At first glance, the visual appearance of Shape’s Quick Handle is stunning with all the machined aluminum parts, and red accents. I was excited to receive it and give it a spin… literally speaking!
When the Quick Handle arrived, I was even more pleased. The unit as a whole is completely solid and well crafted. I long since abandoned using any kind of handle mechanism that doesn’t use a locking teeth system to ensure the handles don’t move out of place over time. Without teeth, this will undoubtedly happen with heavier cameras, or even lighter cameras with sudden movements. With locking teeth, the handles are guaranteed to never move out of place. Ever.
The other problem I’ve had with other handle systems is that even if they have a locking teeth system, it takes two hands to loosen and tighten them into a different position. With the Shape Quick Handle, you can easily and quickly change the angle of each handle with one hand. Just grip the handle, press the red button on the side, pull the handle out (will only come out a little, so you wont have to worry about it completely coming out), spin the handle to the new location, mesh the teeth, and let the handle spring back into place (it is spring loaded, which is great). It couldn’t be easier. There are plenty of times when I need to change the handle to a more extreme angle, like mounting the camera from sticks to a crane or a tabletop dolly. Takes all of about one second per handle!
I also really like the fact that the handle section is lower than the rod block section. This helps keep the handles away from hitting my follow focus and/or my mattebox. It just makes for a tighter fit if I need to.
The one thing I wish was slightly changed was how the tighten mechanism works for the rod block. I’d prefer a tightening screw at the bottom of the rod block, rather than on the side of it. It would make for easier tightening of the rod block in more compact situations.
The entire unit might be slightly heavier than others because it’s all aluminum. But for me, I’d rather have the all-aluminum build quality, knowing that it’ll never crack or break under stress.
Note that I paid for this unit; it was not given to me for free for review. I’ve done many, many reviews for DV Magazine, Creative Cow, and other popular resources, but I liked this unit so much that I felt compelled to review it, even though I paid for it out of my own pocket.
The Shape Quick Handle + Rod Block is definitely the best handle system I’ve used. It’s definitely my A-camera handle system of choice!
Visit the Shape Quick Handle + Rod Block product page.
$349 USD List
$300 USD Street