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Old July 27th, 2002, 12:52 AM   #31
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Yeah, I've heard good things about those Millers.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 04:58 AM   #32
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To Mr. Good Dog: I just received my sachtler dv-4, and had a query for you. I'm finding that even with the "1" setting (the higher level of drag), I'm still not getting as much resistance as I'd like with my XL1s. Any tips on ways to add resistance (besides locking the tilt and pan)?
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Old August 17th, 2002, 07:39 AM   #33
 
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No, unfortunately I wouldn't have any suggestions. I certainly wouldn't suggest using the pan/tilt locks as brakes. That might do more damage than good (like riding the brakes in your car).

This serves as a perfect example of the difference among camera operators. You would like a bit more drag at that setting, while I would like a tad less. Neither is right or wrong--just different. If we lived in a perfect world, where money was no object, I would have gone for the head with variable drag adjustment. I should've been born rich, instead of being so darn good-looking!

Using the head, like the 16x lens on the XL1, was simply a matter of adjustment for me. Over time, I've found that I am far more flexible than any equipment. Hence, it's easier for me to adjust than the equipment. I honestly think the more you use it the better you'll feel about it. Then again, I could be wrong!

The other option would be return it and get one of the other suggested systems. Sorry I haven't been more help.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 12:45 PM   #34
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That's okay. I doubt another system would be any bettwer in that respect in the same price range. I just feel like I have to hold back in order not to make the moves too fast.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 01:20 PM   #35
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I think it will take a little getting used to. This is a guess, but I'm thinking your still used to your old tripod, which you had everything tighten way down. Now your style is a little heavy handed and the Sachtler seems too light. To help getting used to it, try adjusting the pan so you only have to use your index finger to move it. This will help lighten your feel for the tripod.

Jeff
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Old August 17th, 2002, 02:15 PM   #36
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Thank you sir. Another thing I'm not used to is the counterbalance--it always wants to return to its center position when tilted up or down. Can't switch it off either. At least now I know that if
I can't deal with it, it's me and not the tripod.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 02:39 PM   #37
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Well, that's not right. It should stay put if you tilt down or up. Do you have the camera centered, so that it's not front or back heavy? The camera should stay put. The other possibility is, the camera is too light. Of course there's the outside chance the head isn't adjusted right. Keep trying to adjust the head, weight, balance and see what you get. Worse case call where you bought it on Monday and talk to someone familar with your model and see what they say.

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Old August 17th, 2002, 02:55 PM   #38
 
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Jeff,

Mine does the same thing, as has every one I've ever used--returns to level. If it didn't do that, it would defeat the purpose, would it not? It was designed that way to prevent accidents--keeps the whole shebang from falling over when the operator absent-mindely let's go (more often than not on a tilt down).
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Old August 17th, 2002, 03:03 PM   #39
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I figured. I was wondering (Good Dog) if you had two pan arms or just one.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 03:05 PM   #40
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Good question Jay, your more the expert on this tripod than I. All I can say is that the larger Sachtler, O'Connor and Vinten tripods I have used stay put. Meaning, where ever I leave the tripod head it stays, up, down, you name it. I would find that centering unacceptable. In my field work I point my tripod down to shot flowers or maybe a nest on the ground. I want the tripod to stay exactly as I positioned it. Even if I walk away, maybe to adjust a reflector. My current Vinten acts this way. No springing back. I wonder how Ken's Miller works.

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Old August 17th, 2002, 03:25 PM   #41
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When you lock it down, it doesn't spring back. When you have it unlocked, it does. That's all I meant. I'm not used to the counterbalance, so I found it worth remarking on.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 03:47 PM   #42
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Well, that's what I'm saying, I don't use the lock and it stays put. I have it adjusted so it does not spring back. I don't have to fight the counter balance.

Jeff
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Old August 17th, 2002, 03:50 PM   #43
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On the DV8 and higher models there is a dial that allows you to adjust the counter balance. With heavy cameras you want this counter balance so when you tilt down or up the camera doesn't slam the pivoting weight to the maximum tilt range. Very important for camera moves. Since my camera weighs around 17 pounds I use the 3-5 setting.

I find the standard XL1 to be very light on the DV8 and I suspect it's the same with the DV4, even at the lightest counter balance setting.

Ken T:
I like the millers, but I LOVE the Sachtler because of the pan and tilt settings. Sometimes you want more drag and then other times you want to whip pan. I dial in different settings all the time. It's the best, especially if you've just had a huge cup of coffee.
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Old August 17th, 2002, 05:23 PM   #44
 
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Jeff, the head can be "locked" in the down (or up) position for situations like the one you mentioned. Too, (although I've not tried it) one might be able to adjust the the camera to the front or rear of center so that it doesn't (can't) "center" itself.

As one who has taught film production, all too often I have seen those less than conscientious students raise the legs high, tilt the camera forward (as far as it will go), let go and walk away to adjust a light or reflector or whatever. Then someone (usually me) had to make a suicide dive in order to save the camera from crashing to the ground. Invariably, they had broken two "prime directives:"

1. Always set the tripod with one of the legs under and forward of the lens.

2. Never let go of the camera or the pan/tilt handle until you are certain the camera is secure, i.e., it won't fall or tip over.

It would go in one ear and out the other.

This was back in the days of "film" when the camera was either a CP16 or an Arri BL, the latter being particularly heavy.
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Old August 18th, 2002, 12:45 AM   #45
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I did that with a SVHS camera in my first field camera class. Freaked my teacher out a good one. You can also adjust it while locked--the lock isn't strong enough to prevent movement if you apply a little force. As for counterbalance--correct me if I'm wrong Good Dog, but you can't adjust it at all on this particular system, can you?
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