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Old February 19th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #1
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Best Accesory for $400

I've got an extra $400 burning a hole in my pocket. I mostly use a lightweight Canon monopod and have been looking at the Manfrotto 561BHDV Video Monopod with Fluid Head (Black) for aout $274. The fluid head is the draw for me. Also looked at stabilizers......suggestions? I shoot mostly concerts.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 12:13 AM   #2
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I've got an extra $400 burning a hole in my pocket.
Got a Z-finder already..?

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Old February 20th, 2010, 01:57 AM   #3
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Got a Z-finder already..?

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Old February 20th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #4
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"The fluid head is the draw for me."
Well, donīt hold you breath. The Manfrotto head you pointed out is not a real fluid head and I would not want to try to pan with it. For a really good tripod your $400 are hardly enough.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 10:48 AM   #5
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Thanks

Hmmm....."wouldn't want to pan with" this Manfroto "fluid head"....

Guess I wonder how good or bad one can pan with a monopod anyway. In some sense the fact that your point of contact with the floor is a single boint such that panning would be better with a monopod (moving the whole pod for panning)

As far as the Z-Finder I wear glasses but i suppose for shooting I could adjust the diopter to non-glasses and it would be good.

What about the Hoodman loupe viewer is that comparable?
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Old February 20th, 2010, 01:54 PM   #6
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I have the Hoodman hoodloup and the Z-Finder is a miles better product.

I use the Manfrotto 701 mini hdv tripod head and it's nice.
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Old February 20th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #7
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The Hoodman works well, but it's not very sharp in the corners. If your eye is even a bit off center, the result is soft and milky. It's important to mount the Hoodloupe solidly for good control. Don't bother with the rubber bands.

I bought a cheap LCD screen/hood from Hong Kong and attached my Hoodloupe to that.

I heard that Hoodman is developing the "HoodEye" that will magnify the image and improve the corner sharpness. If so, I'll purchase one immediately.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 06:36 AM   #8
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Jon,

is the Hoodeye a complete new product or something that maybe fixes onto the hoodloup to magnify the image?

Avey
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:13 PM   #9
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Seems like...

The 701HDV fluid head on a heavier Manfrotto tripod and not monopod may be the best use of the money for now.

I used the monopod in that i could do some panning as a camera/monopod unit since the base was a single point of contact but with the fluid head allowing for smoother pans and tilts I think I'd be better off getting a sturdy tripod to mount it on vs the monopod or my lighter wieght tripod.

Sounds like the Z-Finder may be next on the lens or maybe I'll try that Hoodman improved loupe too
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Old February 21st, 2010, 01:30 PM   #10
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Looking at the site, I see that there is an add on HoodEye for the HoodLoupe, but it doesn't include magnification:

HoodEYE 3.0 for your HoodLoupe 3.0-Hoodman Corporation

My concern about this product is that I already have problems with fogging, but I have problems with stray light too. I might just try it out.

It would be awesome if Hoodman offered some add on or replacement optics that added magnification and improved the image.
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Old February 21st, 2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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They do have an add on with magnification that is dramatically better than stock, but no idea when it's actually coming out - I got to try it out at the recent FCPUG supermeet. Magnification looks to be less than the Z-finder, which is actually a good thing in my opinion - to me the z-finder is a little like sitting too close to the screen in a movie theater.
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Old February 22nd, 2010, 12:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
Looking at the site, I see that there is an add on HoodEye for the HoodLoupe, but it doesn't include magnification:

HoodEYE 3.0 for your HoodLoupe 3.0-Hoodman Corporation

My concern about this product is that I already have problems with fogging, but I have problems with stray light too. I might just try it out.

It would be awesome if Hoodman offered some add on or replacement optics that added magnification and improved the image.
Hey Jon,
I added it to our Hoodloupe and it works really well. I had gotten an iCuff for it as well and it didn't fit or work with the already narrow FOV of the Hoofloupe but the Hoodeye fits well and makes centering on the sweetspot significantly better. It does seem to fog easily.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #13
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Tripod

IMHO, the best tripod under $1000 comes from Libec.

Libec | LS-22(2A) Professional Tripod System | LS-22(2A) | B&H

That one fits your budget. I've been using two LS22's and two LS55's for the last five years and they're still going strong. I bought those for the Sony Z1u's, fully outfitted with lights, a shotgun mic, a wireless receiver and so on. They've been on the plane a number of times, the've seen weather from 90f to -45f and they've been stellar. The only issue was more drag in subzero temps, but that's to be expected. Compare them side by side with any Satchler or Bogen in the same price range and the Libec blows them away - in my opinion.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #14
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What kind of concerts are you shooting? Smaller venues like clubs/bars or bigger stuff like arenas?

The monopod you mentioned sounds like the best solution for portability, reach (I think it goes 72" high), small foot print, and it compacts down too when you are on the go. Using a tripod in smaller clubs sucks... usually aren't high enough, take up a lot of room, and you can't run up to the stage with one to get close up shots of instruments and the band.

Do you already have a zoom h4n or some kind of stereo external audio recorder? If you aren't getting a board feed these are a really great solution and you can mount them on your cameras hot shoe (if you want).

Get some fast lenses! a 70-200 f2.8 and a 24-70 f2.8 gets a really good range... at shows, you will most likely be using the 70-200 more than anything. If you want to shoot with primes, get a 50 F1.4... usually at small clubs the lighting really sucks and you need all the stops you can get out of your lens!

Let us know if we can help you out any more!
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Old February 25th, 2010, 09:21 PM   #15
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Thanks Cody,

I've shot hundreds of acts literally - I mostly want to know how best to use a fluid head for more stable video. Small and large venues.
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