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Old July 20th, 2002, 01:13 AM   #1
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Midrange tripod

Okay, I know variations of this question have been posted throughout the forum, but I don't remember seeing one concerning a higher budget. So, if a fellow had between $700-1000 to spend on a tripod for and XL1s, what you guys recommend?
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Old July 21st, 2002, 03:45 AM   #2
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Check out Manfrotto and Miller. I have their links posted at www.dvfreak.com
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Old July 21st, 2002, 04:15 AM   #3
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Thanks.
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Old July 24th, 2002, 09:33 PM   #4
 
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I just bought a Sachtler online for $950 from B&H Photo and it was worth the wait!
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Old July 25th, 2002, 04:46 AM   #5
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A sachtler? The whole thing? Not just the bubble level or a piece of a spreader?
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Old July 25th, 2002, 06:38 AM   #6
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It's the Sachtler DV-4 system, includes a ground spreader, too. They are trying to compete with Bogen on the lower end of pro tripods. Which is kind of funny because Bogen is trying to get into the mid level range of pro tripods. It has a 10 lbs. weight limit so it should be fine for the XL1, but anything bigger at yo may have problems. Sachtler has a good reputation. Sachtler and Vinten are generally considered the two best overall. ZGC carries Sachtler and has some info on it http://www.zgc.com/html/tripods.html

Jeff
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Old July 25th, 2002, 06:41 AM   #7
 
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The whole thing! It's one of their "systems"--DV4. A true fluid head with 75mm half ball, a two-stage tripod, and a ground spreader.

Fluid Head:

Frictionless Leak Proof Fluid Damping

Frictionless leak proof fluid damping with one level of drag, for perfect pictures while panning, without jerks and vibrations.

Identical across both horizontal and vertical planes, and allows complete disengagement of drag for fast panning.

Quick Release
Touch & Go Quick Release / Automatic Locking System, for quick set up without having to bother to screwing the camera to head and then having to unscrew it again. Also features a safety lock lever that prevents inadvertent disengagement of the camera latch.

Sliding Balance Plate
Sliding camera mount and plate with a 2.4-inch sliding range, makes a fast balancing system for the camera and ensures perfect balance across the horizontal plane.

Dynamic Counterbalancing System
One Step dynamic counterbalancing system, compensates for torques as the camera tilts, preventing the camera from inadvertently tipping, and ensuring that it is positioned securely at any tilt angle. And can be can be activated and deactivated individually.

Safe at any temperature, operates without any frictions from -40F to +140F

Vibrationless vertical / horizontal brakes

Built-in bubble for horizontal leveling

Tripod:

Dural aluminum construction with 16mm (0.63") tube diameter

75mm / 3" bowl base

Double extension design

Maximum height of 62.2-inch (not including head)

Quick clamping system, locks tripod legs in seconds

No case, but their's is too expensive anyway. I already had a very nice soft padded case by Tundra from B&H for $50.00.

The Sachtler is well worth every cent! Quality equipment increases production value as well as your creativity.

Jay
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Old July 25th, 2002, 06:55 AM   #8
 
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By the way, the XL1s, with lens and battery, weighs in just under six and half pounds, so the DV-4 is the perfect system!

Jay
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Old July 25th, 2002, 07:03 AM   #9
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The weight is going to vary according to your camera config. My camera, with MA-200, dual batteries, mic pre-amp, shotgun mic etc. is close to 10 lbs.

Jeff
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Old July 25th, 2002, 07:08 AM   #10
 
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That's why I specified the components. Mine differs from job to job.

Jay
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Old July 25th, 2002, 12:22 PM   #11
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Sounds pretty cool. What's with this one level of drag business? Nothing in my above mentioned price range with adjustable drag?
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Old July 25th, 2002, 12:42 PM   #12
 
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The variable levels of drag are what, I think, begins to push the price up on these heads. The DV-4 has a "0" setting and a "1" setting. The "0" is a very nice "middle of the road" setting suitable for standard shooting. The "1" is no drag and suitable for whip pans and the like--following fast action. Both are smooth as silk!

There are other systems with variable drag, but the price is higher. I was about to buy the Bogen/Manfrotto before I saw that Sachtler had drastically lowered their prices. If I recall, it was in the $1,200 ballpark. And, at the risk of sounding like a status symbol hound, the bottom line is it's a Sachtler.

I've worked with Sachtler when renting, and I've owned Bogen equipment. There is no comparison.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 12:50 PM   #13
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Hmm. I worked with a fairly nice sachtler head (rental) on the last gig I did, and I had some trouble with it. Probably because I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

I don't remember the model number, but the head had a dial, with seven levels of tilt and pan drag.

It was pretty nice, but I swear I was hard pressed to tell the difference from one level of drag to the next. Also, watching the footage, when I did really wide pans (more than 90 degrees from start to stop, there was a kind of jerkiness to them. That was probably my technique . . .though when I used my superbly crappy bogen and did those types of pans they weren't to shabby. . .
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Old July 25th, 2002, 12:59 PM   #14
 
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That's the problem with rental equipment--it's only as good as the last guy who used it. Too, if the rental house doesn't maintain the equipment properly, it gets abused and worn down very quickly. The rentals I've used were from a place I trust--they take great care to maintain their equipment. They charge a little more, but it's worth it. Nothing like renting a truck full of equipment that breaks down as soon as you reach your location!

Too, keep in mind I was only sharing my opinion based on my limited experience.

(When I used to shoot film, I used Miller heads and tripods. I've only had the Sachtler a week, but it's worked VERY fine thus far.)

I'll stick my neck out and say if you were to buy one new, I don't think you would be disappointed.
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Old July 25th, 2002, 01:08 PM   #15
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Rental equipment, especially tripods get the crap beat out of them. Along time ago I bought a used O'Conner rental. It had a few funny quirks, pans weren't perfect, didn't balance quit right, so I sent it in for repair. The cost to rebuild the head was almost what I paid for it, $1600. It sure opened my eyes and I've never bought rental equipment since. My point is, rental equipment isn't always the best way to judge the suitability or performence of a piece of equipment.

I've always used Sachtlers until just recently. I believe they are the best tripods for the money. I currently use a Vinten. Why not Sachtler? Black tripods are murder in Florida. They get so hot you can almost leave your skin on them if you're not carefull.

Jeff
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