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Varavon Slidecam S
  • I just received my Varavon Slidecam S (from a deal on PV) and did some testing last night with a Manfrotto 501 head.


    Available at:

    The sliding seemed to be pretty smooth, though it will still take some practice on my part. The build quality is very good, and it's definitely nice to have a bag.

    One small concern is that I wasn't able to securely tighten my 501 head to the slider. There was still side to side movement. This is likely related to the design of the bottom of the head, which is not smooth, but I wonder:

    A) If anyone has experienced the same thing and solved it with rubber, cork, or something else.

    B) If anyone would recommend a different head, more suitable for this slider and a GH2.

    Thanks for any input.

  • 28 Replies sorted by
  • @Nayche

    May be you can make short video showing the problem?

    I think you want to attach it to the center of the slider and use one tripod?

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    Great idea. I'll do this tonight.

    I took my 501 head off the tripod, attached it to the sliding mechanism, and that's where there is still play. I think it would probably work fine with any other head. The uneven surface of the 501 mount seems to be the culprit.

  • I got it. You install head on tripod.

    Check first with good ball head.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev.

    My two sliders arrived today .. what can I say .. incredible product .. incredibly fast service from Varavon. Thank you.

    I just noticed that Varavon have carbon fibre rods, in several lengths. Could you please attempt to negotiate a deal for PV members?


  • My Varavon S Slider arrived a couple days ago. I also have a Konoava K2 and wanted something more heavy duty. While it is made better, the main thing I didn't like about the Konova also exists in the Varavon. The way you adjust the tension for the roller bearings. I really think this is where this type of system fails. It's almost impossible to get it just right and as soon as you apply a load to the roller system, the tension changes. Same thing happens on both. I really wish you could adjust tension with a head and camera on any of these. I use heavier full sized glass and it presents a very different load variation with and without the camera on in regards to the bearings.

    So far I've been able to achieve the same quality of horizontal slider movements from both sliders. Just as smooth and just as quiet. I haven't tested the Varavon yet but the Konova does seem to works itself loose from time to time with pans and tilts during the slide movement. I feel this is due to the other forces being put on the bearings. Hopefully since the Varavons bearings are much larger and beefier than the Konova, it will hold better.

    One thing I was surprised about was the design of the feet and legs. The Konova wins this area by far. The Varavons are very basic while the Konova has the ability to adapt to many more situations. Meaning the Konova has two moving and locking points on each leg while the Varavon just has the up and down adjustment of the rubber foot. Still fine for 99% of any situation but I'd imagine if you had one of these on a very rocky area, the Konova would be much easier to get it level but like I said, this is a non issue for most. I did get the counter weight bottle attachment as well and I'll say that this option along with the Varavon is a winner!! I could not get a really good vertical slider movement with the Konova. Just too much pressure at certain points and it felt a little weak at the roller.

    I was looking forward to the red dial the Varavon has on the slider assembly that connects to the 3/8 stud. This is supposed to aid in attaching your head to it. Instead of a 3/8 stud that's set in place, like the Konova where you have to spin the fluid head around and around to attach it, the Varavon seemed like you just spin the dial. Well this doesn't work very well. It's ok, but there's not enough surface area on the red dial to lock it down tight with your finger. I find myself locking the pan adjustment on my head and spinning it the last bit of turn to lock it down. It's also not so easy to get it started with the red dial. It's easier to just screw the whole head on. So it does help some but not like I had envisioned.

    Overall, the Varavon feels a little sturdier and like it might take a little bit more of a beating and still be fine. The roller bearings of the Konova are so small and don't stay tight for long and that just seems like a pain in the ass down the road. But remember, I am comparing Konovas entry level slider, the K2 31.5" to the bigger and more expensive Varavon S900 36" $230 to $310 respectively and I got the holiday deal for the Varavon so it might be more but it's that price on Ebay right now but without the Counter Weight thing and they actually threw in a zoom lever which was pretty cool. I think they retail for $20 or something like that and it works great on my 14-140 Pany lens. So that's $50 or so of extra stuff I got at that price. So if we want to get technical for what I bought everything for, we're looking at $230 for the Konova and $260 for the Varavon. At that view, it's a no brainer. The Varavon beats the hell out of the K2. Maybe I'm just wishing for a Porsche for the price of a Kia, who knows. :)

    Sorry I didn't post any video clips or anything but there's been many videos posted about the Varavon sliders. We know you get a great movement out of them. No need to waste my time and yours with that. One thing I might try whenever I get the damn time is do the 45 degree, vertical slide that mimics a jib shot with each to show how well the counter balance weight item Varavon sells works in comparison to the Konova without.

    One last thing, I tried one of those friction slider ones and I wouldn't pay $20 for those pieces of shit. I can't believe Glidecam stills sells those to people. Any one of these Varavon Sliders are 100 times better, period.

    BTW, anyone want a Konova K2 slider? ;)

  • Here is a link to the Varavon half ball riser, I think it's incredibly useful bolted to a piece of wood, and it adds a lot of versatility to the sliders. It means you don't have to use the tilt on your head to level the slider, therefore you can slide, pan and tilt at the same time.


    @Vitaliy, this piece I think might be good in the Varavon deals (I already have it)

    @vicharris, this is the piece I am talking about

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  • @kavadni

    It is available on deals already :-)

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev .. I see .. I missed it as I scroll past the sliders to fast as I have two.
    I can't praise Varavon enough. And you for arranging it.

    I want that combo slider dolly .. real bad .. but noway will I ever be able to justify it

  • @kavadni Thanks but I already have a nice head with a flat bottom for the sliders. Using a riser would present the same problem of screwing it on as I have now and bring up my center of gravity even higher, which I don't think is a good thing. That will put even more stress on the bearing assemblies.

  • @Nayche I have exactly the same arrangement and I'm not getting problems with it.

    However, when I want to use the slide horizontally (i.e. most of the time) I use a ball head and screw directly on to the 3/8 thread

    @vicharris et al ... Umm, I modified my Slidecam S with a stepper motor drive so its probably a bit heavier than yours now - still runs sweetly though ;) This modification worked out rather well. I ought to post some pics and example video.

  • @andyharris Yes, post some pics. I need a motorized solution fast!!!!!

  • I bought the Vavaron Slider S with Vitaliy's help. I realy love it!

    Take a look to a little Demo Video:

    Regards Kai

  • I need some help from someone that ownes one of theese sliders - I am interested in S 1200 version, is it possible to use it on one tripod only (maybe even S 1500). Tripod is Manfrotto heavy duty 161MK2B, on tripod 502AH head, and I would use 500AH on slider - total weight on slider would be about 3 kg. Another thing that worries me is width of the slider (5cm). Is it possible to tilt head on the slider while sliding without front/back woble? Maybe EX PRO series would be better regarding this issue.

  • @katig

    Wider slider can be better, but unless you mount really big camera all must be ok.

    I also strongly suggest to use pair of tripods for any slider >600mm. Some use much longer sliders on one tripod, but it saves time to be always sure in results.

  • At the moment I am using Gini G8. Good slider, but different system than Varavon (slides on two 16mm steel bars, very stable up to 150cm length), there's no way to mount it on one tripod, so I am looking for alternative that can be used one one tripod only for faster setups. If 60cm is max for stable shots, that's too short for my needs. Anybody tested sliders longer than 60cm with good results on one tripod?

  • If 60cm is max for stable shots, that's too short for my needs. Anybody tested sliders longer than 60cm with good results on one tripod?

    It all depends on many values. Mostly on your tripod and proper head fixing.

    If you have large and very stable legs, may be you can mount 1-1.2m and use not very large camera.

    Thing I do not understand is why you are so focused on one tripod only.

  • :) I know it's a strange question, but sometimes there are low payed jobs which i must pull out as a one-man-band, and in very short time, so I'm trying to build small versatile setup that can be handle fast and by one person.

  • Katig, the work I do is exclusively low budget one-man-band, and this is the slider I use. I find it very fast and easy to use, adjust, and move.

    If I'm needing to work quickly, I'll often mount this to a regular tripod head. This is not ideal, and there can be a bit of wobble on occasion, but I've been very pleased with the results. If you can, I'd try to mount this on two tripods/stands that can stabilize from its ends. Feel free to contact me for any specific questions on this slider.

  • I purchased a Varavon S here, and so far I'm very happy with it but I noticed a problem with the legs which appears to me as a big design flaw: basically, for each pair of legs, it's impossible to set the left and right legs at the same level, because the dents, because of the way they are conceived and mounted, can't correspond (see in images 1 and 2 that the left leg can be set only higher or lower than the right leg). Only solution seems to be assembling the feet like I did in image 3, but that doesn't look a perfect solution. Am I missing something?

    photo 1.JPG
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    photo 2.JPG
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  • @flablo

    May be just one leg adjustment is too small so it bumps.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev both pair of legs have this problem. Right and left legs just can't be set at the same level. I suspect they made an error with assembling my unit: all the components of the 4 legs are identical i.e. there's no right/left version of the legs but they are assembled as if they are (hence my third picture). Also I realized they gave me the old version of the legs, even if I bought it just 3 months ago... EDIT sorry maybe I'm wrong, these are new version, the older where made of just one piece(?)

  • @flabo I have the exact same issue with mine, its a design flaw for sure

  • @flablo

    Got it. As you can see on picture it is not so.

    Btw try to check all 4 legs, may be it'll be possible to change one from each two to make them perfect.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev I did and it's not possible, except in the configuration I tried in the third photo. Basically, I have 4 left-legs and 2 of them have been assembled as if they were right-legs. I found pictures online of how the legs should really be (see image attached). Maybe I could ask them to send me only the missing/wrong little parts to replace

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  • We made this video using the S slider 1200 cm, hand-driven and with Motorroid module (incredibly useful). I'm very happy with the slider so far. Only problems I had is the abovementioned feet assembly error (in the process of being fixed) and the fact that the bag strap basically broke the first day I used it :) Not big problem. I wish they made the bags a bit bigger so that the slider with the feet mounted could stay inside. Very happy with it