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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:25 PM   #1
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Sachtler DV6 System Alternatives

Wondering if any of you have a less expensive alternatives to the Sachtler DV6 System, aluminum or CF.

I know this Sachtler set up is bomb proof, but before I make a move I wanted to know what you all thought. I will be needing a tripod for wildlife shooting, water sports, run and gun type shooting, but the bottom line is I need something that is solid. I hate to go over ten pounds if I have to. Though the Sachtler is just over that mark by a pound or two.
Thanks
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Old May 6th, 2008, 03:50 PM   #2
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I really cant speak up yet as I am waiting for mine in the mail but I have read a good review and favorable responses from people here about the Libec Tripod from the LS-38 and higher which is 11lbs. but retails for around $600. Im not sure if you are trying to save weight and money or just weight. The 38 is known to have its limitations but is generally seen as being superior to other tripods in its price range.

http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=150
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Old May 6th, 2008, 05:03 PM   #3
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Wow, that thing looks super solid... Thanks Josh. Where did you pick yours up at? Also, Is their a mid level spreader option?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Moen View Post
Wow, that thing looks super solid... Thanks Josh. Where did you pick yours up at? Also, Is their a mid level spreader option?
I got a great service from Brian @ Zotz Digital, one of the sponsors of this forum.

And yes, I got the mid spreader version as I sometimes have to film with legs at different levels.

The tripod you had in question is a fair bit more expensive and I have not read up on it very much as it was out of my price range, retail seems to put it @ $2,000. In the end you get what you pay for but it does seem that the Libec 38 and is a real good performer for its cost.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:33 PM   #5
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Libec 38 owner here too - For the price, you absolutely can't beat it. The only drawback I've heard people claim is rather than a latch type locking leg, it's a knob turning leg lock. No complaints yet here and I'm using it regularly with a full 35mm adapter rig on it.

My only gripe is that Libec's carrying bags suck. I went through two with bad zippers before getting a suitable replacement. Manfrotto IMO has the best stock bags with their tripod kits. I'm most likely picking a bag up from them. I'll use the Libec bag for my socks and underwear when I travel.

Love the Libec. More impressed than I though I'd be when I ordered.

picked it up from Tapeworks of Texas (Scott Cantrell)

cheno
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:08 PM   #6
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Libec is an alternative, so is Manfrotto.

Probably a better alternative are Cartoni Focus, the case is you need 100mm bowl which mean a bigger, but sturdier tripod.

I've used the Libec950 and Manfrotto 501, now I'm using the Sacthler DV6SB with some sachtler legs. On a budget i like Libec better than manfrotto. But none come even close to the feel of sachtler, especially since I often shoot outside during the winter and below zero libec and manfrotto becomes almost useless.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 01:49 PM   #7
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I dunno... I had the LS-37 (predecessor to the LS-38) and it wasn't great when zoomed in tight. No adjustable friction was a real pain, and zooming or panning at high zoom levels wasn't easy and didn't produce great results. This was with a Sony VX2100.

The LS-37 and the LS-38 are also too high a payload rating for smaller cameras - they are designed for either 4 to 8kg (approx 9 - 18lbs) or 5 to 8kg (approx 11-18lbs) depending where you read about them. A PD170 is much the same as my VX2100, which was about 1.8kg/4lbs, and I really, really struggled against the spring in the LS-37.

Nigel at dvuser.co.uk seems quite happy, but his test used a shoulder-mount JVC camera that was definitely within the tripod's intended payload. I just don't see how a spring set for 9-18lbs can be any good for a 4lb camera.

It was a pretty good general purpose tripod, but in my (amateur!) opinion you need something a bit more fully featured for wildlife.

Try before you buy - caveat emptor!

I'm trying to gradually work towards a Vinten Vision 3. I've got the Pozi-loc legs from my Pro6HDV, this year I'll get the head, and next year I might get a nice mid level spreader to go with it.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 01:54 AM   #8
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I just got my Sachtler DV6 today. With carbon fiber legs its so light its laughable. I almost felt I'd made a mistake and bought "too light of a tripod" for my XL2.

But then I remind myself of all those days when i was a news photog lugging around those huge sticks and i wake up. Stay in the Sachter line and just but one of there smaller tripods.

I worry, because I want something that'll hold my next camera. And i hope its a Panasonic DVX 100b with a full cinema kit. But I think that might be asking too much of my poor DV6.

It's a nice tripod though.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 05:58 AM   #9
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Just got my LS-38 in. I understand what most people meant when they said they were worried about the plastics. Time will tell and it seems to be doing well for others. Overall the tripod feels very solid and has some very nice movement. The bounce back is there if you let go while your moving but if you stop movement, and let go even at full zoom it was next to nothing. It is a night and day improvement over my Bogen 501. The balance is indeed too much for the naked XH-A1 but when I add in my Nnovia hard drive unit, the mount, the extra battery for it, a shot gun, Wireless receiver it does pretty good :) I will be putting it to the test this weekend when I stream a college graduation live. :)
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Old May 9th, 2008, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Furtado View Post
I just got my Sachtler DV6 today. With carbon fiber legs its so light its laughable. I almost felt I'd made a mistake and bought "too light of a tripod" for my XL2.

But then I remind myself of all those days when i was a news photog lugging around those huge sticks and i wake up. Stay in the Sachter line and just but one of there smaller tripods.

I worry, because I want something that'll hold my next camera. And i hope its a Panasonic DVX 100b with a full cinema kit. But I think that might be asking too much of my poor DV6.

It's a nice tripod though.
Jon, you just picked up the CF leg Speed lock system? Is that the 11 pound system?

What made you choose between the CF Speed lock system and the aluminum system?
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Old May 9th, 2008, 04:28 PM   #11
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It was the 20 lb. system. But I think they're very similar in feel. I chose that because I was deciding between the DV6 and the Vinten Vision 3 system. And after buying all the add ons that I had to get to make the vinten work, i.e. springs, camera plate it was pretty much the same as the Sachtler DV6. And with the DV6 you got CF legs, mid level spreader, turn dial balance system, (instead of worrying about springs!) I figured I got more for my money getting the DV6.

The legs are pretty cool. They have the speed lock system, which means if your a run and gun kinda guy you just flip the lever open and it lets both stages of the legs out, ( I got the dual stage.) While this can be a bit iratating if your a bit of a profectionist, i.e. you like to adjust every leg individually alot. It helps a ton with time. Nothing is more frustrating than stooping over and clicking all the leg locks closed when you can just reach down and adjust it with just 3 levers at waist level.

I have yet to try it out in the field, (just recieved it this week.) The only slight issue i might have is that the mid level spreader can be a bit of a pain at times. Cuz it can get in the way if you don't have it set up correctly

What I did was set my camera up on it. Set my balance dial, camera slide plate and drag preferences up. Then I set the spreader at the spread that I like. Then locked it. That way i can pull it out of the bag an flick it open without the spreader getting hooked on something, (mid levels tend to do that if they're not locked. However, the benefit of the mid level over the ground level is in uneven terrain. Say your on a stair case or in the stands of a sporting event, or on the side of a steep hill. There are a dozen places where the mid level comes into its own vs. the ground spreader.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 06:05 PM   #12
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Jon thanks for the info...
I've used the Speed lock system with the Sony 900 series cameras, but just wanted to know about the smaller dv6 system, and yes it sounds sweet.
Where did you pick yours up at, would you recommend them?
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