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Old October 2nd, 2002, 01:01 PM   #1
Air China Pilot
 
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Checking used tripods

I'm going through local classifieds trying to find a decent private sale tripod for my XL1S. When I track down a likely candidate I intend to go there and try and mount my Xl1. Besides trying not to buy from sketchy people, what kind of things should I be testing for when I have a chance to demo these tripods?

Of course, as much as possible I am checking the net for information on the models (though some people seem not able to find model numbers on their equipment).
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 10:18 PM   #2
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No particular order here. Set up the sticks and lock the legs. Legs should extend very smoothly. Virtually no physical assistence, gravity should drop the legs. Apply downward pressure to see if the locks slip. Some locks can be user tightened. Some need parts replaced, no user serviceable parts. Mount camera and level the ball. Ball should tighten smoothly. Balance the camera. Adjust the counter weight. Camera should stay horizontal, no forward or rearward tipping. If need be rebalance camera. If camera is tilted down, the head should drop forward easily (little or no drag applied). Apply increasing amount of drag so that camera does not tilt as easily when force is applied. A really good head will allow the camera to remain stable as increasing amounts of forward tilt is applied. The head should never get to a point that the camera just flops over. A really good head will allow me to tilt the camera (so that it is pointed to the ground) with just one finger. If excessive drag must be applied to keep the camera stable (not flopping over) one finger can't apply enough force to move the head.

If at any time the tilting is not smooth (steady, even force causes irregular head movement) the head has problems. The pan is set up the same way. If constant pressure (with one finger) causes the head to move in an irregular manner (not level to horizon), the head has problems. When the force is stopped the head should stay put. No odd hops or jumps as you slow the pan down. Same for when you start up the pan. Most heads can be rebuilt by the mfg. Once you have a model number post back and I can give you some more specifics. Email the mfg for a cost estimate to have the head rebuilt.

Jeff
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Old October 2nd, 2002, 11:57 PM   #3
Air China Pilot
 
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Thanks, Jeff, that kind of testing is what I was looking for.
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 01:57 AM   #4
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Also be sure to check the locks/clamps on the legs for cracks. I've seen lots that are on the verge of breaking, which is often why they are for sale.

What do you need a tripod for anyone? You've got a perfectly good one. What is it, a Cartoni or a Satchler? I can't remember...
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Old October 3rd, 2002, 11:22 AM   #5
Air China Pilot
 
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Bah. Dude you know perfectly well that it's a flyweight Optex.
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