Compact tripod/head for still and video? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:42 PM   #1
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Compact tripod/head for still and video?

I know a fair amount about tripod systems for video but I can't figure out how heads for stills convert to portrait mode easily.

I'm looking for a lightweight system that has these capabilities:

Leveling column
Clamp leg adjustment (not twist)
At least 60" tall
No larger than 28" stowed without head
Passable compact video head (like bogen 701)
Some easy way to adapt the Canon 5D2 into portrait mode without adding a huge plate
Under 9 pounds/4 kilos

I would like to keep with the bogen qr plates that go on the 501/701/503 heads as I have adapter plates for my other-brand sticks and monopod. For this compact setup, I would like to avoid adding extra weight with a leveling adapter so I prefer if it is built into the column.

Does this type of leg setup allow for leveling?

Vanguard Alta Pro 263 AT Aluminum Alloy Tripod ALTA PRO 263AT -

BTW, I like the Bogen mdeve tripods but I can't figure out how to make them go into portrait mode with a video head.

Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Aluminum Video Tripod Legs - 755XB - B&H
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Old October 20th, 2010, 09:50 PM   #2
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For portrait mode, stills photographers often use an L plate from Really Right Stuff, combined with Really Right Stuff quick release clamp on a ball head.

Last edited by Richard D. George; October 21st, 2010 at 06:09 AM.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Don't the ball heads allow for portrait shooting by tilting over? Their base seems to have a groove cut out so the stem can tilt over.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #4
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Hi, Marcus.................

Leaving the sticks out of it for the moment (I know zilch about the ones you've mentioned) you may want to try something like this in the head department:

Manfrotto 055 MAG PHOTO-MOVIE HEAD Q5 - photo-movie series

(This is not a reccomendation BTW, I know even less about it than the sticks).

Typically for Manfrotto it madeningly misses a shed load of pretty important information, like head fixing, tho' as from the photo I'd say it has a flat base and uses a standard 3/8 bolt fixing (don't quote me).

It also fails to identify the quick release slide plate in use, but if it's a 501PL I'll eat my shorts.

That problem can be overcome with this adapter:

Manfrotto Quick Release Adapter with Sliding Plate - Plate Adapters

which can simply be screwed to whatever QR plate is supplied with the head.

I can't find the head at B&H so maybe it's so new it hasn't hit the streets yet.

If you want a "real" video head with portrait capability, you'd be better off buying your chosen poison and mounting whichever of the cheap Manfrotto photo mini heads to the "real" slide plate.

Heck, pick up a 25 year old (insert any cheap photo head name ever produced, here) stills head for 10 cents and mount that onto the slide plate, replace it's pan bar with a fixed bolt and it'll do the same job, cost zilch and only be used for the "flip" feature.


CS
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Old October 25th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #5
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Chris, thanks for this link. It is exactly what I described and I'm surprised nothing like this has come out yet considering we are entering year two of the DSLR craze. I also could not find it for sale anywhere. From the picture, it does look to use the 501pl plate which I have made standard between my monopod and larger tripods. I now want to make a very portable tripod system so I can actually use one more often. The heavy tripods end up not being used because they take too much time to transport and assemble.

I'm really trying to put together a convenient (fast to set up) and lightweight system that has all the time-saving features I like. I was hoping to save the weight of carrying a photo head but that or an L-plate with the 501pl adapter seems to be the best choice right now if I want portrait mode.
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Old October 25th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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The Manfrotto Chris references is the first product of it's kind I've seen, combining a video head with a ball head. Up to this point, there's really no other solution like it.

A workaround, is using a lens like the 70-200/2.8 with a builtin tripod collar.
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