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Old August 1st, 2005, 12:48 PM   #1
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"Real" cinema tripod

Hey all, I was wondering what a second hand 'real' cinema tripod would set you back (and if it's even possible to use it with camcorders). Is there anything in particular to look out for?
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Old August 1st, 2005, 01:25 PM   #2
 
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A "real" triprod and head, like a Sachtler, Miller or O'Connor, for example, can cost you several thousands of dollars. They are worth every penny, if you're doing serious videotaping for clients. My tripod and head cost as much as my XL2.

If you're shooting for fun or as a hobby, you can get away with a lesser support system. But like everything else in this world, you get what you pay for!

Jay
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Old August 1st, 2005, 06:25 PM   #3
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A "real" motion picture tripod is designed to support a much heavier load than you have with a DV camera, even a fully tricked-out XL2. You would be paying for something you would not be getting full use out of. Sort of like buying a Hummer to go to the grocery store. There are lots of better places to spend your "mad money."

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 06:44 AM   #4
 
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Sorry, but I have to disagree with your statement, Wayne, at least in that you haven't qualified which specific tripods and heads you're referring to.

Better to have too much tripod and head than too little, and that is the case with the majority of shooters. The XL2 is a perfect example. I've shot using various tripods that fall well within the weight limit, but when the lens is zoomed in to a subject in its full telephoto range the image was bouncing all over the place. This is more an issue of the head than the tripod, though.

For example, the Sachtler DV2 "fits" what I'm talking about. It holds up to 7.9 pounds. The XL2 weighs 7.8 pounds "fully loaded" right out of the box. The DV2 tripod and head are simply too light for this camera. On full zoom, without having the head's horizontal and vertical motion locked, the image is not stable.

On the other hand, the Sachtler System 25 would indeed be overkill, just like you said.

The truth is the "ideal" lies somewhere in between these two extremes. But most professionals will tell you, they paid about the same for their tripod systems as they did their camera.

Jay
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 09:18 AM   #5
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I tend to separate the tripod from the head. I have 2 sets of wood sticks and a surveyors tripod (works great and dirt cheap). If you spend $80 on a surveyors tripod, you'll have a lot more to spend on a fluid head--and you should spend as much as you can afford, plus a little more.

Dan
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 11:33 AM   #6
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I think we are all on the same page here, Jay. I was refering to "real" motion picture sticks, like Ronfords, which are meant to support a gear head or O'Connor 100, or similar. But certainly investing in quality gear is a good idea, and a Sachtler Video 18 would be a great find if it were in good condition. The Video 18 is pretty standard kit for Betacam-size cameras, and features carbon fiber legs. The head has a ball leveler, but you can get an adapter to mount the head to a Mitchell plate, similar to what's found on Dan's tripod. Of course the term "sticks" goes back to the days when motion picture tripod legs were made of wood, and you can still find some wood sticks in use in production. Care to guess where the term "sawed-offs" comes from?

Wayne
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Old August 2nd, 2005, 11:45 AM   #7
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Looks like I'm showing my age...

Dan
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Old August 4th, 2005, 04:06 AM   #8
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I totally agree with Wayne, Sachtler 18P is far best tripod i've ever work with (and for last 12 yrs in TV I've worked with lots of different stuff), so I actually bougt one 7 yrs ago. It's in pristine condition after lots of heavy usage and I feel like it will last forever...
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