Carbon Fibre or Aluminium ? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 19th, 2004, 11:50 AM   #1
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Carbon Fibre or Aluminium ?

Is weight the only advantage for getting carbon fibre legs over aluminium?

Gareth
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Old January 19th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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Carbon fiber dampen vibration better, conducts heat less efficiently, and does not corrode.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 04:41 PM   #3
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It also isn't just the weight of the tripod. Carbon Fiber makes your wallet weigh less too! :)
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Old January 19th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #4
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cf is also stiffer than aluminum.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #5
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Jeff/Riad,

Thanks for pointing out those few other "advantages"

They are quite good ones actually.

Carbon fibre it is then and not only will the weight of the sticks be less to carry around but also the weight of my wallet be lighter!!

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Old January 20th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #6
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Stiffer, resistant to dents and corrosion, lighter (this is minor when you include the weight of the head), and better balanced.
With CF the weight is toward the top. In aluminum, the extra weight is down in the sticks themselves, just harder to manuver.

It seems that CF costs about $300 more than the equivalent Al. When you count the costs of the legs and the head, the $$$ isn't that great. When you are under $1k, there really isn't a CF alternative anyway.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 12:31 PM   #7
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What are some good CF tripods?
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Old January 21st, 2004, 01:23 PM   #8
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You need to ask the question differently. For a specific camera or camera(s), what is the best tripod. The correct tripod for a DVX-100 will not work for a DSR-570 (with one or two exceptions) and visa versa. Then budget, and type of shooting.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 04:29 PM   #9
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I just got the Miller Solo DV. Versitile, compact, relatively light (although not a big dif over aluminum), Quick to set and break down, very low angle ability, neoprene coating (nice up here in winter), and if looks are important, it's professional looking too. Takes different miller heads or buy it separate.

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Old January 21st, 2004, 04:34 PM   #10
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How about a CF tripod that's for the GL2?
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Old January 21st, 2004, 04:48 PM   #11
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I'm using the Solo for the GL2.

Here's the Miller link for more info:

http://www.miller.com.au
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Old January 21st, 2004, 04:57 PM   #12
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The tripod I intend to buy once I've seen it and made sure it works for me is the Vinten Vision 3 with carbon fibre legs and spread loc mid level spreader.

It's for the Canon XL1 using various set ups ranging from about 3kg to approx 6kg. Wildlife fieldwork.

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Old January 21st, 2004, 10:24 PM   #13
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The Vinten has a very interesting force curve, like a Bilstein digressive shock (the hot setup). It builds force quickly to the desired level then increases it very gradually as panning speed increases. This works very well for slow pans. That could be important for long lenses in wildlife work.

Also, the Vision 3 uses easily changed springs (takes about 2 minutes) to adjust the counterbalance. You will be able to get it close for each of your different rigs.

You many also want to try the Sachtler DV6, but it will be more with equivalent legs. You want to consider the Vision 3 head with the Bogen Manfretto 542ART legs. Those legs include the mid-level spread with their version of the spread-loc, and it deploys in seconds. Literally. When the legs are together, you can open and close it. Spreading the legs locks them. And you can adjust the spreader angle, the length of the spreader legs (with a convenient button control), and the length of the leg segements individually (with convenient buttons). It may help you get the shots you would otherwise miss while setting up.

I would probably get the Vinten 3 head with the Manfretto 542 ART legs.
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Old January 21st, 2004, 10:58 PM   #14
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I have a Vision 3 head with the Vinten CF legs -- a very exceptional rig. Light weight (due in no small part to the cf sticks), durable, designed with ease of set-up in mind. The damped pan action that David mentions is really very nice.

What I did want to note here is one caveat concerning carbon fiber. Yes, it's very strong, rigid and non-conductive. But always be careful not to place excessive bending stress on the legs. When carbon fiber eventually breaks it shatters like glass, often spraying really nasty, sharp slivers everywhere.

This should not dissuade you from getting cf sticks. Just a cautionary note.
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Old January 22nd, 2004, 08:06 AM   #15
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The Manfrotto 542 ART legs and mid level spreader do sound very good.

I was a bit surprised though that the 542 ART legs weigh 4kg (According to the Manfrotto site) but the Vinten cf legs only 2.6kg
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