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Old January 2nd, 2009, 01:05 AM   #1
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Tripod for HV30

Ive just recently bought a HV30, and is now planning to get myself a proper tripod.

I prioritize to get proper panning, and thus been looking at the Manfrotto 503HDV, 755XBK.
But I am worried that the 503HDV isnt meant for lighter camareas such as the HV30.

I have been reading about this for two weeks now, and I just cant decide. Is it better to go with the 701 videohead? It is made for smaller cameras, but again im worried it is not as good as the 503. Obviously it would be great if I could buy a cheaper videohead, than the 503, and spend the money on lightning equipment instead.

I have read about the velbron DV-7000, but I cant find it on any Swedish store.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 05:58 AM   #2
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I suggest you check out the cheaper Libec TH-650. I use this tripod for both my HDR-FX7 and HV20. I prefer the movement of the Libec to the 503 which I use regularly at University, but the setup seems somewhat less durable than the manfrotto 503/055 combination. That said, my Libec endured some pretty rough treatment and conditions on my recent trip to Hawaii and still performed admirably.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 06:51 AM   #3
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Thank you for you answer.

I assume the Libec TH-650 is the same as TH-650DV, which is the only modell I was able to find at swedish stores. And the Libec does look really interesting, but what makes you prefer the libec movement to the 503? Does it give you more controll, or does it give smoother movement?

Ive just read the manual for the TH-650DV, and it looks like I can only have pan lock in binary mode, meaning just on or off. Which seems like the head wont let me chose the panning speed it i want, or am I assuming things wrong?
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 07:58 AM   #4
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Ivan,

Yes, the TH-650DV is same tripod. They are variously referred to as TH-650, TH650DV, TH-650DV - I think in America it is called the M10 or M20.

I had the similar TH-950DV for my old Sony VX2100E. You are correct, there is no drag adjustment for either pan or tilt with the Libec. You just have a tilt lock and pan lock, which are "on" or "off" as you say.

You can get good results with these tripods if you are careful, especially at wide angles. When zoomed in 12x or 20x, I find they are hard to make smooth pans or tilts.

Nothing beats them in their price range. The 650 is regularly on offer in the UK for around £100, much cheaper than the Manfrotto tripod kit. I always found the Libec very smooth and to be a good fluid effect head. Much better than the Velbon 6000 model I had many years ago.

I used the Vinten version of the 503HDV head. It's quite big and bulky, and there is a continuously adjustable drag for both tilt and pan, but it's a lot more expensive than the 650DV or 950DV from Libec. I do not know if the counterbalance is acceptable for an HV30.

Overall, I rate these Libecs as good budget tripods for smaller camcorders. Something like a Sachtler FSB-2 would be fantastic for a small camcorder, but it costs more than your camera cost!
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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Mike,

Thank you very much for that informative post. Sachtler FSB-2 sounds very tempting to invest in, even though it cost more than my camera. But then again, I have loads of other stuff to buy, so it is way out of my price range.

I guess I am pretty much gonna invest my money on the libec, and since I work a lot with wide angles, It should work good for me. But it is good to know the limitations the libec has.

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Edit:
It looks like there isn´t any swedish retailers that sells the TH-650DV, but the TH-950DV could be found. Now what is the diffrence between those two tripods? I would love to get the TH-650DV since it is much cheaper, but I cant seem to find it, and also I am curious about, 950DV.

Last edited by Ivan Nilsson; January 2nd, 2009 at 11:26 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 01:42 PM   #6
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We have issued Libec L22's with HV20 kits and they seem to do the job. We experimented with a Matthews M25, which may not be available where you are, and it has been well received. Matthews, as I understand it, was the Libec distributor in the US and decided to make their own. It has some very nice features, like adjustable balance, light weight, and low price. (About $180 US). The fluid --or quasi-fluid, I don't know--head is non-adjustable but works nicely. As most of our sticks are used just for support in news situations, these units are more than adquate.
If you have very demanding needs for adjustable fluid heads and precise panning, you might want to look at the small Schatlers and Cartoni's. Our experience with the Manfrotto / Bogen gear over the years has been less than satisfactory, but that's maybe because it's pool gear and nobody takes proper care of common property...Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 06:55 AM   #7
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I feel its great that I posted here, and did not make the mistake going after the Manfrotto/Bogen 503HDV.

Now I am leaning towards getting the TH-950DV, becouse there are only two stores selling the Libec tripods to Sweden. And it would cost me almost the same getting the TH-650DV as the TH-950DV, both around 300 Euro, becouse the store selling the TH-650DV is really expensive.

Now what I really want to know, before making my order is what is the diffrence between the TH-650DV, TH-950DV and The L22?

The only diffrence I can tell between the TH-650DV and TH-950DV, is the fact that the TH-950DV is 5cm taller and has a counterbalance mode. Which could be useful, but is it the only thing seperating these two models?

Oh and the TH-950DV has also 10cm (65 vs 75cm) bigger ballhead, letting it have 1kg heavier payload. But would it work against me considering the HV30 is very light?

And I could not find anything seperating the TH-950DV and the LS22, exept that the TH-950DV goes from 75-150cm (29.5 to 61) and The LS22 goes from 68.5 to 147cm (27 to 58) and the fact the LS22 weights 0.2Kg (0.4lb) more. But also according to libec, the LS22 is supposed to be sturdier.

Does the TH-950DV, feel unsturdy?

The LS22 cost about 50 euro more, is it worth the price? I could get simple monopod for the same price.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 08:27 AM   #8
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Ivan,

The LS-22 has the same head as the TH-950DV. In fact, my TH-950DV head said "LH 22" on it!

The legs on the LS-22 are much better. The TH-950DV legs are quite lightweight and not as solid. Also, the H22 head (that comes with both these tripods) has a three-position counterbalance setting which is very useful.

You may like to try the Libec Japan (English language) website for more information. Each tripod page includes links to PDF manuals. This page has links along the bottom to let you compare TH-650DV, TH-950DV and LS-22 models: Libec-TH-650DV

The TH-650DV has no counterbalance adjustment. It has a slightly smaller bowl for leveling the tripod head (65mm versus 75mm) - that won't make a lot of difference to you, really.

Personally, if I was in your position, I would probably go for the LS-22. The H22 head is great; I loved it with my VX2100. If you add a microphone to the camera, or a bigger battery, it can affect the balance - you just flip the switch on the back to another balance mode, simple as that. I would only buy the 650 or 950 models if the LS-22 was too expensive and I couldn't wait to save up the extra money!

You can also add a ground spreader (great for extra stability on flat surfaces) or a dolly (wheels) to the LS-22 legs. Libec don't seem to do a ground spreader for the TH-950DV or TH-650DV legs.
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Last edited by Mike Beckett; January 3rd, 2009 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Typos!
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:05 AM   #9
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Thank you very much Mike!

Now I am really considering getting an LS-22, but however I am very curious about the optional Dollies. How good are they? It could increase my shooting options and flare my creativity to another level.

Obviously I am aware of the fact, that they arent as good as professional dollies, but would require a very smooth plain surface.

But I also wonder what is the diffrence between DL-2 made for the TH-650 and TH-950, and DL-3 made for the LS-22, and the DL-5s, which also seems to go with the LS-22?

The price differs alot between these models.

DL-2 - 100 Euro, Weights about 2Kg
DL-3 - 150 Euro, Weights about 4Kg
DL-5s - 200 Euro, Weights about 4Kg

Considering the weight diffrence between it would seem to me, TH-950dv + DL-2 combo is much less stable than the LS-22 + DL-3 combo.

But I havent been able to try any of it out, so I wouldnt know how it really is.

Now I could afford, a TH-950dv + DL-2, right away, or I could afford a LS-22 right away, and wait some time and get the DL-3 or wait even longer and aquire the DL-5s. But I wonder, is it worth it?

And what is so special about the DL-5s?

But in the in end if the Dolly, isnt worth money I wouldnt hesitate ordering the LS-22.
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Old January 4th, 2009, 04:47 AM   #10
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Ivan,

I haven't used a dolly, so I can't give any personal comment on how well they work.

The DL-2 for the 650 and 950 models is different because the tripod legs are specific to those models, and is probably more lightweight due to the lighter tripod.

The DL-3 and DL-5 are both suited to the LS-22 legs. The DL-3 has fixed "arms", but the DL-5 has adjustable "arms" so you can have the tripod legs spread wider for more stability, or closer together for more height (or make it easier to move round a room with obstacles).

I have owned the TH-950DV. I also owned the T68 legs, which effectively allowed me to put the H22 head on them to make an LS-22. I found the TH-950DV relatively unstable and lightweight - flimsy, even. The LS-22 was a lot more robust. Once I tried that combination, the TH-950DV legs stayed at home!

So, the LS-22 advantages that I see are:
- Adjustable counterbalance
- Larger bowl (75mm) for leveling the head (minor advantage)
- Better legs, more stable
- Can add a ground spreader
- Can add an adjustable dolly

The TH-950DV advantages are:
- Smaller and lighter for transport
- Cheaper!

Once again, if I was in your position, I would go for the LS-22. You can always add the dolly later. I'd only go for the 950 and dolly if I desperately needed it right now and couldn't wait to buy the LS-22 with dolly.

(Then, in 5 years' time, you'll end up spending €2000 on a Sachtler tripod!)
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Old January 4th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #11
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Then I have made my decision, TH-950DV is a no no, and Ill go for the LS-22.
Unfortunatly the supplier is out of stock at the moment, but I rather wait and get a proper tripod.

I still have loads of other things to aquire. Now I can spend some money on lightning instead, and save up for the LS-22.

I have been reading, and now found out that the tripod dollys is really bad, so I wont be getting those.

Thank you Mike, I am very grateful for your help...
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Old February 10th, 2009, 09:24 AM   #12
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Hello all,

I am looking for a tripod for my HV30 as well. However, the Libec LS-22 is as expensive as the camera itself and I don't really have the budget to work it in.

therefore I am trying to find something cheaper that I can get FLUID motions with. That is very important. I need to get a tripod that I can take the head off of and mount it to my dolly track and jib and turn with a fluid motion, no jitters or shakes.. I'm trying to achieve fluid creep shots and need a tripod head that will pan very fluidly yet cheap.. That sounds a bit much I imagine but I hear people say good things about the Velbon videomate..

Velbon Videomate 607 Tripod with PH-368 2 Way Fluid Head (Quick Release) & Case - Supports 15 lbs

the description says "Fluid Head" and supports 15lbs!
But will it really give me fluid motions? Is there something different I am just not aware of?

Thanks for your time,
Terry.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #13
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Probably too late to do you any good, but fwiw we bought a couple of the little Velbons when we first got HV20's for our reporters to use.

Advantage: light weight, reasonably sturdy for consumer weight cameras.

Disadvantage: it's not fluid head, it has a grease-and-friction arrangement that is not bad for what it is, but a Sachtler it's not. Lots of plastic on it as well. It will hold your camera but....

It's really an amateur pod but better than the average k-mart special. To be fair, I once put a shoulder strap on one and carried it in the field to support an Canon XHa1, because I couldn't lug my 12 lb Cartoni --- it worked ok to support the camera if I kept still, but that's not a recommendation, just an anecdote...if real pan and tilt is important look at the Matthews M25 or Libec 22, we've bought those as well and they are inexpensive but decent gear. //Battle Vaughan/miamiherald.com video team
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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:33 PM   #14
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I have the 503HDV for my HV20, and besides looking a little funny, it's completely fine. You won't go wrong with that setup. I just had a feeling the 503HDV would be a worthwhile investment, in case I ever want to upgrade to a bigger camera.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivan Nilsson View Post
Ive just recently bought a HV30, and is now planning to get myself a proper tripod.

I prioritize to get proper panning, and thus been looking at the Manfrotto 503HDV, 755XBK.
But I am worried that the 503HDV isnt meant for lighter camareas such as the HV30.

I have been reading about this for two weeks now, and I just cant decide. Is it better to go with the 701 videohead? It is made for smaller cameras, but again im worried it is not as good as the 503. Obviously it would be great if I could buy a cheaper videohead, than the 503, and spend the money on lightning equipment instead.

I have read about the velbron DV-7000, but I cant find it on any Swedish store.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #15
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I originally bought a Velbon DV6000. For a hundred bucks it was OK, but pans weren't exactly fluid and suffered a lot from drift back. I recently picked up one of the new Manfrotto 703HDV heads and its not that bad at all but still has some noticeable drift back when zoomed in. Considering it only cost me €115 I can't complain too much.
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