Moving up from Gitzo 1380 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 18th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 229
Moving up from Gitzo 1380

G'day all,

First I bought a Manfrotto 501 kit and used it once, not content, I purchased a Gitzo 1380 that works well with my (very solid and stable) CF sticks (think Miller Solo). But ,it is a bit sticky for pans and diagonals...

I have just bought my own XF305, and will probably grab a Scarlet / Epic later in the year and I want a decent sticks / head combination. So far I was much impressed with Miller Compass 20 + CF Solo sticks, but I'm open to ideas and suggestions.

I'm aware that the Vinten Blue is popular, but it looks too much like my (unloved) Manfrotto. Am I wrong?

How are Sachtler or was my original Miller thought a good one?

Thank you for any input!
__________________
Nick Wilcox-Brown
Nick Wilcox-Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2011, 05:52 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

Nick, I've been using the Miller Compass 15 on their Solo CF sticks for 18months now and it's great. Miller are made 30mins from me and I got the tour. The CF sticks are not that much lighter than the aluminium but they're much more stable.

The Compass drag controls were stiff to select to start but as Miller advised they smoothed out through use, and once I established my comfortable working height I measured out and marked the lower legs for faster setups.

Also got their local hard case for airline travel but their US version may have been a better proposition.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2011, 07:19 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Wilcox-Brown View Post
.

I'm aware that the Vinten Blue is popular, but it looks too much like my (unloved) Manfrotto.

Not sure I know what you mean by that phrase, what have looks got to do with anything?

Starting with the sticks (though you didn't mention which ones, so I'm guessing as you said "501 kit") it could have been 500's, 520's, 525's, 350/1's or the 545's.

I've just run the Vinten Pozi - Loc's (what's under the Vision Blue) up against the latest Manfrotto 546B's (probably the best tripod Manfrotto have ever made, btw, shame about the spreader) and the Pozi - Loc's romped home the winner, so, they may LOOK like the Manfrotto sticks but they don't operate the same.

As for the heads, well, what can I say? Chalk and cheese with diamond studs on.

A Vision Blue head up against a 501? Like entering a guinea pig in the Grand National!

There's discarded 501/ 503's mouldering in cupboards, forgotten and unloved, planet wide (there's one in mine, too).

However, what I can't do is give you a comparison between the VB and the Miller rig you mentioned, as I've never tried the Miller rig.

What I can tell you is that there is a reason for the Vinten, Manfrotto, Libec and most other brands of sticks to adopt the usual 2:2:1 leg build in their tripods, and that's simply because it is by far the most rigid design available at a reasonable price and weight.

Going for a 2:1:1 design (Sachtler 75 CF's) looks cool, but is nowhere near as rigid as any of the 2:2:1's I've tested, going for a 1:1:1 design leaves you even further behind the 8 ball in the rigidity stakes.

You could, theoretically, get a 1:1:1 or 2:1:1 design as rigid as a 2:2:1 setup, though I have grave doubts about whether you could lift it, which sort of defeats the purpose.

[I have a set of Manfrotto 548XB's, which are a 1:1 design, and I can barely lift them, though they are as solid as a rock, but a complete waste of time and effort for daily shooting, unless you're working out for an Olympic Gold in weight lifting]

So, my stock answer to anyone trading up to HD is DON'T go for a 1:1:1 or a 2:1:1 design set of sticks, no matter WHAT they're made of.

I do suggest you get to have a hands on play with whatever takes your fancy before you stump up the cash and save instant dissapointment and wasted investment.

Can't advise about Miller but you can get a Vinten Vision Blue (or Vinten anything else) demo simply be mailing Peter.Harman@VitecGroup.com


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

I added a Sachtler FSB 6 2:1:1 to my Bogen 542ART 2:2:1 with Cartoni Focus head. Both are stabile, rigid and smooth. I hauled the Sachtler around for several days in Haiti and it has plenty of guts yet compacts into one of the smaller and lighter multi-drag video units out there.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 18th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
Posts: 3,634
Images: 18
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

Hi, Les,

a bit "off piste" to this thread, but AFAIK the only Sachtler 2:1:1 is the 75 CF's, a set of which I have here with a FSB 6 on top.

In the stress tests I did, as part of the shootout, which is still rolling out on DVinfo, the 75 CF's came in a country mile behind the Libec RS 250 (which have a bad spreader IMHO), the Manfrotto 546B (which has the same spreader issue IMHO) and the Vinten, which led the pack.

You may not have been able to see it, and their compact form, lightness and quickness of use makes up for a lot, I know, but wind up? Wow, do they wind up and how.

Truly eye watering, no other way I can put it.

I could not, and would not, advise any HD shooter to base his entire shooting support system on a set of 75 CF's.


CS
Chris Soucy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2011, 08:35 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Hi, Les, ...a bit "off piste" to this thread, ... CS
The OP asked "How are Sachtler".

I know you put a lot of effort into them but I think the lab experiments, while intellectually interesting to some, matter far less in the field. These quality name brand products are highly engineered instruments and the fact that there's a lab experiment to measure microscopic differences and line them up in a perceived "pack" doesn't mean they don't pass muster.

The Sachtler 75 2D/ENG 2:1:1 design is WHY the sticks are only 25.6" long and 5 lbs. It's also what makes them viable for checked baggage to wherever and I was glad for every inch and pound saved getting them across rivers in skiffs and hiking it miles over rough terrain. The only "winding" I had was ME winding down enough to make a steady go of the shot I wanted. I was fully engrossed in running the camera and making my intended move while keeping the local gawkers out of the shot. I knew the Sachtler would do the job well and I wasn't the least bit concerned with any laboratory windup. The only windup was me getting the mental and physical energy to haul everything back on the return hike before night fell. YMMV

Password is "dvinfo"
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 19th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

Just to back Chris up, the only similarity between Manfrotto's offerings and the Vinten Vision Blue is that they both have three legs and a head, and come from somewhere in the Vitec Empire!

I must admit, the Sachtler DV6-SB that I had (with the CF75 legs) served me admirably in the field, and I didn't notice any real world problems. Not to say that there weren't possible shortcomings, but they didn't really impact me much, even at 760mm zoom.

I do feel that my Vinten VB is a lot smoother, better balanced for small cameras and more solid, but I could easily work with the Sachtler without complaint.

Generally, Sachtler are great. In my experience (Manfrotto, Libec, Sachtler and Vinten), you can't really go too badly wrong with a Sachtler or proper Vinten. I haven't any experience of Miller, so can't comment, other than my impression is that they are way better than your average tripod. My personal feeling is that the Vision Blue is the winner, but that's just my own view.

Like Chris, I'm sceptical of the single tube legs for total rigidity, but then I know which tripod I'd rather carry on my back for 10 miles!
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2011, 04:45 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

I don't see it that way... that is no single one is a "winner". I think they're all good.

For me, the Sachtler FSB-4 and aluminum legs clock in at 10.4 lbs. Further, the head's bowl is removable for use on a slider or other flat-top rig. The 4" slide, 3 levels of drag and side mount all make it a nice package and to the OP's point, at $150 cheaper than the Blue, an excellent upgrade from the Gitzo 1380..... I have a studio/around town rig with variable drag and it's different not better in my view.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 24th, 2011, 05:25 PM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

As I said Les, it's just my own view, there's no right, single answer to the tripod question. I did say that generally Sachtler are great. I certainly wouldn't complain if I had to use one, they are beautiful to use.

Prices in the UK aren't really that different for the FSB-4 and VB (at the time I bought, the VB was actually cheaper). Exchange rate, tax and import duties hammer the hell out of us in the UK, maybe buying British is better sometimes. If the prices in your country have the Sachtler $150 cheaper, then it's a no-brainer.

It's probably the same as why I drive a Suzuki instead of a Ford or Vauxhall, it's just a personal preference at the end of the day, there's plenty of happy Ford and drivers out there!

I had a "big" Sachtler DV6-SB and loved it. Then I sold my camera, bought a small Panasonic camcorder, and thought I could get away with a cheaper, smaller tripod... had I had my crystal ball (and head screwed on), I'd have just kept the Sachtler. But I am where I am. The lure of the perfect balance was too much for me...
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2011, 05:15 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 229
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

All the generous information provided was duly noted, thank you. It has now been a long time since this post, but things have finally started to progress

The Canon XF was replaced with an EX3, and the gear level has been stepped up (Nano, TV Logic external monitor, bigger batteries etc) in terms of loading. Accordingly the tripod requirement has increased.

Sachtler tripods are in the frame because the local dealer and hire centre (Visual Impact) have been so helpful and responsive on other matters. They also have a broad range of Sachtler hire stock, allowing test before buy. Wanting a 100mm bowl, I have been looking at the 12 SB or 15 SB, based on max weight + some latitude.

The interesting part to me is the view of the senior tech in the hire dept. An experienced camera operator, he is adamant that nothing less than an 18 SB (weight range 2-18kg) is appropriate for optimal support and stability, especially when considering adding a broadcast lens.

Thoughts anyone?
__________________
Nick Wilcox-Brown
Nick Wilcox-Brown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 22nd, 2011, 09:56 PM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Sydney.
Posts: 2,569
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

I think he's right Nick .. and he'd probably add, camera bodies come and go, but a good tripod will last a lifetime.

Cheers.
__________________
30+ years with our own audio and visual production company and studios.
Allan Black is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2011, 05:21 AM   #12
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Posts: 1,569
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

He's perfectly right... something at that level (either Sachtler, Vinten or Miller) is the ultimate. Whether you can afford it is another thing, and it might be overkill for a Sony NX70 or a Canon XA10!
Mike Beckett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2011, 07:28 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Bristol, UK
Posts: 229
Re: Moving up from Gitzo 1380

You are both right, and so is he. I thought this through again after posting; my favourite heavy weight stills tripod has just turned 22, handles everything, and will probably see me through.

Using a colleagues very battered, but loved Ronford-Baker sticks in my mind, but that really is out of my price range. Now I am going to have to revise my tripod budget.

Thank you for your feedback!
__________________
Nick Wilcox-Brown
Nick Wilcox-Brown is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:42 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network