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Old July 20th, 2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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Tripod Reccomendations

EX-3 + Letus + Matte box + maybe a nano down the road.

Looking at:

Sachtler | DV-12SB ENG Carbon Fiber Tripod System | 1263 | B&H



Vinten | V8AS-CP2M Vision Pozi-Loc Carbon Fiber | V8AS-CP2M

27 pound capacity of the Vinten sufficient given what I may load it up with down the road?

Been watching Ebay but most of the Sachtler and Vintens that come up are floor speaders.

Any other reccomendations that could allow me to spend less while getting excellent quality? Is there any point to mix and matching heads to sticks to get my cost down?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #2
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Hi Kyle............

Two extremely good systems.

Can't really comment on the Sachtler, as haven't played with one (yet), but the infinately variable counterbalance on the Vinten is incredible, as is the new snap load camera plate.

As you're obviously not short of a buck or three, may I suggest an upgrade to the Vinten rig which will blow anything on the map away?

A set of these under that 8 AS and you're gonna be loaded for bear:

Vinten | 3498-3 ENG/EFP 2-Stage Fibertec Tripod Legs | 34983

Don't forget it needs the Spread Loc mid level spreader (sold seperately) and there should be a Vinten bag designed specifically for 'em but can't locate it on B&H for some reason.

You've probabl already done so, but if not, check out my reviews of both the sticks and the Vinten 3 AS in the Articles section, above.

In my opinion, that V X AS/ FiberTec combo is THE best support system on the planet, but then, I'm biased, I have one!


CS
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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Kyle,

I have the Sachtler DV6 SB with the 75mm SL Carbon Fiber legs. I put a Canon XL H1A with a SmallHD 8.9" monitor and Sony CF recorder unit on it. Almost always have the larger batter so I have about as much weight on it as I could imagine. I love the head. The ability to adjust the counter balance and is great. Pans and tilts are very smooth. The knock I would have against my setup are the legs. for most applications they are good enough but on extreme zooms in winding conditions it would be nice if they were a tad stiffer. The system you're looking at has the legs with the 100mm bowl. I've played with one of those and it's a huge difference. I'm actually considering getting the adapter so I can get the 100mm legs and use my head on it.

I've used the Vinten Vision 6 (I think it was) and was really impressed with that too. I think bottom line is you won't be dissapointed with either one.

-Garrett
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Old July 20th, 2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Thanks for the Feedback Garret and Chris

I don't think I will ever exceed approx 25 pounds. That being said how much of a margin do you guys recommend between rated capacity and actual load?
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Old July 20th, 2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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Simply put............

The higher the rated capacity of the sticks, the more rigid they are, hence why I suggested the FiberTec's over the Pozi - Loc's (92 lbs vs. 55lb) - those FiberTecs are really rigid.

When working out the counterbalance capacity of the head btw, remember that the quoted min/ max figures for the 8AS are at a COG of 125 mm (5 inches) from the top of the head.

The EX3 is a pretty low camera and the additions you mentioned won't add much "up top" either, so even with a full up kit weight of 27 lbs I don't think you will have run out of counterbalanc.

Conversly, because of the EX3's low COG, it will probably require a total kit weight in excess of the stated 12.1 lbs to get the counterbalance to kick in.


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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:23 PM   #6
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I think you could save some money and get a more solid setup if you'd put a decent fluid head on heavy Gitzo sticks. Nothing really beats the Gitzo legs.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 12:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Stefan Immler View Post
I think you could save some money and get a more solid setup if you'd put a decent fluid head on heavy Gitzo sticks. Nothing really beats the Gitzo legs.
Ya I was hoping to get my cost down while still ending up with a high quality setup. At this point I know I want either a Sachtler 12 or Vinten 8 head. I want a mid level speader and I don't see that Gitzo has that. Can you recommend any other legs to go with either the Sachtler or the Vinten?
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 01:13 PM   #8
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If you go with sachtler, I would add the 500$ or so to get the speedlock legs, or at least consider it. 3 clamps for adjustment instead of 6 is a treat...and the legs are pretty stiff as well. My experience with Vinten are limited to Vision11 and 100 on fibertec legs so cant comment on the new AS heads, are waiting to demo the AS for my HPX500.

Bottom line you can't go much wrong with Sachtler or Vinten, both make good heads and legs.
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 03:24 PM   #9
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Extra $700 for speed lock. Worth it?

Sachtler | DV-12SB ENG Carbon Fiber Tripod System | 1263 | B&H

Sachtler | DV-12SB SL Carbon Fiber Tripod System | 1265 | B&H
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 07:40 PM   #10
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Ouch, the difference seem to be a bit more than the quote i got from my supplier...

If you move a lot around, almost ENG style....it's saves some time in setup and it will be worth it as I see it. If on the other hand you don't move around that much or need cut seconds where you can the normal CF legs are very good to. The SL is not a must, got a bit carried away in how much I like using them...

Try to get a demo of the heads/legs you are in the market for, I find that personal preferences on how the head works and feel also should be taken into consideration when investing 5 grand in a tripod that's built to outlast at least 5 cameras.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Powers View Post
YI want a mid level speader and I don't see that Gitzo has that. Can you recommend any other legs to go with either the Sachtler or the Vinten?
You do not need a spreader with Gitzo tripods. In fact, I have found the Gitzo tripods more resistant to torsion (meaning they don't twist) than the other tripods (including Sachtler, etc., except maybe for the the monster Vinten Chris has and reviewed on DvInfo.net). (On the Gitzos the "spreader" is built into the top as step locks.)

The Gitzo tripods are different, and they should be looked at before buying. For your needs I suggest a Gitzo Series 5:
Gitzo SA | le choix des professionels

These tripods have interchangeable head attachments (flat, 75mm, 100mm) that can be bought separately. The Gitzo tripods are very, very rigid, and very, very lightweight compared to others.

Here is the Gitzo GT5531S (max. height 52.4") at B&H for $849.95 with a $40 rebate available:
GT5531S | B&H Photo Video

Here is the Gitzo GT5541LS (max height 60.2") at B&H for $949.95 with a $40 rebate available:
Gitzo | GT5541LS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT5541LS

Since both of these come standard with the flat top, the bowl adapter needs to be purchased separtely.
75mm:
Gitzo | GS5320V75 75mm Bowl Adapter | GS5320V75 | B&H Photo Video
100mm:
Gitzo | GS5320V100 Bowl Interface 100mm | GS5320V100 | B&H Photo

The Gitzo legs are nice also because they go very low, giving you either a baby tripod or a hi-hat in the field. (To go the lowest, you need a head hut with a short extension)

The Gitzo legs take longer to setup since each section has to be done separately. This is were the Sacthtler speedlock is nice, when the weight is not important, but you have many quick setups.

Realizing that the Gitzo legs are a different type than the standard video tripod, the Gitzos cannot be beat for rigidity, adaptability and weight.

If you want cushiony sides, there are leg protectors available separately (but to me are annoying):
LensCoat | LegCoat Tripod Leg Protectors | LCG5540LSSN | B&H

For lighter weight cameras than you are talking about, the Gitzo Series 3 (load capacity 39.7 lbs.) is the standard leg (and the standard height version comes with a 75mm bowl adapter):
Gitzo | GT3531LSV Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3531LSV
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #12
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Personally, I've found that the big advantage of a spreader isn't stability, but the ability to quickly lift the tripod from the middle of the spreader, collapsing the legs evenly. Also, the legs spread evenly when you prepare to set it down. This makes moving a tripod from spot to spot very quick. With a bowl/ball, you can level the camera and start shooting right away.

You mention that the Gitzo has a spreader function built into the top of the tripod, but I wonder if it provides quick-move functionality, or just leg locking.

I recently took a large tripod without a spreader, a shoulder rig, and prime lenses to a racetrack, and I was amazed at how long it took me to reconfigure from tripod (long lens) to shoulder (wide lens) and back, and what a hassle it was to move the tripod around. A mid-level spreader wouldn't have solved everything by any means, but it's a simple and important piece of the agile cameraman puzzle.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:18 PM   #13
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Granted, the Gitzo take longer to set up and break down because, as you said, you can't use the spreader. However, the Gitzo are ROCK SOLID (more so than any other video tripod with spreader that I have seen) and have the option to chose different opening angles for each leg in uneven terrain, which is very useful.

To be honest, since I got a tripod with spreader (Sachtler), I am getting lazy and do exactly what you do: I can use one hand to put the tripod on the ground, and push the spreader down with my foot -- done. This takes about 5 sec. However, it is so tempting to only use one hand that I sometimes have the camcorder in the other, which has created very dangerous situations! Always use TWO hands to set up your equipment.

Keep in mind: tripods only use spreaders if they are not rigid enough. It is an add-on to compensate for lack of stability. A spreader is not a feature -- it is a bug-fix. The Gitzos don't need a spreader.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 05:19 PM   #14
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I'm trying to find a way to avoid spending 5500 to 6k for a tripod system. I understand why I need to spend for a decent head. I'm a little confused about why I need to spend so much for legs. I would think the only measure that matters with legs would be load capacity, rigidity and maybe ease of setup.

I'm trying to understand why I would want to with this:

Sachtler | CF-100ENG 2CF Carbon Fiber Tripod Legs | 5386 | B&H

instead of this

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Aluminum.html
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Old July 24th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Immler View Post
Keep in mind: tripods only use spreaders if they are not rigid enough. It is an add-on to compensate for lack of stability. A spreader is not a feature -- it is a bug-fix.
I disagree that it's not a feature (though it might be a bug fix for some cheap sticks.) A mid-level spreader offers the benefit of quick setup. For shooting news, I'd say that this is a "must-have" feature.

It sounds like you have a low-level spreader, if you're using your foot. That's not as "handy" ;) as a mid-level one. It's also not useful on rugged terrain.

I've got a Bogen 3193 (350MVB). It's heavy and solid (100mm bowl, only two sections; two tubes per section) and doesn't include a spreader as a standard feature. I'm planning to buy a mid-level spreader, but not for added stability (the sticks are overkill for my 5D MkII). I would buy it solely for the benefit of quick setup and collapse.
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