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Old April 27th, 2011, 01:33 AM   #1
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Help me choose the best 3K-system

So - I have been lurking in this thread for a couple of days to educate myself. Now I feel it's time to "pop the question". Hoping for some input from Soucy and you other lot.

It's time for my third tripod and this time I want to do it right.

My first was a Manfrotto with a 501 head that I got for my PD150.

My current tripod is a Miller Solo DV10 that I have been using happily with my EX1 and even with a Letus Extreme adapter added to it. It was a little heavy for the head but panning and tilting still worked ok.

Now I have a Sony PMW-F3 with a range of lenses. The weight of it is somewhere between 4,5 and 6 kg depending on the lens and other add ons.
The Miller handles the camera ok but I realise that I need a head that can handle more weight and give me better balance. Also - the sticks are not stable enough to kill vibrations when using long lenses in a little wind.

I am prepared to spend 2000-3000 for a complete system. I need something that is as light as possible but still robust. I realise that this is an impossible request but between a stable system that is reasonably light and a rock solid system that weighs 2 kg more I'd choose the first.

I have primarily been looking at Sachtler and Vinten.
I like the Sachtler speedlock idea but if it makes the tripod not so rigid I can live without it.
I hear good thing about Vintens "perfect balance" system - are the Sachtler heads as good?

Please help me - any advice is much appriciated!
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #2
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Aha, fresh meat...............

Hi, Ola.

SpeedLocks? Nah, forgetit.

Sachtler heads? Great engineering and beutifull bearings and all sorts of other wonderfull stuff BUT stepped everything - CB, Tilt and Pan drag.

Haven't managed to configure a rig yet that will work with a direct stop on the CB dial without dialling the tilt drag up to level 2, which leaves you with two tilt drag levels, 2 & 3.

Not my idea of heaven.

Vinten? Well, that weight range is a bit of a worry, the Sachtlers definately having a pretty good length over the Vintens in that regard (even if they can't hit the target 99% of the time).

Given that this is a "sh*t or bust" purchase, may I suggest you fire a mail to both:

Peter.Harman@VitecGroup.com and Barbara.Joumann@VitecGroup.com and ask them both for a test rig that will suit your current/ planned system, they being the Vinten and Sachtler Product Managers, respectively.

Don't know how much traction you'll get with Babs, but it's worth a try. Peter is a dead cert, if he can, he will. Something like a Vision 5 AS sounds about right with your choice of sticks, but I'll leave that to Peter.

I'll stay tuned for the next exciting episode.


CS
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Old April 27th, 2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post

Don't know how much traction you'll get with Babs, but it's worth a try. Peter is a dead cert, if he can, he will. Something like a Vision 5 AS sounds about right with your choice of sticks, but I'll leave that to Peter.

I'll stay tuned for the next exciting episode.


CS
I have been corresponding with Barbara Joumann for a Sachtler 100mm bowl ENG 2 CF HD tripod. Barbara responds very fast. Very helpful. Even when I get out of office automatic response to my mail, she has responded back. I can blindly trust any company that has got such professional people.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi
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Old April 27th, 2011, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
I can blindly trust any company that has got such professional people.

I have absolutely no doubt that you can, but that wasn't quite what I meant.

You can't get much traction with Babs (miracle worker that she is) with regard to loaner/ "try before buy" equipment, if she hasn't managed to get any traction with Sachtler collectively on the issue.

When last I heard (though I doubt my name is on the "keep in the loop" list) it still wasn't Sachtler company policy to provide such gear.

I'd like to think this has/ will change to bring them into line with Vinten, but.................


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; April 28th, 2011 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Spring Clean
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Old May 19th, 2011, 12:24 AM   #5
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Hi, Ola.....................

This thread seemed to lose the will to live somewhere along the line, any update?


CS
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Old May 19th, 2011, 03:47 PM   #6
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Hi Chris,

Thanks for your interest! Things are progressing slowly. Yesterday I visitid LLB, a big pro-tv-fair in Stockholm (like a mini-NAB) and got the chance to try out several Vinten and Sachtler tripod systems.

I tested a Vinten 8 AS head and was very impressed with the counter balance.

I also tested a Sachtler 15 SB-head with CF Speed lock sticks. The Sachtler was not far behind when it came to CB. In fact I thought it was almost as good. I did like the feel of pans and tilts a little bit more on the Sachtler but they were both great.

Since I do documentaries and current affairs I move around a lot and I really like the Speed lock of the Sachtler sticks. I did not find them considerably less stable but I am probably wrong. Anyhow - I can sacrifice a little stability for the convienience of speed lock.

Right now I am leaning towards Sachtler. The other problem is - should I go 75 mm or 100 mm bowl?

My system will weigh between 5,5 and 8, maybe 9 kilos at the most. I would like a 75 mm bowl to be okey but I hear that it might not be stable enough. Right now I have a Miller Solo DS10 (75 mm bowl) with CF legs. It would be nice to be able to use these very nice and light legs with my new head when I want to have a very light system.

These are my hottest candidates right now:

Sachtler 1265 System 12 SB SL MCF - DV 12 (DV12) Speed Balance Fluid Head + Speed Lock CF 2 stage carbon fibre tripod + mid-level spreader + padded bag

Sachtler 0850 System 8 SB/2 MD - DV 8 (DV8) Speed Balance Fluid Head + Speed Lock 75 CF 2 stage carbon fibre tripod + set mid-level spreader + padded bag

The 0850-system, however, I cannot find on Sachtlers home page. It is claiming to be able to handle cameras up to 12 kg bit the FSB 8 (on Sachtlers home page) only handles 8 kilos. Is this a new model?

What's your take on all this?

Thanks!

/ola
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Old May 19th, 2011, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

I have shot several F3's with different rigs, lenses and accessories.

I would go for a Sachtler 18 head with 100mm with either the HD or the standard carbon legs with centre spreader. (Depending on how mobile you want to be).

One of the tripods I currently own is the 20 head with HD legs - it is excellent here in the mountains where it can be very windy, but not so good for being mobile in the city.
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Old May 19th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #8
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Interesting rigs, both of them, though the second system is using the 75 CF Speed Loc, a sample of which I have here for review.

I must admit to being seriously underwhelmed by them as sticks (for HD), due almost exclusively to their 2:1:1 configuration.

The joint between the first and second single stage is eye wateringly flexible and their leg angles are a tad on the steep side for great stability.

On the other hand, if I was run'ngunning using SD cams, they would be a dream come true - they weigh nothing, have only 3 leg locks and are as fast to use as you could possibly want.


The other, much more expensive system you indicated, appears from the photo to be a much heavier 2:2:1 design, which is a different kettle of fish all together.

I would always suggest the 100 mm bowl tripods due to their greater rigidity, however, it isn't my back (and everything else) lugging them around nor my wallet paying for them, so that advice has to be taken in context.

Did you ever get any feedback from Barbara @ Sachtler? She should be able to tell you anything you need to know about the 0850 system.


CS
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Old May 19th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #9
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

The DV8 is an "older" model, in the same 75mm series as the DV6SB. Those where replaced with the FSB series, but the FSB series has lower capacity(at least the Fsb6/8 heads).

I do own a DV6SB on 75mm alu sticks. Great head, ok sticks. The 100mm heads and sticks are better made than the 75mm ones. Sachtler may claim that they are the same quality, but the 100mm systems can take hell of a lot more beating before they get broken than the small 75mm systems.(that also goes for the heads)

I`ve used my DV6SB kit with a EX1 with mattebox setup, the tripod head seems perfect, but sticks flex a bit to much for my liking. That said I often deploy the same DV6 kit with my hpx500 for run`n gun shooting...

Regardless of Sachtler or Vinten, at least on 100mm systems, you can`t really go wrong. Perfect balance on sachtler speedlock stick would be the perfect kit for me, did try out a Vision 100 on Sachtler CF100 HD sticks once....best combo head/sticks for a heavy outfitted hpx500 I`ve used.
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Old May 20th, 2011, 03:28 AM   #10
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

I had the Sachtler CF75 Speedlocks, and they weren't bad. Construction was very nice, they were slightly lighter than regular sticks, and they were pretty stable. Definitely not up there with the Vinten Pozilocs, but they were very serviceable and they were good enough for me in the field, but I did have to be careful with the little flex/drift back at the end of pans at the longer end of the lens.

There is a 100mm Speedlock tripod, which seems to have twin-tube construction down to the bottom stage:

Link to Sachtler.com site

Might be interesting. And probably expensive! $2000 or so without a spreader!
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Old May 20th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I have absolutely no doubt that you can, but that wasn't quite what I meant.

You can't get much traction with Babs (miracle worker that she is) with regard to loaner/ "try before buy" equipment, if she hasn't managed to get any traction with Sachtler collectively on the issue.

When last I heard (though I doubt my name is on the "keep in the loop" list) it still wasn't Sachtler company policy to provide such gear.

I'd like to think this has/ will change to bring them into line with Vinten, but.................


CS
Hi Chris,

Of course Sachtler provides loans as well

regards

Barbara
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Old May 20th, 2011, 04:01 PM   #12
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Re: Help me choose the best 3K-system

I would also go for the 100mm as it will be suitable when you upgrade the camera, possibly to the F5, or F7... whichever one it is... 100mm is a great standard.

The Speedlocks are great if you are gentle with the gear and don't work in windy places. Otherwise the standard Sachtler locks are almost as quick and a lot stronger.
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