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Old July 25th, 2012, 03:59 PM   #16
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

That's a very old Vinten 10 head. It could be over 20 years old. It's missing the knob from the lock for the quick release plate. IF it's been well looked after and serviced properly it should still be a good head, but it is an old one. Newer ones have different knobs and a few external cosmetic changes, but the internal bits are the same. The legs look like the original alloy legs with a rotating locking knob. Check the rear of the plastic parts of the leg locks for hairline cracks. The legs will still lock if cracked but are not as secure as they should be.
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Old July 25th, 2012, 04:09 PM   #17
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Excellent advice thank you Alastair,
Maybe being that old though, i might pass it up & look for something a little younger. Do you have any suggestions on any other tripods?

Thanks in advance,
Bryce
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Old August 2nd, 2012, 09:39 PM   #18
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Hi all,
So i am levetating towards a 100mm bowl tripod & was thinking about this head:
Sachtler 1006 DV-10 SB Fluid Head 1006 B&H Photo Video
Not exactly sure which set of legs i would use yet, but likely a set of carbon fibre sticks.
So the counter balance weight of this head seems to be what i should be looking for, but i wanted to pose the question here first. It has been said that a much bigger heavier tripod system is what i should be looking for, but from all the specs, it looks like unless i get a big heavy (expensive) Sachtler, my camera simply won't fall within the counter balance range of many of these bigger heavier systems. What is more important here, the counterbalance weight, or the shear weight of the tripod system itself?
Thanks in advance,
Bryce
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 03:04 AM   #19
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

I think you are placing too much importance on the 100mm bowl. As previous posts have stated, it's the head quality that you should be looking for. For smooth panning use a long extension on the arm. One of the most useful things you can do is to practice smooth shots, take you camera lens, tripod combination out and spend an hour doing pans and then evaluate the shots to see where you can make improvements. Athletes, Musicians and other performers rehearse and work out for hours or days before they commit to a performance. We as cameramen often overlook this. Practice makes perfect is the order of the day.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 08:38 AM   #20
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Hi Vincent,
Well i am convinced that i need to upgrade from the Miller DS 10 that i am currently using. The camera is right at the limit for that heads weight. I find it very hard to balance the camera & end up having to use a bit of drag to compensate. Are you saying though, that as long as the head is good quality it will allow me to get smooth movements? I guess i was under the impression that i would need to go to something heavier to be able to achieve that with long lenses.

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Bryce
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 08:49 AM   #21
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

What I am saying is that a good quality head is what you need, this could either be a 75 or 100mm socket head. For the EX3 the socket size is not the problem. I think you may have found the limitation with the head that you are using (for the camera and long lens combination) If you have a decent set of legs than look for a better head. Miller has a great range.

Having said all this, an investment in a decent tripod and head with be well worth the money. I like the Miller Compass range, with solo legs.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 08:54 AM   #22
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Thanks Vincent,
Good advice! I had also been looking at the Compass 20 & Sachtler FSB-8 heads that i could use with my current tripod. Both i'm sure would be a great improvement over the DS 10. Ofcourse if i put a big 400mm lens on the EX3 it is all of a sudden going to be up on the limits for both of these heads too, hence the reason i was thinking of the Sachtler DV-10.
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Old August 3rd, 2012, 09:16 AM   #23
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Actually it looks like the Miller Compass 20 has a very similar weight range to the Sachtler DV 10 head but in a 75mm bowl.
I only wish i could try some of these systems out for myself with the camera. That's the problem with living in BFN i guess!

Maybe i need to look more closely at the compass 20??

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Old August 3rd, 2012, 12:32 PM   #24
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

One thing to check is what happens when you lock off your existing tripod head. First check for any obvious play or movement in the head. If everything is tight and locked down but your images with a long lens exhibit vibration or just general instability with the head locked, then your legs are most likely not up to the task. If you get a bigger, heavier head and put them on the same legs, your wasting your money. A tripod is a system and it will only ever be as good as the weakest link or lowest performing part.

Miller make very good tripods. The solo range is excellent, but they are primarily designed for portability giving a good balance between stability and lug-ability. In my opinion, single tube legs just don't have the stability of multi-tube legs. Long lens work is hard on tripods, you really need to make your choice very carefully and as a generalisation heavy weight equals greater stability.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 09:43 AM   #25
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Heavier heads and sticks and heads help a lot, especially in the wind.

I love the Miller Solo CF sticks as well, but I have found them marginal in windy conditions.

Here are a few tips for smoother pans on lighter heads. If it is windy hang a weight like a sandbag from the bottom of the head. Millers have a hook just for that.

For super smooth pans use a rubber band to pull the pan bar, it will even out your coffee shakes. I have a few rubber bands wrapped around all my handles, just for that.

Another trick is to pan not using the pan bar at all, just grab the head and pan, this will be smooth as well. And yes practice helps a lot. Sometimes I do this in conjunction with focusing both hands very close left on the FF or focus ring and the right wrapped around the head. It is easy to introduce jitter with the pan bar. When following action like sports or fast wildlife the pan bar works very well, but for slow smooth moves I prefer the above techniques.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 12:20 PM   #26
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Olof is absolutely correct... heavier heads and sticks will make all the difference. I use 100mm heads and have never found them to be too much for an EX (especially with long lenses). He also is spot on about panning by pulling the head itself, not the pan arm when using a really long lens, (especially after a good shot of coffee!) It'll be much smoother. If you have to zoom or focus, you might try looking into a zoom controller with focus. I often take my zoom controller off the pan arm (or the whole pan arm off) and make my adjustments with it disconnected from the tripod to minimize any vibration or shake when using extremely long lenses. This really helps in the wind, too. (but I love the rubber band idea! I'm going to have to try that) I've not used a focus controller though, mine is only zoom and record start/stop. The best controllers I've used are Canon and Fuji broadcast lens controllers designed for 2/3" lenses, but adapted for the EX lens. They are FAR smoother. All you need is an adapter cable to make it work.

If you end up going with the 100mm bowl route (which seems logical at least with respect to more versatility) I have a set of sticks w/ 100mm bowl I've been looking to sell. I bought them for the head that was on them (a used Sachtler 18II) but I'm a Gitzo guy all the way with sticks, and had a spare set already so I have no use for the sticks which came with the head. They are carbon fiber single-stage spreader (with spreader) and in excellent shape. E-mail me if you're interested, They're very solid and very light weight for the stability. I can send you some pics. You can find some decent deals on older tripod heads but make sure they have been well cared for or have been overhauled before you commit. Sachtler especially can be very expensive to service, but will indeed last a lifetime with a little care.
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Old August 5th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #27
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Wow! Thank you to everyone that has been helping me out here with their advice. I really appreciate the feedback since i'm in a position where i can't test things out for myself.
So i was trying a few things out over the weekend with my camera & the various different lenses, & have found that at the longest focal length, pans are very smooth out at around a mile away. Following speed boats at high speed anywhere from 1/4 of a mile away, to over a mile away, was no problem, it was more where i was filming things like hummingbirds & dragon flies etc from 20-30 feet away that i was seeing more problems. At these distances, i was seeing every little shake.
Alastair, yes when i lock the DS 10 head down, there is definitely play in a couple of different spots. That has been the case since i bought the head new, but until now, i didn't worry about it, as i wasn't shooting at such long focal lengths.
To be honest, i was pretty excited at what was possible with the head i have & was definitely thinking i would be able to get away with simply buying a better head to go on the sticks i already have.
Of course, i have to think about the future, & the possibility that i may one day have a 400mm lens to go on the front of the EX 3. With that in mind, the Miller Compass 20 cetainly looks to have the weight range covered.
If there is anyone that can tell me why i would be better off with another head or for that matter system rather than buying the Compass 20 to go on my existing Miller Solo CF sticks please let me know, as i am starting to lean that way & would like to get something purchased in the next few weeks.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:26 PM   #28
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Well talk about doing a backflip. In the end i ordered a 100mm tripod & head. Gitzo sticks, & Sachtler head. Should have it here in about a week. Will let you know how it goes when i get it.
Again, thanks all for the help.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old August 16th, 2012, 07:15 AM   #29
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Sounds like a great combination. I have the Sachtler FSB-6 (75mm) with the CF legs. Recently modified my Gitzo GT3531 sticks by swapping out its center column-mounted flat top with the 75mm bowl top I cannibalized off a new GT2542LS set of sticks. The GT3531 being a Series 3 model, has the beefier legs compared to the Series 2 GT2542LS. (I couldn't locate a dealer in Hong Kong who had the Series 3 tripod with a 75mm bowl, so that's why I compromised.) The thing I wanted to mention is that the amount of adjustment I get on the FSB-6 when mounted to the Gitzo sticks is actually more than on the Sachtler sticks. With your choice of the 100mm bowl, I'd think it'd be safe to assume that you'll also have sufficient leveling range. I get roughly +/- 10 degrees of movement now.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 01:12 PM   #30
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Hi Mark,
That sounds like a great setup of yours. I ended up going with a 5 series tripod, so the heaviest of the bunch & hopefully the most stable. I really am looking forward to getting this tripod & putting it to use. I shot some footage of mountain caribou with my 300mm lens over the weekend & unfortunately some of the footage is less than ideal because of camera shake.
Will let you know just how much of an improvement it is in a week or so.
Regards,
Bryce
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