Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc) at DVinfo.net

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Old July 15th, 2011, 03:27 PM   #1
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Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Hi guys,

I've given up on the naive idea that there is a pro-quality fluid head that will accommodate my Canon VIXIA HF G10 (which is a tiny camcorder weighing only 1.3lb)

But that doesn't mean I've given up all together...

I am pairing a head with Gitzo GT3541XLS sticks, and am considering the Vinten Vision Blue or Libec RH25 (possibly Sachtler FSB 4).

What potential issues should I consider when attempting to artificially increase my camera weight up to 4-5lbs?
I am going to make a custom weight of some sort, to mount on the cam (yep, it's the newest, coolest accessory ever! ..but not really lol)

If this is just foolish to think of, please help me understand why, rather than just laughing ;)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Kelly,

It's not an entirely daft idea!

See: Sony NX70 (Tinycam) with Vinten Vision Blue

My Sony NX70 is below the Vision Blue's minimum weight, but by adding approx 400-500 grams of Manfrotto metal to the bottom of it, it works. You could go on adding Manfrotto plates until you either run out of money or hit the magic weight, or you could build something cooler.

A heavy metal block and some screws/bolts of a suitable size should do it. Maybe a metal block with a Manfrotto MN357 mounting base on the top, and with the Vinten sliding plate screwed to the bottom of it.

I know what you mean about the desire for performance, even with a "tiny cam". I tried a shot with my Manfrotto 501HDV last Saturday and it was crappy. It was a long, slow pan with a combined zoom/tilt at the end, tracking a train, and it was dreadful.

I took the Vision Blue on Sunday, and got a 1 minute and 30 seconds really smooth, slow pan at telephoto, leading to a nice smooth zoom out then tilt... just not possible with the Manfrotto.

OK, so I did hold my breath until I almost went blue, but the shot would've been impossible with the Manfrotto.

The aforementioned shot is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDy_2...ailpage#t=233s
(And it could be better, this was my first time with the camera/tripod combination, it was raining, I was tired, I was hungry, etc. etc.)
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Old July 15th, 2011, 05:36 PM   #3
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Ha, Mike beat me to it.

If you need to go higher/ heavier than Mike's elegant solution, I have a design that uses a die cast aluminium electronics project box, drill, thread tap and some lead shot into the bargain, BUT it does require some workshop skills.

I won't go into the details here as it may well not be your cup of tea, but if anyone wants to know...........


CS
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Old July 16th, 2011, 10:28 AM   #4
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Harris View Post
I've given up on the naive idea that there is a pro-quality fluid head that will accommodate my Canon VIXIA HF G10 (which is a tiny camcorder weighing only 1.3lb)
The Sachtler Cine DSLR isn't good enough? They claim it balances out down to .5 Kg (just over 1 lb).
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Old July 19th, 2011, 12:50 PM   #5
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Ha, Mike beat me to it.

If you need to go higher/ heavier than Mike's elegant solution, I have a design that uses a die cast aluminium electronics project box, drill, thread tap and some lead shot into the bargain, BUT it does require some workshop skills.

I won't go into the details here as it may well not be your cup of tea, but if anyone wants to know...........
Chris, please do -- I will get down to work in the shop!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
The Sachtler Cine DSLR isn't good enough? They claim it balances out down to .5 Kg (just over 1 lb).
Well the Sachtler FSB 4 is also rated by them as being 0-9lbs (as opposed to the Cine at 1lb - 11lbs).
I've been given the impression by other users that this is kind of BS, and the counter balance steps dont work well for those low numbers. Someone tell me if I'm wrong.
In fact, I asked Sachtler to tell me if I'm wrong, stating my case in email. I didn't get so much as a "Hello" back, just an automated response to "ensure me that they would respond". That was over a week ago.. so, now I've also lost faith in their support.
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Old July 19th, 2011, 01:36 PM   #6
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Hi, Kelly..............

OK, last first.

Don't talk to the machine, talk to the boss.

Fire a mail to Barbara.jaumann@vitecgroup.com She's, for want of a better term, the product manager at Sachtler and also, funnily enough, a member here on DVinfo

If anyone can give you chapter and verse on a Sachtler rig, she's it!

As for counterbalancing at low weight/ COG's, ah............

I've got the FSB 6 here for review (reminds me, must give that back sometime.:) and the biggest bugbear I have with it is that because of the stepped CB system, I have had to dial in 2 on the tilt drag for every system I can contrive to park on it - which is quite a few.

That leaves me with only two functional tilt drag levels - 2 & 3.

I can't see any of their other heads being a heap better - stepped simply can't cut it.

I'll post a "how to" with the CB box a bit later on in the morning (it's 6.30 AM here, still working on the cafeine intake).


CS
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Old July 20th, 2011, 01:48 PM   #7
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Hello,

confirmation from Sachtler: our Cine DSLR takes cameras with as little as 1.5 lbs. We made it to take such low weights in order to make it suitable for DSLR cameras.

Hi Chris, min capacity at comparable cog on the FSB 6 is 3.5 lbs

Regards

Barbara
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Old July 20th, 2011, 11:46 PM   #8
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

I have used my Sachtler FSB-2 with a Canon HV40.
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Old July 21st, 2011, 12:56 AM   #9
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Re: Very light camcorder on quality fluid head (Vinten,Sachtler,Libec etc)

Barbara,

Thanks very much for clarifying that. That definitely puts the Cine DSLR head high on the list!

Chris,

Still interested in your further thoughts/explanation/guidlines/considerations to making a weight attach between cam and head.
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