Capture Beyond Limits has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they call “the world’s lightest slider.” They’ve raised over $13k in the last four days and been featured as a Kickstarter staff pick. The time-lapse motorized version of their Nebo Slider weighs in at 3.2 lbs. (1.5 kg). Chris Mabey was kind enough to answer some questions for TimeLapseBlog about developing the Nebo Slider.
How did you become interested in making this slider? Have you had much experience with time-lapse?
I first became interested in making a slider like this while I was on assignment in the national parks for two days covering Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon. I wanted something that would be lightweight and portable. Before then I had only dabbled in making time lapses, never anything serious. Last Fall I built a very basic time lapse slider with Capture Beyond Limits co-founder Kip Hacking and that was when I got more serious with time lapse work.
The amount of motorized sliders for time-lapse on the market appears to be in the mid-stage of logarithmic growth. How does your slider distinguish itself from the others?
Our slider differentiates itself by being lightweight and portable. Nothing on the market compares with how light the Nebo Slider is. We utilized carbon fiber and aircraft grade aluminum to achieve our lightweight yet strong design. There are more advanced motion-control units on the market and possibly in the future we will have a more sophisticated motion-control model that is heavier, but the goal of the Nebo Slider was to make it light enough that you would never leave you time lapse slider at home because it was too heavy or bulky.
Your slider is named after Mt. Nebo near Provo, Utah. Are you mainly targeting hikers and backpackers?
We named the slider after Mt. Nebo because it is one of the prominent peaks near where Capture Beyond Limits is based. The Nebo Slider was designed for photographers and filmmakers that are on the move, whether it be hiking or traveling around the world on a plane. From the beginning we wanted it to be light enough to backpack with and break down to fit in a carry-on bag.
The catch-22 of tripods and similar equipment is that weight is indirectly proportional to stability. How do you balance these needs with such a light slider?
Because of my background as a mechanical engineer I was able to trim weight in ways that would not compromise having a stable slider. I spent years in college working with advanced composite materials and optimizing structures. We went through many different designs before coming to the final design of the Nebo Slider. Many of the initial designs just weren’t stable enough. I’m really happy with how lightweight the Nebo Slider is while still being very stable.
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about the Nebo Slider?
If you act quickly you can still take advantage of early-bird pricing on Kickstarter. We have also partnered with Clik Elite camera bags and Feisol tripods to offer packages with the Nebo Slider.
– The Nebo Slider is available for pre-order on Kickstarter until Sept. 12, 2014. After that, you can learn more at the Capture Beyond Limits website. Thanks to Chris Mabey for his time.