For those that are new to professional equipment, understanding rod standards can be tricky. Even for those who have worked in the film industry for decades, many often forget that there is more than one support "standard" out there. Everybody assumes that the standard they are used to is the only standard out there... and react as you might expect when one piece of equipment doesn't work with another.
Since I started working with the RED ONE roughly five months ago, I can't tell you how many times I've heard "What? You mean it doesn't work with the Arri standard!?" The thing is, there are three major Arri standards... and about half a dozen other rod spacing standards that people don't often come across.
Everybody will insist that their local standard is the only one that people mean when they talk about the "Arri standard," but that's usually just frustration talking. They will get huffy and mighty in an instant, demanding to speak with whoever designed the camera. It's really remarkable... and quite amusing after the first dozen or so times. If you ever want your camera to work with your local rental houses, you must first place a few phone calls and determine what the local standard is for your area.
I won't touch on every rod spacing standard there is in this thread - only the three major standards that you have to be concerned with. I will ignore Panavision's standards, as you're not likely to ever have to put Panavision accessories on a RED.
The three rod standards I will cover in this FAQ are as follows:
- Arriflex 15mm Lightweight Standard [sometimes referred to as "video"]
- Arriflex 15mm Studio Standard [sometimes referred to as "offset"]
- Arriflex 19mm Studio Standard