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Old June 25th, 2004, 08:53 PM   #1
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Sachtler DV4

I've had the Sachtler DV4 with the SP75 spreaders for several months now. The spreaders recently split and broke on the bottom section near the clamps for the tripod legs.

Sachtler was helpful but said that they were only going to replace them with the same part. My understanding is that Sachtler has been experiencing this problem alot with these particular spreaders. Unfortunately the replacement may be just a temporary fix until it does it again.

Anybody else been having this problem with the DV4?
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 04:47 PM   #2
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Sachtler DV-4II - balancing a hd100

I just got my sachtler DV-4II tripod system in today and I was really excited because I thought it would dwarf my old bogen 501.

Well it seems to be completely useless to me because I could not balance my jvc hd100u for the life of me. I tried everything to balance it so that it would able to tilt it in any direction without falling. The back of the camera sags no matter what setting I used. I think there is way too much spring devoted to the front of the camera and this is why the back keeps tipping. I even set it on the tripod backwards and to my surprise, it was actually more balanced even though I just increased the weight of the back!


I am super upset because I could buy four of my bogen 501 systems for what I paid for this thing and at least with the 501s I could move the head in different directions without the camera tipping.

It seems like alot of people praise the sachtlers.

Does anyone know what I could be doing wrong or a solution to decrease the front-end spring?

Last edited by Jonathan Nelson; September 22nd, 2006 at 08:34 PM.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 07:39 PM   #3
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Sounds like you don't have the camera balanced to the center of the head. The HD100 tends to have this problem because the tripod attachment point is pretty far in front of the camera's center of gravity (depending on what batteries you are using). If the sliding platform on your DV-4 is all the way forward and you still can't balance the camera then you'll need to either get the longer CG plate or the JVC tripod adapter.

AFAIK, there is no "front-end" or "back-end" spring. The counterbalance works equally whether you are tilting up or down. If the camera keeps tipping in one direction then that means you haven't balanced the camera so that the CG is over the head.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 07:49 PM   #4
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Hey, I am back to being happy again. I found a fix!

I guess you can buy a c.o.g plate for 220 dollars which is just a piece of metal with a couple holes in it.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

After looking at the head again, I found a better and cheaper way! (:

The tripod plate can move from front to back a few inches from the center of the head. However, it only offers the few inches for the back* side of the tripod head which does NOT help my problem. So my solution was to take out the tripod plate and just flip it around so that the extra inches are added to the front* side which does help my problem. To my surprise, it worked perfectly! I can't find any flaw from flipping it except the measurement rule does not have a nifty white line on the other side to determine your position. That white line was the only reason why I did not try this trick in the first place because it makes it look like it's not designed to be flipped.

Now my camera balances perfectly!

Better then buying that expensive piece of scrap metal for 220 bucks. Actually I am not sure the c.o.g plate was intended for my kind of problem but that only because there very little documentation about it. I am sure this is a common solution but being my first sachtler, I was pretty surprised by this work around.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 07:53 PM   #5
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That's why the stock plate has offset holes in the first place. The plate has no "front" or "back", despite the rule markings. If there's any flaw, it's that they didn't mark both sides and this gave you the wrong idea.

You should probably edit the title of your thread :-)
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 08:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
That's why the stock plate has offset holes in the first place. The plate has no "front" or "back", despite the rule markings. If there's any flaw, it's that they didn't mark both sides and this gave you the wrong idea.

You should probably edit the title of your thread :-)
If you want to change it, change it. I am actually still disappointed by the quality of the head in comparison to it's price but that is another thread.

This is something that should have at least been covered in the manual. I almost spent the 220 bucks on the stupid c.o.g plate before I thought to experiment a little.

By the way, Nate I love your website! Pretty cool stuff you got there. I have been wanting to tell you that for a while now.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 08:44 PM   #7
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Aw shucks. Thanks.

Actually, I can't change it. But realize that every other high end head out there is similar to the Sachtler in the way they use offset balance plates. It's just one of those standard things.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Nelson
I am actually still disappointed by the quality of the head in comparison to it's price but that is another thread.
I'd have to agree with you there. But then again, pretty much every small DV head is disappointing because they're either flimsy or they aren't smooth, at least compare to better heads and depending on how picky you are. I guess that's just a limitation of making them inexpensive.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
Aw shucks. Thanks.

Actually, I can't change it. But realize that every other high end head out there is similar to the Sachtler in the way they use offset balance plates. It's just one of those standard things.
Oh, I thought wranglers could change them. I will try to find out how to change it then.

I know what you mean about standard things, and I am slowly learning these standards as I move along in this industry.

I am starting to like this new sachtler now that I got it all figured out. It works great with the lowest torque tension setting. Its smooth as silk and no more jerks when I am trying to frame a close up.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 11:49 PM   #10
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That indeed is the point.

Just for your info, the DV line definitely is not as good as the Video line, or the film line (whatever they're calling that these days). But it's a good head, regardless.
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Old September 23rd, 2006, 03:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
That indeed is the point.

Just for your info, the DV line definitely is not as good as the Video line, or the film line (whatever they're calling that these days). But it's a good head, regardless.
Thanks for the info.

I know, I made a similar mistake when I bought my hd100. I guess the hd100 is not as good as the varicam 27h. I should do my research before buying. ;)

Oh well, I will just have to rough it till my next buying session!
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Old October 12th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #12
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I found the comments here interesting. I was at Wedding and Event Video Expo in August, and I was tripod shopping at the trade show. One of the reps from a major equipment dealer confided that with Sachtler, it is best to get the DV6 or above because manufacture of the lesser models has been outsourced to a factory somewhere in Central America and are off-par in function and quality. For example, the DV6 and above have continuously variable adjustments.

Many years ago I got a used Miller 20 head and was shocked at the cost of spares, especially that of the simple camera mounting plate and the nylon buds used in the drag assembly.

I am seeking a new pod for my Z1 and I'm in the research phase. The Sachtler DV6 is under consideration, but based on advice of another poster here, I insist on try-before buy so I'm taking my cam to a gear show next week.
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Old August 13th, 2007, 03:22 PM   #13
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Sachtler DV4 II

OK, you guys help me a lot on my previous post.
But last night everything changed. One of my costumer just booked me for one big project which is require a smaller HDV camcorder. (So with my JVC HD100s I will use my current Gitzo tripods)
I will buy a Canon A-1 so now I have a dilemma, which GOOD tripod I need. I will use the A-1 with the small Sennheiser wireless receiver and sometimes with on camera light. That's it.
Now, I think about te Libec 38 or the Sachtler DV4 II with the dual stage sticks. The Sachtler is $300 more at B&H. I don't mined to spend the extra $300 if it's worth it. The project require a very good tripod.
What you guys hink?

Please let me know, I want to make my order soon.

Thanks: Laszlo
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Old August 13th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #14
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Hi Laszlo............

If the tripod needs to be "REALLY GOOD" (I'm goint to read that as rigid, stable, light as, ease of set up/ knock down etc etc) then if you don't mind parting with the shed load it's gonna cost, the answer could be the Vinten Fibretec. I know it's a 100 mm (just requires a step down ring) but that thing is stable with a capital S.

To go with it for your chosen camera (A1, Senn receiver etc) the Vinten Vision 3 with a #2 spring (beware, the standard, out of the box A1 with small battery and all included Canon accessories cannot be counterbalanced properly with a #2 spring. It requires the big battery, a Senn receiver up top and even a tad more to get to correct COG range).

Check 'em out. The head when properly balanced is sweet as a nut and a joy to use and the variable drag gives you more options than the Satchler.

Not a cheap combo but you did say "Really Good".

CS
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