some specific questions about tripod features at

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 14th, 2003, 08:44 PM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 11
some specific questions about tripod features

Iím an amateur videographer with a Canon Elura2 and a cheap, lightweight pan-head tripod. Iíve done a couple of instructional/promotional videos for the web and have also helped with a wedding. I'd like to invest in a better camera (probably a GL-2) and a better tripod/head. I donít do anything adventurous like wildlife videography, so carbon fiber is not a requirement.

Iíve read all of the tripod posts here and have learned a great deal. While a Miller or Sachtler sounds nice, my plan is to spend from $200-400 for a tripod/head/leveler/bag, depending on what I learn about them. My reasoning is that Iíd like to get my feet wet before exploring the pricier stuff. Besides, I canít even find a Gitzo to look at, much less a Miller or Sachtler - the shops here only have the low-end Bogens. Also, I might find that a $200-400 system meets my needs.

I do have some questions (and some observations) that havenít been addressed at length here:

1. First, about leg-locking mechanisms. I like the idea of Bogenís levers, but the action is so stiff that they seem hard on the hands, and noisy. However, I discovered that the action can be softened with the provided wrench. Anyway, are people with experience generally satisfied with the Bogen lever mechanisms?

2. I read on a photography forum that Gitzo legs are much fussier. One poster even referred to them as ďmystifying.Ē Can anyone explain why this might be? My impression is that it has something to do with the order in which the leg sections are extended, but Iím not sure. I'm just curious in case I see a set of Gitzo legs for sale on eBay.

3. It appears that I could buy a Libec TH-M20 system for less than $200. Unlike the Bogens/Gitzos, this system has the articulated video-style legs with a mid-level spreader. It strikes me that this design might be more stable but less versatile than the Bogens, and that I might not need the extra stability with a GL-2 anyway. With a modestly loaded GL-2, would this style of tripod offer me any real advantages over a Bogen? Enough to forego a better head?

4. I notice that video tripods with levelers don't use columns, and therefore any fine-tuning of height would have to be done with the legs. On the other hand, Bogen offers a combination column-leveler (both separately and as part of the 750 series), which would make height adjustments as well as leveling easy. Would this be a particularly useful feature? Do experienced videographers find fine height adjustments to be much of an issue?

5. Iíve tentatively narrowed my choices to:

- Libec TH-M20 ($190)

- Bogen 700RC2/756B kit ($285)

- Bogen 3130/755B kit ($312)

- Bogen 501/755B kit ($376)

- Gitzo 2380 head on Bogen 755B legs ($392 plus bag)

Any input would be appreciated. Thanks in advance to all concerned.
Andrew Fowler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #2
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Seattle , WA
Posts: 184
Try searching throught the forums for info on the tripods (search button is in the upper right) and you should be able to get some useful information.

However, I'm currently in the same position trying to figure out the best tripod/head combo in the $200-$300 range. Any input comparing the Libec better legs lesser head to the better 501 head with not so good legs would be great (input such as is that an accurate comparison of strengths/weaknesses?)

The help is always appreciated.

Brian Huey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 04:21 AM   #3
Outer Circle
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Hi, Andrew! Welcome to DVinfo. There are lots of good tripods out there. What you should do is go to a shop and check them out for yourself. This way, you will be able to determine exactly what best suits your need. I recently got rid of a great tripod/head because it was too heavy to lug around. I went with a Manfrotto 055 Pro legs/128 RC head.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 15th, 2003, 11:49 AM   #4
New Boot
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 11
Thanks for your responses, guys. I've read every post I was able to find, and tried to tailor my questions to things that hadn't been addressed at length. Also, I'm only able to look at a limited number Bogen products in my area.

Since I'm just starting out with a lightweight camera, I'll probably go with the Bogen 700RC2 and some Bogen legs and see how they meet my needs. if I ever get to NY or LA I can take a look at some of the other makes.

Thanks again for any input.
Andrew Fowler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 17th, 2003, 02:13 AM   #5
Regular Crew
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Seattle , WA
Posts: 184
I'm still curious if anyone has some input as to whether or not the Libec combo results in a better tripod/head setup then the Bogen 501 w/ cheap legs.

Comments from anyone that has looked at or used both would be appreciated.

Brian Huey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2003, 03:34 PM   #6
Regular Crew
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Medford, OR
Posts: 38

I just recently sold my Bogen tripod and purchased the Libec TH M20. The leg clamps on the Bogen were very time consuming and was very slow in leveling. I enjoy the Libec very much. It has no center column so after setting up, there is a knob for leveling the pan head with built in level. It is also much lighter than my Bogen was. So I recomend it very highly. Hope this might help.
Bob J. Trimmer is offline   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

Omega Broadcast
(512) 251-7778
Austin, TX

(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

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

(800) 238-8480
Glendale, 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



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:32 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2015 The Digital Video Information Network