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Old August 14th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Convince me to spend the extra money for a Sachtler

So we're in need of two new tripods to support our ever-heavier and more accessorized cameras. Let's say 25 lbs for the max weight. We're talking full-size ENG cams with studio kits.

I selected the Sachtler System 8/100 SB mainly for its payload, which is high enough to meet the 25 lb. requirement, but also for its 100mm bowl for future-proofing. This is around $3700 at B&H: http://www.bhphotovideo.com:80/c/pro...um_Tripod.html.

After finding the appropriate Sachtler system, I went looking for cheaper alternatives, and found this Manfrotto system with almost identical specs for $1600: http://www.bhphotovideo.com:80/c/pro...ack_w_526.html.


Now, what I'd like you to do is convince me it's worth it to spend the extra for the Sachtler. I know the Sachtler is probably at least a little better than the Manfrotto, but I'm having a hard time convincing myself that it's $2000 better.

Thanks in advance!
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Old August 14th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #2
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The difference between the two can only be experienced in the using.

One will be easier to make smooth pans and tilts without distracting bobbles. It will be the Sachtler.

BTW, no matter what the manufacturer, when you put a camera as heavy as the upper end of the head's spec on a given head...the dampening is almost always not enough.

If I had a 25lb camera (and I do), I'd get a head spec'd for 30-35lbs. I've used 8 series Sachtlers before, I'd go 15lbs on one and not a lot more.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 03:10 AM   #3
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Second dat emotion...

Nate's right, as I 've recently found out for myself. My camera is the same as Nate's (an XDCAM F350) and my Cartoni Focus (max 22 lbs) gets visibly wobbly with its weight, although with careful use and plenty of drag the counterbalance isn't horrendous when near level.

But the Focus really doesn't support the camera, so it will henceforth live under an HVR-V1U while the used Delta (that just put me in the poorhouse) will easily handle the F350, even with matte box, Hytronic 140 brick, and two big fat AT wireless receivers.

I can't wait to get it, too bad I won't have it for my next shoot on Thursday. Arrrrggghhhh...

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Old August 15th, 2007, 08:09 AM   #4
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IMO, if you go with the Sachtler, you will never want for something
better (than the Bogan). If you go with the Bogan, you will eventually
wish you had gone the distance and purchased the Sachtler.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
BTW, no matter what the manufacturer, when you put a camera as heavy as the upper end of the head's spec on a given head...the dampening is almost always not enough.

If I had a 25lb camera (and I do), I'd get a head spec'd for 30-35lbs. I've used 8 series Sachtlers before, I'd go 15lbs on one and not a lot more.
I'd already taken this into account when I spec'd the payload for the tripods. They'll most commonly be used with two DSR-250s, which top out in the mid-teens in weight. Once in a while they may see use with our heaviest camera, which ends up in the low twenties. In any case, I think the weight is spec'd about right for the most common usage of the tripods.

Everyone else: keep the arguments coming, guys! I'm not convinced yet. ;-)
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Old August 15th, 2007, 01:06 PM   #6
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Okay, how about I once owned the 516, the precursor to the 526. I paid $1500 for it and sticks.

When I got my F350, while the counterbalance held up the 350 (an 18lb camera), it was underdamped.

I took a $1000 hit selling it for $500, and went into serious debt buying an O'Connor 1030B. I curse the credit card bill each month, but I don't for a second regret the purchase, because I desperately needed a better head than that 516.
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Old August 15th, 2007, 02:02 PM   #7
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Hi

I had some Vintens and a Miller and was reasonably happy shooting with my DSR-450. While on a shoot with another cameraman, I tried his Sachtler 18P and just had to have one. I ended up getting a used 20P SB with carbon legs and can honestly say that it's one of two items I've bought that have made the most difference to my work. (The other was Jay Rose's audio books!)

The Sachtler is smooth, feels like it's built to last and is so easy to use. If you try one, be prepared to buy, because IMHO there's nothing better!

I still have the Vintens and Miller that I use with a Z1, and/or a couple of DSR-250's for B-roll and shows & events, but the Sachtler is way ahead.

Convinced yet? :-)
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