I was looking recently for an inexpensive slider and I settled on the Glide Gear DEV-1000. I had read and watched a number of reviews and the DEV-1000 looked like a decent option. At a price point of only $89 I knew I wasn’t going to get top quality or special features. But, in this case, I was more interested in low price than top quality. I wanted something that would allow me to get some experience using sliders and then later, if needed, I can get a longer slider or one with more features.
At this point, I’ve done some testing and can report that I’m reasonably happy with it. There are a few problems but I’ve mostly been able to work around them. The most serious problem is that the carrier can wobble. Here’s a clip showing the extent of the wobbling:
As you can see, the amount of wobbling can be substantial, more than enough to ruin a shot. Even so, I’ve found that I can work around the problem simply by not exerting any force in the axis that would cause it to wobble. Here’s a shot of the carrier sliding smoothly without wobbling:
There’s also a shot below showing some footage taken using the DEV-1000 and, as you’ll see, there’s no wobbling (forward and backward). Still, the wobbling is a problem and not the sort of thing that most people would accept in a piece of professional gear.
Tensioner Screw: Either On or Off
One thing that occurred to me to try to stop the wobbling was to tighten the tensioner screw on the carriage. That didn’t work. By the time I tightened the screw enough to prevent wobbling it was impossible to move the carriage, at least, with any smoothness. This speaks to a problem with the tensioner screw itself.
The only the thing the screw is good for is to lock down the carriage completely. At times, that’s both necessary and useful but it means you can’t adjust the tension to fine tune the amount of force needed to move the carriage. As soon as you tighten the tensioner the carriage sticks. There’s really no usable amount of tension greater than none.
The final problem I’ve encountered is with the mounting hardware. As provided, there’s a ¼" bolt that you can use to attach a camera directly to the carriage. Of course, that’s not very useful. Usually, you’ll want to attach some kind of tripod head to the carriage and then mount the camera on the head.
Since most heads are built to screw onto a 3/8" stud the DEV-1000 slider comes with a bushing that can be screwed onto the ¼" stud. This does work—until the time you remove the head to switch to a different one or to use the head on some other piece of gear. What happens is that the bushing comes off the slider stud and is instead screwed into the head. And, if you had securely screwed the head onto the slider the bushing ends up being screwed pretty tightly into the head.
This is a particular problem because the bushing is then difficult to remove from the head. As you can see in the photo, the bushing has a slot that allows it to be unscrewed in a situation like this. But the problem is in finding a tool that will fit that slot. I have a pretty good collection of screwdrivers but none has a blade that is both wide enough to span the width of the slot and thin enough to fit into the slot.
Without a good tool it is impossible to remove the bushing so I started to look around for something other than a screwdriver. There’s probably some tool that’s designed for situations just like these but I don’t know what it is and I don’t have one. What I do have is an ancient metal shoehorn. The narrow end of the shoehorn is both wide enough to span most of the width of the bushing’s slot while also being thin enough to fit into it. That shoehorn was my ball head’s salvation—I was able to extract the bushing so that I could once again use that head on my tripod or monopod.
But if you don’t have an old metal shoehorn or a proper purpose-built tool you may have a problem with this slider. So, beware before tightening your tripod head onto this slider.
Another Glide Gear DEV-1000 Slider Workaround
This time my workaround was to order a little kit which contains a threaded screw adapter. The item that did the trick for me is the ¼" to 3/8" adapter. After screwing the adapter into the carriage I could then screw a ball head or fluid head onto the slider—and still be able to remove the adapter later.
I did have a bit of a problem screwing the adapter into the carriage. When I first tried, I met with substantial resistance after the first couple of turns. That was puzzling because if the threads had been mismatched I shouldn’t have been able to get as far as I did. In a case of mismatched threads you can usually tell pretty quickly that there’s a problem. But in this case, I was able to screw the adapter in a ways before encountering resistance.
In the end, I grabbed a pair of pliers and worked right through the resistance. Later, when I removed the adapter a couple of metal shavings came out. As far as I can tell, I haven’t actually damaged any threads. It seems to have been a case of poor machine work with either the adapter or the slider. I can’t say which.
The Proof of the Pudding
So, I now have a workable slider setup and have done a few practice shots. Here’s an example:
There’s some obvious lens distortion in this sequence that I would normally want to avoid but it shows the movement well enough. I still need to practice my technique some more but the motion looks good enough to me that I’ll be able to use the DEV-1000 slider for a while before needing something more expensive.
I do have another problem with clearance for my Manfrotto ball head’s knobs. My pan lock knob can’t be rotated all the way around without hitting the slider. Fortunately, the knob can be pulled out and rotated to clear the slider and then released in to continue tightening or loosening. But it’s a slow and tedious process. These are the kinds of things you only discover in actual practice and the type of thing I was expecting to learn with this inexpensive slider. Now, I have one more thing to look for when contemplating the purchase of my next slider.