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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:36 PM   #1
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Opinion on Sachtler tripod and head

Hello to all. This is my first post here, although I have been lurking around for a while now. I am attempting to get a event videography business of the ground and need some advice on a tripod combo. I know that this topic had been discussed at length but I really need some help. And I have read through quite a few threads to try and educate myself on this topic.

I fully understand everybody's opinion when it comes to tripods here is that if you don't spend at least 1,200 you are wasting your money. But I fall in the category that so many do, to where I simply can't spend that much. At least until the business gets off the ground some, not to mention the other equipment that I still need to purchase. So should I just buy a cheap system to get me going until I can afford the high end stuff or is there a good medium?

So I am looking at this Sachtler system that I found on ebay because every one here seems to like that brand. I just wanted to see if it would fit my application. I'll be shooting mostly weddings with a canon xh-a1. Let me know what you think or point me in the right direction.

Description:
Sachtler DV 2 II single-stage tripod system that I'm selling includes the DV 2 II fluid head, tripod legs, camera baseplate, floor spreader and Sachtler softcase.

Here is the link:

Sachtler DV 2 II Tripod (GREAT CONDITION!) - eBay (item 280390259778 end time Sep-06-09 12:29:43 PDT)
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Old August 30th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #2
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Well your camera is about double the weight load of the tripod your looking at. Off hand I would say look at the Sachtler FSB-6 or more likely a FSB-8.

Now if you are in the used market, there are many options. All these brands keep changing their model numbers with few real improvements. Some like Manfrotto are thought to be less desirable now than their older tripods. As the models are older and less well known the price falls radically.

But you will still want adjustable drag and a weight load of at least 12 lbs, probably more if you are going to accessorize it. The Sachtlers are great. I love them. I just can't afford one myself at the moment. Also the Vinten are at least equally as respected.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 03:15 PM   #3
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thanks for the reply, I was afraid that head wouldn't support my camera. Any other thoughts?
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:57 AM   #4
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Hi

I recevied a Sachtler system, FSB-6/2MD, on monday last week and have used it this weekend doing some nature filming. I have plans to write a small review in the near future. Until then I just can say that I can do things with the FSB head that was more or less impossible with my Manfrotto 503 (not 503HDV) head. For example a very slow pan and a tilt at the same time without any jerks in either directions during start/stop. The head doesn't suffer from any kickback at stops during pan. Even att full tele it's hard to see any kickback att all. If there are kickbacks they probably come from the tripod not standing firm on the ground or from the tripod itself as it might twist a little. There is no kickback during tilts if the head is balanced. What I have learned though is that panning/tilting is an art by itself and takes time to master, even with a good head.

What I like with the head, FSB-6, is that there is three levels of tilt/drag settings plus a "zero" setting. The counter balance setting has 10 stages. For my Canon XH-A1 without any accessories I used a counter balance setting of 1 or 2 so there is much room for accessories or a heavier camcorder.

What I don't like is the fact that the tripod, ENG 75/2 D, isn't as steady as I was expecting. It's a two stage aluminium tripod with a mid level spreader. If fully expanded the height is very good for my purposes but it definately twists more than I expected. Perhaps it vill be more steady with a floor spreader but that's hard to have in nature where the ground never is flat enough.
The tripod is more hard to expand than my Manfrotto as the stage locks are T-formed screws rather than quick locks.
It's also heavy. The whole system weights 2 kilos more than my Manfrotto 190BWB/503 setup which isn't so much, but walking in rough terrain with slippery rocks you can really feel the extra weight. There is a carbon fibre system with a quick lock two stage tripod but the weight of that system is more or less the same and it's also more expensive than the aluminium tripod.

If I have to grade the system the head will get 5 and the tripod 3.5 (out of five).

I fully understad the economical aspect of tripod investments. A good tripod costs a lot of money and if one doesn't have the money it's hard to do such an investment. Another aspect is that going the long way, buing a cheap tripod to start with, upgrade it, buing another tripod that is a little better and finally buy a real pro tripod will probably will be much more expensive in the long run.


Regards,

/Bo
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:53 PM   #5
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A great addition to your equipment would be a Gitzo Series 3 tripod with a 75mm bowl.

Here is the standard version:
Gitzo | GT3531LSV Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3531LSV

There is an extra tall version (but the bowl has to be bought separately... and either tripod can take a flat top adatper, 75mm bowl or 100mm bowl):
Gitzo | GT3541XLS Systematic 6X Carbon Fiber Tripod | GT3541XLS

75mm bowl:
Gitzo | GS5320V75 75mm Bowl Adapter | GS5320V75 | B&H Photo Video

This tripod is very lightweight and and excellent for carrying around. Compared to any of the Sacthler or Miller tripods I have tried, the Gitzo is rock solid with absolutely no twist.

The Gitzo also goes very, very low, but you have to have a short locking screw for your head.

The Gitzo does require unscrewing each joint when setting up, but because of the lightweight of the tripod, it's not very difficult, but takes a minute.

When the special features of the Gitzo are important -- lightweight, rigidity, adjustability, changeability of head mounts -- I have seen nothing that compares.

Because there is no spreader, this tripod is also very convenient to setup in difficult situations (straddling theater seats, over a log, on a rocky hill, etc.)

I have the extra tall version and have taken it around the world in a standard suitcase. One thing to note, the leg spread is wider than regular tripods, but that has not been a problem.

If you have a chance to see one of these tripods, it's worth making the effort.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 04:09 PM   #6
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Thanks everybody, looks like the Sachtler FSB-6 is a good choice for me. It's a lot of money but a worth while investment I think. Never would have guessed tripods and heads would cost to much, but I guess to be a "professional" you have to buy pro equipment at a pro price.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #7
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The Sactchler "DV" heads that came out before the FSB series did are not that good in my opinion. Not worth buying used.

The FSB-6 is outstanding in my opinion.
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Old November 14th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Walker View Post
The Sactchler "DV" heads that came out before the FSB series did are not that good in my opinion. Not worth buying used.

The FSB-6 is outstanding in my opinion.
How can they be that bad, at least my 2 year old DV6SB performs very good for being a 75mm head. Ofcourse it won't come close to the larger Sachtler/Vinten heads...in the same way no manfrotto or libec head will come close to Sacthler.

Basicly if you can get hold of Sachtler and can afford it, go for it as it makes mincemeat of any manfrotto/libec setup. And will last much longer...
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Old November 15th, 2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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I'm not sure which heads I mean, but they were the first heads Sachtler made for DV cameras, I believe. (Not the current heads that have DV in the name.)

The ones I mean are out of production and the FSB heads replaced them. I don't believe the DV 6 SB is what I'm talking about. I think this head is a step up from the FSB heads, or at least a different, higher-priced line.

I agree also that the mid-priced heads (libec and others) are not my choice for any use, though some people find them great for their needs.

I think the current Sachtler heads are about the best for DV/HDV weight cameras.

I own a Gitzo that is excellent for my needs, but it requires the spring to be changed when changing camera weights. However, it has continuous drag that works very well for me. (I also like the Gitzo because I have other Gitzo tripod setups,and they all use the same camera plate.)

Last edited by Jack Walker; November 15th, 2009 at 11:42 AM.
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