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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:12 PM   #16
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Hi Sabyasachi,

Nice review of the tripod. I'm a pro stills guy and quite often have a 400mm 2.8 on a set of sticks. In days gone by I've had up to a 2000mm mirror on two tripods so I'm used to long toms... (ex Police Photographer)

I was always brought up to get the heaviest tripod I could carry, although age is now creeping up with me. ;-) I'm imagining the difference between the HD and normal tripod was noticeable, did you try the non HD version first?

I like the twin legs all the way down, does this not mean the designation is 2:2:2 as I mentioned earlier? In other words at full extension there are 2 tubes on each leg at ground level? It seems from web pics that the HD versions have twin tubes all the way down and the non HD versions have a single tube at the bottom?

I'm just wondering if the only difference between the ENG2 CF HD and the Speedlock CF HD is the Speedlock catches, did you try them?

My tripod is normally in the boot of my car, then carried about job so my worry is that I buy the lighter one then regret it. I'm not hiking for miles carrying it so not too bothered about extra weight.

Cheers
Lenny
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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #17
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Ruffell View Post
I have the ENG 2 CF HD. It is excellent. Very stable, very quick to work with, and it is well made.
Hi Ben,

Did you try the Speedlock CF HD out? I really think I'm going for the HD version, either the ENG2 CF or the Speedlock CF.

I'm just wondering the pros and cons of the speedlocks over the normal clamps?

I just haven't seen a set of Vinten sticks that seem as sturdy. I may end up putting my stills gear on this tripod with a 400mm 2.8 and extenders on certain news jobs. As a news guy, sometimes I have a need for really long lenses and solid support..

Cheers
Lenny
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Old July 26th, 2011, 12:31 PM   #18
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Regarding the Vinten infinetly variable counterbalance, surely if you use the same camera all the time, with a fairly standard configuration then is it not easier and faster to have a click counterbalance? You leave it dialed in, or you know with different configuration it is a certain click?

Just wondering as in ENG a lot of it comes down to speed...

I'm presuming this discussion could go on for weeks, but surely if infinetly variable counterbalance was crucial then a firm like Sachtler would have it? Presuming it's not technically difficuly to have a contstantly variable rather than preset clicks?????

Lenny
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Old July 26th, 2011, 08:17 PM   #19
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Ah, well, er, yes and er, no.

Barbara and Pete fight like cat and dog over this subject, and I've been known to wade in on occasions as well.

OK, from the top.

The whole idea of counterbalance is to keep the camera under control at all times, whether you're holdng the pan bar or not.

If the COG (centre of gravity) of the slide plate, camera and accessories has been correctly set perfectly above the head pivot point and perfect CB (counterbalance) is applied, then no matter where the camera is tlted, +/- 90 degress, it will stay exactly where it's put.

If the CB is too weak, the camera will start to drop when the pan bar is released. If the CB is too strong, the camera will start to rise back towards horizontal.

In fixed/ single spring heads, there is only one perfect COG/ mass line (on a COG/ mass graph) which will acheive perfect CB, so if your camera COG/mass combination doesn't land perfectly on that line, shed loads of tilt drag need to be applied to keep the camera where it's put OR accept that the camera will "do it's own thing" whenever not under direct control - both of which are exceedingly tedious and bloody tiring.

Worse, if you go the full drag route, zoom shots become steadier but wide shots become a complete pain in the whatsit as wide shots use much faster panning rates.

Conversly, if you go the no drag route, wide shots are easy but long shots are all over the place as you fight the head all the way.

In stepped CB systems, there are a range of parallel perfect COG/ mass lines (on the COG/ mass graph), the number depending on the number of step settings. If your camera COG/ mass figure falls perfectly on any of those lines, you've hit the jackpot and the camera will stay put wherever it's placed with zero tilt drag applied.

If IT DOESN'T hit one of those lines, tilt drag is required to get the camera to hold, the amount dependent on how far away the cameras COG/ mass figure is from the nearest line. Thus, if your standard rig doesn't hit a line, you know that some of your low end drag settings are gone for good, again, a pain on wide shots.

In a contiuously variable CB head, the COG/ mass line can be set wherever it is required to match the COG/ mass figure of the camera (within the heads upper and lower limit) so perfect CB is always achievable and tilt drag can be kept at zero at all times, if required.

That, in a nutshell, is what it's all about.

Now, to put that in perspective, from my experience (YMMV).

My Vinten heads are continuously variable everything, so setting perfect CB is a doddle.

On a zoom scale of 0 (full wide, zoom out) to 9 (full tele, zoom in) on my Canaon XH A1 lens, at 0 zoom I usually set tilt drag to 0 or pretty close, and pretty well keep even stevens all the way up to zoom level 9 with tilt drag ditto, which gives me much better control at such long focal lengths (it keep those twitching muscles from showing on the video).

The Sachtler FSB 6 I have here on loan from, er, Sachtler (thanks Babs!) has tilt drag settings of 0 through 3.

With every configuration of my A1 or my XL1 I've tried (and it's been a few) I have had to set tilt drag to 2 to keep it under control, leaving me with only tilt drag settings 2 & 3 to play with, which ain't many coming from the Vinten.

Now, in fairness, if you started with a Sachtler from the beginning, then that would probably be cool and the Vinten might seem overkill.

Horses for courses, but I do like zero drag at full wide, which, of course I can do with the Sachtler, just remember not to let go that pan bar!

Hope that has shed some light.

CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; July 27th, 2011 at 03:54 AM. Reason: Errant "t"
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Old July 27th, 2011, 02:14 AM   #20
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Which leads me onto the point, and as I haven't liked the look of the Vinten legs I've seen, the best package for me would seem to be the Sachtler Speedlock CF HD legs with a Vinten head? Now you said they don't fit, but others seem to think they do? Mmmmm....

The legs in my opinion are the starting point, that's where your solidity and also speed of use come from. I need to be happy with them first...

Mmmm.. lots to think about...
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Old July 27th, 2011, 03:18 AM   #21
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Has Peter not answered you yet?

I simply cannot answer compatability questions on gear I have not handled, so can say nothing.

If Peter and Barbara can't sort it, sure as hell, I can't.


CS
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Old July 27th, 2011, 03:59 AM   #22
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

I think Chris' and my experience come from the 75mm tripods, where some combinations don't work. I've seen a few pros with Sachtler legs and Vinten heads, and they must be 100mm bowls.

Also, our experiences with the Speedlocks are the CF 75 versions, the 2:1:1 version. They are beautifully made, with quick set up, but I did not find them super-rigid. As far as I can tell, the 100mm Speedlocks are an entirely different kettle of fish and seem much more robust.

I deal with "tiny cams", so my experiences are not directly relevant to the 100mm tripods and "proper cameras"!
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Old July 27th, 2011, 08:24 AM   #23
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Hi Lenny,
You are right. The HD tripod is 2:2:2

Obviously the last tube is smaller in dia than the 2nd as it needs to remain within it when collapsed. I had read somewhere during my initial secondary research that the dia of the tubes are 24 mm and 22mm. Not sure about the dia though, as I haven't measured it with a tape. Will do later and confirm.

The difference between the HD and the Non-HD versions are first in terms of the weight carrying capacity.

HD Version: 95kgs (209 lbs)
Non-HD version: 40kgs (88 lbs).

Weight of tripod:
HD Version: 4kg (8.8 lbs)
Non-HD version: 2.6kg (5.7 lbs)

The Twin tubes look steady. Even when you fully extend the tripod, the lowest tubes don't appear much thinner. I would prefer the additional weight over the non-HD version anyday. If you are in a windy mountaintop and there are no way to use a high hat, then it is better that you have the HD version. And with long teles on small sensor video cameras, the effective focal length is huge. Add the Full high definition and it becomes a deadly cocktail. I am actually shaken by how jittery 1080p footage can be when viewed in big screen. And am scared what will happen when you project it in a big screen.

Tripod is a long term investment. So I want to take the best available. And the second reason is future proofing. If you have the convenience of carrying it in your car boot, then the weight question doesn't even arise.

I haven't physically tried to Non-HD version, as it was not locally available. However, I had rejected it in the initial round while evaluating the specs. I was initially not aware of the HD version, so I was looking at the version with 150mm bowl and then selected the 100mm bowl HD version.

Cheers,
Sabyasachi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenny Warren View Post
Hi Sabyasachi,

Nice review of the tripod. I'm a pro stills guy and quite often have a 400mm 2.8 on a set of sticks. In days gone by I've had up to a 2000mm mirror on two tripods so I'm used to long toms... (ex Police Photographer)

I was always brought up to get the heaviest tripod I could carry, although age is now creeping up with me. ;-) I'm imagining the difference between the HD and normal tripod was noticeable, did you try the non HD version first?

I like the twin legs all the way down, does this not mean the designation is 2:2:2 as I mentioned earlier? In other words at full extension there are 2 tubes on each leg at ground level? It seems from web pics that the HD versions have twin tubes all the way down and the non HD versions have a single tube at the bottom?

I'm just wondering if the only difference between the ENG2 CF HD and the Speedlock CF HD is the Speedlock catches, did you try them?

My tripod is normally in the boot of my car, then carried about job so my worry is that I buy the lighter one then regret it. I'm not hiking for miles carrying it so not too bothered about extra weight.

Cheers
Lenny
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Old July 27th, 2011, 11:29 AM   #24
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Lenny, you are correct, the Sachtler HD sticks are 2:2:2. The bottom section is actually dual legs. The ENG 2 HD are incredibly stable. I am going to eventually look for a used set but budget will dictate timing.

The Speed Lock is a nice feature but I honestly would give up the few seconds gained in set up time to get a more stable tripod. the SB sticks are 2:1:1 configuration and is not as stable.

Sabyasachi you have a superb set support system in the O'Connor 1030HD and Sachtler ENG 2 HD.

-Garrett
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Old July 27th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #25
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

If I where to buy a set of sticks today I would go with the Speedlock HD.

That said, whether you go with Sachtler, Vinten or Miller, you can`t go "wrong", they all make good products in their own ways.

To me the best from all the solutions would be Sachtler Speedlock HD and Vinten Vision 100 head, at least for a standard 2/3" ENG camcorder. That`s a kit that will last a decade, or two.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 04:17 AM   #26
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Morning/Afternoon/Evening all

Yes, you can mount a Vinten 100mm head to a Sachtler tripod, and many people do, but the leveling range will be reduced. To overcome this, we have an adaptor part number 3330-206. Its not the same for the Vinten head on a 75mm tripod though, the bowl clamp will prevent the legs from closing.

Which ever 100mm Vinten or Sachtler tripod you eventually go for, itll serve you well for several generations of camera.

Sorry, cant speak for the other brands.

Hope this helps.
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Old July 28th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #27
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Hi,

I have used the Speedlock CF HD extensively over the years. They are fine, I just prefer the standard clamps. Less to go wrong, more solid, easier to carry on the shoulder. Also, the Speedlocks sometimes resonate in a wierd way in very strong wind and it affects the stability.

Comes down to personal preference, but I find the standard ones to be just as quick to set up and height adjust.

Cheers,

Ben Ruffell Director of Photography
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Old August 2nd, 2011, 01:06 PM   #28
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

Hi all,

Just an update. I've had communications with Barbara and Peter, and also my suppliers. I've also spoken to my local news crews and had a footer with their sticks...

I reckon I'm going for the Sachtler Speedlock CF HD and a Sachtler Video 15 head, mid level spreader and feet.

The legs ARE 2:2:2 on the 100mm version, and think this is my ideal system. I'm hoping to get a demo and then get the order in.

Thanks for all the advice guys, appreciated. :-)
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 12:34 PM   #29
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

I've just been into my supplier, Mitcorp (part of CVP) and had a play with the Sachtler Video 18S1 and I really like it... looks like i'm going to go for that head instead of the Video 15... :-)

The 18 has 16 levels of drag and has a wider payload range than the Vinten head I was looking at. It just felt right...
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Old December 1st, 2011, 06:56 PM   #30
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Re: Sachtler ENG 2 CF HD opinions?

A few months have passed and I thought I would update you all on my progress.

I had hoped to get my tripod sorted out a few months ago, but things like a wedding and honeymoon to Nashville sort of delayed me. ;-)

Anyway, I have just got a second hand Sachtler Video 18 II head and it is superb, amazing engineering on it. Anyone have a manual for it? Can't seem to get one on the Sachtler website.

Should get either a Sachtler Speedlock CF HD or ENG 2 HD set of sticks within the month. I've started doing a few jobs that needed a hired in autcue and operator so will need the HD sticks. :-)
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