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Some rough test shots with the Opteka GLD-slider. Shot on a Canon 5D Mark II with a Manfrotto 804RC2 head and a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod whilst on a photo trip to Tunisia. View Opteka GLD-200 slider in high-definition on Vimeo.

Introduction

I bought the Opteka GLD-200 slider to take on a short trip to Tunisia. I’d just got a Canon 5D Mark II, and was keen to try out the HD video function. I ordered the slider from Amazon UK and paid just under £100.00 for it. The GLD-200 is 60cm long and about 4cm wide. The sliding plate has a small spirit level and you can mount a camera directly to it using the supplied 1/4″ bolt or add a tripod head with the 3/8″ adaptor. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack, and light enough to carry around with you when you go out shooting (862g).

Performance

First impressions were good, I was impressed with the quality of the build and assembly was easy. In the field, the slider performed fairly well – which was as well as I expected. It’s not really designed for a heavy DSLR and tripod head like mine and does judder under a heavy load (I was using a Canon 5D Mark II, a Manfrotto 804RC2 head and a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod). I managed to reduce this by spraying the rail with furniture polish – but you have to reapply it quite often. The slider is long enough to get good results but you need foreground objects close to the camera to get nice looking parallax. You really need two people to get any acceptable results – one to hold the tripod steady, the other to do the slide.

Conclusion

If you have a light camera and lens, you should be able to get some good results with the GLD-200. Otherwise, you’ll have to invest in something more heavyweight, like the products made by Glidetrack. Photographers who are travelling or have to carry their gear around all day should still consider the GLD-200 – the low weight and small size could be a real advantage.

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