Can't find the right tripod/head for my HMC150s at DVinfo.net

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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:07 AM   #1
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Can't find the right tripod/head for my HMC150s

:::The Head:::

Currently have two 701RC2 Manfrotto heads. One sticks. Feel like they're too cheap for our clientele.

Also have a Manfrotto monopod that utilizes the same 200PL plate. Love the swap-ability for run & gun shooting.

Want a head with two handles. Our cams are light (Panny HMC150s) so it doesn't need to be a monster, but I want it fluid in the true sense of the word. I can't find anything with the 200PL plate, so I may have to sell my monopod for a monopod that matches the plates of whatever heads I get.

:::The Tripod:::

Need something that goes up to a tall 6 1/2 ft with a bowl system, or something for quick leveling. Spreaders are nice, but mainly looking for a fast tear-down. Separate pan and tilt locks. Quick release.

Thoughts?
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 01:51 PM   #2
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From other threads here on anything HD and light, I have pointed at this one:
Sachtler | 0372 FSB-4 Aluminum Tripod System | 0372 | B&H Photo

I cannot vouch for the legs and they are a little shorter than you ask for. The fluid head will work very well and will probably counter balance very well with your camera on setting 1 or 2. The fluid head does not seem to be available as a separate item but that's not too bad a thing as the legs are almost free in this price. So if you don't like the legs it doesn't hurt at all when you upgrade to better legs.

You didn't say where you mainly intend to use the tripod, nor what you want to shoot, but you want 6-1/2 feet which means you will probably want this, if you want quality:
Gitzo | GT3541XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3541XLS
and it will also need a bowl adapter for the top:
Gitzo | GS5320V75 75mm Bowl Adapter | GS5320V75 | B&H Photo Video

These recommendations will give you what you think you want from your post, and will not waste your money on buying lesser half capable stuff that you will end up trying to get rid of.

Of course if your needs are different or more specific than you have already spelled out then the tripod might change but the head is probably the best suited for your work and that camera.

Trying to match the Manfrotto quick release plate is an exercise in frustration. A monopod has its uses but I suspect you will appreciate the utility of a good tripod and head far more than that of a monopod and live with having to change plates for monopod use. If you insist on using the 200L plate you will need to buy this:
Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 322RA Quick Release Adapter | 322RA
and mount it to the mounting plate that comes with the FSB-4. Not the best way to do things but the easiest way. It adds height to the mount and adds another failure point when mounted to the FSB4.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 02:02 PM   #3
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There aren't too many tripod that go to 6-1/2 feet (78 inches), but here is a great one that I own:
Gitzo | GT3541XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3541XLS

It comes with a flat top, so you need to get the bowl adapter if you want to use a half-bowl head. There is a 100mm and a 75mm adapter. Here is the 75mm adapter:
Gitzo | GS5320V75 75mm Bowl Adapter | GS5320V75 | B&H Photo Video

However, this is not an instant setup tripod. But it is versatile, lightweight and rock solid.

Another option that includes the perfect light camera head is the Sachtler FSB-2 head on the Sachtler SOOM Tripod. This goes up to 94.9 inches (just short of 8 feet):
Sachtler | 0280 FSB-2 Soom Tripod System | 0280 | B&H Photo Video

There are other combos of the Sacthler setup (e.g. FSB-4 head) that may work. However the Sachtler tripod doesn't drop down to ultra low mode like the Gitzo does.

And if it's height you're after, I don't want to give the impression Sachtler is superior. Here is a Gitzo that goes to 102.4 inches (a little over 8-1/2 feet), and it goes as low as 6.7 inches. Don't forget to get the right adapter for the type of head:
Gitzo | GT-5561SGT Giant Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber | GT5561SGT
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 02:04 PM   #4
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We need to get a sticky on this subject. It comes up far too many times. Glad I got supporting advice!
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Old August 3rd, 2009, 05:25 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for the great advice!
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