focus is standard so you can use other rings from other companies. The gini ones are pretty expensive for one, but it's a universal fit type. I think the more popular ones are the zip tie ones found at https://Jag35.com.
Hey Emm and everyone else,
I keep looking at these rigs and I was wondering if the ones with the follow focus come with the gear for the lens. If it does is there only one? If it doesn't then do you have to purchase it separately and how do you get it grouped in one package for cheaper shipping. Hoping someone has some insight.
Got it for $248!
The newer version of the SJ rig looks a bit cheaper and has got the handles attached directly to the rails, not like they are on this config.
Looking forward to having it delivered!
You should do a short video review of it Emm.
Pim Van Hemmen
Hey Emm, Just an FYI. I think your blog has raised the popularity of the Gini rigs. The prices on these rigs seem to be creeping up. I just won an auction for one of the Puing rigs for a little over $400 plus shipping. Just in the last few days it seems they have gone from the $300 range to the $400 range. Still an awesome deal. Can't wait for it to arrive. It clobbers anything else in its class price wise.
Thanks for the steer on this Emm. My SJ rig just arrived and I have to say the quality and precision build of it really is remarkable. Cost $210 + $105 shipping + $70 customs to Ireland.... Well pleased. 😉
Just bought this rig for 260$ and I can't wait for it to arrive. Hopefully the customs taxes will not be too steep and since I live in Europe, this might unfortunately be the case...
Don't know if anyone has seen the new TANK rig from gini but it looks pretty sick.
@Darius - His first follow focus used a Huco gearbox. His new follow focus (iFocus) does not have this gearbox and yes, his new FF is solid stuff.
Does anyone know if his I Focus has improved at all from the original review posted back in September. I recently grabbed a rig, which is on it's way, and had a follow focus included, but I already have a d|focus, so I'm not sure which to keep and which to craig'slist away.
I suppose I'll have an answer soon enough, but does anyone have an opinion on this?
Man, it really looks like he is throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. I have seen 3 or 4 different cages in the last month alone. I am glad that the stuff seems to be getting better and more consistent with what people want. Now if I could just win a darn auction on a big rig.
I have to make a correction about having to pay custom's taxes. I just got a bill for $13 and some change from UPS for Customs tax. I'll happily pay it.
@Emm - Thanks for the update about the quick release, that's interesting that the baseplate has it built in. Pretty cool design!
Man really want one of these rigs but need to get some more paid gigs to pay for a new 16mm lens and 1000 led light panel. Until then I'll stick with the cowboy studio shoulder rig
The Puing rig with ifocus I bought was $299+$85 I was surprised that I won because the auction had 16 hours left and as soon as I bid he ended the auction. I usually don't bid until the last second but I chose to bid on this one because that was the lowest starting price I had seen. I had bid on one of his cages the day before and it never met the reserve.
His shipping prices seem high until you think about the fact that it's 2 day shipping from Korea. It takes a couple days to get through customs but I bought mine on a sunday and received it on friday. I could not be happier with it. I didn't have to pay any additional fees for customs.
@Kevin - Anyone who buys Gini products typically only buys the auction, so prices will vary. You can get these for under $200 sometimes.
@Alex - Some countries require the customs tax when a package is received. In California, we don't normally see this, unless of course you're shipping a large volume of products.
@Ville - There is an adhesive backing, but it may not be very strong. I'll replace it with Industrial Velcro.
I've got one of these, its very similar, but only with one handle. It's fantastic quality, but more rig than i need. Superb build though.
Looks like the rig to buy. What was the actual selling price for the Puing Rig & the SJ rig? This would be helpful.
I picked one of these up last week with the ifocus for $277 with FREE SHIPPING!
I'm driving myself crazy waiting for that package to arrive.
Hey Emm, i just won a auction for the "Thanks SJ" rig with his new Ifocus. I can't wait until i get it but i was a little confused about the whole customs tax that Gini mentions. Man im totally in love with your blog by the way, haha.
How do you attach the foam pad?
I see he is starting to sell parts too. That shipping still kills me though. There has to be a good reason he is charging so much on little stuff.
Thank you Emm I will check that out for sure. Trip to Home Depot is scheduled for tomorrow.
@Jared - I could try it later.
@Ram - Check out the Industrial Strength Velcro. The adhesive on those are very very strong, and will still allow you to remove the shoulder pad. I used the industrial strength velcro on my Steadicam Vest. You can find it at Home Depot, it's like this Velcro Brand Industrial Strength Tape
Have you tried putting a quick release on that "apple" baseplate? I've been wondering if the locking handle part would get in the way.
I just wanted to chime in on this. I've been lurking here for a long time and Thanks to Cheesycam I bought a Gini rig a couple weeks ago. I got one of the Puing Rigs (not sure what that means) with the new iFocus for an incredible price and I can't tell you how happy I am with the purchase. I've had some rig experience with indisystems and Gini is an incredible value for the quality. I get a little excited just looking at my rig.
The Thanks SJ kit is nice as well I have the softer shoulder pad and I like it a lot. My only issue is the adhesive pad won't seem to hold the foam onto the shoulder support. But there is a slot and I plan to put a screw through there. My iFocus has much less backlash than the one Emm reviewed virtually none. ANyway thanks cheesy cam for keeping us indie filmmakers up to date with all the great deals online.