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Old March 30th, 2004, 10:24 PM   #1
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Miller Tripods

Can anyone give me any comments with regards to Bogen or Miller tripods? I want something fairly affordable yet built well and a very good fluid head. I've been looking at the Bogen tripods but have seen Miller as well. Anyone with a Miller tripod care to give me some insight as to what they feel the quality of the tripod/head compared to the Bogen?

I'm looking at maybe a DS10 setup for a PD170.
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Old March 30th, 2004, 11:58 PM   #2
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Paul,
Do a Search on Miller, as we have many such comparative threads and posts.

Bottom line (as an owner of a DS10): it's a very good product, a cut above Bogen/Manfrotto. Well-engineered, very good fluidity, designed to be consistent in all types of environments.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 01:05 AM   #3
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The Miller heads are miles better than any Bogen I've ever used.

That isn't to say that there may be equivalent Bogen heads, but I've never run across them and while I do own 4, they don't compare to the Miller which is consistent, no 'sticktion,' works the same way whether it is cold or hot.

An old Miller head can be had for a reasonable sum. Place it on a set of Bogen sticks if you need to save money.

Or buy a new setup and be very happy.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 10:10 AM   #4
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I would echo what Mike and Ken said. I have a Bogen 501 and a Miller DS-5. There's really no comparison, the Miller is much nicer. However it is also considerably more expensive.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 01:13 PM   #5
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I was gonna buy a 503 today but have always considered a DS-10 as well. The Bogen has plates I can buy to put on my flowpod so I can switch back and forth easily. It seemed like the accesories were much more available and less costly than those for the Millers.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 04:02 PM   #6
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Cost and ease of use may be important but when all is said and done, if your tripod head doesn't work smoothly, the rest doesn't matter. 501 and 503 heads just are not in the same class as the Miller. The evidence is very visible in the footage (assuming you are not just locking the camera down).
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Old March 31st, 2004, 06:27 PM   #7
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How true. I got my Miller after ruining some otherwise good telephoto shots with jerky movement from the 501. I didn't really mind the 501 when shooting with a wide angle lens or at the wide end of the zoom range. However when I started shooting performances 100' from the stage it was really unacceptable.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 09:59 PM   #8
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So I guess despite the price, Miller seems to be the tripod/head system to get.

BTW, I was looking at a Bogen 503 head and the 525MVB tripod for my PD170 and can get that system for about $700. I like the Miller 2 stage DS10 system but its about $1400 at B&H! OUCH. I don't mind saving a bit more for the Miller if its gonna give me the performance that I'm looking for. I've always tried to buy something more than I really need since with time, I'll probably want the performance of the Miller once my video skills get better. I don't want to be scratching my head thinking I spent $700 for a system that doesn't do the camera justice.
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Old March 31st, 2004, 10:06 PM   #9
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You have to make your own ultimate purchase decision, Paul. I'll just add two additional points.

1. You are permitted to buy more than one tripod/head in your life. <g> Many, if not most, of us old-timers have collected several. Often these collections started with the same ruminations in your note.

2. A good support rig will long outlive your camera. In fact, it will probably outlive several generations of cameras. The top brands, such as Sachtler, Vinten and O'Connor can easily outlive their original owner.

Have fun!
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Old April 1st, 2004, 11:47 AM   #10
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I got the DS-5 2 stage aluminum tripod for about $800 which isn't all that different than the 503 you were looking at.
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Old April 1st, 2004, 03:13 PM   #11
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<<<-- Originally posted by Mike Rehmus :
An old Miller head can be had for a reasonable sum. -->>>

Where would you suggest looking for one?

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Old April 1st, 2004, 08:20 PM   #12
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I bought my first one from a friend for $150. I found a few on ebay and there are places in LA that have lots of old tripods.

If you get an old one that is stiff (say the Major, which I have) you can have Miller rebuild it. I paid $300 3 years ago to have the head the local college owns, rebuilt. Works like new.

In both cases, the heads are on Bogen sticks.

You can always buy a good head and put it on used sticks for a while.

One can never have too many tripods.
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