Looking for USER recommendations for $1K (+ or -) tripod at DVinfo.net

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Old July 23rd, 2008, 12:03 PM   #1
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Looking for USER recommendations for $1K (+ or -) tripod

Hello all. I have to purchase new tripod for our office. I want to move up from our Bogen ratchet-master 503 head. Looking for something around $1k, could be a little higher could be a little lower. I am considering options like Cartoni Focus, Cartoni Action Pro, Cartoni HiDV or others (I like Cartoni and have had good experience in the past) - but I am totally open to suggestions.

I would love to hear some user opinions about the tripods you guys use and recommend... and I can't say it enough, I want to hear from people who own their gear - not about a tripod that looks pretty.

TIA.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 01:45 PM   #2
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Hi Andrew,

I have a Cartoni Action Pro DV which I am currently selling. I use a Canon XH A1 and it works pretty good for 95% of the time. My primary problem with it is that is is rated for a payload up to 6 pounds. When I have everything on my camera it's kind of maxed out on weight. When I just use the camera and shotgun mic it works great. Light weight, quick setup, good smooth pans. It would be nice to have adjustable drag but on a budget it works great.

Why am I selling it? As I said, it's a little light and I do notice at full zoom that the movement could be a little smoother. I've tried my set up on a Miller DS10 (currently own one of those too), Vinten Vision 3, Libec 38, and Sachtler FSB6 and DV6SB. At the moment I'm trying to save for the DV6SB. I also tested the Cartoni Focus (I've been told the HiDV would be a better match) and it was a little improvement over my AP but not enough to warrant getting a new tripod. I don't think you can get a Vinten or Sachtler close to the $1000 range. I've been looking for a used one for a while but no luck.

The Miller isa very nice set up too and you can find used ones for a decent price (under the $1000) but new I think they run around the $1000 range with a single stage tripod and $1500 with a two stage. IMHO the Miller was an overall better tripod setup than the Cartoni Focus.
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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Hi Garrett,

Are you giving the Miller the edge over the Cartoni Focus for head, legs or both? Do you have the Solo DV legs or the DS legs? I've been eyeing a Miller Solo DV system, but the display unit at B&H has a totally beat head, so it's hard to make a judgement. Definitely like the Focus head from the few opportunities I've had to play with it.

Thanks,

Hoi
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Old July 23rd, 2008, 05:04 PM   #4
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Hi Hoi,

I would give the edge to the Miller for both the head and legs. The legs I have are 2 stage DS. I was comparing them to a single stage Cartoni so it may not be an even comparison but the Miller legs were more solid. I think Miller makes some of the best legs bar none. If I could find a used Sachtler FSB6 or DV6SB head I'd put it on the legs I have.

I also like the feel of the Miller head better, but then again that is only my opinion. I know people who like the Cartoni better. Another thing to consider is that I've lived with the Miller and have become accustom to it. So when I tried out the Focus it had a different feel. The Miller just felt like it was more solid and I was able to adjust the drag to my liking.

I've never used the Solo legs but from what others have told me they are solid.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 01:39 AM   #5
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Miller DS 20 solo ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett Low View Post
Hi Hoi,

I would give the edge to the Miller for both the head and legs. The legs I have are 2 stage DS. I was comparing them to a single stage Cartoni so it may not be an even comparison but the Miller legs were more solid. I think Miller makes some of the best legs bar none. If I could find a used Sachtler FSB6 or DV6SB head I'd put it on the legs I have.

I also like the feel of the Miller head better, but then again that is only my opinion. I know people who like the Cartoni better. Another thing to consider is that I've lived with the Miller and have become accustom to it. So when I tried out the Focus it had a different feel. The Miller just felt like it was more solid and I was able to adjust the drag to my liking.

I've never used the Solo legs but from what others have told me they are solid.
the solo legs are very solid. I used one a few months ago and have since bought the kit. It's $1,500 though.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 01:20 PM   #6
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Hi Garrett & Dean,

Thanks for your feedback on Miller tripods. I've had some opportunities to play with a Miller Solo DV w/DS10 head in the last month and would say that the legs are first rate. I found that the head's pan/tilt friction adjustments didn't vary much except when set to max or minimum. Everything in between felt the same, although it unit I was working with was definitely well-worn.

Dean--Since you dropped $1.5K, I'm guessing you got a DS20 system? What camera and accessories are you using it with? Have you used it with any cameras at or below the 10lb lower weight limit, and if so, how did it feel?

Yrs,

Hoi
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Old August 22nd, 2008, 03:44 AM   #7
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I'm looking for a good tripod also for my EX3.
I will have to get my hands on the Miller, as I have rented the Sachtler FSB6 when I had an XH-A1 and it felt pretty stiff, even when the drag settings were at minimum. Maybe it was worn out due to it being a rental.
I'm considering the Miller DV20 over the DS20 due to weight. The DS20 alloy version weighs 12.8 lbs (5.8 kg) and the DV20 carbon fiber version weighs 9.6 lbs and I need something light for travel.
Problem is, I need to try one! I'll have to see if I can rent one.
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Old August 23rd, 2008, 03:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ngo Vinh-Hoi View Post
Hi Garrett & Dean,

Thanks for your feedback on Miller tripods. I've had some opportunities to play with a Miller Solo DV w/DS10 head in the last month and would say that the legs are first rate. I found that the head's pan/tilt friction adjustments didn't vary much except when set to max or minimum. Everything in between felt the same, although it unit I was working with was definitely well-worn.

Dean--Since you dropped $1.5K, I'm guessing you got a DS20 system? What camera and accessories are you using it with? Have you used it with any cameras at or below the 10lb lower weight limit, and if so, how did it feel?

Yrs,

Hoi
I'll be using the DS20 with the Sony EX3, 35mm adaptor, rails, monitor, and nanno/flash as the primary set-up. The weight will be somewhere (only guessing) 20 pounds or so. The DS20 is slated for 22 pounds but can carry more ... according to Phillip Bloom. I had a chance to hang with him in Tokyo for a day and both enjoyed his company and had a good look at the Letus Ultimate (including taking the 35mm adaptor apart) that Phil was testing.

I haven't used the legs with a camera less than 10 pounds but I did put the DVX100 on it and swung it around a bit. Smooth action! I'll rig the DVX100 up with a century optics 1.6 tele-adaptor, RR matte Box and let you know ~ that'll add some weight.
I'll be picking the EX 3 up sometime around the beginning of Sept ... then play with the set up for awhile to get used to the camera.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #9
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Hi Dean,

Good to know that the DS20 head was smooth even with a relatively lightweight camera like the DVX100. Most of my work is verite documentary/reality stuff, primarily with DVXs, V1Us and Z1Us, although I've been eyeing a Z7U lately. Not a lot of mattebox/rail use at the moment, so I'd estimate the typical max load around 8lbs. On the other hand, I do have an occasional project with the JVC GY-HD250, so it's nice that the DS20 will handle that camera as well.

Anyway, thanks for sharing and do keep us posted on how all your new gear works out.

Hoi
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Old August 25th, 2008, 10:09 PM   #10
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smooth ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ngo Vinh-Hoi View Post
Hi Dean,

Good to know that the DS20 head was smooth even with a relatively lightweight camera like the DVX100. Most of my work is verite documentary/reality stuff, primarily with DVXs, V1Us and Z1Us, although I've been eyeing a Z7U lately. Not a lot of mattebox/rail use at the moment, so I'd estimate the typical max load around 8lbs. On the other hand, I do have an occasional project with the JVC GY-HD250, so it's nice that the DS20 will handle that camera as well.

Anyway, thanks for sharing and do keep us posted on how all your new gear works out.

Hoi
smooth as the touche of a little baby! Shall keep you posted. Got the Kata 502 today and have been going over the ins and outs on that bag. It's a serious piece of equipment. I just hope I don't have too much trouble with airlines!!!
Keep truckin'
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