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Old August 16th, 2012, 01:57 PM   #31
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Location: Kanto Plain (関東平野), Japan
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

The local camera shop on the outskirts of Tokyo now has them series 5 tripods... and let me tell you, they are substantially bigger than the 3. Really looked heavy-duty. Would be over-kill for me, but you're going to really like the pans you get out of that head. I think all tripods have some amount of wind-up, but not noticeable under normal focal lengths. When I put the 100-400mm lens with 1.4X extender on my XL-H1A with it's 7.2 magnification factor.... I get shaky footage when cars pass by 50 yards away. But then I have to pull back to keep the moon from filling the entire viewfinder. I used the Sachtler model 75 CF legs l got with the head, but they have lots of little moving parts and I figured it would fail on me. It did, had a tube pull right out of the upper socket. I owned a stills-type Gitzo tripod with a "fluid-like" head, which turned out to be for stills photography, not suited for smooth video pans. Not wanting to drop another load of cash on a proper video support system, I came up with the Frankenpod. It was my stills Gitzo tripod with flat top, with a Manfrotto 438 ball leveller and atop that a Manfrotto 325N bowl adapter. Gotta be prepared to hear a few muffled comments whenever taking that thing out in public, but it did work. Now so glad to have moved forward.

Looking forward to hearing about your new system once you test it out.

Mark
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Old August 20th, 2012, 11:33 PM   #32
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Hey Mark,
Wow, that is one heck of a setup you had there, bet you're glad you managed to modify things so it works better & is a simpler set up.
I received my tripod today. Unfortunately there wasn't much time to play with it, but it certainly looks the goods. Yes the 5 series tripod is certainly a beefy big of gear that's for sure! I am very impressed with the Gitzo tripod, the fit & finish is top notch. I really love the spikes on the legs, they should really get some good purchase on rough ground. The tripod also came with 3 ski pole type baskets that screw on to the leg spikes so i'll be interested to see how they work in the snow. I normally just fully extend the legs & push them into the snow & get quite a stable platform so i'm curious to see if the ski pole basket idea helps or not. I am also super impressed with how low the tripod goes. With the camera on & level, the centre of the lens is only 14 1/2 inches off the ground! I will have to measure the Miller, but i'm pretty sure this new setup is lower!
Onto the tripod head, & well, what can i say, it is certainly a beautiful piece of equipment. Those Germans really know how to build a nice bit of kit hey!
As soon as i have had a bit of time to play, i will let you know how it all performs, & try to add some photos.

Again, thanks to everyone for all the input.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old August 26th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #33
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Re: Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?

Well i have spent the last couple of days with the new tripod system. The Gitzo legs certainly are a lot beefier than the Miller solo cf 75 legs. The rubber feet are a bit of a pain to have to take on & off when needed, & i can see myself loosing some or all of them at some stage. (Thanks to Derek for the suggestion to buy a spare set!) On the Miller, the rubber feet screw up out of the way, so that was nifty, but the spikes themselves aren't as good as the Gitzo's. There is no way to tie the legs together like on the Miller, where they have a small strap that clips together & ties the legs together at the end. Not a deal breaker, but i will definitely be making something similar to the Miller strap for the Gitzo. Like i said, this Gitzo is beefy! The upper leg sections are about 40mm in diameter making it very sturdy indeed. All in all, i really like the tripod, & i'm very happy with it.
Onto the head.
Well balancing the camera is a real dream on the Sachtler DV-10SB. I love the Euro plate compared to the sliding plate of my old Miller DS10 head. No fussing trying to slide it in all the time, simply click it in & go! The markings on the side of the sliding plate are great, & make it really easy once you know where the balance point is for each lens. The pan handle has a very hard plastic handle grip, & in my opinion could be better if it were made of a softer rubber material. In the end, i slipped a mic foamy over it, & that certainly made a difference to the vibrations caused when handling via the pan handle. Still, a rubber band is the best way to go for smooth vibration free pans & tilts. The head is super smooth & the adjustments are far more presice than the old Miller DS10 head.
So, was all the money worth it? Definitely yes! While i am still struggling to get perfect footage with the 300mm lens, i think a lot of the issue is where i am focussing & the focus ring on that particular lens is very, very stiff! With the other lenses i have, the focus ring is super smooth & i just don't have the same issue. In the end, technique is what will make all the difference, but there is no doubt, that a good head & set of legs help achieve good results.
Here are some photos of the setup.
Again, thanks to all for the help they gave me on this it was all very much appreciated!
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Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?-img_3634.jpg   Can i get away with a 75mm ball tripod?-img_3642.jpg  

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