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from a name like Rode I expected quality all the same
on 13 February 2015
I was hoping to give this a significantly higher score, maybe a touch ambitious for a budget boom pole... However, from a name like Rode I expected quality all the same.
Compared to an adapted painters ceiling pole (as seen on many a YouTube video) it looks more professional, only because it's black, has a foam grip and a 3/8 thread on one end. However, it's many times the price, even that as sold by Amazon (I've seen for much more elsewhere). The materials and manufacturing don't really differ that much to justify the price differential. Like all photographic/video gear, especially when it's aimed at the pro market (not really suggesting that this pole is), there's an added value to the purchase price that makes you think that someone is making a absolute killing. In my opinion this is one of those cases.
The tip of the pole has a 3/8 thread with a couple of rubber spacers which are pretty useless to be honest. They're too soft so any mic clamp just waves around. This is made worse, on my pole at least, by the fact that this machined solid threaded part is held onto the hollow pole by a rather feeble pin in a way that it wobbles slightly. The pin is so loose that if you tap the side of the pole it falls out and the threaded part can fall out of the end of the pole! The Eggsnow Camera Microphone Shockmount (excellent BTW) that I bought at the same time has a handle/adapter that is foam covered and matches the foam grip of the pole nicely. This has a mic 5/8 thread on one end that attaches to the shock mount itself. At the other end there's a 3/8 inch thread, a perfect match for the one on the pole. However, the threaded part has no thread on the bottom 4-5mm which will add load onto the thread in the aluminium bodied Eggsnow part which has a reasonable 8mm or so of thread in the hole (it's hollow beyond that). Whilst I appreciate that for engineering reasons the thread on the pole can't go all the way to the bottom the depth that's not threaded is unacceptable.
As I have the means to put these issues right and make it acceptably usable for my purpose I will not be returning the pole to Amazon. Though I must say that I'm disappointed, this is the first Rode product I have purchased. I'm new to videography (long time stills shooter, previously pro) and whilst I have already purchased a couple of budget mics, HTDZ HT-81 and a Sony lav (both of which I'm happy with), I will hopefully be stepping up to better kit as I progress. Rode will now probably be off the short-list when that comes around if this is an indication of the quality of their products.
With a bit of workshop fettling this will make a technically acceptable boom pole. However, I was naturally expecting this without having to do some engineering work of my own. As a consequence of my experience I wouldn't recommend this boom pole. I was even toying with the notion of only giving it one star.