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Old July 19th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #1
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What heads meet these requirements?

The Canon 5D Mark II, and most any other DVSLR with a huge CMOS sensor, will have relatively light weight, the possibility to add long lenses, and significant rolling shutter. Unfortunately, this results in the odd combination of a lightweight unit that requires world class stability. For many manufacturers, by the time you get great stability, the tripods are balanced for heavy cameras.

My requirements are simple:
* Fluid drag pan and tilt with good quality (subjective, as noted by CS)
* Compatible with a 100mm Ball system
* Balance compatible with 2.5 lbs to about 8 lbs with fine steps or continuous adjustment
* Quick release plate
* Long plate available, so we can double mount the camera and a long lens (with custom shims, as required)

So, what heads meet these requirements? And what are the costs?

And tripod manufacturers - please note this possible market opportunity!

Thanks!
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Old July 19th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #2
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You forgot the COG.

COG = Centre of Gravity

I don't know what the COG of a 5D Mk II is, but from photo's, I'd say about level with the shin bone of a grasshopper.

As most video heads are specified @ a COG of 125 mm (5 inches) you can probably deduce yourself that the average video head is going to introduce you to a world of pain with such a low COG system.

Peter Harman probably had the best suggestion - a Vinten Vision 3 (NOT a 3 AS) with either a #1 spring (for the heavier builds) or even no spring at all (with smaller/ lighter optics).

The V3 offers pretty well all of your shopping list, except the "fine steps or continuous adjustment", but at that COG, nothing does.

If you can somehow engineer a 4" high block of concrete/ steel between the release plate and the camera, then you could kick up to a V 3 AS*, which would give you the continuous adjustment.

*As a side note, no other head in this segment of the market offers continuous adjustment, all the others are stepped. "Fine" is another subjective commodity.

The manufacturers (well, Vinten, at any rate) are aware of this problem with low COG cameras (as they bl$%^ing well should be, I nag them enough).

When (or if) something will appear on the market to address this problem, I'll leave to Peter Harman to announce (or not). The problem is that this is NOT where Vinten really want to be going, and the rest of the Vitec Group seems to be in "sleepwalk" mode.

I think it fair to say, Jon, that you've walked into yet another of those "gotcha's" when using a DSLR to shoot video. Heck, even camcorders are struggling at this level of the support market.


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Old July 20th, 2009, 02:11 AM   #3
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I don't feel so bad with my 516 then. Everything out there seems to need a bucket of lead shot, and if I'm adding custom weights, then I don't really need an adjustable counterbalance, do I? I can adjust the weight instead.

Scarlet owners are going to face the same problem.

The tripod makers need to realize that the game has changed. Weight is no longer a measure of camera quality - or of the owner's intent.
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Old July 20th, 2009, 06:00 AM   #4
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Too true.........

I have spent a considerable amount of time and energy trying to get that message across to Vitec, via Vinten, but, as I said, Vitec is in "sleepwalk" mode on this and simply cannot (or will not) see what's happening under their very noses.

This is not something that's "just" happened, it's well over a couple of years old.

I'll keep hammering away and, who knows, maybe, one day...............


CS
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