Before I dive into this review, if you haven’t noticed I mispronounced Aviator through out the video. I left the “i” out in my notes and I didn’t notice the mistake until I finished. I didn’t have the time to go back and correct it, so there you have it.

The CPM FILM TOOLS DSLR Aviator Cage comes standard with 2x side handles, a top mount A frame handle, 4x 15mm rails (2x 8″ & 2x 12″), and CPM’s belly plate quick release combo. The Aviator also has a full Cage in front and a half cage in the back. All together you have a complete cage surrounding your camera and rails to protect your lens.

The front cage has 2x 1/4 20 threads and 4 open holes on either side which allows plenty of mounting options. I prefer to mount adjustable on either side of the rig. These allow me to hang a microphone out in front of the cage and mount a field monitor that can be easily positioned on the other side. As noted in the video, it’s a good idea to make sure your Friction arms are secured. If the arm has weight hanging on it in counter clockwise direction the force can sometimes unthread the arm, causing your equipment to crash to the ground. To prevent this, you might want to use some Loctite on the threads. This should solve the problem.

A few people have asked about using a follow focus with smaller lenses like the Canon 50mm f1.4. The Canon t2i fits through the front cage, so all you need to do is mount your t2i at the end of the quick release plate. This allows you to slide the camera forward to the edge of the cage. If you’re using a larger camera like the 7d, then simply turn your follow focus gear around so that it faces towards the cage. Either way you shouldn’t have any problem using a smaller lens and follow focus in the Aviator Cage.

The Aviator Cage is one of my favorite rigs. It’s great for tripod and slider work, but has enough handles that you can easily go hand held without much problem. The rig protects your camera completely and the half cage in back allows you easy access to camera controls. If you use a camera with a flip out monitor like the Canon 60d or Panasonic Gh2 you can very easily change the position of the half cage to allow room to adjust and rotate the camera’s screen.

If you want to find out more about the check out this post.  If you’d like to find out more about the Aviator rig, you can swing by the CPM FILM TOOLS website.

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