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Old July 12th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #1
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FSB6 or FSB4

Hi

I own a Sachtler FSB6 head which I'm very pleased with. I have been using it together with my Canon XH-A1 and been able to set the counter balance to no 2 to get the camcorder to balance. The heads counter balance can be adjusted between 1 and 10, so there still is plenty of room for heavier camcorders than the XH-A1.

I also own a lighter camcorder, a Panasonic TM900. Using this camcorder together with the head is possible, but it won't balance so good, as the FSB6 head only balances cameras between 1 and 6 kg in theory, in practice from about 1,8kg as 1kg demands a center of gravity more than 100mm. The TM900 weigths about 0,5kg.

I'm now thinking of selling the FSB6 and buy me a FSB4 instead. The FSB4 will probably be better for the TM900 as it's counterbalance system, reading the specifications, will handle weights between 0 to 4kg.

But, how will the FSB4 handle, for example my XH-A1, or if I in the future get a heavier camcorder, with weight around 3kg? Will there be enough 'power' in the counterbalace system to handle that weight?

Anyone using the FSB4 together with for example a Sony EX1/EX3 or a similar camcorder?

Regards,

/Bo
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Old July 12th, 2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Bo...I hope someone with more knowledge than I chimes-in, but for the moment I'll try to provide what information I have.

Now, if I've done my homework correctly, the Canon XH-A1 weighs ~ 2.4kg (5.3#) and the Panasonic TM 900 weighs-in at ~ 395g (0.87#).

The FSB 6 (you currently own) max capacity @ CoG between 0 - 50 mm is ~13.2# (6 kg). The overall range of the FSB 6 is ~2.2# - 13.2# (1 kg - 6 kg).

The FSB 4, (you are considering purchasing) has a max capacity of ~8.8# (4 kg) @ 25 mm CoG. The overall range of the FSB 4 @ 25 mm CoG is ~0 - 8.8# (0 kg - 4 kg).

If I understand your 'issue' is the 'TM900' is too lightweight, correct! I know this may not be the answer you're looking for, but there have been several creative solutions, the easiest and to my mind, the cheapest is to purchase or have made a piece of aluminum that brings the weight of the 'TM 900' up to the 'minimum operational' weight and a 'higher' (>25 mm) CoG that will help . It certainly is a whole lot cheaper then buying a very narrow range "single-purpose" tripod system.

JMHO, YMMV.

J.
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Old July 13th, 2013, 04:39 AM   #3
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Hi James

Thanks for the info. I've seen that Vinten have this kind of solution, a kind of extension aluminium construction that is mounted on the tripod, which rises the camcorder a bit from the head. I'll check that out a little more. I'm familiar with tools so I think that I can make a similar piece myself in my workshop.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old July 13th, 2013, 03:47 PM   #4
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Bo...I've said this several times on DVI, but I went through the whole 'video tripod' purchasing cycle awhile back. My first purchase was a great tripod and fluid head from a very popular company. Unfortunately, I severely underestimated my 'total load capacity and CoG' and overwhelmed my brand new tripod system in rapid fashion. I then was offered the opportunity to test several different tripod systems with my equipment load and it seemed weight of my gear was right in the middle of the 'Product Line'. I couldn't seem to find a 'system' with the 'sweet-spot' I wanted and needed. After going through all of the testing, I 'impulse purchased' my current rig and it just worked out of the box. Go figure?

This year's budget is 'earmarked' for new Sticks. I plan to purchase Sachtler's CF-100ENG HD 2CF with a mid-level spreader and a 75mm to 100mm Bowl Adapter. I have been warned about using an 'adapter' and introducing potential 'slippage', but I feel the trade-off of having a 100mm Bowl will 'future-proof' my Tripod Rig.
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Old July 13th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Hi, guys............

The Vinten blueBridge Small Camera Adapter was "supposed" to be a combined Vinten/ Sachtler product (when I first heard about it last year, anyway).

Having read this thread, it occurred to me that the Sachtler version would be an ideal solution to your problem (though it might require some lead shot in a bag taped inside to give some more mass).

I can't find a Sachtler version anywhere, so have mailed Andrew Butler at Vinten to find out what gives, with any luck he'll chime up here with the answer.

For some more detailed info on the Vinten version check out my combined Vb3/ bB SCA review in the Articles section here on DVinfo.

If it transpires that the Sachtler version is not to be, making an adapter isn't all that difficult if you have access to the appropriate equipment.


CS
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Old July 14th, 2013, 01:26 AM   #6
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Bo, the FSB6 won't work with an EX3. I have a Sachtler DV6SB which is equivalent to the FSB8 and when I have my EX3 bare bones it works fine. I'm really pushing it when I have it fully loaded with extended battery, Matte Box, follow focus, monitor, lens controller, and nanoFlash. It is just at the limits. The Speed Lock 75CF sticks are another issue all together. I love the feel of Sachtler heads. Vinten are very nice too but for me I get a better feel with the Sachter. It really is a personal choice. The cheaper Sachtler sticks should be avoided IMHO. I'm running my DV6SB on a set of Vinten aluminum 2 stage sticks. very happy with this setup. The sticks that James has targeted are great. Very solid but with a mid spreader they will set you back about as much as the head.

Making the light camera adapter isn't that hard but to do a nice job you'd need access to some decent machining tools.

James, I've got the 75mm to 100mm adapter that I use on high hats, no problems but I do give it a little extra tightening. Not too much but just a bit more than on my 75mm bowl tripod.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

See, I knew the 'smart guys' would come out and play. : ) Thanks, Chris and Garrett!

Cheers,

J.
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Old July 14th, 2013, 10:58 AM   #8
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

BTW, I just looked at the Sachtler site and the 'Specs' for the FSB 8 are a little confusing. In 'Sachtler's overview' it states, "...extending the payload range to 19.8 lbs (9 kg)...". However, in the specifications it gives the payload range as "1 - 10 kg / 2.2 - 22 lbs". Personally, I believe 1 - 9 kg/2.2 - 19.8 lbs (Max Payload Capacity) is closer to the true operating range of the FSB 8. Of course, it depends on how much you've 'pimped your rig' and how much you've shifted the CoG, it would be very easy to overwhelm the FSB 8. Also, the closer you get to the upper range you lose range of motion. It's a very delicate balance (pun intended).

Regards,

J.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:05 AM   #9
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Hi,
As the max payload depends on the cog height of the camera setup, Sachtler references a typical setup. FSB 8 has a max payload of 22 lbs assuming a cog height of approx 4 in. If you want to see the max payload for other cog heights, please take a look at the chart on our website.

Best regards

Barbara
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Old July 15th, 2013, 05:42 AM   #10
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Hi

Thanks all for your response. I think the best I can do is to try a FSB4 head, I have to take contact with a reseller here in Sweden.

Barbara, I've checked the info on Sachtlers website so I have seen the charts and they give very good information. The problem is that camcorder COG never is noted in their specifications so there will be a wilde guess from the pictures. The XH-A1 do have a very low profile, other camcorders have higher profiles but it's hard to judge the COG from that.

Anyway, thanks for all informational answers!

Regards,

/Bo
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Old July 15th, 2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

Bo...if I understand the 'CoG' part of the equation, you can get an idea of where the 'CoG' by simply using a tape-measure and measure from the surface of the Fluid-Head dovetail receiver plate and see where your cameras approximate CoG is. Then you can determine where you fit on the Sachtler graph.

Let us know your final decision, I'm always interested in people's rationale when buying 'sticks'. You would think it's a simple decision, but as many of us have found out, it's not as 'simple' as you first thought.

Good hunting!

J.
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Old July 15th, 2013, 03:44 PM   #12
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

OK, news just in.............

From Andrew Butler at Vinten: Sachtler are NOT producing a version of the bB SCA at this time and apparently have no plans to do so.

Your best bet to use such a low mass/ COG camera on a much more powerful head is either -

Buy a CB100 Counterbalance Correction System from CBTechniques (if they're still making them) OR

Make an adapter yourself. I'd suggest using 3" (75mm) square cross section hollow steel, 5" (125 mm) long.

More info if you need it, as it gets a tad complicated after that.

The use of a Manfrotto 577 adapter to fit on top of the adapter box is advised, and has the advantage that the 577 uses the 501P QR plate which is functionally equivalent to the standard Sachtler QR plate (NOT Touch & Go).

As for working out camera COG, a good rule of thumb (though not infallible!) is to measure from the bottom plate of the camera to the centre line of the lens. If pimped with monstrous top mounted shotgun or monitor, that goes straight out the window however.


CS
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Old July 16th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #13
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Re: FSB6 or FSB4

+1 for everything Chris said.

J.
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