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Old June 17th, 2007, 10:51 AM   #1
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Recommendations for a carbon fibre tripod and head for V1?

This title says it all. I need to purchase a very light weight tripod for regular travelling abroad, hence weight is an issue. I need it to be about 50cm's in length when collapsed and have a height of about 1.3m+. Obviously carbon fibre springs to mind for the legs. However I also need to pair it with a suitably compact and lightweight head with a fluid motion (actual fluid head is not necessary). My budget is around $1000 - 1500 (£500-750). So please can someone throw some brands and model numbers at me so I can head off and start investigating?

Thanks.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:01 PM   #2
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I have been looking for the same thing.

A very nice head I have found is the Gitzo 2180:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...CleanList=true

It weighs .6kg and holds 4kg and costs about $250US.

There are several Gitzo legs that would be excellent.
The most compact is the Traveler GT1540 AND GT1550:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...CleanList=true
They weigh 1 kg and fold to 15". Cost for $650 or so.

Here is the Gitzo page to look for a Video appropriate tripod. A series 2 tripod is probably about what you would like for size, sturdiness and weight. The Series 1 tripods are a little less weight and sturdy. The Travelers are Series 1. (Gitzo doesn't list these in the Video section.)

For the Gitzo stuff, to fully appreciate the options (center column, leveling, locks, sturdiness, dimensions and weight) it is necessary to see them in person. However, this weekend I looked at many tripods from several manufacturers, and in your price range, I think you could find something from Gitzo that would be perfect.

Here is the Gitzo Leveling Tripod. It folds to 25.6" and weighs 3.5 lbs. It has a level and a column that can be leveled within a kind of bowl. It's a Series 2. Gitzo makes other Series 2 models that don't have the leveling column that fold a little less. On the standard Gitzos the column is removable to reduce weight or size and also to setup up the tripod within inches from the ground.
The Giztos also have a hook on the center column for hanging a weight.

Manfrotto also makes some inexpensive, lightweight semi-fluid heads. However, for a true fluid head that works great and is so light weight, nothing I've seen approaches the Gitzo 2180.

Here is the main Gitzo product page:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitzo/pid/4765

Gitzo has an excellent product book that explains and details every tripod and head. If the dealer doesn't have a certain model, it can be looked up in the book and compared to something the dealer may have (for general size, stability, weight and features.)
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #3
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Here's a Gitzo that may be exactly according to your specs, the GT2541L:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...detailPid=5301

It's 24" folded. It weighs 3.3 lbs. It has a center column. For another $20 or less there is a bubble level available from Gitzo:
http://www.amazon.com/Gitzo-Glevel-P...101897&sr=8-41

Here is a breakdown for costs I've found:
GT2541L legs $ 650
G2180 head 250
GLevel 2 20
TOTLAL $ 920

And it all weighs slightly less than the V1.

I would like to know if there are other/better options for this kind of setup for traveling.

Here's the Gitzo catalogue in PDF format. There are links to English, German, French, Italian and U.S.A. versions:
http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitzo/pid/14049
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Old June 17th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #4
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IMHO if you want to achieve results, you cannot avoid weight.
I use this Sachtler head, 2.4kg
http://www.sachtler.co.uk/index.php?...lag=tech_facts

It is same weight as the only acceptable Gitzo fluid head. To avoid "spring" effect of the legs, you may need to avoid Gitzo tripods developed for photography - the above listed ones are for still work.
I have nothing against Gitzo, in fact I use a CF Gitzo leg with a 75mm bowl.
Proper (and fast) leveling is essential in the field.

When I travel, I reduce weight of other things, including clothes. You would be surprised how heavy some clothes might be. No kidding. It is very easy to save 1-2kg extra on clothes.

I only take 2 shirts and one short and 2 underwear with me. I can recommend Ex-Officio clothing, you wash and they are dry in 1-2 hours - yet its very pleasant to wear them even in the tropics.
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Old June 17th, 2007, 07:21 PM   #5
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An inadequate tripod is less useful than no tripod at all. There are alternatives. Such as the Cinesaddle http://www.tvcameramen.com/reviews/cinesaddle.html
You might mount a fluid-head on a clamp or bracket that can be attached to fences, walls, trees with bungy-cord or whatever. None of these will replace a good tripod, but can be easier to carry.

EDIT: see also http://www.birnsandsawyer.com/cgibin...talogno=280000

and http://www.eventdv.net/Articles/Read...rticleID=11476

and http://www.abelcine.com/store/produc...4&cat=0&page=1

The Cinesaddle comes in 3 sizes, which may not be made clear in the various links.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; June 17th, 2007 at 07:28 PM. Reason: to add links
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Old June 17th, 2007, 11:18 PM   #6
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I'm not sure wearing two T-Shirts made out of Tofu is the best solution to carrying a heavy tripod long distances with lots of other equipment. Especially in the tropics I would think wearing a single tofu T-Shirt would be sufficient:
http://www.exofficio.com/tofutech/

Where I'm going the temperatures will average -20C, so even three Tofu T-Shirts won't be adequate.

Regarding the CineSaddle, go to this website (a sponsor) and search for the word "Saddle.":
http://www.abelcine.com/store/home.php
I think there are 5 different ones (2 very little ones). The $25 price is for a rental.

I own a Cinesaddle, a size down from the original, and it is perfect for my PD150 (which is the same size as the V1). However, despite the fact that the inventor claims the CinseSaddle is a "tripod killer," it isn't. There is still use for a tripod. Three issues may come up: getting it the right height without something to set it on; getting and keeping it level; panning and tilting with more than one than a single, practiced motion. A tripod still has it's uses.

As for the Gitzo tripods, I and Gitzo differ about their use for lightweight camcorders such as the V1. As I suggested in my previous post, I suggest going to a store and seeing them. The tiny 2180 fluid head is designed for field scopes, but it also is listed for and works with video cameras (with a weight limit of 9 lbs. -- the V1 wieghs 4 lbs.). A popular comination (as shown in the Gitzo catalog on page 49 - see link to catalog above) is the 2180 on GT2540 LVL Series 2 legs. The tripod is rated for 26 pounds (which allow the addition of 20 pounds to the column hook) and the head is rated a 9 lbs., while the V1 is a little over 4 lbs. (Gitzo has heavier options, but my original suggestions were within the original posters requirements. The Leveling tripod, as opposed to the version I suggested, folds to a little longer than 24 inches.)

I also own the Gitzo G01381 fluid head and it is great in many weighs, but one of them is not lightweight. The carbon fiber stix Gitzo makes for this head are very nice though and come in the very sturdy Series 3, 4 and 5.

I also own the Cartoni Action Pro, which would be suitable for the V1. It weighs in at 4-1/4 lbs. with handle. However, it needs a 75mm bowl.

Slik makes some interesting lightweight units, but not of the quality of the Gitzo.

Bogen/Manfrotto has a pseudo-fluid head that is very small and lightweight and would work.

Of course, if you are a video production team with assistants, get the biggest and best video head and tripod available, and have one of the ttrainees carry it up and down the mountains.

However, the original poster was looking for something lightweight, even if it wasn't a real fluid head, so I came up with a professional answer that is super lightweight.

Also note that a Gitzo Series 2 tripod may not be ideal always when fully extended. However, if you are doing fast pans, tilts, etc. (following humming birds?) the tripod can be used collapsed and be as sturdy as something 5 times heavier.

On the small Gizto head you can also use one of the longer locking plates so had more stability to the camera.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
In any case, if anybody has better ideas for carbon fiber, lightweight, fluid, please say so, because that is what I'm looking for, too.

For a 3 lb. head, Gitzo makes the G2380 which is flat-based and very nice in operation, with a much larger flat aread for the camera. It is only about $220.

(Note: As expensive as they seem, I highly recommend the Cinesaddles. They are totally lightweight, well made and work in an instant in all kinds of situations where nothing else will.)

Last edited by Jack Walker; June 18th, 2007 at 03:25 AM.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #7
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Regarding the Gitzo legs Zsolt says he uses above, I looked at this with all the others I looked at, and they are fantastic. There is nothing I've seen by anyone that compares in sturdiness, lightweight, options for use and sleekness in a tripod that will take eight a 75mm or a 100mm bowl.

Ideally I would have the heavier Series 3 legs with bowls for my 75mm and 100mm bowl heads, and an entirely lightweight setup for light travel, quick moving around while using, etc. though as said above, are not ideal for an all-around tripod setup.

Unfortunately, in the carbon fiber Gitzo range, the smaller and heavier legs are pretty close to the same price and don't lend themselves to multiple purchases... especially when you already have several heavy leg sets... but all of which are way to heavy for routine airtravel.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:08 AM   #8
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Nigel,

As you live in Europe, have a look at this site, maybe you find something suitable
Panther have bought the firm of Heiler-Filmtechnik. (Mr. Heiler sen. was co-owner of Sachter & Wolf)

http://www.panther-gmbh.de/en_bc_tripods.html

volki
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Old June 18th, 2007, 07:15 AM   #9
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Want a lightweight tripod, look no further than a Miller Solo. Carbon fibre legs with no spreader and it goes very high and very, very low. For the V1 the DS5 head would do.
Miller aren't the worlds best tripods or heads but for the money excellent value, they've survived March Of The Penguins and been through hell in the tropics and deserts.
Just ignore the Arrow range, IMO Miller went backwards with them.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Grant View Post
Want a lightweight tripod, look no further than a Miller Solo. Carbon fibre legs with no spreader and it goes very high and very, very low. For the V1 the DS5 head would do.
Miller aren't the worlds best tripods or heads but for the money excellent value, they've survived March Of The Penguins and been through hell in the tropics and deserts.
Just ignore the Arrow range, IMO Miller went backwards with them.
I agree Bob, the Solos are great. They are actually identical to my Gitzo 1325V with the only difference being they have a plastic foam cover which the Gitzo does not.
Unfortunately in Europe Miller has inappropriate network of distributors. I have not found any suitable dealer who sell the Millers online.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
despite the fact that the inventor claims the CinseSaddle is a "tripod killer," it isn't. There is still use for a tripod. Three issues may come up: getting it the right height without something to set it on; getting and keeping it level; panning and tilting with more than one than a single, practiced motion.
Apart from all these, I will always have a better place for my 350 bucks, than a bean bag...
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:09 PM   #12
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Thanks guys, a lot of really useful info to consider. Now I think I need to actually see/feel some of these models in the flesh. Anyone know of a large cross range supplier based in/around London/Kent in the UK?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
Thanks guys, a lot of really useful info to consider. Now I think I need to actually see/feel some of these models in the flesh. Anyone know of a large cross range supplier based in/around London/Kent in the UK?
try http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/

They are reliable...although they dont usually have always everything on stock. They shipped my stuff to Hungary with no hassle. I bought my Gitzo legs from them.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 05:36 PM   #14
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Do you Zsolt ,or anyone else, have an opinion regarding the smaller Sachtler heads like the DV-2 II?
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Old June 19th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #15
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http://www.millertripods.com/product...&productID=181

enough said....

leslie
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