Miller sticks with Sachtler heads at DVinfo.net

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Old March 10th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #1
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Miller sticks with Sachtler heads

I tested Miller DS10 and 20 + Legs

and Sachtler DV6, 8 and 10 + Legs

I must say i love the Sachtler heads but I prefer Miller sticks. Can I put them together if they are both 75mm.?

i'm using an XL2 sometimes with teleprompter
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Old March 12th, 2005, 01:24 AM   #2
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Shouldn't be a problem, they're all 75mm bowls. Miller's legs are excellent. I like the Sachtler for larger cameras, but all the heads and legs for 75mm bowls feel kind of flimsy.

I've used the DV4 and the fact that there's only on and off for drag is, well... a drag. I'm not impressed with Sachtler's lower end heads. The DV's aren't great, the DV4II just never felt "right". The 75mm legs always felt wobbly. I love Sachtler's bigger rigs for bigger cameras.

Since I bought the Vinten Vision3 head I'm lovin' it. The drag is continuously variable from 0 to 8-pretty damn stiff. My XL2 with matte box and 16x lens balances beautifully even at 0.

The counterbalance springs are great because you can fine tune the counter balance between 2.2Lbs and 22Lbs. So whether you are using a "naked" DVX, about 4Lbs, or a totally tricked out XL2 with an A/B brick in the back you can get it balanced just right.

I have the #6 spring in for the rig above. Each spring # refers to payload in Kilograms. So, #6= 6Kg, or 13.2Lbs. You will probably want to invest in a few springs for different camera weights/configurations.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 07:55 AM   #3
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I must agree with Mark. I'm a big fan of Sachtler's larger heads, but the DV series doesn't cut it. I've been much more impressed with the Miller line for moderately priced heads.

The Vintens are nice too, I use the large studio Vector series all the time and their dial adjustable counter balance is the best system around. I haven't used the Vision 3 and I'm surprised to see the "changeable" spring system in use.

The counter balance issue really depends on what kind of camera you're using. For a small dv camera, IF you like a decent amount of tilt drag like I do, I think you'll find you really don't need any. The drag overcomes the slight change in the center of gravity that occurs when you tilt. For heavier cameras though, the counter balance adjustment is critical, and even with your XL, once you add the prompter you speak of it sure would be nice to have. I wonder though if you wouldn't have to change the spring on a Vision 3 when you added the prompter.

As for your actual question, you can use any set of 75mm sticks with a 75mm head. You might be happier with a used rig in the 100mm class though. An old Sachtler Video 14 would give you lever adjustable counter balance and a very smooth ride.
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Old March 15th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #4
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Yeah, a larger set of sticks might be good for a larger setup. Not sure of the max rating on the Miller legs. The Vision 2 stage aluminum sticks are pretty sturdy and are rated up to 55Lbs. Having a ground, or mid-level spreader helps a lot too.

The different counterbalance springs are really good. Gitzo, Vinten and now Manfrotto have heads with the changeable counterbalance springs. It's great for the smaller cameras, or if you are using cameras and configurations that vary in weight and COG, the different springs allow for pinpoint accuracy and help make smooth moves on the head much easier. I can make a pan and tilt move nice and smooth, even with the front heavy XL2, the head remains where I left it, no diving. I can tilt way up or way down, let go of the handle and the head doesn't move at all.

At first I thought having separate springs would be a pain, but it hasn't been an issue. The sachtler DV2 and 4 don't give much of an option. I've seen a lot of heads for smaller DV cams that go from, say, 2Lbs to 6, or 8Lbs, but that won't do it for the XL2 which is rather heavy, especially if your going to mount a prompter and other heavy things. I like being able to have the 2.2-22 Lb range of the Vision3. No matter how my camera is configured, I'll be a smooth operator :~).
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Old March 17th, 2005, 08:59 AM   #5
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thanks for all your replies folks


seems like the Sachler heads arent so good huh
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Old March 17th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #6
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John, Sachtler make excellent heads and sticks. All we're saying is that some of the DV heads for smaller payloads and 75mm bowl, aren't great and there are better heads available, with more features. Many pros and rental houses have Sachtler heads and sticks for their cameras because they're so rugged.

For the set up you are talking about with, or without the teleprompter, you want something that gives you options and allows a range of payloads. That's why I was suggesting the Vinten Vision3.

Ultimately, whatever feels good to you is the best choice. If you can play with some different equipment and see what you like, that might help. Check out the different manufacturers web sites and see what's available. I spent a good couple of weeks looking at a lot of different gear when I was putting my camera package together. I read a lot of catalogs and looked at a lot of websites, over and over.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 10:01 AM   #7
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Hi Mark,
Your information really helped me out. I've been debating all of this for at least 3 weeks and your post just confirmed my decision to go with the Vision 3. I also use the XL-2 and Matte box. So what sticks do you use with the Vision 3? Is it the Sachtler and if so which ones do you like best?
Thanks
Rob
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Old March 30th, 2005, 10:18 AM   #8
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Rob, Glad I could help.

I am using Vinten's 2 stage aluminum Pozi-Lock sticks with the Vision3 head. So far they're pretty good. I was considering Miller's 2 stage Sprinter sticks. It's a 100mm bowl, so I could move up to a larger camera and keep the sticks. I was also considering the Manfrotto 515MVB. Looks like they also have a couple of other tripods that are pretty good. I like the Manfrotto legs, but the heads aren't great. Their heads for still cameras are good, though. I think Manfroto did just come out with a head similar to the Vision 3 with springs also.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 12:57 PM   #9
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Mark, yes Manfrotto does have the 519 which is supposed to be in the same league as the Vision 3, but if everyone seems to use the Vision 3 as the yardstick with which to compare....may as well go with the best. As for the sticks, I'll check the Vinten and Manfrotto. I've used Bogen for 20 years in stills and swear by them, but I've heard of nothing but good on the Vision 3.

One more question...Can you use the 75mm ball from the Vinten in the 100mm base of the Manfrotto or do you need an adaptor? I just looked at the Manfrotto and it looks good.

Thanks for the help. I'm finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
Rob
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #10
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Rob, yeah, you'll need an adapter to use the 75mm ball on the 100mm bowl. The Vinten adapter is cheaper than the Bogen! Go figure. I think the Vision Head on the Bogen sticks will be a good combo.

I'm going to get the Vinten adapter for my Miller Hi-hat, which has a 100mm bowl.
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