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Old May 25th, 2003, 02:46 PM   #1
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Which tripod for PDX10

Well, there I was, pretty much set on getting a PD150 and then I started reading about the PDX10 - XLR inputs, native 16:9. Hmmm...

So, I've backtracked and changed my mind. 16:9 is very important to me as I want to make a feature film. I thought I'd get a Century Optics converter but realised that the price difference between a PDX10 and PD150 with 16:9 converter is well over £1000. And that's without even thinking about the LCD corrector.

I'll be getting the PDX10 at the end of June and I'd like to ask what tripod would be best. I've read the other posts here and I can see the advantages of more expensive, fluid heads with the likes of the XL1 and PD150, but what about the smaller PDX10?

Because I'll be using it for feature films, I'd like to do my best to achieve the "film look". I know that this has far more to do with lighting than the tripod, but from what I can gather, heavier means more film-like.

So basically, should I get a tripod that can handle more weight (such as a G1380 head, though this might be a little out of my price range so maybe a Bogen 505) and then add more weight to my PDX10, or would I be better (or at least no worse off) using a cheaper head designed for lighter cameras. Panning is obviously very important for me and I understand that something like a Bogen 501/3221 combo might not produce smooth enough movements to be usable in a film.

Grateful for the help as always,
Steve
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Old May 25th, 2003, 03:26 PM   #2
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Re: Which tripod for PDX10

<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Pierce : I understand that something like a Bogen 501/3221 combo might not produce smooth enough movements to be usable in a film.-->>>

This is what I use for my PDX-10 and VX-2000. I'm sure a better head would be nice. What sort of pans do you contemplate? Shooting stage productions doesn't take much movement to cover the full stage and I've been very happy with the 501. Recently I shot some outdoor landscapes and wanted to pan through more than 180 degrees at a time. I found it hard to maintain a constant speed doing this, but I'm not really sure how much of that was related to my own abilities vs the fluid head capability. In other words, it wasn't an issue of shakiness, but one of maintaining constant angular velocity. Would a better head even help with this?

The 501 is certainly more than adequate to handle a little camera like the PDX-10, and with some practice I find I get nice results for most of my shots.
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Old May 25th, 2003, 03:46 PM   #3
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<<<-- Originally posted by Boyd Ostroff : it wasn't an issue of shakiness, but one of maintaining constant angular velocity. Would a better head even help with this?-->>>

That's pretty much the question I waould like answered too. I'm not contemplating anything too daring when it comes to pans, just something to relieve the boredom of static shots (this is only my first film). They do need to be smooth however.

Would extra weight on a more expensive head help maintain constant angular velocity or is it all in the wrist, so to speak? I'm particularly concerned about starting the pan - will it inherently be more jerky with, say, a 501 compared to a 505?

It's good to know that there isn't an issue of shakiness though. That's one less thing to worry about.

Steve
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Old May 25th, 2003, 04:55 PM   #4
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Steve, you don't need a heavy tripod for a small cam, it just has to be stable. But I prefer heavy tripods---there's less shake. Also, a smooth fluid head is also ideal. Even the fluid action Manfrotto #136 head works nicely for small cams. However, the 501 is a true fluid head so it will pan/tilt smoother. If you want to spend a little money, check out the Miller DS5---now there's a tripod/head!
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Old May 26th, 2003, 03:10 AM   #5
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I'm sure I'd notice the difference with a larger cam, but would there be a difference between a 501 and a DS5 when using the PDX10?
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Old May 26th, 2003, 03:19 AM   #6
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The DS5 is smoother. The legs/speader are also nice---very easy/fast to set up, unlike some Manfrotto legs. My Manfrotto legs are nice, but they keep biting my fingers (with those clips).
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Old May 26th, 2003, 03:36 AM   #7
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So the general rule works even for small cams then. The more you spend, the smoother the pan.

Boyd, what differences do you notice between using the PDX10 and the VX2000 on your tripod. Do you think it suits one more than the other?

Steve
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Old May 26th, 2003, 07:52 AM   #8
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I don't really notice any difference at all between the two cams as far as the action of the tripod head. If anything, it's nicer with the PDX-10 since the ratio of camera weight to tripod weight is lower. When I use my wide adaptor on the VX-2000 I need to shift the camera position further back on the mounting plate to balance however. The little 37mm wide adaptor on the PDX-10 doesn't make any difference though.

And Frank is right, the snaps on the 3221 are really nasty. This is the only thing I dislike about that tripod actually. Even though I'm completely aware of how they can both pinch and bruise a finger, I constantly get "bitten" when I'm in a hurry to setup. The springs are just way too powerful and they fly open and closed with a BANG no matter what you do!
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Old May 27th, 2003, 07:12 AM   #9
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Righto, looks like its 501/3221WN for me. With the money I save I'll buy some thick gloves :-)

Thanks guys.

BTW, sorry to change the subject but if I get this cheaper tripod i'll be able to get a Glidecam too. I'd just like to know if there's any difference between the 2000PRO and 4000PRO in anything other than the weight it can handle.

I can stretch to a 4000PRO but there seem little point if the 2000PRO can handle a PDX10 with the XLR adapter equally as well. I'm getting a boom so there won't be any microphone on the camera, no light either. Probably just the XLR adapter and a wide angle lens.

This is assuming of course that there is a difference between Glidecam footage and footage shot with just the in-camera steady-shot system. With practise, I'm pretty sure there will be, though obviously not as much as with a high end Glidecam.

Steve
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Old June 24th, 2003, 06:14 PM   #10
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Steve, I have been using my PDX10 with a GC Pro 2000 and it works very well after setup ( that is the time consuming part ). A very nice ( light weight ) setup and it has offered great results.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #11
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You folks might want to look at the 3180N kit or better. I am ordering one tomorrow for me to get back into the swing of shooting.

This one comes with the 3011BN sticks and the 3130QR micro fluid head. I know the head isn't great but the sticks have thumb screws rather than those flip levers.

For a shorter set with thumb screws look at the 3001.

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Old March 31st, 2004, 10:19 AM   #12
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Steve, the Glidecam 2000 is a good match for the PDX-10, I have one. The 4000 is the same thing, but built for heavier cameras like the XL-1. There would be no advantage to going with this for the PDX-10, and in fact I think it would be harder to use.

There is really no comparing "steadyshot" to a handheld stabilizer, they're completely different things. I suggest you read up here on the Glidecam and other handheld units before spending the money. They can produce some nice shots but are difficult to use and take a lot of practice. I've never tried using the Glidecam 2000 with a cord going from the XLR to an external microphone. Seems like that would be problematic since the balance is so precise and the position of the cord would affect that as it moves. You literally have to rebalance the stabilizer if you add a filter to the lens or change the position of the LCD screen.
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