Zacuto Gorilla DSLR kits reviews (part 2.3: Tactical Shooter)

Welcome to the last section of the part 2 of the Gorilla rigs review. Due to technical issues with one of my 5DMrkII, this review will not contain the video I had planned to shoot for it (sorry!).

Meet the Tactical Shooter

The Tactical shooter is the big daddy of the Gorilla set. With it, you can create a Quick Draw (review) or a Rapid Fire (review) according to the needs of the moment.

Adjusting the Rig

By default, the Tactical Shooter suffers from the same rotating issue as the Quick Draw has we have already talked about in its review. This time, instead of rotating around the wrist, it rotates around the shoulder (at the point of contact with the gunstock). I have tried various ways to counter this behavior: inverting the position of the gunstock and the handle or placing them at various distance and angle from the camera and after about 20 minutes of fumbling around, I found a comfortable position for me. I cannot underline this last point enough. More so than with the two other rigs, this one needs to be perfectly adjusted to your body, especially the position of the handle relative to the gunstock. Once your arm is locked in, you want the gunstock to rest in perfect position, if not,  you will get tired too quickly and the rig will keep rocking back and forth.

Thankfully, once you have figured your ‘perfect setting’, it takes only a few seconds to setup the rig.

Using the rig

The Tactical Shooter works exactly like the Quick Draw and has the same benefits with the bonus of having another point of contact (gunstock) for added stability. Of the three rigs, I found it was the best for executing follow focus since its many points of contact reduce any movement created by the lens focus ring rotation.

After using the rig a few days, I developed a new handling technique (that is where I wish I had my other 5D to make a clip…). Instead of shooting with the left hand on the lens and the right on the handle, I put my left hand on the handle and my right on the camera. I found this position very comfortable for when I don’t have to follow focus. I just press the AF-ON button to initially set my focus, then press the SET button to start recording. No time wasted and holding the rig from the very top (camera) and bottom (handle) adds a lot of stability.

I have used the rig with various lenses, from the 17-40L4 to the 70-200L4IS. While it is easier to shoot with the shorter lenses, I never had any issues with longer lenses. You just have to be aware that longer lenses move the center of gravity of the rig in front of the handle hand and adjust your body position accordingly.

Conclusion

If you can’t pick between the Rapid Fire and Quick Draw, pick this rig. While not two times better than the two others (but almost twice the price), it is still better (from a stability point of view) and it gives you the flexibility to have the rig of your choice where ever you go. Also, this rig can be modified a little bit to be drastically better! More on this soon.

What about the Z-finder?

This rig works incredibly well with the Z-finder. With it, the rotation motion is almost totally cancelled and follow focussing is super easy thanks to all the contact points as mentionned above. If you buy the rig, do yourself a favor and get the Z-finder!

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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