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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:06 AM   #106
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Hi, Wayne.......

to another Pacific Islander, good to have you on board.

Talk about Santa's Little Helpers, I could use the frigging dwarves and most of the rheindeer as well, right about now!

Now, if they only knew how to calibrate a theodolite.............., er, Laser Level? Set Square? Range Finder?

GPS system?

Cook dinner, serve drinks and generally do whatever, whilst I discover America - er, didn't someone do that already?

No stress here folks, just mosey on along, I'll be fine..............


CS
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Old December 31st, 2010, 06:11 PM   #107
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I've decided to put a hold on the Gitzo's, for no other reason than the current shootout is already doing my head in.
This is the only bit I'm sad about. It seems Gitzo offers something unique, but the world of sticks remains a mystery because no one (it seems) has done any wide ranging, systematic tresting & comparisions.
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Old January 7th, 2011, 11:30 PM   #108
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Well, it's coming..............

Info never before published about any camera support system ever made is going to be going live here soon.

The Libec system review is complete apart from collating and annotating.

The Stress Tests on all the systems have been completed (as far as they will be for this initial release, anyway) and are an eye opener and no mistake.

The tests give an absolute figure for how much a particular set of sticks will wind up at what pan arm load, and also how much head warp ditto.

Now you don't get that sort of info anywhere else.

I've started on the review of the Manfrotto 504HD system, the last will be the Sachtler FSB 6/ Speedlock 75 CF unit.

The biggest problem is assembling the database of all the info I've managed to aquire, that is going to be a mission and no mistake, tho' doable with a bit of help, which I'm hoping will be forthcoming shortly.

You want to know what tube spacing is used for any section of the sticks? It's there.

Tube diameter? It's there.

Cross section? There.

Leg angle at full spreader retract and deploy? It's there.

Teaser time:

Best sticks in the stress tests?

Go on, you know who.

Worst?

I'm not saying but it will come as a shock to all and sundry.

Second best head tested to date?

Bit of a suprise, shame about the lousy sticks.

Question time:

Why do the Manfrotto 504HD pan bearings sound and feel like they're made of broken glass?

Why is the Sachtler GLS so damn flexible at the ends? You can lift a foot just by thought control!

What idiot designed the Libec sticks with a MLS that at full retract gives a leg angle of 77 degrees?

Why am I sitting here writing this when I could be going out for a decent steak with all the trimmings?

Just to keep you lot updated.

It IS HAPPENING and it's going to be good.

Well, at least, I hope you lot get something out of it.

More soon.


CS
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Old January 8th, 2011, 12:22 AM   #109
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Do they have steak in NZ??????????.............I thought it was was the land of the big white sheep!!!!!!!!............There ya go, amazing what one can learn from a tripod shootout......................definitely worth the effort you've put in.........

Al

PS, Maybe the steak's flown in from the West!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old January 8th, 2011, 03:48 AM   #110
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You can have a lamb steak - we've got sheep here in Wales too you now!
Anyway, looking forward to reading Chris's findings (shame about the 504HD, might just be a one-off...)
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Old January 13th, 2011, 06:48 PM   #111
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Aloha Chris,
We have a few Kiwis here on Kauai and you're welcome aboard as well!
Bring those heads and sticks along and I'll do my best to help your analysis. A laser is a small boat right?
It's hard to keep those level sometimes...
Best,
Z
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Old January 13th, 2011, 10:05 PM   #112
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If only..............

I'm gonna need a break after this lot, and no mistake.

I'll have to see if I can talk the other half into me going AWOL for a couple of weeks up to the "other" islands, could be a bit of fun.

Not so sure about all this gear tho', probably have to hire the entire plane to get it there, geez, the excess baggage would look like Nigerias national debt!

Interesting you mentioning the laser sailer, I used to race something very similar oh, er, well, a very long time ago when I was a teen in Hobart, loved those boats.

Wouldn't mind having another shot at something similar somewhere hot, where a wet suit wasn't mandatory to prevent hypothermia just looking at the water, let alone getting in it!

I'll see what I can do.


CS
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Old January 14th, 2011, 02:57 AM   #113
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Chris,

Your efforts are very much appreciated (and anticipated). All this for no reward! Unless they are letting you keep all those tripods. You could sign them and sell them on eBay and make your fortune.

Alas, my mind was made up already, and I'm supposed to be getting a visit from Mr Courier today with a package with a big "V" on it....
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Old January 14th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #114
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My God, that is one beautiful tripod. Works like a dream under my HMC41.

Perfect balance is so good I giggled like a girl. Whip pan is an eye-opener.

And it's all Soucy's fault that I bought it. Damn him!
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Old January 14th, 2011, 08:49 PM   #115
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I'll tell you a little secret...............

I don't feel one ounce of guilt whatsoever!

When you've had some real play time, get back to us with your take on it.

Anything I missed out? Anything I stuffed up?

In all the excitement, don't forget to open yourself an account with Vinten and register your gear for that extended warranty - you'l need your serial numbers, btw.

Don't know whether they're sending out Vinten T shirts anymore (I hope so, mine is sooo cool) but the account is definately worth it.

Keep us posted.


CS
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Old January 14th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Chris,

Your efforts are very much appreciated (and anticipated). All this for no reward! Unless they are letting you keep all those tripods. You could sign them and sell them on eBay and make your fortune.

Alas, my mind was made up already, and I'm supposed to be getting a visit from Mr Courier today with a package with a big "V" on it....
If Chris sells off the gear, how will he be able to complete the long-term durability testing phase?
I'm looking forward to detailed updates at regular intervals; for example, after 1, 3 and 5 years of daily use.

So Chris, don't retire the white lab coat just yet.

Mark
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Old January 18th, 2011, 10:36 PM   #117
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Defintely I'd like to see the Millers in your tests.(snip).
I had to make this choice about three years ago for supporting the Sony Z1 camera. I now have the NX5 which has similar characteristics. At the time I compared many systems, including the Sachtler FSB6 as well as models from Vinten and Bogen. I had Bogen previously but wanted to move up. Imporatant in this purchase was speed of setup, smoothness in movement (minimal or no backlash), and ease of carrying.

Without getting into all the details, I chose the Miller Solo DV Carbon Fiber with DS-10 head. AT 8 lb. it was the lightest of the comparables and offered some interesting features, like ability to do low angles. The movement was very smooth without noticeable backlash, and it leveled quickly. The quick release works well, and it is supplied with a nice professional case and carrying strap. The closest rival weightwise was the Sachtler at about 12 lbs.

At first I thought the MIller's QR plate was too large, but it actually fits the camera well and doesn't interfere with handholding. The lightness of this pod pays off when I'm carrying a load of gear or when it's a long walk to the parking lot.

My only criticism is that the DS-10 head is designed for a certain counterbalance range with a two-position switch for 5- and 10-pound cameras, so it's not totally correct for cameras in the intermediate range. I'd rather have a continuously variable counterbalance. I cope with this by adjusting the fore and aft position.

Since then Sony has released the 501 HDV which is well suited to cameras of this size. I've also seen new Libec models which are a good choice for this camera. However, I have no plans to trade in my Miller.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #118
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Good to hear your positive experience with the Miller. We have an Arrow 25 we like and we just bought the solo dv and compass 15 for our af100.

So far I like it a lot. So much lighter for our scrambly shoots.

There seems to be a lot of mixed opinion about the millers, good to hear your positive experience with the solo dv.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 08:00 PM   #119
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Any rough ETA when the review might be coming? I'm trying to decide between the Vinten and Sachtler and your review sounds like it could be very helpful. Thanks and cheers!
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Old January 20th, 2011, 09:20 PM   #120
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Hi, Scott..................

A couple of weeks, tho' I'm not sure if CH and Jeff have made any progress with the details section which was always going to be a real nightmare.

If you've got any specific questions on the mentioned two systems under review - Vinten Vision Blue & Sachtler FSB 6 with 75 CF sticks, fire away, I've got 'em nailed pretty good already, and the VB review is already live.

Tell me what you shoot with, it's weight, any special conderations and budget and I can most probably give you an answer now.


CS
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