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Old May 1st, 2012, 09:33 PM   #16
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Re: Newb Question

Chris, I should probably go back and read what rig Victor is going to put on the tripod, but is there a reason you wouldn't consider the Sachtler ACE? I haven't had a chance to spend a lot of time with one, only go to play with it really quickly, but for under $600 it seemed like a really nice setup.

I agree that the Vinten VB is a great little setup but it's also twice the price.

-Garrett
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:06 PM   #17
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Re: Newb Question

The reason I wouldn't recommend the Ace is pretty simple.

Every review I've seen or read about it has been less than gushing with praise for the sticks, which, when you consider most of the reviewers are somehow gaining financialy for their troubles, speaks volumes.

Sachtler just can't make good cheap sticks (IMHO)

Libec and Manfrotto can, or rather could, if only both companies would shoot whomever currently designs their spreaders. The exception to that is Libecs LS 72, which seems to be highly praised by all.

The reason the VB is such a killer combination is that what you're basically paying for is the sticks, spreader and case. You get the head for free. And that is one heck of a good set of sticks! Head ain't bad either.

There isn't, to my knowledge, any other manufacturer on the planet who can offer a full Pro support system at the VB's price point.

Everybody else at that price is offering what I'd call semi Pro or even Amateur rigs.

However, I digress. I'm not sure I know what Victor want to park on top of whatever he ends up with, probably way too small/ light for the VB, but I could be wrong.

We'll see.


CS
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Old May 1st, 2012, 10:35 PM   #18
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Re: Newb Question

Chris, I would agree with you that Sachtler's entry level sticks are less than stellar. Depending on how much weight you're going to put on them they can do a good job though. However, that is exactly why I have my Sachtler head on Vinten stick. If I had my first choice it would be on a set of Sachtler HD sticks, those are amazing, but expensive.

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Old May 1st, 2012, 11:10 PM   #19
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Re: Newb Question

Yeah, I got myself well and truly into the dog house with Barbara at Sachtler on the subject.

I suggested they ditch the Ace and the 75 CF sticks and buy the Libec RT - 30B sticks, re badge them Sachtler, replace the spreader with something worthy of them and the leg locks for Vintens, hey presto, a support system that's right up there for way less than $200 (to Sachtler), heck, they're only $216 retail at B&H!

Don't think it went down all that well, she hasn't talked to me since.

Shame, as it would really have been a system I could say: "Go for it!"

Ho Hum, as they say.


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Old May 1st, 2012, 11:59 PM   #20
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Re: Newb Question

I mainly shoot with DSLR and some time I put a slider on there too. Chris is this the manfrotto 486b you're talking about? Because I can't find it on B&H or Amazon.
Manfrotto 486 Compact Ball Head 486 B&H Photo Video
Also where would be the best place to sell my family into slavery?
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:39 AM   #21
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Re: Newb Question

Appologies, Victor, I screwed up with the unit designation, happens a lot. The tripod I meant is this one:

Manfrotto 546B Pro Video Tripod w/Mid-level Spreader 546B B&H


As previously said, great set of sticks, not far behind the Vintens in fact, and I mean within a whisker.

Everything's fine till you get to the mid level spreader, where it all dissapears down the plug hole.

Awefull doesn't even begin to cover it. OK if you never, ever, under any circumstances, extend it.

God help you if you do.

As for selling the familly into slavery, I hear Somalia is a pretty hot market at the moment, though S. E. Asia and the entire ex Soviet Union seem to have booming trades as well.

Heck, I'm sure you wouldn't have too much trouble selling 'em in the States with the proper advertising.

E-bay and CraigsList are your friends, and who needs familly when decent camera support is in the equation?

[In case anyone thinks I'm really serious here - I almost am!]


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Old May 5th, 2012, 07:38 AM   #22
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Re: Newb Question

If it helps Victor, I was just in the same boat, and ended up following Chris's advice after reading his (and others) reviews.

I bought a Vinten Vision Blue package on eBay, and besides the annoying fact that the head moves in transit, it is amazing.

I used this setup this week at a conference, and found the height to be good (but a hassle to shoot from without a riser, something to stand on, or a Lanc controller and monitor), the floor spreader to be rather brilliant in a conference environment (although I do intend to get a mid spreader for outdoor work), and the weight to be reasonable.

All up cost me about ~$1100 on eBay, which while more than I wanted to spend, was far less than realistic alternatives.

Now if only I could get used to panning on a nice fluid head...
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Old May 5th, 2012, 10:56 AM   #23
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Re: Newb Question

Victor/Ryan...I love the VB, so much, I bought a VB system. Unfortunately, I underestimated my overall weight and more importantly, my Center of Gravity (CoG), which forced me to go another way. The VB is designed for 'small form-factor' cameras, and will do a marvelous job if the weight and CoG do not exceed the design capacity of the unit. As I said, the VB is designed for 'small form-factor' cameras with a CoG of ~55mm, whereas most fluid-heads are designed with a CoG of ~125mm. This simply means, if you camera's CoG exceeds 55mm in height, it will decease the load bearing capability of the mount. I discovered, with my Sony HXR-NX5 somewhat pimped out (~10.2 lbs) I exceeded the design capability of the mount. So, be careful.

Best regards to all,

J.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 12:09 AM   #24
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Re: Newb Question

True. I only really had the NX5, SM5 shock mount and NTG3 on it, and it was fine. A light, wireless receivers, etc might push it over the edge.

But isn't your big problem the Samurai James? Couldn't you mount that to the legs of the tripod instead?
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Old May 6th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #25
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Re: Newb Question

Ryan...yes, in fact, there was a discussion on mounting the Samurai (Ninja) on the tripod leg of a Gitzo 1325 Mk. II using a Manfrotto 'Big Clamp', in the 'NX5' section. The gentleman attached images of his rig. Very nice layout.

Regards,

J.
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Old May 6th, 2012, 01:37 PM   #26
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Re: Newb Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Kuhn View Post
Ryan...yes, in fact, there was a discussion on mounting the Samurai (Ninja) on the tripod leg of a Gitzo 1325 Mk. II using a Manfrotto 'Big Clamp', in the 'NX5' section. The gentleman attached images of his rig. Very nice layout. .
I prefer to keep my external recorder on my camera for a few reasons. It gives me the ability to quickly pull my camera from the tripod and be able to go run and gun without having to detach additional devices. And, I have mine set up so that I can see it from the back of my camera. That way I can quickly glance over at it every once in a while to make sure nothing has gone wrong.

-Garrett
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Last edited by Garrett Low; May 6th, 2012 at 09:50 PM.
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Old May 7th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #27
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Re: Newb Question

Garrett...I agree. I would only use this set-up in a situation where I know it'll be static. The example given was in a cramped booth, overlooking and recording a High School football game. It appeared to work well in that application. Most of the time my Atomos Samurai stays on the camera. I now have a Fluid Head that will handle the payload with the Samurai mounted on the front Cold Shoe.

As always Garrett, you insight is appreciated. Thanks, man!

Regards,

J.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #28
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Re: Newb Question

Again, thank you all for taking the time to respond! I’m surveying what used equipment is going for and seeing what might be the best option for me. The Ace is so new – I doubt many of them will be up for sale, but who knows I might get lucky! If the GoPro Hero vs. Hero2 (new) sales were any indication – they will likely bring a premium that makes used vs. new negligible in savings.
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Old October 11th, 2012, 02:46 AM   #29
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Re: Newb Question

Update; I finally got aggressive on Ebay and picked up a Manfrotto 755xb after losing a few auctions on them. It appears to be in pristine condition! The 701 heads are bringing astonishing sums though; $10 short of brand new from B&H/Amazon prices. I can’t imagine why anyone would bid them so high.

Anyway, I’m piecing this together. It being purely a ‘hobby’ makes this a pretty extravagant expenditure for me, but I’m looking forward to making some sweet fluid pans and tilts when I get the head to go with it. LOL

I got to talk to a Manfrotto Rep at the local ‘Grand Opening’ of a camera store that changed hands. When I told him my proposed setup with the 755xb and 701 head he called it a ‘sweet setup.’ LOL So, I guess I’m headed in the right direction according to him anyway.

Thanks for your guidance on this. I know I’m not the same caliber of most of you here, but I have fun with it and my life is rather compromised otherwise – so, it’s something that brings me a bit of enjoyment to tinker with.
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