Matthews, known for grip and lighting support presents the first better spreader in 40 years. The new 3iSpreader has a leg up on the old spreaders made for Ronford-Baker and OConnor tubular metal tripods. Conceived by working camera professionals, the 3i system offers a safer, smoother, better-balanced and ultra-durable solution.

The patented 3i system solves three common, annoying and potentially dangerous problems. First it eliminates scratching and wobbling—common side effects of old-fashioned aluminum spreaders that rest on the floor. Secondly it removes the need for bungee cords which are unstable, sloppy and prone to stretching and detaching. Finally, it raises the spreader off the floor, eliminating scrapes and the location department requirements for layout boards and location mats.

In the all-new design, three machined metal 3iSpuds with rubber caps are securely bolted on to the tripod’s spikes. Once in place, the tripod rests on the rubber caps inches over the floor. The 3iSpreader securely connects the tripod feet with three quick-release pins, eliminating stretch-out issues with old bungee cord attachment. The raised 3iSpreader creates a rock-stable foundation grounded by the rubberized feet. For uneven terrain or to accommodate different heights, spreader segments adjust from closed at 15″/38cm to fully extend to 28″/71cm by increments of 2.5″/6.5cm.

For transport, the system folds instantly, thanks to its center pivot bracket puck design with a recessed T-handle in the center. Legs and spreader (even extended to any matching length) fold together and easily collapse, allowing the spreader to travel within the sticks, in a shipping tube or hanging on a cart.

At a 8.5-lbs/3.85kg, the 3i is an ultra rugged accessory. A combination of aluminum and steel components insure strength and an ideal working weight. It’s inner legs, center pivot bracket (puck) and 3iSpuds are made of aircraft grade 6061 aluminum. All bolts, handles, outer legs and fittings are stainless steel, zinc plate, neoprene rubber or high impact plastic. All metal is coated with an elastomer thermoplastic polyurethane which solidifies to an almost indestructible surface. It is anti-reflective, easy to grip, scratch-resistant, non-corrosive and rust resistant. So it is safe to use even in fresh or salt water.

The 3i was invented out of necessity by Mark Irwin ASC/CSC, Matt Irwin, and Ray Irwin. Along with the Irwins, a few handpicked rental houses in Canada, Puerto Rico and the US put the 3i through years of actual production field testing in the most diverse terrain, from city streets to sandy waves to pristine hardwood floors. After overwhelming success on scores of productions, they brought the concept to Matthews Studio Equipment for their 50-plus years of expertise in tripod support design and manufacture. Together the team perfected the concept to exceed their critical standards, and have tooled-up to deliver systems in the quantities a product this fundamental, requires. On June 1, 2022 the 3iSpreader officially became part of Matthews extensive catalog of world class grip equipment. See it in action at

The 3iSpreader is available through Matthews dealers worldwide. For more information on the 3iSpreader and Matthews’ full line of equipment stands and other studio grip gear, please visit

Gabriel Mays

AbelCine Director of Rental
As Director of Rental, Gabriel Mays oversees growth of Rental by nurturing business relationships and unifying the customer experience nationwide. In his previous role as the LA Rental Manager, Gabriel worked with producers, cinematographers, and assistant camera operators to provide the highest level of customer service possible. He also ensured that all their equipment needs are met on budget. Before coming to AbelCine in 2015, Gabriel previously worked as a Communications Instructor and Electronic Media Engineer at a private university. He taught various courses in electronic media, including film, broadcasting, and digital arts. Gabriel is an award-winning cinematographer, director, producer, and editor known for his innovative research and implementation of new film techniques. He was also one of the first to implement HDSLR cameras into filmmaking. He has been the cinematographer on dozens of independent films, documentaries, and music videos.