Mix and Match Sticks and Heads 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 17th, 2009, 08:10 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 42
Mix and Match Sticks and Heads

I've got an old Velbon tripod and head that needs to be replaced. The sticks are fine for my purposes but the head seems to be worn out. I've been looking at sticks and heads and wondered if I can put a manfrotto/bogen head on my Velbon sticks? In other words, is the threading for all heads the same or do different vendors use different thread sizes? I was thinking I could buy a decent head right now and then come back in a year or so and buy a better set of sticks.

Am I crazy or will this work?

Thanks,
dave
__________________
http://dakvideo.com
David Gibson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 17th, 2009, 11:49 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi David...............

The answer is: Well, it depends.

What sort of Velbon do you have?

Still or Video?

If it's a stills support, it will, almost without doubt, have 1/4" threaded parts for both the tripod to head connection and the head to camera connection.

If it's a video support, it just may have a 3/8" thread from the tripod to the head, but still a 1/4" from the head to the camera.

If it has 1/4" connections for the tripod to head connection, you can buy 1/4" to 3/8" adapters that will allow you to put a Manfrotto flat base head on it (501 or 503 HDV for example).

These adapters are mostly used on audio (mic) equipment and the best source is your local live music store that deals with mic stands and stuff.

However........yep, there's always a however.

If it is a stills support, it will be about as much use as an ash tray on a bicycle for video, tho' if all you want it to do is keep the camera clear of the ground, it might just about do it.

So, no, you ain't crazy but........hmm, what do you call a decent head?


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
If your camera is small, the Libec MH-20 is a popular step up for folks in your situation. It has a ball mount head, legs are 3-stage with levers, spikes + rubber feet and the head has adjustable/removable arm, locks and a quick release that does NOT require a coin or tool. For under $200, it's a good value. A real quality fluid head with friction and legs is gonna cost you $1000 and up. Pay it now or pay twice. If you go anywhere with video, you WILL pay it. I found the MH-20 bought me a couple years and it remains a piece of equipment I'm not afraid to pull out for a backup camera. It was also handy when I had a trip to Asia. YMMV.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2009, 07:33 PM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 42
Let me answer these two replies here.

I can't tell you if the threading is 1/4 or 3/8 but my guess is this is a still tripod. Its a Vebon 421 and some refs on the internet associate it with photo. But, honestly, its been fine to use with my Canon XH-A1 since that camera is so lite. But, maybe its been fine for me because I don't have anything to compare to. The other day, I worked grip for a professional video firm out of Dallas. The sticks they used for that shoot was very heavy duty and had an O'Connor head. I looked up O'Connor and the one that looked like the one I saw at the shoot was $10K. I would have never imagined such a thing.

So, what do I call a good head? Truth is, I don't think I know. I searched around this website and noticed several people said Manfrotto/Bogen (same stuff as I understand it) so I went looking there. I saw a few heads in the $200's but there were those that were much pricier. My sense tells me the more expensive heads are worth it but you have to be able to afford it. Certainly, no O'Connor for me although I could tell by the way the crew the other day was shooting that the head was very smooth and was good to work with.

What is driving me to this point now is that the head on my Velbon is wearing out. I get those jumps because of stickiness when panning and there is a discerable wiggle in the head to the point that I have to take my hands off the tripod when filming or I see the vibration in the video. I also suspect some of that is because I'm clearly trying to use an "underpowered" tripod for video work but mostly its because the silly thing is wearing out on me.

I know someday I will want to buy a very good tripod. But, there has to be some way to justify it through revenue potential ... at least for me. And, work is hard to find out here in West Texas so I have to be careful what I invest in and how much until I get a couple of lucrative contracts.

So, I was thinking I could invest $300's on a good head and mount it on my velbon legs. That will at least put a plug in the dam I'm dealing with right now. Then, when I get the work to justify the additional purchase, I can buy a better set of legs to go under it.

I've come to this website because I really want to hear what you have to say. If this is a bad idea, I will certainly consider it. I appreciate the advice to pay now or pay later because you are right, I will pay it eventually. Its just a hard pill to swallow when work is hard to come by.

Thanks in advance for any additional thoughts.

dave
__________________
http://dakvideo.com
David Gibson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2009, 10:03 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
If the head on your Velbon comes off, then take it of and measure the diameter of the post. If it's 1/4" then you need to get a head with 1/4" If it's 3/8 then ... If the head does not come off, then you cannot do what you want.

Given it's an el cheapo, I would always check the threads.

FYI, there's two type of tripods: Center post and Bowl

The traditional still photog tripod is centerpost and it is convenient for adjusting the height by cranking the center post. Some people use them for video.

The traditional video tripod is a bowl where the head sits on the legs. This is more stabile especially as your camera gets bigger. The bowl is convenient for leveling the head without having to adjust the leg length. The head swivels in a cup.

Some heads you look at may not work on a Bowl. Some may have an adapter and some may not work on a centerpost. So if you buy a head for a centerpost but later discover that you really like bowl, then ... You need to figure all this out.

Last edited by Les Wilson; March 19th, 2009 at 06:31 AM. Reason: terms
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2009, 12:35 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Hi again........

OK, now I've got some background, I can offer better advice.

Given the need for financial restraint, I'd suggest the following.

Check out the size of the screw thread between the tripod and the existing head - tho' as Les said, if the head won't come off............

Assuming it does come off, and it's a 1/4" thread, get the adapter I mentioned and go Manfrotto 501 or 503 HDV flat based heads.

If it is indeed a 3/8" thread, forget the adapter and still go Manfrotto 501 or 503 HDV head or indeed, any flat base head that takes your fancy and fits your wallet..

When the time comes that money is available to upgrade the legs, go for a suitable 75 mm bowl receiver tripod and a 75 mm 520Ball attachment from Manfrotto for the head.

The 520Ball basically screws into the 3/8" hole in a flat based head and turns it into a 75 mm half ball head, thus allowing it to work in a half bowl tripod.

There you go - one head does double duty.

If money really starts to flow and you decide to change the head, go for any 75 mm half ball head that fits your camera weight and is within budget, look at Sachtler, Miller, Vinten, even Manfrotto (if the 501/503 or whatever doesn't have you spitting chips by then) - all the usual suspects.

Don't think I can suggest a cheaper incremental route than that.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2009, 06:58 AM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Abilene, Texas
Posts: 42
Thanks ...

Thanks for all the help. It is appreciated.
__________________
http://dakvideo.com
David Gibson 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 07:27 PM.


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