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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #16
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One post above mentioned the Libec 22. Before selling it to get the Libec 38, I bought one to use with the XH A1. As the post said, it is barely adequate. I got it because I, too, was interested in the light weight. It was OK, but limited. For example, when panning I would have to use the lockdown lever at the end of the pan to keep the end shot steady. Not a problem and I've used ancient O'Connor C tripods way in the past the same way. On a tilt that where the lens was at a fairly long focal length, I'd have to lock the pan in order to make a smooth tilt with no wobble. Again, I've had to to that with older tripods in the past, and it is all manageable but not ideal. So the 22 would work if you're careful, and it has the advantage of being cheaper and lighter, and it also collapses smaller.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
I have a Video Velbon I bought in the 80s. It still works good. At one point for a stage show I was going to upgrade to a Bogen (about 1999) and none of the Bogen fluid heads the right size for a PD150 were as good as the Velbon that had cost me about $100.

Curiously, I had bought the tripod for a VHS RCA camcorder, which turned out to be just about right for a PD150.

I don't know which current Velbon would match up to it, but perhaps the one suggested in the link above would.

My opinion is that the Velbon is cheap enough and good enough to do a good job now, and later can serve as a second tripod. .
I agree, I'm using a Velbon CX 686 (I'm not a professional) and it works great for me: pretty smooth pans and light enough to carry (with the rest of the video stuff). Costed me 100,-.

Good luck, Robert
XH A1 / FCS2
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Old April 16th, 2008, 04:21 AM   #18
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Libec 38 hands down.

I owned the 501 HDV and 503 HDV. I can tell you this Libec 38 is way better. Only set back is the drags are fix. if you have a bit more go for the Libec 55 head instead.

Don't wast your money on the Manfrotto heads. The only decent heads from Manfrotto starts from the 516 upwards.

If you are really low on budget. You can also get the Libec th-650. great little light tripod that will be fine only of the bare XHA1.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 06:19 PM   #19
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Samuel, would you consider using a monopod? Manfrotto makes three fluid monopods, all under $250. You can't walk away from your camera and monopod without it falling down, but these monopods have legs and what is said to be a "buttery smooth" fluid joint at the base of the pod. They are used a fair amount by people doing event work. The higher priced one has a vertical tilting fluid head on top. I think these are the 560 series. Do a search for "fluid video monopod" on B&H and you will find them.

I have a $250 carbon fiber Velbon El Charmagne 530 tripod with a Manfrotto 701 (I think) fluid head (around $100). I use the old rubber band trick to help improve the smoothness of pans and tilts. I hold a fairly good size rubber band in each hand, and these are looped around the handle. I keep tension in each band and orchestrate the movement of the head by pulling in opposite directions but with more force in the direction I want it to move. It's not perfect, but it is a cheap way to get smoother pans with a cheap head.

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Old April 17th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #20
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Thanks for the advice everyone-- I've been checking out a bunch of those models and deciding if I can commit to the investment...
I'd never even thought about a monopod, but it seems like it might hold me over for a while... The rubber band trick sounds great also so I may fool around with it.

I was thinking, if I decide to go for a very expensive tripod, I may be better off with some sort of body-mounted steadicam since that would satisfy more creative projects of mine anyway... Still thinking though. :/

Any word on that?

Thanks again for all the advice.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 08:52 AM   #21
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consider the matthew 25 tripod...great buy...steady, smooth head for vertical and horizontal panning.

bill, bothell, wa
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Old April 18th, 2008, 09:05 AM   #22
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I use a Bogen 755XB Tripod with a 501 head and have not had any probelms with SD or HD footage. It came to just under $500

I do understand about jump at the end of long pans. I just make sure I have set up so that I can continue on the pan after I have come to the end of my shot.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 09:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by William Boehm View Post
consider the matthew 25 tripod...great buy...steady, smooth head for vertical and horizontal panning.

bill, bothell, wa
I'll second that. Here's a review (on DVinfo this time, not like the last one I posted :-)

I understand it uses Libec legs. The M25 was recommended to me as best value for money for what I needed with an XH-A1.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 09:27 AM   #24
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Hell yeah for the Matthews. It was recommended by my guy at Zotz when I purchased the A1. He said it was inexpensive and was getting good reviews. After reading the review on this site I ordered it. Upon checking my invoice I see that it cost me $155. Not bad.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 07:08 AM   #25
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Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

I picked up the Matthews M25 and have since used it on four jobs-- two nights of a school musical (Seussical The Musical-- I didn't even know it existed!), a graduation commencement ceremony (keynote by Condoleezza Rice--which wasn't as interesting as I--foolishly(?)--expected given her stature), another middle-school graduation (much more interesting!), and some house shows for some great local Louisiana bands.

Verdict: The tripod is WONDERFUL. Sure, I've used better ones, but I've never owned a better one. Smooth pans, smooth tilts, removable handle, not-quite HEAVY, but certainly not light weight at all. Even came with a well-made carrying bag--which is great considering I saw some BAGS for fluid-head tripods that would have cost me $150!
I love it so much I think I'm going to buy a second, and I don't even film 2-cam jobs that often, but it's so affordable it would be great to have an extra if necessary.

And just FYI, I bought it from here: which seemed to be the best price.

Thank you all again! I never would have stumbled upon this otherwise.

Last edited by Samuel Miller; June 12th, 2008 at 07:09 AM. Reason: personal error
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Old June 14th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #26
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buy an old school miller head and tripod on ebay. The wooden legs vibrate less than new metal ones and the head is more fluid than ones you can get for a couple of thousand dollars. The same tripods that were used in the 60s by the most professional filmmakers can be had for cheap now. If you want to spend a little more, go for o'connor.

EDIT: didn't see your last post. Congrats on the purchase. When you're ready to upgrade to a more expensive tripod, get a miller. You won't even have to put a nametag on it ;-)
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Old September 12th, 2008, 02:23 PM   #27
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Libec 38 Spreader?!


Stupid question, but I've just got a Libec 38 and I'm having difficulty attaching the spreader to the bottom of the tripod. The instructions are a little unclear. Any suggestions please?


EDIT: Still having trouble! Whatever I do it just seems loose and not 'locked'

Ignore me! Found it :o)

Last edited by Peter Dunphy; September 12th, 2008 at 02:56 PM.
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Old September 14th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #28
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Thanks in advance,

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