Well, I bought a tripod... at DVinfo.net

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Old January 8th, 2004, 11:43 AM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Warren, NJ
Posts: 398
Well, I bought a tripod...

It ultimately came down to $$$ and cents. I liked three that I didn't get: the Vinten Vision 3, Sachtler DV6, and Cartoni Laser. All have a nice but slightly different feel.

The Cartoni is quite a head. Sachtler-like feel in the pan. The counterbalance is an elastomer, so without an appropriate camera mounted I don't have a good feel for the tilt. Lots of nice features: +/- 90 deg tilt, wide adjustment on counterbalance, illuminated bubble. $2k for the head, $3600 with 2-stage carbon legs with mid spreader at B&H. Ouch!

The Sachler is soooo smoooth. Counterbalance only to 12#. No package with carbon legs, although a aluminum legs with floor spreader is $1800 at B&H. The Sachtler mid-level spreader is very expensive. The head alone is also expensive at $1500. Sachtler says they plan to come out with a package with carbon legs and a (relatively) inexpensive mid-level spreader.

The Vinten Vision 3 is also very nice. Sort of a digressive resistance that provides more control at slow movement rates but doesn't knock over the system with fast pans. Tilt is +/- 90 deg and the bubble is aluminum. Counterbalance is from removable springs that come in 2kg increments from 2kg to 20kg (2.2 to 22 pounds). Although $30 each, the springs change rather easily. The head is $970, but $2450with a floor spreader. A mid-level spreader with feet adds $640. Adam Wilt bought the Vinten for himself.

So what did I get? I got a Manfretto 503 head on a set of 542ART legs. The carbon legs are the bulk of this system (they are $1250 standalone, the head is $250). They are two-stage and deploy in seconds. When the legs are vertical, they expand/collapse together. In seconds. The price includes a mid-level spreader with angle adjustment and each arm on the spreader has multiple settings locked with a button. It can handle a 100mm ball and comes with an adapter for a 75mm ball (the Vinten and Sachtler tripods are 75mm only). The head is not adjustable for counterbalance; it comes counterbalanced at 5.5 pounds, just a little light for my normal setup. (The Vinten is either a little light or a little heavy; the others could be adjusted very close). For this price range, the 503 head is very smooth with adjustable tilt and pan drag. A nice feature is an extending handle. The very long handle really aids smooth slow pans and tilts. The package is $1640 at B&H, and student discounts are available.

The plan is to upgrade the head when budget, availability, and need co-inside. And a used head would be an option.
David Ziegelheim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 8th, 2004, 06:00 PM   #2
Outer Circle
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hope, BC
Posts: 7,527
Ouch! That wasn't cheap. Good luck with your new tripod/head.
Frank Granovski is offline   Reply

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