cheaper tripods that can handle the weight of a fully loaded hd110 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 18th, 2008, 08:39 PM   #1
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cheaper tripods that can handle the weight of a fully loaded hd110

Well I've been in the tripod market, and while I know I most likely will end up spending a lot more money than I wanted to (over 1k) I came across some tripods that could handle the weight, but are more of the "cheap" option...

The first tripod I am curious about is this one...

http://www.prompterpeople.com/tripodheavy.htm

This is a complete no name brand tripod, but seems to have decent specs, and can certainly handle a fully loaded hd110 with large lenses and monitor. Does anyone have any experience with this one, or know someone who might? Its so tempting to buy it, even just for the legs.

second is this Libec http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Supports.html

I have played with this head without a camera on it, and seemed solid, but im unsure of the ability to control drag as much. only 2 settings really...

Theres also these legs...
http://www.lumieretech.com/store/pro...cat=263&page=1

The only reason im not sure about getting these legs for any head i buy is, the fact that I THINK that the joints are all made of cheap plastic instead of a composite, which could break easy. Might still be worth it either way for a set of 75mm sticks that at least seem solid.

then theres the Vinten Vision 3 head, any positive/negative feelings on this head and what spring to get first?

and lastly theres the Sachtler DV2 II head I've heard some good things about it, while its still pretty cheap...

So is it worth getting the cheap'o being well aware of the faults and just living with them with a fatter pocket? I would love to know about the first one if anyone has used it.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 02:42 PM   #2
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Giuseppe, there's a good reason why the pro ENG industry only use brands such as Vinten and Sachtler; they have been used and tested until the end of time! They are engineered to withstand the sort of abuse ENG crews throw at kit and also be serviceable and repairable. Whilst there are many perfectly acceptable cheaper brands out there you will invariably end up spending more in the long term on repairs and/or replacements and find yourself frustrated by stiffening, creaking and breaking mechanisms.

As a broadcast cameraman of many years my honest advice to you would be to spend the extra money and buy a Vinten Vision 3 for your GYHD camera and get it with a number 4 or 5 spring (although really it's very good value for what you get). I didn't think too much of the Sachter DV range I'm afraid.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #3
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Stuart said it right: You get what you pay for. In short; no, the cheaper legs aren't worth the investment.

I use a set of Bogen 525MVB legs with a 516 head for my hd100 and I would consider that the minimum with this camera. Your camera is only as good as your tripod. The tripod not only needs to perform with the camera, but it needs to be durable enough to withstand daily use.

The Vinten would be well worth the investment. Spend more now, or spend more later, but at some point you'll ditch the cheap tripods for a quality one.

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Old January 19th, 2008, 07:44 PM   #4
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Don't overlook the Libec option... I have the LS-55 model and found it to be wonderful to use -nice fluid head, solid legs (with nice feet) and the midspreader allows more flexibility than the ground version. I have it fully loaded with the 201 along with IDX batteries, DR-HD100, mattebox and SGPro 35mm adapter with prime lenses and it responds well... even put on a jib on it and it survived! Maybe the only issue is that it has only two different drag options, but in all honesty I have found they are ample for most tilt/pans. Libec are Japanese (hence pronounced Lee-beck) and offer a solid yet cost effective solution.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 11:51 PM   #5
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Thank you so much for the responses, I'm considering the vinten 3 seems like everyone likes it a lot.

as for sachtler I really like their sb 6 head as well, but dont know what the choice will be yet.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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What brand offers most and least bang for the buck?

I think Bogen is the best value and Sachtler, though great, is the most overpriced.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 12:35 AM   #7
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Hi Giuseppe...............

Bit late to this but shall bang on regardless.

With the camera you have, a "cheap" support system is a bit like buying a Rolls Royce and using it to haul coal, ie. an utter waste.

I don't know what you would have paid for that rig, but to have it sitting on a system that doesn't cost as much as the rig itself, well, you will, unfortunately, find out.

Stop thinking of this as having got studio quality HD "on the cheap". You haven't. The quality of stuff done by the studios does not come from having their gear sat on $300 tripods and $200 heads!

Add a zero here and there and you're close.

Hey, if all you're doing is shooting the kids making sand castles or the like, then no problem.

If you're using that camera to do what it was designed to do, take great HD video, then yep, the support system is going to cost.

The links I'm posting are to other discussions on this very subject here on DVinfo. The suggestions in them are the same I would make to you. It don't come cheap, but it will do the job.

http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=112694


http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=112211

Why am I so damn sure about this?

'Cos I started off in SD (cheap) and thought I'd just upgrade to HD, no problem. Yeah, right.

Practically every single part of the "support" systems has had to be bought new, from scratch, 'cos the video looked crap, no matter what I did and how I tweaked and fiddled.

In your case, it's either do it now, or later when it's really got up your nose.

And it will, believe me.


CS
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 01:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I don't know what you would have paid for that rig, but to have it sitting on a system that doesn't cost as much as the rig itself, well, you will, unfortunately, find out.



CS
I don't doubt this represents your personal experience. But I've seen people use cheap crummy tripods in professional situations and the final result was fine. Locked down shots, simple pans and tilts, you can actually do a lot with an inexpensive tripod. Better *is* better but sometimes you use what you have and can afford. I've seen half million dollar productions done on tripods that wouldn't garner $500 on ebay. I'd say get the best you can afford and learn to live with it.

Further, this calculus of tripod value equaling camera value is a new one. That's the first time I've ever heard it but a simple user survey of various cameras from a Viper to HD200 wouldn't corroborate it.

Again, buy the best you can afford. You're going to do that any way.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 02:45 AM   #9
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Hi Brian........

yep, you're right, absolutely. I couldn't agree more.

Sometimes you just have to go with what you've got or can afford.

I have done that for years and got away with it pretty good.

The "calculus" involved in my comments is pretty simple.

I bought the camera. Huge amount of dosh.

Shot away.

Decided the support system was crap. Could see on the screen it was crap, but what to do?

Go cheap again (but not as cheap as) and hope it worked?

Looked to the future, the next itterations probably going to have a 25X lens, even deeper into the doodoo.

Decided to bite the bullet, once and for all, right now, whilst I actually had the dosh to do it ('cos next year is a whole different ball game).

Smart, Stupid? Well, it works beautifully now, will still be doing it when I'm dead, and I (or the next owner) won't ever have to think about sticks again.

Does it for me.

The broader issue, as I alluded to in my post, is this - HD sounds like such a panacea for all video ills, but brings a huge raft of extra problems, that because of it's (the cameras) relative cheapness now, are simply not taken into account by the hordes buying into it (I was not suggesting that the recipient of my post was in any way "a horde" btw).

That HD is (relatively) cheap is great, that a HD camera still needs to bolted to a block of concrete is something that isn't going to change any time soon.

That a decent support system, that will give the rock solid performance required of HD, just happens to equate to the cost of the new HD cams is not, unfortunately, of my making.

QED.

Thanks for your input. Much appreciated.


CS
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 03:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post




That a decent support system, that will give the rock solid performance required of HD, just happens to equate to the cost of the new HD cams is not, unfortunately, of my making.
The reason I don't undertand this is that two cameras with comparable ergonomics and physical dimensions yet different price points, 11k versus 5k, like the hd110 and the hd250, can't use the same support solution. Why would the 250 need an 11,000 dollar tripod and the 110 a 5,000 dollar?
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 04:24 AM   #11
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A tripod is an important device in my opinion.
If you have to Zoom in all the way and you have to follow someone on stage real close with very soft an subtle movements.
Then it does kill your shots if you use cheap tripods. Especially when the tripod bends a bit back while moving and stopping, causing the head to go back when you release your hand. And I've seen it on the Libec LS-55 aswell
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 12:35 PM   #12
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OK, to throw a spanner in the works here - I'd like to point out that if you're shooting true progressive HD on your GYHD100, 200 or whatever model, then personally I'd be avoiding panning and tilting like a dose of plague! Most directors conversant in HD shooting techniques will tell you this. NO PANNING!! AGHHH!!! All of the stuff we shoot on the GYHD involves no panning or tilting. I totally change the way I work when using this camera. Behave like you are shooting a film. Therefore, you could, theoretically, get away with a cheaper tripod. However, it still must be rock solid. Cheap tripods pick up all sorts of vibrations from crew belly rumblings, smokers breathing etc etc!!

For those not yet aware or indeed new to progressive HD on this camera then please read this excellent article by Mike Brennan.

http://www.jvcpro.co.uk/getResource?id=6118

Now, that said, most people here are bang on the money. Don't waste money on cheap tripods for your GYHD (we might be slipping out of forum topic here). Whether you spend thousands or high hundreds (and I can see an argument for those with or without tight budgets) your project WILL suffer.

Unfortunately you'll just have to weigh up budgets, requirements and what's really right for you. I still use a very old Ronford Baker for one of my rigs, but it's solid as a rock and the fluids are still good. I'm sure it'd go for 400 quid on ebay tops? So, food for thought for everyone!!
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 02:43 PM   #13
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You have a point there Stuart. Shooting 24P HD is another style of shooting were panning/tilting is to be avoided.
But not all of the time all of us are shooting HD projects in 24P, but have to shoot multi-camera Live events in 50/60P HD/DV. That's my main reason why I upgraded from HD100 to HD251 to be able to do these jobs aswell requiring an even better tripod.
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 03:06 PM   #14
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Good point Marc! I only use mine for HD recording, so didn't consider other guys use it for a variety of applications!

Shows what a versatile camera it is for the money!

You say you shoot multicamera events with this camera? I'm interested to learn more? You sending your pictures back to a truck and if so down what cable? Is there a triax back plate I didn't know about for this camera? Please tell!
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Old January 22nd, 2008, 06:36 PM   #15
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Yes, when we use the HD-xxx camera's for Live events and concerts, we run Coax cable with Composite signal for the SD jobs, and HD-SDI for the Live HD jobs to the Live mixers.
The really cool thing about this camera is that through the SD-card we can match all camera's by setting up one camera and simply share the scene file. Turns out to be a big time saver, leaving us more time finding good camera positions and angles!
In cases were we do SD jobs and we use the HDxxx range together with the JVC 5100, I still want to find the time one day to match them up together on a DSC-chart. To be able to create a scene file which we can load to mach the camera's as close as possible. At the moment I use a combination of the settings of the TrueColor and some parameters of the Low-light scene files to match pretty close with Gain +3 as the 5100 is more light sensitive.
Now we go really off-topic, maybe we should open another thread.
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