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Old January 13th, 2014, 05:51 PM   #61
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Seems this thread has done significantly more than its allotted laps, tho' guess that was inevitable given its title, there being no such critter and all.
Indeed. No matter what I choose, I will have to make significant compromises.


Quote:
2. The sticks under the Vb series are darn good, and they're FREE testers!
Do you have a specific model in mind? Everything I can find is quite heavy (compared to the Gitzo CF or Miller Solo CF).

From other research I've done since starting this thread, it seems that for a single person crew, shooting wildlife, single leg tripods are the most common type used. The flexibility of operation far outweighs the slight increase in windup. And I can think of some of the situations that I get my current tripod in that a normal MLS video tripod would not be able to cope with.

I'll try to get the Australian store to offer to take the Miller system back if I find it unsuitable. If so, then my only risk is the freight cost.

The Miller system I'm looking at gets reasonable reviews:
Miller SOLO DV10 Carbon Fiber Tripod System 1511 B&H Photo Video
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Old January 13th, 2014, 08:24 PM   #62
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Here is a thought. One of the reviewers of the Miller system (on B&H site) that downgraded his opinion over time is in Denver. If he was willing (and it might be useful to him as well), I would offer to loan him one of my Gitzo / Sachter systems for a week or two (or three) and see what he says.

I had been contemplating sending Chris S. one of my systems for a DVInfo review but that will probably not happen soon enough, and I have no idea if Chris S. would even be interested.

Let me know if this is of interest.

(Disclaimer - I have nothing to disclaim. I am just a user / customer of the products, and would like to help the DV Info collective knowledge base)
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Old January 13th, 2014, 11:26 PM   #63
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Wow, yet another lap.........

Michael:

I keep seeing different system weights from you, so no model can be specifically pinpointed for a TESTER Vinten system.

Whatever you currently have will have to be it, and let Andrew at Vinten specify the system. The sticks under the Vb(x) heads are all exactly the same, so it matters not.

The reason for my last post, in case you haven't worked it out, is to establish a baseline for usability at the least possible cost to you and avoiding, if at all possible, the "buy it and weep" scenario so many people find themselves in.

With the test Vinten and the Manfrotto 520ball, you can test not only the full Vinten, but the Vinten sticks with your existing head, then work out what, if anything gives you the best bang for your buck.

This is based on my experience with both cheap/ expensive heads and cheap/ expensive sticks.

1.Cheap sticks under cheap heads = crap

2.Cheap sticks under good heads = not much better, but better

3.Good sticks under cheap heads = better than 2.

4.Good sticks under good heads = bliss

Good luck getting the vendor to promise to take back (and refund) a purchased system is it doesn't suit, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid here, and that's exactly where you go with either the Solo's or the Gitzos.

As for reviews, they're only meaningful if they're relevant to your shooting circumstances, how the heck will you know unless you have a benchmark?

However, if you want to know why, exactly, I'm pretty dubious of 1:1:1:? sticks, read post #199 (yep, 199!) of this, er, my thread Vinten, Sachtler, Libec, Miller, Manfrotto Shootout (especially the pdf's therein) and check out the rigidity tests (cool graphs, huh?) of the tripods in question, the worst, from memory, were the Sachtler 2:1:1's.

Based on that, I have little faith in straight 1's top to bottom.

Richard:

great thought, though to make any comparison meaningful I'd really need both a Gitzo and a Solo system to get a feel for a winner.

The forensic tests I did for my shootout reviews won't even get a look in till I've got this damn new bionic knee functioning more like a knee and less like a toaster/ skateboard/ PITA.


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Old January 14th, 2014, 07:24 AM   #64
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Chris:

By 1:1:1 do you mean singe tube for each leg section?
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Old January 14th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #65
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Yep.


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Old January 14th, 2014, 03:50 PM   #66
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Chris:

This is why you need to try the Gitzo Series 3 CF legs yourself, whether the Miller system is available or not.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 04:55 PM   #67
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
I keep seeing different system weights from you,
I started wanting as light as possible, specifying that 4kg would be ideal, and expressing doubt that I would be able to get anything "good" at that weight.

As I have gained more data, thanks to you and other posters here, I have accepted that I may have to go slightly higher and have only gone as high as 4.85kg.

Quote:
The reason for my last post, in case you haven't worked it out, is to establish a baseline for usability at the least possible cost to you and avoiding, if at all possible, the "buy it and weep" scenario so many people find themselves in.
I do understand that, but am not comfortable asking for a loan, knowing it will not be suitable going in. We all know that a solid, heavy system will be stable, but I can't go there because I won't be able to carry it in the rainforest.

My only baseline for a good system is the very heavy Miller tripods and heads of 30+ years ago. These were very good. I often had 3 cameras (two 16mm and one video) mounted to the same head, tracking horse races from the other side of the track. One of the 16mm cameras and the video camera had an equivalent angle of view of about 1200mm. These were rock steady and smooth.

I have not laid hands on anything even half decent since. I hoped (and still do) that modern materials and manufacturing have improved the weight/performance ratio.

When I started this thread, I had completely discounted the possibility of using photo-style 1:1:1 sticks, but a couple of people have commented that some of them are quite good, all things considered. At the same time, my other research indicated that other people found this style a good compromise for difficult environments where spreader systems become restrictive. I've read many of your posts on this forum and noticed that you have been unable to test any of these stick. So this is the only area where my requirements have changed since the start of this thread.

I hope to be able to come in under $2K, but this is not a hard limit. But it has to be worth it to me, since this is just a hobby for me I can't just make the cost back.


Quote:
However, if you want to know why, exactly, I'm pretty dubious of 1:1:1:? sticks, read post #199 (yep, 199!) of this, er, my thread Vinten, Sachtler, Libec, Miller, Manfrotto Shootout (especially the pdf's therein) and check out the rigidity tests (cool graphs, huh?) of the tripods in question, the worst, from memory, were the Sachtler 2:1:1's.

Based on that, I have little faith in straight 1's top to bottom.
I understand that, but the sticks being discussed here have a much larger tube diameter, which must surely count for something.

The bottom line is that between what I've learned here, and my discussion with the store in Brisbane (who, incidentally, didn't rave-up the Miller or Sachtler at this weight level, so I felt he was being honest), I've come to the conclusion that the Gitzo/Sachtler or Miller systems will be the best compromise for me.

I'm not expecting perfection (and never was), but I am hoping for significant gains on what I've been using.

I don't have a direct comparison between these 2 systems, but everything I've read leads me to believe that there isn't a massive difference between them, not enough to justify a $900 difference in price.

I will hold off until the end of the month before purchasing, partly because my wife has just had knee surgery and if that hasn't fixed her knee, then my rainforest trekking days will be numbered.
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Old January 14th, 2014, 04:58 PM   #68
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard D. George View Post
Here is a thought. One of the reviewers of the Miller system (on B&H site) that downgraded his opinion over time is in Denver. If he was willing (and it might be useful to him as well), I would offer to loan him one of my Gitzo / Sachter systems for a week or two (or three) and see what he says.
Although it would be of some help, I wouldn't feel comfortable with either you or the Miller owner going to that much trouble just for me. Also, unless a direct comparison was made with scientific tests, similar to what Chris did on his reviews, there is too much risk that the results might be skewed.
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Old January 15th, 2014, 10:19 PM   #69
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Lots of activity.... Zero progress....
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Old January 15th, 2014, 10:33 PM   #70
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard D. George View Post
Lots of activity.... Zero progress....
Really?

After posting yesterday I discovered that the total weight quoted for the Miller systems includes the bag and strap, so it does come out exactly at my ideal 4kg. This also brings a system based on the Compass 12 head within the realm of possibility at 4.8kg, and that does look like a much better head. Both Alister Chapman and Philip Bloom seem to like them in this class.

Miller Solo DV 2-Stage Carbon Fiber Tripod with Compass 12 1870

Although the weight is stated as 6.7kg, the legs and head come to 4.8kg. I'm waiting for Miller to get back to me at the moment to make sure that is correct.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 12:05 AM   #71
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Sorry.

It is truly a shame you can't compare systems in person.

Good luck with your purchase.
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Old January 16th, 2014, 08:28 PM   #72
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Michael,
Sorry I haven't been able to offer any help in the last little while. I have been in Melbourne visiting my daughter & grandson with no internet.
If you can possibly stretch your weight limits to accommodate the Miller compass 12 head, that would be the way I would go. As I have said in a previous post, the problem with the DV10 head is that the head has a very limited adjustment in both counterbalance, & drag. The Compass 12 fixes that, & from what I have read, fixes it well. I have both the Miller CF legs & the Gitzo, & I think you would be happy with either.
Of course, I could say the same about the Sachtler head.
I think you are of the right mind when you talk about having to make a compromise with this setup. Without a personal Sherpa to carry your gear, the perfect solution would be back breaking.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old January 16th, 2014, 09:59 PM   #73
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Bryce:

Are your Gitzo legs System 2 (GT2 something) or System 3 (GT3 something)?
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Old January 17th, 2014, 04:32 PM   #74
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

They're system 3 legs with a 100mm bowl. The leg sections are approximately 1 1/2" in diameter at the top. (That's just a guess though, as I don't have them near me at the moment)
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Old January 17th, 2014, 10:37 PM   #75
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Re: Good Lightweight Tripod System

Bryce,
I think you have Series 5 Carbon 100mm bowl model! I have Series 3 and just took a leg measurement at the top section. Only 30mm (1.25 inches). I remember you posting about them about a year and a half ago. I'm betting they're either model GT5532LS or GT5532S. If you go to the Gitzo site, you will find these under the "Photography" section and not in the "Video" section. I really like the FSB-6/Gitzo leg combination. Yes, it's a compromise, isn't everything? Lighter weight gear makes a difference if you have to hand carry it all day. If wind up is evident, I can minimize that by holding the pan rod a few seconds at the end of a panning shot.

GT5532 | B&H Photo Video

(While I have the calipers handy, my Series 2, model GT2542LS legs are 26mm at the top.)

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