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Old October 13th, 2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Sachtler 7+7

Hi all,

I came across a used (olderly - not the CINE) 7+7 head with carbon fibre legs. Anybody have any experiences with this head - good OR bad?

I'll be using it for news gathering, and my camera weighs a total of 8.8 kg. At the moment I'm using a Vinten 3 head on Vinten sticks, but the Vinten has difficulties keeping balance with my cam (even though it's rated to up to 10 kg.

Will I be better helped with the Sachtler than with the Vinten - also in terms of smoothness, rigidity etc (carbon legs on the Sachtler). The Sachtler system has been offered to me for GBP 995.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts...

Peter in Denmark
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Old October 13th, 2009, 12:41 PM   #2
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It's a great head - used it many times - though I'm not sure I'd want to use it for ENG. The size and intended use of the head dictate a 150mm ball or mitchell mount -- might be too much unnecessary bulk. I recommend you have a look before you buy....
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Old October 13th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #3
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There are a couple of heads called commonly "7+7". One is the Sutdio II which weighs 10kg, the other is what I assume you've seen which is the Panorama 7+7 which is 3kg. I've used one, and it's beautifully smooth and very strudy. The counterbalance is not too versatile, it's just on or off, but one problem is that it doesn't have a sliding top plate so it can be difficult to balance the camera.
Steve
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Old October 13th, 2009, 04:44 PM   #4
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Assuming it's one of the 100mm bowl heads, these are pretty common ENG type heads and will do the business. From memory the difference between video and the film versions was where the pan lock was positioned

There are 150mm Heads the smaller being the Video 25 and the Horizon, the the larger Studio, then the even beefier 75+ jobs. The Video 25 & Horizon are perhaps a bit too heavy if you're only doing news, but great if you're doing finer production work (assuming you don't mind carrying them).

If you're not changing lenses etc all the time you can set up the tripod quick release plate onto the camera plate, so that it balances (although not as well as having a sliding plate).
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Old October 13th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #5
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Hi Peter..............

If you're already using Vinten sticks and are having a problem correctly counterbalancing your rig on the Vision 3, your best solution is to go for a new Vision 3 or 5 AS head.

See my review of same here:

Vinten Vision 3 AS Tripod (1 of 4) DV Info Net

I can't categorically say which one due to not knowing the COG of your rig, so I'd suggest you whiz an e - mail to Peter Harman: Peter.Harman@VitecGroup.com and give him your details, he should be able to pinpoint the correct one for you.

You'll still get a decent handfull of readies for your V 3, so it won't sting too bad.


CS
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Old October 13th, 2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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Pictures of the beast

Thanks for all your replies! I didn't realize that there were so many flavours of that particular model.

I have now written them and asked for more info, but here's a link to the actual combo:

Used Sachtler 7+7 Tripod - Proactive

Does that give any clues to any of you regarding weight/size_of_bowl???

peter
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Old October 14th, 2009, 02:43 AM   #7
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Yes, it's a Panorama 7+7. Weighs about 3kg, 100mm bowl. 7 pan and tilt settings, counterbalance on or off, balances about 10kg. No sliding plate. Sachtler single stage carbon fibre legs, look like standard duty rather than heavy duty.
Steve
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Old October 14th, 2009, 11:50 AM   #8
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Steve:

Thanks for the info. Actually I got a mail from Proav, where they said that they honestly believed I would be dis-satisfied with this solution, compared with the Vinten 3 I have now.

Now, I don't really understand why they think that ...

Anyway, they (like Chris - thanks, Chris) pointed me in the direction of a Vinten 3AS head.

What I can't get into MY head (pun intended) is that the 3AS has a payload of 10 kg -same as the 3 - so why would a 3AS hold a camera with the same COG better in the outer positions than a plain 3 would?

Don't get it :-)

Peter
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Old October 14th, 2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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I've never liked Vintens, and the 3 seems like a fairly low echelon head to me, in the Manfrotto league.
The Panorama 7+7 was made when Sachtler made really good heads, they've gone right downhill in my estimation now! The 7+7 was a big favourite with a lot of wildlife camermen, due to its light weight and stability. Hugh Miles for example used one and I gather still does, with an Arriflex and 600mm lens, as did many of the other wildlife legends when filming for the likes of Life On Earth.
I put a Canon 150-600 on a Varicam on the Panorama that I had briefly and it held it well, though as with all 100mm bowl heads it still had a bit of wobble to it, this is why I don't use them any more, it seems with HD you have to be that bit more critical with wobble as it shows up more with the "dead" image of a video camera and being viewed on today's larger screens. The trend in wildlife at least is for 150mm bowl heads, between 6.5kg (Ronford 2004) and 10kg (Ronford Atlas 30 and O'Connor 2060 that I have).
For ENG work though I'd have thought the 7+7 would be fine though.
Steve
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Old October 14th, 2009, 06:49 PM   #10
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Peter, Steve...........

Can't write more than this untill CH fixes whatever ails the site (it keeps logging me off every 3 minutes).

Using an HD camcorder on a head with zero or incorrect counterbalance is akin to mud wrestling with Captain Kangaroo and is only for the serious masochist.

The only head which gives you, Peter, a hope of achieving this is the Vision 5 AS.

All of the heads you mention Steve fall into the "serious masochist" category for medium size HD camcorders.


CS
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Old October 15th, 2009, 02:36 AM   #11
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Hmmmm... Tom Guilmette, Philip Bloom and a bloke called Soucy (never 'eard of 'im) certainly wouldn't refer to the Vinten Vision 3 AS as a Manfrotto-level tripod! The reviews are all pretty positive.

Don't get mixed up with the Vinten Protouch budget range!
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Using an HD camcorder on a head with zero or incorrect counterbalance is akin to mud wrestling with Captain Kangaroo and is only for the serious masochist.

The only head which gives you, Peter, a hope of achieving this is the Vision 5 AS.

All of the heads you mention Steve fall into the "serious masochist" category for medium size HD camcorders.


CS
Of the 3 heads I mention 2 of them have continuous (ie 0-100%) counterbalance, which I assume gets them out of your "serious masochist" category.
I am with you on the good counterbalance side of things, but it's not quite as bad as you say though. You can manage OK with fixed step counterbalances like the Sachtlers, even with long lens set-ups, and people did for years and still do. A counterbalance is never 100% perfect anyway, and the main thing it needs to do is support the weight of the camera on tilts so that you don't suddenly need lots of pressure to hold it.
For many years one of the standard wildlife heads was the Ronford F4 and that doesn't have a counterbalance at all!

Mike, we'll have to agree to disagree on the quality of Vinten heads, I've never found them any good compared to "serious" heads. Take a look at the "making of" programmes for Planet Earth, the new Life series etc. and you won't find a single Vinten in sight. None. At all. It's because we don't rate them. I don't know a single wildlife cameraman (the only type I know) that uses Vinten.
There is a reason why O'Connors and Ronfords cost so much, because they're good. There's a reason why a lot of people buy Vintens, because they're cheap - and a very justifiable reason it is too.

Steve
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Old October 15th, 2009, 07:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Phillipps View Post
Mike, we'll have to agree to disagree on the quality of Vinten heads, I've never found them any good compared to "serious" heads. Take a look at the "making of" programmes for Planet Earth, the new Life series etc. and you won't find a single Vinten in sight. None. At all. It's because we don't rate them. I don't know a single wildlife cameraman (the only type I know) that uses Vinten.
There is a reason why O'Connors and Ronfords cost so much, because they're good. There's a reason why a lot of people buy Vintens, because they're cheap - and a very justifiable reason it is too.
Hopefully you a refereeing to the old smaller Vision series and maybe the AS series....?

The Vision 100 and up are better than the Sachtler counterpart, or at least that my opinion after using Vision 100 at work in a small studio setup and rented for my Hpx500. Against Video18 from sacthler the Vision 100 is just more refined. I've not been able to test the new AS range though...waiting for the winter so that i can get a feeling for what heads can endure shooting constantly in a least -20C.

With Ronford and O'connors larger heads you are into the 9KG + for the head alone, to heavy for ENG if you shoot on your own. Although I would love to have the budget for a large o'con head.

Another maker worth considering are Panther and their X15 model.
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Old October 15th, 2009, 08:06 AM   #14
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I looked at the Panther X15 and it was smooth but the counterbalance was really bouncy, really not good.
I tried a Vision 100 brifely a few years back, and wasn't very impressed, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
For ENG there is always the O'Connor 1030. I've got an old one, but the new HD ones are the same. Nice and smooth, well made, and continuous counterbalance. Good point is that you can swap bowls, meaning for me that I don't need 100mm legs in addition to my 150mm sets that go with the 2060.
Steve
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Old October 15th, 2009, 03:24 PM   #15
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Plot & Lost = bad advice

Guys, you are talking about heads meant for serious film camera use and heavy lenses.

Ronford Atlas 30? Counterbalance 66 lbs @ 10" COG?

Peter's setup is a HD camcorder system weighing in @ 8.8 kg with a COG no higher than a knats knee.

Get real.


CS
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