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Old August 1st, 2002, 01:08 AM   #1
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Sorry, tripods once again

Alright, I 've narrowed it down to two tripods: the miller DS-10 or a Sachtler DV4. Apparently in my little one-horse burg of Houston, there is no place where I can try these before I buy (everyone seems to stock Bogen/Manfrotto only), though there is one place left I might look.

Anyway, I wanted some opinions on the pros and cons of these two systems.
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Old August 1st, 2002, 06:57 AM   #2
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I have never owned a Miller and I'm sure they make great tripods. Ken should chime in here. I have owned Bogen, Gitzo, O'Connor, Vinten and Sachtler. I am currently using the Vinten. But my all time favorites and I think the best, are the Sachtlers. The best quick release system, hands down. Most accurate heads in their class, Sachtler. Sachtler heads move as smooth as glass and are repeatable. But most of my work, is done on location, true field work. I'm out in the mud, slop and sand. My Sachtlers never gave me a bit of trouble. If available, get the mid level spreader, rather than the ground level. Ground level spreaders are pretty useless outside.

Jeff
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Old August 1st, 2002, 12:10 PM   #3
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Alright. There's one opinion. Someone said that though Sachtler has the name everyone knows, Miller actually makes better gear.

I don't know much about this particular model of Miller. Does anyone know whether it has adjustable drag? I know it has a mid-level spreader, which according to quite a few people is the way to go. I don't suppose where the spreader is is adjustable?
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 10:24 AM   #4
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Jeff, et al,

Have any of you used tripods by Davis and Sanford? I've been reading the forum archives and found lots of helpful info, but nothing on the D & S Magnum XL or it's close relatives. It has a lot of features rarely found on 1-piece sub $200 tripods, such as fluid head, reversible center post, bubble-level, etc.

But like anything else, I'm loath to buy without a recommendation from someone with real world experience. Tried looking for a review on the web, but found none. Are they a new company?

Thanks,
Axl
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 10:49 AM   #5
 
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(NOTE: Technically speaking, ground spreads weren't intended [designed] for outdoor use--hence the spikes. The spreader is used indoors when the spikes might scratch or slip on the floor.)

Having used many major brands of tripods/heads, including Miller, O'Connor, Sachtler and Bogen (never had the pleasure of trying a Vinten), I would still buy, again, the Sachtler. I don't know who said Miller built better gear, but I would disagree with that statement. At the University where I used to teach we had them all and they took a brutal beating. Nothing stood up to the Sachtlers. The Millers and O'Connors simply couldn't keep up, nor did they operate as smoothly after the same period of time as the Sachtlers.
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 01:14 PM   #6
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After having seen the Davis & Sanfords, I must say that I really don't like them. Maybe I saw only the smaller ones, I don't know, but they seemed fine for a 1-chip camera but not a larger cam like the XL1S.
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 05:57 PM   #7
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Well, that pretty much seals it then. Since I cannot try before I buy, I'll likely go with the Sachtler. Price, performance features all add up to a good product.
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 10:37 PM   #8
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Josh,
I'm sure you'll be happy with the Sachtler. They make very high-quality gear.

As I've noted before (to you, I think <g>) I have the Miller DS-10 with a mid-level spreader. Relatively light-weight, head designed for the XL1/1s load, 75mm bowl, bubble-level in head, feet have pads and spikes, grey finish for some degree of heat control, shoulder strap, well-designed soft case with its own strap...

I have become very, very fond of my Miller. Of course I treat all of my equipment well and, therefore, can't say whether or not the Miller would hold up well to abuse by uncaring students or employees. It certainly does not seem delicate.
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Old August 2nd, 2002, 11:11 PM   #9
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Okay cool. YOu're the guy that has the DS10. Does it have adjustable drag? What's its maximum load capacity?

As for heat problems, I was thinking of getting something and wrapping it around the legs (rubber, fur, pink angora, feathers). . .same idea as a steering wheel cover. Don't see any reason why that wouldn't work. Or maybe I'll just paint it powder blue. . .
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 07:09 AM   #10
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Does it have a place to hang the fuzzy dice? I use pipe insulation. It's light grey, already slit, so it fits the leg very easily. I put it on two legs, so that I can throw it over my shoulder and get a little padding.

Jeff
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 08:08 AM   #11
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Yes, exactly. I'm thinking now I might want to get the DV42D. It's not too much more, and it holds about twice as much weight. I don't know how much my camera weighs with monitor and battery, but it's got to be pushing the 10 pound limit. When I add a converter and matte box, I'll probably be there, no?
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 08:43 AM   #12
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Sorry, Tripods Once Again

Jeff, and company:

How well does your Sachtler operate in extremely cold conditions, well below zero? What I am interested in, is the operation of the fluid actions of the head. Any TP I have used in the past, tend to stiffen up considerable While the average winter temperature in my area, is somewhere in the range of +15 degrees f, -30 degrees f, is not uncommon.

Bob
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 09:16 AM   #13
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I've not used the Sachtler being discussed here (DV4). My hands on experience is with the larger and much more costly Video 14, 16 and 20. I used the 14 and 16 in Yellowstone NP in the winter. Temperatures were between 20 and -30 F and the heads performed flawlessly. The specs for the DV4 are -40 to 60 C so I think it would perform in a similar manner. Here's the Sachtler site http://www.sachtler.com/default2.asp?lid=1 I know ZGC carries Sachtler and Zotz carries Miller.

Jeff
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Old August 3rd, 2002, 01:41 PM   #14
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Never mind the DV42D. It has the same weight capacity.
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