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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:42 AM   #1
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inexpensive dolly/head for 50lb camera

Hi,

A while ago, I purchased a Sony DXC-1200 on eBay. It's a vintage trinicon studio camera that weighs around 50 pounds. Unfortunately, I am having trouble finding any type of support for it at a reasonable price. The camera was around $50, so most dollies and heavy duty heads are out of the question. I see pedestal dollies for a few hundred every once in a while on eBay, but would still need a solution to pan and tilt. I should also mention that I'm based in New York, not LA, which makes it much more difficult to source used large equipment. Any suggestions here?

Thanks,
Zach
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Old August 27th, 2010, 01:58 AM   #2
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Hi Zach.................

Spotted your post a while back and filed it in the "too hard basket" as no immediate answer came to mind.

However, a bit of lateral thinking led me to "studio pedestal and head" and I just happen to know a guy who deals in just that sort of thing.

Can't say he will definately be able to help, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.

Fire a mail to Peter.Harman@VitecGroup.com. He's the Product Manager for Vinten, the broadcast support specialists (amongst other things) from the UK.

He may well have some info on just where some mothballed units may be found, or know someone who does.

He's a great bloke and goes out of his way to help if he can.

Don''t be suprised if there's no immediate answer, he's swanning around the States as I speak on some sort of jaunt, tho' he is answering e - mail nevertheless (well, from me, anyway).


CS
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Old August 27th, 2010, 05:26 AM   #3
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can't speak for ebay.com, but ebay.co.uk have regular Vinten kit suitable for this coming up at least weekly/fortnightly.

However - even a Vinten head from the 60s is going to go for a minimum of 60-100USD That's because they're amazingly good, built like battleships and last forever. A matching Heavy duty tripod and rolling base is going to be the same kind of price again - simply because people buy them to use with modern kit and autocues - that kind of thing.

You've got a bit of a problem - the $50 for the camera is peanuts compared to how much it's going to cost for proper support. Those cameras are also quite fragile, and the tube if it goes is a major snag - so anything you put it on must be able to hold it in any position - or the bang it gets when it falls forward or back against the stops will be quite destructive. A cam head might be a bit of overkill, but a pantograph type will be excellent. Keep and eye on ebay uk. Vinten don't have any spares for these, although the service manuals are still available - but spares are rarely needed. The usual problem with second hand ones is pan handle brackets, tommy bars and the little knobs - these always get lost. Manfrotto pad bars have a different size joint and lock, but do fit - just, once you get the thread right.
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Old August 27th, 2010, 06:55 PM   #4
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I would love to snag a Vinten head and/or pedestal for $100 each. I generally see both in the thousands on eBay (both US and UK). I will try emailing Peter and see what he says.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 02:59 AM   #5
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The Manfrotto 116 mk3 is a decent head - beefy (3kg), reasonably smooth movement. Sold new for around 300.
Steve
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Old August 28th, 2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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The Manfrotto 116 only supports 9.9kg max- about half the weight of the DXC-1200.
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Old August 28th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #7
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I'm sure it would take the weight of the camera, it's quite beefy. Usually the specs for heads and legs tend to be very conservative.
The thing that limits tripod heads' maximum load is usually what the counterbalance will handle, but if you're looking at something really cheap I doubt you'd get a head with counterbalance anyway. You can get something like a Sachtler Studio II for around 1500 if you're lucky which would certainly handle it.
Or how about this BB LIST - ITEM 22263, Vinten Mk VII
Steve
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Old August 31st, 2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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I understand that heads are rated much less than they can actually handle, in order for there to be an almost 0% chance of it failing at the max weight. However, I would be very nervous to put a camera that weighs twice the max on there. Steve, I'm sure you know what you're talking about and it would save me a ton of money to use a head like that Manfrotto (I have a lighter tripod and head from them and love it), but I would have to hear this is alright from many experienced people to feel comfortable taking the risk.

Thanks,
Zach
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Old August 31st, 2010, 10:23 AM   #9
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That Vinten MkVII head looks just the job, although I assume you'll need the legs as well.
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Old September 1st, 2010, 03:01 PM   #10
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Chris, I got in touch with Peter Harman who referred me to their US salesperson. Unfortunately, she was not nearly as helpful (and seemed to have trouble reading my emails thoroughly). She said I would be lucky to find a suitable used head for even $5k. This is hard to believe considering I see ones on eBay that would work for less than half that. Maybe she was trying to sell me on a more higher end model or something.
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