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Old March 22nd, 2013, 12:37 PM   #1
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Best tripod for PMW-200?

I have only recently acquired this wonderful beast - indeed I have only just stepped into the world of the compact 3 chip HD camcorder. What started as a hobby a couple of years back has just gotten more serious. I want to get the best tripod I can afford, within reason - say $1000 to $2000 max. I would rather spend more than have buyer's remorse down the road. Smooth pans and control are very important. To be honest I'm a bit overwhelmed by the choice on offer from the various manufacturers. The Vision Blue system kit was looking like a good candidate, then I read a review somewhere that the legs were not as ridged as they could be. I'm not an expert, so I thought I would ask the more knowledgeable videographers here: What tripod do you use (or would recommend) for this type and size of camera? Thanks!
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

I bought a Vinten 3AS tripod system for my EX3 (similar size/weight to your lovely cam) about a year ago. Could n't be happier.

Not sure what the US dollar price is but I suspect near the top end of your budget depending on what type of spreader you go for.

Not sure which Vinten is the best match but just a suggestion...
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 12:53 PM   #3
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Thanks, Andy - in fact that was another one I had short-listed, just based on things I had read.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 01:57 PM   #4
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Terence...I just went through this process last year, so I feel your pain. The Vinten series of Fluid Heads and sticks are great! My only recommendation to you is get a tripod 'system' that has a little extra 'top-end' for the weight you initially plan on. It's amazing how many things you start to hang-on these little beasts. : ) The other thing you need to remember. Based on the weight and CofG (this is very important) of the load, Fluid Heads lose range of motion the closer to the upper limit you get. Simply put, if the weight of the camera and accessories are close to the design limit of the Fluid Head, you will not be able to reach the 'optimum' range of motion, e.g., 90-degrees straight down or 75-degrees (put your own number here) up.

I would even recommend getting 'sticks' with 100 mm bowl vs. 75 mm, but make sure it will accept a 75 mm adapter. This way, you have 'future-proofed' your purchase. Tripods, like audio equipment are a 'long-term' investment, unlike our precious cameras, which, have about a useful life of about 5-years (or, less).

I hope this helps.

J.
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 02:15 PM   #5
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

That's great information James - just the kind of insight that I need at this point. I think the cam is a little over 2 kg, but as you say there is all the other stuff. I have a fairly heavy directional condenser mic already and would possibly add some form of glide track once funds allow. Thanks a lot!
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Old March 22nd, 2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Back home from the pub/no longer on my small iPhone screen. More info about why I went for the 3AS on this link.

New Vinten Vision for Shooting Image Ltd's Sony EX3
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Very enlightening, Andy. I think I'm sold. I would have to stretch the wallet to get those pins with mid-level spreaders, but they are preferable to the floor spreaders. Excellent website by the way - I wish you the very best with your business. Oh, and what I'd give for a decent pint in an English pub!
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 01:08 PM   #8
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

This is a commonly asked question over in the Support Your Camera section of DVINFO. You will see much discussion there trading off Sachtler, Libec and Vinten. You will also see a pattern of discussion one part of which is when I jump in and talk about the benefits of side mounting QR mechanisms such as the Sachtler and Cartoni versus the slide in mechanisms of Vinten and Manfrotto. I won't ever go back to a slide in head. Ever. Suggest you take a look over in that section if you haven't already... YMMV
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 05:35 PM   #9
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Les, actually my Vinten Vision 3AS head has what I would call a side loading action.....so I am slightly confused by your comment. For sure it is superior to all previous quick release plate mounting actions I've used. Not sure when Vinten moved to this design though (as mentioned, my system is a year old) and they seem to be bringing out/upgrading product lines frequently.

But for sure your suggestion that Terence has a good read around in the Support forum section is a good one. I suspect this thread might get moved there by one of the mods anyway.

Also, Terence, thanks for the website comments, and yes, one of the many reasons I never fully emmigrated to North America (in a previous career) is my love of our traditional pubs - nothing quite like them anywhere else :-)
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; March 23rd, 2013 at 07:49 PM. Reason: typos - again!
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

I see what you mean by side loading Andy. That definitely looks like a step in the right direction from the old slide in QR plate. The type that Les is referring to however, is one that clips in from above. Probably not too much differently, or for that matter "faster" than your Vinten system, however, the one thing about the Sachtler is that your for/aft balance is set & there is never a need to adjust the plate forward or back (assuming the COG of the camera doesn't change in the meantime!) to balance the camera as it goes back exactly where it was when the camera was taken off. This is a huge time saver. Not sure if the Vinten has a system with this new side loading QR plate that allows for that. If so, then there's no argument really.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 07:21 PM   #11
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
Les, actually my Vinten Vision 3AS head has what I would call a side loading action.....so I am slightly confused by your comment. ...
That's great. Last Vinten I looked at was the Blue which isn't. Glad they've come around.

Popping a camera in from above is a great time saver and I llike the sure footedness of the manuver.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 07:58 PM   #12
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

All good info about the Satchler - another well respected make.

Anyway, Terence, have a good look around on the Support Your Camera section (Tripod Sticks & Heads bit) of DVinfo as suggested and ask any questions over there. There are several "tripod experts" who frequent that area. I am sure you'll get as much advice as you'll need to get the best tripod identified for your camera and budget.
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Old March 23rd, 2013, 08:30 PM   #13
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

Thanks to all for your suggestions. I was bit confused about where to exactly post (or look) for information on this topic. I will certainly do a bit more research over in the support section as suggested, before finally pulling the trigger. Cheers.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 02:08 AM   #14
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

A first cut impression of Euro vs US systems: Not surprisingly, US alternatives seem more cost effective this side of the pond. I'm looking at, for instance, the Sachtler 0373 FSB-4 Aluminum Tripod System ($1,049.60) vs. Vinten V3AS-AP1M (2,552.95) as priced at B&H. (Forget Canadian prices, we're in the dark ages as regards both prices and availability). Anyway, both these systems appear to have a fan-base of supporters. They both appear commendable within their price range, adding somewhat to my mild confusion of how to equate these.

Last edited by Terence Morris; March 24th, 2013 at 02:42 AM.
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Old March 24th, 2013, 05:27 AM   #15
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Re: Best tripod for PMW-200?

I like and own Vinten tripods. I also like and use Sachtler, O'Connor and many others. I'm about to get a Miller Solo kit for my travel shoots where weight is a major factor.

Vinten use a continuously adjustable friction damping system, Sachtler's go in steps. Both work well. The same goes for the counterbalance. In this area I definitely prefer Vinten as I can dial in the exact amount of counterbalance needed. Sachtler use a standard "EuroPlate" for the quick release that has to be placed in the receiver at a slight angle with the front of the plate going into the slot first, then the rear. Most of the time this is absolutely fine. But I have had some rigs with bars or rods that have been a little low and prevent you from being able to drop the plate into the receiver. In this scenario a sliding plate that can be slid in from the front actually works well. Beware that many newer Manfrotto tripods have plates that can only slide in from the rear. The side mounting plates used on many of the newer light and mid weight Vinten tripods works very well in this scenario.

100mm or 75mm bowl? Unless your actually planning on getting a 100mm bowl head sometime soon, I would stick with 75mm. You can adapt down from a 100mm bowl to 75mm, but the adapter adds another area where flex and slip can creep in. If you take the head off for travel the adapter ring will fall out of the bowl and can get lost.

Consider buying used. Tripods when looked after well last many years, decades even. Maybe think about buying a new head with used legs if your budget is tight. I only recently sold a Vinten 5 that was 14 years old but still going strong for about $600. I'm sure the new owner will get many years out of it, it was as smooth when I sold it as when I got it back in 1989.
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