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Old March 3rd, 2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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Comparable alternative to Sachtler

I have used a Cartoni Focus HD for the last 6 years but found it time to update as many parts of the head were breaking and parts of the sticks as well. I wanted to try something else because I really did not like the tilt lock on the Cartoni.

I recently purchased a Sachtler 0475 tripod system consiting of the FSB6 head and CF75 Speedlock legs. On paper, the sticks were everything I was looking for. Quick set up with the Speedlock, compact size and weight. They weren't perfect but they seemed to do the job. The head was great. On my fifth time using them, one of the legs wouldn't lock and upon inspection, the leg fell right off when I extended it. Unfortunately, it happened in the middle of a shoot on the French Riviera on day 2 of a 2 days shoot. Extremely let down.

I am fighting with myself to keep them but I really feel that this could happen again due to the design of these sticks and I can't afford another breakdown.

Also, after the 2nd day of using them, I noticed one of the inner metal spikes broken off of one of the legs laying in the case which I have no idea how it could happen as the inner spike is protected. This wasn't as big of a deal as the lock and leg failure.

So the question is, I'm most likely going to return these for a refund. What would be a good alternative to these? I currently shoot with a Sony EX3, sometimes a Canon DSLR and most likely with a Canon C100 or C300 in the near future. I hear great things about Vinten. ONe thing that is important to me is the ease of extending the legs. I don't like twist locks as I find them too slow. Budget is around $1500-2000.

Thank-you in advance.

BC
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 04:37 PM   #2
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

Sorry about your 75 CF's, though not exactly surprised.

As for a replacement, your comment about twist locks pretty well blows all the Vintens out of the water, they're all twist locks AFAIK and 6 of, to boot.

Manfrotto, Libec and Gitzo pretty well follow suit, though there are some "flick" locks in there, but again, 6 of each.

I'm struggling to come up with anything that isn't a Sachtler Speed Lock, though you'll need to step up to a 100mm unit to do so - either the Speed Lock CF or the Speed Lock CF HD, though the latter at 9.9lbs is more for the trained weight lifter than cameraman.

The Speed Lock CF is only(!) 6.6lbs, though you need to throw in a mid level spreader at another 1.7lb.

A 100mm to 75mm step down ring gets you set for a 75mm head.

The sticks and spreader combo will set you back a cool (and heart stopping) US $2,623.05 though (B&H prices).

If that's too rich for your wallet we'll have to reconsider the Twist locks thing.

The only consolation in this is that, I think it's generally agreed (by me, anyway) that Sachtler can't make cheap (ish) sticks for nuts, but they do make exceedingly good expensive ones.



CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; March 3rd, 2013 at 05:20 PM.
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 07:40 PM   #3
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

Thanks Chris. I should have read your earlier reviews first. When I say twist locks, I don't mean the style that you turn like the Vintens but more lie the single tube telescopic type like the Millers. Would you be able to recommend a comparable set of Vintens?

Thanks
Brian
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 08:23 PM   #4
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

No problem, I don't like concentric locking systems either, life's too short!

Simplest and cheapest way to go is the same sticks as are under the Vb range.

Vinten 3819-3 Pozi-Loc Aluminum Tripod Legs (Black) 3819-3 B&H


and spreader:

Vinten V4032-0001 ProTouch Mid-Level Spreader V4032-0001 B&H


Don't take any notice of the photo, it's the wrong spreader shown

Case:

Vinten 3358-3 Soft Tripod Case 3358-3 B&H Photo Video


I'm pretty sure that's the right one, better to check with Andrew Butler at Vinten to be certain: Andrew.Butler@VitecGroup.com

All up, well within your budget and a damn fine set of sticks they are too.

A cursory but nevertheless measured scrute of those sticks here appears to indicate no problem from the Sachtler FSB long "lollypop" clamp knob hitting the spreader boss in the closed position, so should be ok on that score.

Enjoy!


CS
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 09:06 PM   #5
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

I will be returning the whole tripod system as it came as a kit. Could you recommend a comparable Vinten head to the Sachtler FSB6? I would keep the head if it wasn't part of the whole kit that I have to return.

Thanks again
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 10:07 PM   #6
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

You must be psychic, something along those lines was running through my head as I attempted (and failed) to catch a rogue goldfish in the verboten bottom pond of our water feature.

I'll get the little sucker tomorrow.

To your problem.

It had already occurred to me that an entire system, either a Vb or Vb3 might make more economic sense than just those non head components I listed.

Ah, but which one?

My instinct tells me a Vb3 with a Bluebridge device, but I'm floundering as I don't yet have mine and don't have a "feel" for it's abilities.

Time to call Batman, er, Andrew Butler at Vinten: Andrew.Butler@VitecGroup.com

Tell him what you're shooting with, now and proposed, their all up weights and approximate COG's and let him do the math.

The bottom line problem is the Sachtler - Vinten dichotomy.

The Sachtlers cover a much wider range of weights/ COG's but their stepped nature means they rarely hit a rig dead on, meaning you chew up your limited tilt drag just aiding the CB system.

The Vinten system covers a much smaller range but nails anything within it, dead center.

However, the Vinten Blueridge thingy will extend the bottom end of whatever you go for, which is all to the good, and if all else fails and there is a demand, Richard Davidson and I will resurrect our CB100 counterbalance correction system which we developed last year but quietly shelved when there was zero interest in it (the problem of lighter cameras and the limitations of mechanical heads to adequately handle them not yet an epidemic).

Hope this is of some help.


CS
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

Does anyone have any experience with these?

Miller DS-20 Aluminum Tripod System - consists of: DS-20 Fluid Head, DS 2-Stage Tripod, Mid-Level Spreader and Softcase - Supports 20 lbs

Miller DS-20 Aluminum Tripod System 850 B&H Photo Video

I can't believe how hard of a decision this is. In the perfect world, the Sachtler FSB6 with CF74 Speedlock legs would be so perfect for my needs except that with my own experience and others that I've now read that have had huge problems with them, I can't help but think that even after they're repaired, the chances they will break again are high due to their design. I so want them to work. I can't seem to find anything else like them. Please help!
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Old March 3rd, 2013, 11:25 PM   #8
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

Um, er, Brian...............

There isn't anything like them (the 75 CF's, that is) because they were a bloody good idea that simply could never deliver what was promised.

The build quality is crap, the design, whilst ingenious, was crap on the basis that a 2:1:1 system would never deliver for HD video, but that was not what they were designed for. Quite what they were designed for has always escaped me, but for HD, they are a total disaster (IMHO).

I'm a little puzzled on this sudden swerve to Miller, when it doesn't even have variable counterbalance.

There's simply no getting away from this very simple equation: Build weight = rigidity, all things being equal.

For HD, rigidity is the prime directive, if you want it, you bloody well have to carry the damn thing, like it or not.

If you don't want it, you'll have to drop down a tier to the photo gear and all the horrors that await at that level.

"Please help" at the end of a post in this section of DVinfo, considering the number of posts exchanged already, is a major screw up.

I will leave you to your deliberations and not bother you further.


CS
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Old March 4th, 2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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Re: Comparable alternative to Sachtler

Vinten it is.

Last edited by Brian Chow; March 4th, 2013 at 03:33 AM.
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