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Old December 2nd, 2014, 09:59 AM   #1
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Tripod / Video head for X70?

I have some budget to use up soon and would like to get a real video head for my X70. I have been using the SLIK Pro 500HD - Slik PRO 500HD Tripod with 3-Way Panhead w/Quick Shoe 615-501 which is an incredible value, but the 3-way pan head is not good enough for doing nice smooth panning shots; the handle is too short for good control, and is a little stiff off the line.

I would like to get a more serious video head, either one that will screw on the existing SLIK tripod base itself, (1/4" screw I think) or one that is part of a more professional system with a 75mm bowl. I have been looking at the Sachtler FSB-4
Sachtler 0373 FSB-4 Aluminum Tripod System 0373 B&H Photo Video
but I wonder if it is a good fit for the X70 in terms of size & weight.

Currently I have the X70 on 15mm rails so I can use the Pad Prompter system - Pad Prompter when needed, so the center-of-balance is slightly elevated, and I am thinking I might also want to add on an Atomos Samurai for higher bitrate recording as well as to have a larger screen for monitoring, so that could add some more weight as well.

Any experiences with a similar setup or recommendations to share would be appreciated!
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Sachtler Ace (the upgraded L version) would work. I don't have the X70 just yet (it will be a few months) but I plan to use a Sachtler FSB4 on Gitzo CF legs, possibly with a Kessler Kwik quick release.

I have a new A7s, and plan to use a similar tripod system for it, as soon as I get the quick release plate details ironed out.

Folks tend to spend lots on their cameras and little on their fluid heads and legs, yet a good tripod system is critical for good results, and will last far longer than specific cameras.

I have also heard good things about Vinten Vision and some of the Miller systems. I would avoid Manfrotto fluid heads, and I am not the only one with this view. YMMV.

Last edited by Richard D. George; December 2nd, 2014 at 10:11 AM. Reason: added a sentence
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 02:22 PM   #3
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

I played with a Sachtler Ace M with my CX900, found it not as adjustable as I would like in counterbalance.

I then purchased a used Sachtler Cine-DSLR head, very similar to the FSB4 but with more counterbalance settings........VERY happy with that head, it will even support a 15lb camera package reasonably well, even though it's rated for 1-8lb load.

Paul
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Too bad the Cine-DSLR head is no longer available.

I think the Ace M head/tripod kit from B&H will be good enough for my needs,
Sachtler Ace M Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod 1001 B&H
,

and I like that the Sachtler Ace Baseplate lets you put the 15mm rods right in it -
Sachtler Ace Baseplate S2154-0001 B&H Photo Video
.
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Old December 2nd, 2014, 10:47 PM   #5
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Mike, if I remember correctly, the Ace M had a bit too much or too little counterbalance for my CX900. I will put my X70 with handle and mic on the Ace M again overnight and let you know if it workable, or has any issues that I think may bother you.

Paul
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Old December 3rd, 2014, 03:53 PM   #6
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Paul, that would be awesome if you could. I assume the separate Ace Baseplate would fit onto the M, and I would be good to go?

An aside- I wonder if getting a flat mount head for my SLIK 500HD legs would be at all worthwhile-
Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base MVH502AH B&H Photo

Not a replacement for a Sachtler, but good enough for another small 2nd camera?
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Old December 13th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Sorry about the delay Mike, they have been running me ragged in the field. I popped the X70 with handle and Mike (hehe) on the Ace, and it has enough counterbalance and friction settings to satisfy me. The problem I did see though was a bit of flexing and rebound. Push right, let off the handle, and it moves back the opposite direction. Same with tilting. I typically do not use a handle, as it makes small cameras hard to balance for me, and I typically keep my right hand on the back end of the handgrip so I can zoom and hit record, but the light Ace is not something I would feel happy with if the footage was being broadcast on air every day.

I just noticed today that we got in a butt-load of Ace L's with carbon fiber legs. I will try to pop the X70 on one of them and see how much improved the newer version is compared to the Ace M. BTW, I got my CineDSLR tripod on eBay for $800 with the same legs that come on the Ace M. It really is more solidly built than the Ace series if you can find one used.

Paul
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Old December 13th, 2014, 02:46 PM   #8
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Hi Paul, I'd be keen to get your thoughts on the Ace L as I'm considering one for the X70 to film events where we'll be doing a lot of camera movement.

PS: Have you got "final" picture profile settings that are Vectorscope accurate?

Cheers
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Old December 13th, 2014, 02:59 PM   #9
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

I do all my tripod testing at maximum telephoto, that really is where issues will show themselves. Will take the ace L's for a spin this coming week.

Vectorscope accuracy, and the X70 are at odds. The 6 color DSC chart doesn't provide the ability to see the alterations to the in-between colors on the scope. These would be affected by the range adjustments in color correction. I will have to do these by eye, as the 6 colors I have on the scope can remain visually unchanged, but a one digit change in one setting can alter the colors noticeably. That with only the ability to adjust 2 colors is making this a very difficult task.

The last set I posted for use with Cinamatone 1 are still the working set in my camera shooting news. I have not noticed anything too off on them, and the settings work very happily with auto white balance as well.

Paul
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Old December 13th, 2014, 06:19 PM   #10
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

No backlash with Sachtler FSB heads with small loads.
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Old December 13th, 2014, 07:48 PM   #11
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

I know you mentioned bowl - but this is a great setup right here. Lightweight and really portable if you're looking for that.

Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Aluminum Video Tripod Legs & 502HD B&H

I actually have the "Cheaper version" below for my XA20, but want the 502 head because it's a lot more capable and can do bigger cameras. When I put my NX5 on this one below, it's a little jumpy for my taste.

Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Head & 755XB Tripod MVH500AH,755XBK
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Old December 15th, 2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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Re: Tripod / Video head for X70?

Yeah I think the FSB would be slightly better, but I had to pull the trigger earlier today and went with the Ace L. Price for the kit seems to have dropped recently,
Sachtler 1011 System Ace L MS CF Tripod Head and Legs 1011 B&H
to $859, which was just over $1,000 a few weeks ago.

I'm getting a 2nd X70, and will be using that Manfrotto 502 head on top of an existing set of legs.

Thanks for the tips! I'll post back how it all turns out after I've had a chance to set it all up.
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