Miller DS 10 too stiff for Canon XH-A1 at DVinfo.net

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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #1
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Miller DS 10 too stiff for Canon XH-A1

Just purchased this unit on the notion that it would be fine for cameras in the 5 to 10 pound range. Well, while being a nicely built unit, the tilt is just too stiff. My 5 pound camera just doesn't seem to be heavy enough to allow an easy tilt downward or upward. I really have to push on it.
Anyone agree and know of any adjusments for this unit?

thx
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Old March 16th, 2008, 07:07 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by David Morgan View Post
Just purchased this unit on the notion that it would be fine for cameras in the 5 to 10 pound range. Well, while being a nicely built unit, the tilt is just too stiff. My 5 pound camera just doesn't seem to be heavy enough to allow an easy tilt downward or upward. I really have to push on it.
Anyone agree and know of any adjusments for this unit?

thx
It should move easily even if there is "no" camera on it. You must have a lock still on or you have not loosened the tension knob up as much as it will go. I don't know where your tension knobs are but check them. The one for tilt is sometimes inside, or under where the camera mounts. Kind of hidden, so check there.

There will be a tension knob and a lock lever for each direction.

Mike
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Old March 16th, 2008, 11:45 AM   #3
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I have the pan lock, tilt lock, pan drag and tilt drag all external. It is very tight in the tilt direction no matter what I do.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 01:31 PM   #4
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Check your manual, but it says something at B&H about "Preset Counterbalancing." Maybe that is set too tight.

Otherwise make sure all are loose and work it in. If not, time to return maybe.

Mike
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Old March 16th, 2008, 02:05 PM   #5
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I don't know the DS-10, but I've worked with a DS-20 and I experienced the same issue. The camera was a DVCAM DSR-390 which weights about 6 Kgs, however the counterbalance was not strong enought on position 1 and too strong on position 2. The drag controls were abolutely useless, I didn't notice any difference between the softest or the hardest positions.

If you can return your tripod do it, try the Cartoni Focus... in my opinion is the best choice on it's price range.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 06:27 PM   #6
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The Gitzo 1380 is very good.

Springs have to be changed for camera weight range. However, drag is adjustable from virtually none to very tight.

I have a Cartoni Alpha (the model before the Focus) and it works well, but it is also too stiff for light cameras. I don't how how the Focus is.

The Cartoni Focus has a 100mm ball. The Gitzo 1380 has a 75mm ball.

A friend just purchased the fairly new Sachtler FSB-6. It is also excellent for a 5 pound camera:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...arch&Q=*&bhs=t
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Old March 16th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #7
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I bought the DS 10 used but cosmetically it's in great shape. I'm going to look into getting a service depot to evaluate it. I would love to buy/try the sachtler but $$ is too much right now.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 04:45 AM   #8
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I have a Cartoni Alpha (the model before the Focus) and it works well, but it is also too stiff for light cameras. I don't how how the Focus is.
It works fine with light cameras, a friend of mine has a XH A1 and he is pleased with the Focus. I have a HD200 and I tried lots of tripods before purchasing the Focus, the Vinten Vision 6 is excelent but much more expensive and to be honest I didn't notice much difference... it has better built quality but that's all. The Schatler DV8 is also an excelent unit but the counterbalance control is not progressive, it was too light for my camera in position 1 and a bit too strong in position 2.

David, it is very important to test a tripod first. I also bought a Manfrotto/Bogen 503 on ebay for my HD100... it was the worst thing I ever bought. If you can't return it try selling it and buy a new one.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #9
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I cant help but think something is wrong with your head, because i use an HV20 on my ds10 with no problems, and it weighs less than a fly fart.

I cheat the hv20 forward to add a little more weight to tilting down, and sometimes If i want to leave the head aimed far down (like shooting from a balcony) i'll apply just a smidge of resistance from the tilt lock. Otherwise, its just fingertip controls for me.

I'll be curious what the techs say. Keep us posted, please.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 09:24 AM   #10
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I took it to a factory authorized repair shop. They said it's in perfect condition. Told me i don't have enough weight on it as the counterbalance is not adjustable. It just has a drag control. The tripod pans very nicely. The tilt however, is the problem. It's way too stiff. There are no other adjustments either. Kinda sucks.I don't know how u can use this thing with the 20 camera.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 11:10 AM   #11
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David, the DS-10 should have a counterbalance selector knob on the right side marked "1" or "2". The "1" setting is for a 5.5 lb load and the "2" setting is for a 11 lb load. If you don't have this, maybe your head is an earlier version of the DS-10 that didn't have it (just guessing)?

But even at the "1" setting, I think you're right that an HV20 will be way too light for it. Even with no camera, fluid heads with a counterbalance that can not be disengaged will always have resistance to it in tilt even with the drag and tilt locks dialed out.
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Old March 28th, 2008, 08:14 PM   #12
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you are right. It must be an early version more suitable for a 10lb camera. There is no selector.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #13
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I have the DS10 and it is perfect for my Z1 camera at counterbalance position 1.

Position 1 is for a 5 lb camera and position 2 is for a 10 pound camera. You can get away with about 1-1.5 lb in either direction of the setting due to the drag in the system, but beyond that you can hit a no-man's land in the middle. If I had a camera in that range I probably would have picked the Sachtler or something else.

There are a few things you can do instead of just turning up the drag.

If for example you are covering an event from a balcony and will be tilting only in a limited range, angle the tilt at the intermediate setting, and move to sliding plate so that the center of gravity of the camera system is directly over the tilt axis.

Tripod head tilt is actually dependent on TORQUE (twisting force) not camera weight. So if two cams weight the same but one is higher, that camera will need a heavier counterbalance setting. So you can make your camera work with the higher setting by using a quick release plate to raise it, or by adding an accessory like a small light.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 09:51 PM   #14
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Humm, there is no counterbalance selection switch on this unit.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 10:06 PM   #15
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Hi David..............

You have, most definately, been sold a pup, my friend.

That is not a DS 10. I don't know what it is, but I can tell what it isn't.

If it was sold as "a Miller DS 10", you have definately been had.


CS

PS. This is a Miller DS 10!
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Last edited by Chris Soucy; April 8th, 2008 at 10:18 PM. Reason: +
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