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Old April 9th, 2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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Head Selection Question

Is it a mistake to purchase a fluid head that is rated heavier than needed?

Usage. My wife owns a ballet school with a large studio and we run two productions per year. All shooting is indoors with a minimum of 10X zooming. Previously, I rented some 'decent' equipment and just purchased a Panasonic DVX100B. HD would be a tough sell to parents for many years and not needed for the web. HD would be a tough sell to all of our parents for many years to come and not needed for the web.

I'm tossed between Libec H38 & H22. Which will give me the best response?

I plan on getting a heavier sticks than offered in the kit.

Thanks!
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Old April 9th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #2
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Welcome, Gary!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary S. Hart View Post
Is it a mistake to purchase a fluid head that is rated heavier than needed?
There is a lot of silly marketing stuff that goes on for the sub-$1,000 tripod heads. The weight "rating" is usually ones of those; it certainly does not indicate actual performance.

However, one important aspect of the head is how well it can counterbalance with your camera. The counterbalance system is usually designed to work for a certain weight of camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary S. Hart View Post
All shooting is indoors with a minimum of 10X zooming...just purchased a Panasonic DVX100B.
The lens and sensor on the DVX100B means that 10X is the equivalent of 325mm in 35mm. The angle of view, or equivalent, is what actually affects the performance on a head, not the zoom ratio.

325mm is into the Super Telephoto range, where a very smooth fluid head is needed, even for SD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary S. Hart View Post
I'm tossed between Libec H38 & H22. Which will give me the best response?
I haven't used the H22, but I have used the H38. The H38 will give a "better" response, but I doubt it will be good enough. For me it was "all over like a dog's lunch" (my favorite Chris Soucy quote), so I went with the Cartoni Focus ($780), which I use at 650mm in HDV for buttery-smooth tilts and pans.

The H38 has a fixed counter balance adjustment, not infinitely variable like the Cartoni Focus or even adjustable in steps like the 503HDV, so even if it does balance perfectly with a vanilla HVX100B (I have no idea), any additional accessories will throw it off.

You might be able to make the H38 work if you never tilt the camera (only pan left and right), practice a lot, have a very steady hand, and have a very solid tripod.

The tripod has such a vital and basic impact on image quality that I would advise you to step up to a more useful tool. If Crozet has any professional video stores, it would be wise to test heads in person so you can feel the difference first hand.
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Old April 9th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Daniel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Browning View Post
If Crozet has any professional video stores...
Crozet is a suburb of a small town, otherwise I would be out testing.

Cartoni Focus is out of my budget, we're a small school, hence the DVX100; Canon was my first choice. My budget is $750.

Interesting that you mentioned the 503 as many slam Bogen. The equipment I was renting included a Bogen/Monfrotto tripod and head and the sticking when panning that is mentioned in many posts here was obvious but tolerable. Their head is a few years older.

Never-the-less, I looked at the 503HDV as a candidate because of the new adjustments they added and the price range.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #4
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Sachtler System FSB 2

Any experience or reviews on the Sachtler System FSB 2?

The minimum weight is not an issue for me; no traveling.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:06 PM   #5
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Actually...............

it's "all over the place like a dogs dinner".

Really, Daniel, you're starting to sound more like me with every post.

Scary.

I'll leave you to play with this one as I'm off "up Central" for a few days (with the FiberTec's).

Here's another of my faves:

"Whilst the cats away, the mice behave like rats".

Be good.


CS
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