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Old March 24th, 2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Good point Alister. Yes, you are introducing a possible 'slip' point. But, life (and tripods) is full of compromises. I would prefer a steel girder sunk down to Bedrock, but that's not practical. Deciding which Fluid Head and tripod system to purchase is not an easy task, it's made even more difficult if you're on a tight budget. I ended up with the Sachtler FSB-8 and the Sachtler #4588, 75 CF tripod, a very light-weight 'system'. The 'FSB-8 Head' is excellent! However, the very property's making the rig light-weight,i.e., the diameter of the Carbon-Fiber legs, and the 2-1 leg design, make the '4588' a bit 'twisty'. I knew that going-in, so I compensated by watching how much pressure I place on the the 'Head' when panning and tilting the rig. I do plan on getting a sturdier tripod in the future, but for now the '75 CF' and my venerable Gitzo 1325. Mk. II will do the job.

Good luck Terrance with your purchasing adventure. I would also take a look at the DVInfo "Tripods" section. there are numerous excellent reviews and a lot of discussion on this very subject.

Take care,

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Old March 24th, 2013, 04:47 PM   #17
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Not my usual habit to pitch into camera support questions "off pitch" as the standard of input is usually so low, not in this one though, looks like the gangs all here!

Just a couple of things to add before this goes for a wrap.

When last I heard (and it may well have been rescinded without me knowing) the side/ drop load Vinten Vision 3 AS was due to bite the dust with the release of the new Vb3 slot load head, just as the 5 AS was with the introduction of the Vb5. However, I've just checked B&H and it's still on sale, so now I'm not so sure.

Unless and until we get confirmation one way or another from Andrew Butler at Vinten, anyone eyeing the 3 AS up may well want to make a snap purchase, just in case.

The suggestions to go trawling through the support and Articles sections are well advised and will definitely reward the effort.

However, there really is nothing like actually getting ones hands dirty (so to speak) playing with the real thing, as it's virtually impossible to get a true mental picture of the feel of a system from written text, without some sort of context.

To that end, you would be well advised to "follow the bouncing ball" below:

Fire off emails to: AND .

They are, respectively, the Product Managers for Sachtler in Germany and Vinten in the UK.

Tell them what camera system you have, proposed/ "wish list" additions, your budget and ask them for a free trial, at your home, of whatever system they would recommend.

They will make it happen in reasonably short order.

Yes, it's free, there's no obligation and you get to play for as long as you like.

That will give a great introduction to the Sachtler side/ drop load on possibly a FSB 6 head, their stepped everything approach and the feel of their tripods.

Ditto the Vinten slot load, possibly on a Vb3 and their continuously variable everything and great sticks.

Once you've had a play with both, the miles and miles of text on the support Forum will all start to make sense and you'll be a lot closer to knowing which way you want to jump.


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Old March 24th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #18
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

I can't thank everybody enough for this wealth of good advice. Apologies again for starting this thread in the wrong place. I'm leaning in favour of Vinten - pretty much the system that Andy Wilkinson has. It's always a judgement call with these things and no equipment is "perfect". Thanks for the bouncing ball, Chis - yikes, that's amazing!
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