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Old October 22nd, 2012, 01:50 PM   #1
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Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Greetings.

Question: Reading the Sachtler manual for my tripod, it is recommended that during transport and/or storage the vertical tilt, damper, and pan settings should be set to their highest value. So in my case vertical= 3 Damper= 5 horizontal pan= 3.

Apparently less stress on the head. Any comments about this?

Thank you.

Jonathan
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 12:04 AM   #2
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Hi, Jonathan (again, I think)...........

I've read what you said, and have no doubt that is what the manual says (er, sort of), however, I must say it goes against everything I've known about heads from the time I started playing with them.

All of the controls on a head that rely on a spring - counterbalance, tilt and pan drag will, if the spring is under maximum tension continously, lose tension as the spring "relaxes".

This is counter intuitive with regard to the instructions you say are in the manual.

Hey, I'm not going to argue, I don't have the manual in front of me, but I would strongly suggest you fire a mail to Barbara.Jaumann@VitecGroup.com (Sachtlers Product Manager) and see if she can give you a more cogent answer to the question of which is best - full on or full off.

My vote is for "full off", but then I still can't figure out how Sachtler do what they do with their heads, so what would I know?


CS
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 09:42 AM   #3
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Hi Chris,

Yeah, me again ;-}

So Here is what the manual says word for word. Common sense to me would seem like you'd want to take the load to off, but...or maybe I'm just reading it wrong.

I'll also contact Barbara to see what they recommend.

"To ensure smooth operation of the setting rings for the damping over the long life time period of the fluid head, you should turn both setting rings from position "0" to maximum position, before and after the use of the fluid head.

Setting during transportation: the most important issue is to open both brakes - horizontal and vertical. Counterbalance and damping should be set to maximum position."

Scratching my head on this one.

Jonathan
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Old October 23rd, 2012, 11:45 AM   #4
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Hmmm... it reads to me as if you are supposed to turn the drag from 0 to max and then back again when you take the tripod out of its bag after storage. And to have drag at max during transport or storage.

I'm sure the Vinten advice was always to store your tripods with the drag at minimum and the brakes off. Perhaps Sachtler's different drag mechanism stores better with it set to max.
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Old October 24th, 2012, 03:07 PM   #5
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

OK. Word from the top:


Hi Jonathan,

Regarding the transport settings:

To ensure smooth operation of the setting rings for the damping over the long life time period of the fluid head, you should turn both setting rings from position "0" to maximum position, before and after the use of the fluid head: This is really the most important sentence here. Quite often people have their preferred drag setting and never changed it. But if you have it at a certain position over a long time, the pin could get stuck at this drag position. We recommend to move the drag rings regularly to ensure the free movement. It is good enough to turn it from 0 to 3 - then you can move it back to the position you want to use it at.

Setting during transportation: the most important issue is to open both brakes - horizontal and vertical. Counterbalance and damping should be set to maximum position."
- manual says that you should set the drag to max, but this is not necessary. The only reason we recommend the counterbalance to be set at max is that this avoids that the heads moves freely during transport.

Hope that clarifies it.

Best regards

Barbara
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Old October 26th, 2012, 12:41 AM   #6
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

I'm with Chris on this, too:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I've read what you said, and have no doubt that is what the manual says (er, sort of), however, I must say it goes against everything I've known about heads from the time I started playing with them.

All of the controls on a head that rely on a spring - counterbalance, tilt and pan drag will, if the spring is under maximum tension continuously, lose tension as the spring "relaxes".

This is counter intuitive with regard to the instructions you say are in the manual.
First off, my disclaimer:
I know nothing about the tripod head,
I don't know the details about the operating design.

But......

With regard to springs, they will loose their tension over time when loaded and that's the nature of the beast. The springs in a car are an excellent example. After a number of years they need to be replaced because they sag.

The reply that said one can tighten the spring and then loosen it again back to one's usual setting sounds good. It would be even better, as far as any spring is concerned, to set it back to zero, though. But obviously operational factors based on the design must take precedence.

It sure does seem counter-intuitive.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 04:38 AM   #7
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

The 'from the top' email reply, appears to be talking about damping rather than spring tension. The comment about 'the pin could get stuck in this position' for instance.
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Old October 26th, 2012, 09:03 AM   #8
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Jonathan,

Which head do you have? I've got a DV6SB and the manual for that say to do what Mike Beckett said, for each drag and counterbalance, turn it to max then back down to zero and store it at zero. This procedure was also confirmed by my local Sachtler service center.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #9
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

I've got the FSB 4.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:41 AM   #10
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Hi all, both the drag and the counterbalance on the sachtler heads are stepped and utilise pins to locate the balance and drag modules at their various levels.
As for Vinten heads, we would reccomend that the drag controls (Vision blue through to Vision 10AS as they use the LF drag system) are reduced to zero if the head isnt being used for a while. this will extend the life of the drag material which could take a premature set if left at high for extended periods without use. However, counterbalance can be left wherever it is.
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Old October 29th, 2012, 05:14 AM   #11
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Peter, thanks for the clarification. I'm relieved that I'm doing the right thing with my much-loved and now slightly-battered Vision Blue.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:11 AM   #12
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Thanks Peter et al.

What I think I can conclude with the Sachtler is that for storing, horizontal and vertical rings to highest setting, making sure it "engages". In my case it would be setting #3, and counter balance knob to 5

For traveling, same as above, but engage the two brakes.

Why something so simple has to be so confusing.....

Jonathan
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Old October 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM   #13
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Jonathon...I think you may have misunderstood, "For traveling, same as above, but engage the two brakes."

"Setting during transportation: the most important issue is to open both brakes - horizontal and vertical."

J.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

James,

I just re-read my original post, and yes you are correct, it does sound like the brakes should not be engaged.

Though it does seem to make some sense to lock everything up so it does move about during transport, but I'll go with what you and the manual mention.

Thanks.

Jonathan
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Old October 30th, 2012, 01:19 PM   #15
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Re: Storing/transporting fluid head tripod.

Actually the manual makes more sense, imagine if the head receives a bump while in transit. If it is locked there's a chance that the drag mechanism and/or brakes would be damaged.

And the head would probably just move a bit and survive without damage if it's unlocked in the same scenario.
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