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Old September 8th, 2009, 03:05 PM   #1
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best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7

Hi all,

I just a month ago, got back fronm the Wimbledon tennis in England. I had a great time and lots of video. Anyway that's for another thread.
I went on a dove hunting trip over the US Labor Day holliday weekend. I currently have the Sony FX-7 camera and a cheep $40us tripod. Viewing the footage I shot I see that it would be much better if I had a much better tripod with a fluid head. The head on the tripod I have just jerks to much as you pan.
I would appreciate some recomendations on which tripod I should get. My price range is $300-$400US. The following is my top priorities....
1) Smooth panning of the tripod head #1.
2) lightweight but sturdy enough so most vidrations are non existant.
3) Quick release of the camera from the tripod.
The Sony has its' own wireless remote so I don't want to wast my money on a tripod with Remote controls. I would rather spend my money on a better head etc.
I also have a Silk model 504QF Tripod with no head. How good is this tripod and what type of heads could I get for the base/legs?

Thank for the advice. I got a Kata bag from recomendations on this board and I really love it.

John gerard
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Old September 8th, 2009, 04:12 PM   #2
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Tripod

I would go on B&h website and look around, I need to get a better one too, mine is a budget sony that I converted to accept a fluid head, it works but its a matter of time til it breaks. My last cheapy broke so I bought this one quick, good luck Garry
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Old September 9th, 2009, 04:44 AM   #3
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Sachtler Soom is the best tripod in my opinion for HDV cameras. It costs nearly $3k, but it is everything that you would want a tripod to be.
Sachtler | 0480 FSB-6 with Soom and Tri-Spreader | 0480 | B&H


At the low end, for less than $200 you can get a Davis & Sanford. Much lower quality than Sachtler (obviously), but they're owned by Tiffen so you'll have great customer support.
Davis & Sanford | Pro Vista Tripod with FM 18 | PROVISTA7518B
Davis & Sanford | PROVISTAGR18 Provista | PROVISTAGR18 | B&H

A lot of people use Bogen sticks & heads. The 503 head is considered by many to be the cheapest / best head out there. There are a bunch of Bogen tripods to look at, but I personally like Gitzo more than Bogen.

I currently use a really old Gitzo Strudex w/ a Bogen 503 head. I love it because it is REALLY solid & I can get shots from 18" to 7'. (I don't think it is too heavy, but I have a lot of experience with Betacams, so anything less than 20lbs is light.)

The biggest thing I would say is get something with a ball / half bowl. Once you use one you'll never want to go back to leveling each leg at a time.

If you don't get a tripod w/ a half bowl, at least get this: Manfrotto 438 Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 438 Compact Levelling Head - | 438
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Old September 9th, 2009, 05:25 AM   #4
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also check out miller - dv5 and solo legs....

whatever - a good tripod is well worth spending money on - a good choice will see you through 3 > 4 cameras. a cheap one will see you through 2 > 3 per camera ;-)
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Old September 9th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leslie Wand View Post
also check out miller - dv5 and solo legs....

whatever - a good tripod is well worth spending money on - a good choice will see you through 3 > 4 cameras. a cheap one will see you through 2 > 3 per camera ;-)
I'll up your wager.... A good tripod can last you 3-4 decades. A cheap one can break after 2-3 months of usage.

If you're spending the money on a camera, spend the money on the accessories too. I have never seen a tripod at Best Buy that I would consider to be usable for video, check out B&H and other online retailers and get a good video tripod & head.

I think putting a V1 on a cheap tripod is like putting a V1 in the hands of a 4yr old. Video won't be steady & there is an awful good chance the camera is going to be dropped on the ground.
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Old September 9th, 2009, 03:15 PM   #6
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I'll echo what Zach says about the 438 leveling head. I have them on my rigs and they're indispensable, and give you the advantage of quick leveling while still having an extendable center column for emergencies. Here's my rig:

Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 028B Tripod Legs (Black) with | B&H

I actually have two of these although they are slightly older versions, and I've been pleased with them. Maybe not the beefiest around but I think a good value -- slightly above your budget but not in the ridiculously stratospheric range.

I also have two of the Davis and Sanford FM18 kits mentioned above, and they are are great value for a smaller cam like the FX7. I use the D&Ses for my FX7s and the Manfrottos for my FX1s and 1000s.

By the way, you do know that your requirement number 2 is impossible with two mutually exclusive attributes?
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Old September 9th, 2009, 09:19 PM   #7
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Leveling Sticks/Head

I went with the Bogen/Manfrotto 701HDV head for mine (based on these recommendations from MediaStorm (MediaStorm: Gear Kits.) I wanted to keep my whole kit as light as possible and often wish I had something a little more stable/fluid as my movements are never as clean as they should be on the pod. So, I'd recommend the 501 as a minimum. For legs, something with a leveling feature is an absolute must. You won't believe how much quicker and easier it makes set-up.
Take a look at the Manfrotto/Bogen kits at B&H. Note, that many will take an additional leveling column that I've used and they work pretty slick. They have several in the 400-500 range that will be a big step up from where you are now. Then, like the rest of us, you'll need to learn to work within the limitations of your equipment. Cheers, JLee
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Old September 10th, 2009, 04:11 AM   #8
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Cheap, Rocksolid and very smooth pans and tilts:

Secced Ares 2 Tripod Kit - Proactive

For your kind of camera this is almost an ideal tripod. Is there a store in the USA that sells secced?
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Old September 11th, 2009, 08:16 PM   #9
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Bogan Manfrotto Tripods

Hi again,

I now have narrowed down my selection to the Bogan 501HDV head. My Camera is only 4-5 lbs with a bigger battery so this head seems to be the right balance. One question about the head. I looked at one at a local camera store "Adolph Gasser" in San Francisco. It looks like there is a slide plate but no quick release. Is this correct? I do really like the quick release feature. If I am correct, What would be a simular head with a quick release option?
I have been looking on B&H Photo's site and there are a ton of Kits in the $260-$400.00US range. For legs this is a had decision. One of many models is the 190CX3. This is one of the few legs that are Carbon Fiber I think it will accept the 556B Leveling Center Column. This has only a 55mm half ball if that is going to be a limiting factor.
Any other recomendations on B&H kits are greatly appreciated. Attached I took photos of my other 2 tripod. The black one is a Slik 504QF (no Head) and the silver one is a quantum QSX 700I, I think. THis tripod has been very good for a $40 tripod it has a built in level. The head is not as fluid as I would like and it takes a while to get the level just right. This one also has a quick release head and spiked feet.
The Slik is a little beefier tripod. I wonder if I could use a 501 head with it?

John Gerard
Attached Thumbnails
best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7-crw_6135.jpg   best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7-crw_6136.jpg  

best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7-crw_6137.jpg   best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7-crw_6138.jpg  

best Tripod for Sony V1 or FX7-crw_6139.jpg  
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Old September 13th, 2009, 03:54 PM   #10
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Bogan 501 HDV head

Hi,
So, from your usage of the 701 setup. Do you think it is the head or the legs or both that you don't like? I am thinking of going with the 501 head a little bigger unit. What's your thoughts?

Thanks,

John Gerard

Quote:
Originally Posted by James J. Lee View Post
I went with the Bogen/Manfrotto 701HDV head for mine (based on these recommendations from MediaStorm (MediaStorm: Gear Kits.) I wanted to keep my whole kit as light as possible and often wish I had something a little more stable/fluid as my movements are never as clean as they should be on the pod. So, I'd recommend the 501 as a minimum. For legs, something with a leveling feature is an absolute must. You won't believe how much quicker and easier it makes set-up.
Take a look at the Manfrotto/Bogen kits at B&H. Note, that many will take an additional leveling column that I've used and they work pretty slick. They have several in the 400-500 range that will be a big step up from where you are now. Then, like the rest of us, you'll need to learn to work within the limitations of your equipment. Cheers, JLee
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Old September 13th, 2009, 11:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Gerard View Post
I would appreciate some recomendations on which tripod I should get. My price range is $300-$400US. The following is my top priorities....
1) Smooth panning of the tripod head #1.
2) lightweight but sturdy enough so most vidrations are non existant.
3) Quick release of the camera from the tripod.
John gerard
I have stayed out of this with the hopes that you might read some of the other threads here on tripod recommendations. Please read the following:
Which tripod for THIS camera, why why why
Sachtler FSB-8 + 75 CF Speed lock VS Miller DV20 Solo CF
Miller vs. Manfrotto

After reading these threads I hope you come to the conclusion that what you are asking for as priorities and the price range you are hoping to match are mutually exclusive.

Please reconsider your price range and look at something that is worthwhile.

Maybe, and I mean just maybe, this will be OK.
Libec | LS22M2A Tripod System | LS-22M(2A) | B&H Photo Video
I have no experience with it, and I am sticking my neck out by even mentioning it. I can only say that it is probably better than what you are looking to do.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #12
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"Me too", Les.

If you really, really can't afford decent tripod (starting with a Sachtler FSB-4, $700 or so) then don't waste your pennies on Manfrotto/Bogen. LS-22 is OK and a bit of counterbalance adjustment, and is a good stopgap until you can afford something better. The Manfrottos are stable enough (well, the 501/3 series), but their fluid may as well be jello.

Slik and other cheaper (and Velbon etc.) - I've used them in the past, on an olde Canon Hi8 camera, and I wouldn't even leave my camera locked off on it, let alone try good pans/tilts. I wouldn't dare put a $2000 camera (or $5000 as I paid for it) on such a contraption.

As Les says, there's plenty of other threads, check 'em out. Read the stories from me and others of all the money that was wasted on the way to good tripods. And, if you really must, get one cheap-ish (probably Libec) then don't open your wallet again until you can get something really good - a "big bang" upgrade rather than a series of expensive little upgrades like me.

Just a point: You don't need to get a $3000 SOOM system for a FSB head from Sachtler. Check out B&H or other dealers, you can get basic systems fro $600-700.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:29 AM   #13
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Limitations

There certainly will be limitations based on your budget. I was newspaper VJ for a large paper and though we had some Sachtler kits we often choose the magfiber Manfrotto stiks w/ 501 heads for use with our Z1s and XHA1s for their light weight and compactness, with the understanding that we needed to keep pans & long zooms to a minimum. They worked fine for OUR PURPOSES and I've even had footage from them aired on Discovery Channel. But, I recently discovered that the 701hdv paired with my Gitzo sticks is too light. And yes, the 501 & 503s all should have QR plates. You just need to understand that kits in this price range are considered ENTRY level.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #14
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Used B&H

Check out the used shop at B&H, they've got the 755 Magfiber with lvl center column that worked well for us Used Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 755CX3 MagFiber Video | 755CX3
Combined with a 501 or 503, I think it's about as good as you can do close to your budget.
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Old September 14th, 2009, 09:10 PM   #15
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The 501 and 503 are NOT good enough for ANY HD work.
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