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Old July 15th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #1
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Advice for light weight fluid head

Looking for a light fluid head to use with a Canon XF 100. With external mic mounted, the camera weights about 5 pounds. This is for indoor use at a music convention, where I will be going from room to room through out the day. So light weight is key. The Vision Blue weighs 5.3 lbs., more than the camera. That is too heavy. Would also like to mount it on a Gitzo G1127 tripod, which is very small and light.
Thanks for your help, everyone!
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Old July 19th, 2012, 03:16 PM   #2
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Why is it a problem if the head weighs more than the camera?

Yes there are quality tripod heads that weigh 6lbs that can hold a 30lb camera, making the head 20% the weight of the camera. But you're not going to find a 1lb head that is of any quality for a 5lb camera.

To me I think the 5.3lbs of the Vision Blue is worth it.

A Sachtler FSB4 or FSB6 are 4.2 & 4.4lbs, both great heads, but how much is a single pound worth to you. Sachtler heads are very nice, but I like the infinitely "analog" adjustable spring in Vinten vs the stepped 1,2,3 pre-set spring of the Sachtlers.

There are some Manfrotto heads that are under 4lbs, like a used 501 that you could get for cheap. I used a 503 for years & liked it, I tested a 503HDV & 504HD head, but didn't like either of those. So I use Vinten & Sachtler heads & think the extra money & weight is worth the upgrade.
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Old July 19th, 2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Thanks for the reply Zach. You are correct, it is good advice, the reason it is "a problem" is simply that I'm trying to avoid carrying extra weight around all day. I suppose there is no way to avoid it for the best quality. I will probably get the blue.

Regards,

Len
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Old July 20th, 2012, 12:39 PM   #4
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

I understand trying to keep it light, at least is is just adding a pound or two & not ten. I think you'll be happy with the Blue.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 01:11 AM   #5
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Len, I did something similar at a conference a couple of months back.

I used my Vision Blue kit, bought the head and legs together with a floor spreader. On top of the head I had my NX5, NTG3 and shock mount. I was also carrying some XLR cables, headphones, and a Rode M3.

No problems whatsoever! In fact I carried the whole thing already setup, legs extended, the whole lot, so I could just walk to where I wanted to go and be setup in 10 seconds.

I'm sure you could go lighter if you switched everything out, but is it worth it? Probably not.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 03:53 AM   #6
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

You could always get yourself a dolley to mount the system on, It's what I do anytime I'm working indoors and on contiguous or near, flat solid floor spaces.

Why carry it when you can wheel it?

Works great, (get 150mm/ 6 inch wheels though) and saves a shed load of aggravation on my spine, not exactly a bank buster either.

Carrying is for the birds, wheeling it is where it's at.


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Old July 21st, 2012, 05:02 AM   #7
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

If building isn't your thing, maybe a Vinten dolly?

Vinten | Protouch Dolly / Skid | www.vinten.com

Not sure how much it costs. I seem to recall that a Manfrotto one could be used as well.

I don't think it would aid stability for long-lens work, but maybe for just moving between locations for interviews etc. it might be a good idea. Of course, like the original Daleks, they're not much good if you have to go up stairs!
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Old July 21st, 2012, 10:47 PM   #8
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Thanks for the wheels suggestion but that won't work in the environment this is for -- crowded conference rooms and ball rooms in a large hotel being used for a convention, narrow spaces to set up in, etc. So looks like the Blue is the answer. I used to use a Vinten Series 3, wonder how the Blue will compare.
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Old July 21st, 2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Come to think of it, I still have the Vision 3. According to specs, it weighs 5 lbs and can handle a load as light as 2.2 lbs. Is there any reason to get a Blue instead?
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Old July 22nd, 2012, 02:10 AM   #10
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Probably not, Len! You might have to get a lower-rated counterbalance spring for it (depending on what's in there already), but all you're really missing out on is the easily adjustable counterbalance knob.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 11:03 AM   #11
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Look at the COG (center of gravity) of the Vision 3. I think you're probably fine without purchasing a Blue, but doesn't hurt to learn how important COG is in figuring out what works & what doesn.t'

Center of Gravity on Tripod Head

For instance, the Vision Blue & the Vision 3AS look like they can hold the same weight. But the COG on the 3AS is higher, which means you can use heavier cameras on the 3AS or lighter cameras on the Blue.
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Old July 23rd, 2012, 02:13 PM   #12
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

I also recall that the Vision 3 would go down to as low as 1kg payload (depending on CoG), and could even be used without a spring for really small cameras - something the VB won't do.
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Old July 30th, 2012, 07:53 PM   #13
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Re: Advice for light weight fluid head

Hopefully it's not counter to policy to mention to the OP that I have a Cartoni HiDV1 posted here on the ebay section that would be great for his needs.
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