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Old May 17th, 2010, 04:30 AM   #16
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Annie,

I am going through the same decision process at the moment, although my primary aim is to cut down carry weight rather than reduce height. I want to be more mobile, so have replaced my Sony V1E with a Panny HMC41E - smaller, lighter and no tapes! But less zoom...

The tripod is a stumbling block. My Sachtler is gorgeous, but is overkill for this small cam. It actually works fine, the cam balances no worse than the bigger Sony, but the tripod isn't fun to carry over fields and up mountains.

The weight does appear to be in the head (over 3kg) , the legs on their own are pretty light at 2.x kg (forget what the ".x" is). I see that Manfrotto you have weighs 4.2kg. Yikes! Adding a decent head would make it no lighter than the Sachtler DV6 that I think is too heavy to be mobile at just around 6kg!

BTW, they do list the Manfrotto in black, though I'm not sure of availability, but you probably know that: tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 350SHMVB - VIDEO PRO-TRIPOD SHORT/SPK BLK

My current thoughts are to get a lighter head for my existing Sachtler CF legs. Lighter, however, seems to imply something like a Manfrotto 701HDV or 501HDV, and I don't really want to go there, unless I forget about pans and tilts.

It might work... use the DV6 head for important work or anything that isn't too far, and strip down to a 4kg tripod for off-road work and make a compromise on the ability to pan and tilt, particularly when zoomed in.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 08:12 AM   #17
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The Miller Solo legs are pretty light being carbon fibre, have a 75mm bowl and can get down very low.

Miller | SOLO DV Carbon Fiber 2-Stage Tripod Legs | 1501 | B&H

The legs can be set to an angle of around 80deg which gets the bowl around 9 inches from the ground on a level surface.
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Old May 17th, 2010, 09:26 PM   #18
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Annie,

I am in the market for packable legs. I went to t&h and looked at these legs and was surprised that just the legs were over 9 pounds!! Place a head on them and you are looking at 12 to 14 pounds the weight of a a regular tripod rig!!!

what are you going to use for a head? A light head will be alright for static shots. All three of my fluid heads, a gitzo 1380, vintin v 6 and my miller all are over 4 pounds each.

I am really interested in how you and anyone else is making out in this regard. this summer I am shooting fauna and flora and it will require a fair amount of hiking about,

would like to hear some ideas on this.


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Old May 17th, 2010, 11:57 PM   #19
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Useful accessory for low tripod

I often shoot low with my Gitzo tripod, and have found that carrying a plastic kitchen stool with me is very helpful. I can sit on the stool to focus and frame my shot. It also comes in handy if I just want to take a short rest. It looks awkward to carry, but is quite easy. Here is an example:

http://www.amazon.com/Rubbermaid-White-Roughneck-Step-Stool/dp/B001EFZTCE/ref=pd_sim_k_3
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Old May 18th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #20
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I suppose the advantage of the Miller sticks is they fold up smaller and they have nice padding on them, even if they do weight the same as my Sachtlers. So I could still get fatigued - but get fewer bruises!

If I added a decent Sachtler head then I'm at the same weight with the Miller single tube legs as I am with my DV6-SB setup. I save a few ounces at best.

I'm looking for compromise. An 'OK' head with an 'OK' set of legs that I could live with when hiking, and at least half the weight of my Sachtler set-up, i.e. half of 6 kg (~11 lbs), and even if the head isn't super I don't want spindly legs. It does seem to be something of a Holy Grail.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 03:07 AM   #21
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Mike

I knew what the weight of the 350SH was before I bought it, otherwise that would have been listed in my disappointments. It doesn't feel quite that heavy, which I think is due to it being less bulky and therefore more manageable for my 5ft1in height. I didn't know the legs would be silver, but that's all my local shop could get - or perhaps, all that the importers had in stock.

Dale

I intended using the head off my Libec LS38, but if I can't get the adapter adapted for that head, I'll have to look elsewhere - though I don't know what for, yet.

I have also purchased the Gitzo baby legs primarily for low level shots with the stills cameras. However, one attraction was that the top plate can be replaced with a levelling bowl for video cameras. No-one seems to have the bowl in stock here, and after my experience with the Manfrotto, I asked for confirmation that the Libec head will fit the bowl before making a special order. I'm still waiting for a reply on that.

The baby legs seem pretty solid, and easy to adjust for height. They spread well, and with the still camera can get down to ground level, but obviously with a levelling head won't go quite that low. The weight is just under 3lb for the legs only, and they support 30lbs. This also seems a better option than a high hat because the legs are adjustable - with a hi hat, you're supposed to use it on a reasonably level surface to start with - there isn't much room for adjusting a levelling ball on rough ground.
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Last edited by Annie Haycock; May 18th, 2010 at 04:06 AM.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 11:00 AM   #22
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Annie.


If the "screw shank" I'm guessing that is the threaded stud which passes from the bottom of the ball through the centre of most tripod bowls, is too short. Depending on how it is fitted into the ball, it might be possible to take it out and have a longer one made.

With the DS Millers, which have a simple threaded stud, it can be as simple as buying a length of threaded rod, cutting a new longer one from it, unscrewing the short one and replacing it with the long one. If you cut your own, make sure you wire-brush the cut ends of the threads on the new stud otherwise they might be awkard to start and might jam.

If that is not an option and the hole in centre of the bowl is not too narrow, you might be able to have another wingnut or handwheel fastener made up which has a longer neck with threaded hole to extend through the throat in the bowl and pick up the existing short"screw shank" or stud on the ball.

With the thicker "neck" you might lose a few degrees of levelling ability.
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Old May 18th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #23
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Annie,

I looked for the gitzo legs you mentioned and can not find them by the name you give them.


I would like a short tripod I could either set or lie down, light in weight and will take a 75 mm ball head of some sort.

I would even consider a smallish head that could support 5 to 15 pounds (if the head was lightish), even if it would not be a good as my vinten.


Interested to hear what others have to say about this!!
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Old May 19th, 2010, 03:08 AM   #24
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Dale - here are the Gitzo legs:
Gitzo]Gitzo | GT3320BS 2-Section Aluminum Tripod Legs | GT3320BS | B&H
| GT3320BS Series-3 Systematic Aluminum Tripod | GT3320BS

Something else I've seen, but not tried, is a groundpod, for example The Skimmer Ground Pod II - The NatureScapes.Net Store which is designed to be pushed along the ground as you belly crawl behind it into position. I don't know how well it would work for video - and probably not for a large or heavy camera.
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Old May 19th, 2010, 03:15 AM   #25
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Bob

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm a little concerned that if I change the shank on the head, that it won't fit the Libec tripod any more.

Strangely I can sit the libec head on the manfrotto 100mm bowl, though only just, and without much room to manoeuvre. Likewise the 100mm manfrotto half-bowl head, with its long shank, will sit easily on the 75mm bowl of the libec. So I wonder if the libec isn't a little larger than the 75mm claimed.

I'll have to find some time to work on the problem.
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