General tripod question at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 28th, 2002, 09:44 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 51
General tripod question

How much factor does the weight of a tripod have in how good it will perform? Is it worth spending an arm and a leg for a carbon fiber tripod to find out that yes it is lighter to carry but won't stay still when you shoot because it's too light.
John Dimasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 28th, 2002, 10:57 PM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chigasaki, Japan.
Posts: 1,660
A good tripod/fluid head will go a long way to improving your shots. Be sure to get one that will support the weight of your camera. A carbon tripod isn't necessary unless you have to hike long distances with it, like for wildlife shooting.

If this is the case, and you want some more weight, take a bag and a bunji strap with you. Fill the bag with something heavy like sand, or rocks, and hang it off the centre of your tripod. this will provide the extra weight needed to keep it stable.

Just remember to put everything back where you found it...leave no traces.
Adrian Douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2002, 09:35 AM   #3
Contributor
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 71
Extra Weight

I hate carrying a heavy tripod, but wieght is critical to getting smooth fluid motion. To get around this I carry a very light Matthews tripod that I bought from B&H for under $200 and modified it. I machined a steel plated that I screw into the tripod head and a bogen quick release tripod plate is permanently mounted to the top of it. I then covered the entire top of the metal plate with vecro that allows me stick just about anything to it. The plate wieghs about 2lbs and I can carry it in a small backpack when hiking with my gear. This keeps the carrying weight of the tripod very low and comfortable. The extra weight goes a long way to add stability to the images.
__________________
Land of Enchantment, New Mexico
Aaron Frick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2002, 10:14 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 51
Thanks guys. I will save the money on not buying the carbon fiber and stick with the Bogen heavy "studio" versions for weddings and what not.
John Dimasi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2002, 11:45 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 540
Yeah, and that heavy version will come in handy when you need to whack a recalcitrant bride-to-be during the rehearsal!
__________________
-- Vic Owen --
Vic Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2002, 02:18 AM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chigasaki, Japan.
Posts: 1,660
That's why you should get 2 pan handles. One for panning, one for keeping over zealous family members in line. Anyone who has ever shot a wedding knows the ones I'm talking about. They usually come out with stuff like.

"You know, you'd be better over there" or "I was supposed to be doing this but........" or "Who do you think you are... George Lucas" or my personal favourite, at the reception as you're trying to get some guest footage, second cousin on the dogs side Arnie, comes up to you and starts up. "Gee mate, nice camera, gimmie a go" "Where did ya get it?" "How much was it?" "What does this bit do?" "I can see m...Whack!!!! "Mum, Arnie has passed out again"
Adrian Douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2002, 11:50 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 540
Har, Har!!

That's why even the mention of weddings causes me to break out in a cold sweat! There's more truth to Adrian's comments than fiction. Even worse are the ones that involve relatives--"What? You're actually going to charge for this?......."
__________________
-- Vic Owen --
Vic Owen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2002, 03:24 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Chigasaki, Japan.
Posts: 1,660
Always charge relatives DOUBLE for the emotional stress they will cause you.
Adrian Douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2002, 10:32 AM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Kirkland, WA
Posts: 177
Aaron,

Can I assume you use that Matthews tripod with an XL-1? How well does it work.?

I have a Bogen/Manfrotto that works okay, but I can't get the best pans and tilts with it. I have the 501 fluid head and either the 3046 or 3063 legs on it. I dragged the thing through Costa Rica and Belize for seven weeks and would really liked to have had a lighter weight model.

Any tips for getting the smoothest pans and tilts?

Greg Matty
Greg Matty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2002, 09:25 PM   #10
Warden
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
Posts: 8,267
How to get smooth pans etc.

Hi,

Tripods are the necessary evil of this business. If they are to work right, they'll be heavier than we ever thought we wanted. Carbon fiber has more going for it than light weight. Sachtler used to publish data on the vibration characteristics of carbon fiber, wood and aluminum. Carbon fiber and wood have superior vibration dampening to aluminum, especially in the critical shutter speed ranges most video is shot in. Carbon fiber is more rigid than wood, showing much less flex under a heavy load. Carbon fiber is much lighter than wood or aluminum for the same strength etc. Buy carbon fiber if your budget allows.

Perfect, smooth and repeatable pans and tilts can only be accomplished one way. Hideously expensive fluid heads. My two favorites have always been Sachtler and Vinten. There quality is just superb. The springs, tension adjustments etc work very smoothly. The head acts the same if its 32F or 110F in the shade.

Bogens product is coming up in quality. At PMA they showed carbon fiber sticks and there is talk of new and improved fluid heads. I've used there 510 head and if you spend extra time adjusting the friction and balance to get it just right you can get smooth, repeatable pans and tilts.

If you're looking for a deal check out ebay. I've seen them all pass through there. it goes without saying buyer beware. The bogen combo i mentioned goes for $1200 - $1300 at B & H.

Good luck

Jeff Donald
Jeff Donald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2002, 10:30 PM   #11
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: santa fe, nm
Posts: 3,264
Images: 10
Just a quick note on carbon fiber. I work with this material in my business. Carbon fiber is exceptionally strong for its weight. It is, however, quite brittle and will not withstand sharp impact...like being dropped or having something with a sharp edge fall on it. When it breaks it splinters, and its edges are wickedly sharp as a razor blade. Bottom line, consider what abuse it will be subjected to during handling...before you ever put that camera on it. Aluminum will take a lot more abuse than carbon fiber.
Bill Ravens is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:28 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network