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Old June 21st, 2015, 02:14 AM   #16
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

Chris - I assume that means you have more info to give me when time allows. That's great!

I'm not in any huge rush - when it's convenient.

Thanks!
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Old June 21st, 2015, 03:51 AM   #17
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

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Originally Posted by David Dixon View Post
Chris - I assume that means you have more info to give me when time allows. That's great!

I'm not in any huge rush - when it's convenient.

Thanks!
It probably means he's selling his tripod...
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Old June 21st, 2015, 05:39 AM   #18
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

I borrowed an "Ace" kit from Sachtler to take on a trip to Brazil. Filming wildlife, mainly birds. Not happy with it. Had to put the head onto some old Gitzo legs I had with me and eventually swapped the head for a cheapo Chinese made one I had with me as a spare.

I own a Sachtler DVS 6, quite old now but a lovely head which I use on my ancient Gitzo 1325 legs BUT heavy and a bit too much for a GH4 unless I have my 800mm lens attached. I only ever use this now from inside a vehicle or a public hide. Too much to cart about.

I've gone quite off Manfrotto.

I also have a Vinten Vision 6 on aluminium legs. Again heavy and over the top for a GH4 apart from when I have the 800 attached.

I'm looking at a Libec Allex, head more interesting to me than the legs and a lot more interesting than the complete kit plus slider. Not much in it price wise between the head and the head and legs. Portable enough for my needs particularly with a GH4 and 80-400 Nikkor with a monitor attached to the tripod or in a "stone bag" rather than to the camera.

Ron
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Old June 21st, 2015, 05:53 PM   #19
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

Apologies for that cliff hanger, had "stuff" which wasn't taking "no" for an answer.

OK David, where to start.

I have no experience with the Sachtler Ace system but everything I've read about the accompanying sticks seems to be less than spectacular. They (Sachtler) do make some seriously good heads however, whether the Ace is one such I simply don't know.

As it was the sticks in particular you weren't over the moon about I ran through my known list of possible replacements and ended up with just one set that I could unhesitatingly recommend - the Vinten 3819 - 3's as are parked under the entry level Vision Blue system.

[Note: I did consider the Manfrotto 546's that I reviewed a few years back; they're nearly as rigid as the Vintens BUT have what is quite possibly the crankiest spreader in the known universe and from reading some owners comments have a nasty habit of exploding leg locks, not really where you want to go]

I was going to suggest the Vinten a few days ago but when I checked the price at b&h they were about $986 without a mid spreader, $1301 with the V4032 el cheapo one, at which point I stopped as it was a bit of a punt for the money.

However, having seen the sticks you were finally considering I thought I'd put my oar in as IMHO they are an even bigger punt than the Vintens.

In a nutshell the Solo's are a 1:1:1 tube system with concentric leg locks - the 1:1:1 means that their rotational rigidity is not the best and the concentric leg locks will eventually require you to get PTSD counselling.

The Vintens are heavier but have a 2:2:1 tube configuration with Pozi-Loc 90 degree locks - infinitely more rigid and faster to set up than concentric locks.

The only reason I can't, hand on heart, recommend a full Vision Blue system is that your 3 lb camera weight is ringing alarm bells even with a Vinten Small Camera Adapter parked between the camera and head.

However, if it did work the diffence between that $1301 sticks/ spreader price and the $1427 full VB system price is so measly you'd be mad to NOT go for the full deal.

However, you needn't risk your cash finding out the hard way IF Vinten is still offering their "try before you buy" deal where if it doesn't suit you simply pay the return shipping back to Vinten.

Fire a mail to Philip Dalgoutte - Philip.Dalgoutte@VitecGroup.com (Vintens Product Manager) and ask him to organize a VB system complete with a SCA. Give it a whirl with both your Ace head and the VB and see how it works.

If the Ace head behaves and the VB doesn't with that 3 lb load I'd still plump for the complete rig in case you get a heavier camera or the GH4 hits the pretzels and stacks on a bit around the hips. The $120 difference between the sticks & spreader price and the full rig means the VB head is practically free when the case cost is factored in. Heck you could even sell it, come to that.

What will not let you down is those Vinten sticks - you want rigid, rigid they got.

I'll stay tuned for the next exciting episode.

Regards,


CS
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Old June 21st, 2015, 10:40 PM   #20
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

Wow, a lot to digest here.

The Vinten package includes an $878 head, $986 tripod, $315 spreader, and even a $338 case, all for $1517 including the Small Camera Adapter.

OTOH, the Miller Solos get a lot of rave reviews, are lighter, and go higher and lower.

However I really want the rock solid pans and tilts, and the Vinten seems to be the way to go for that. I will ponder some more and may order one to try with both the Vinten head and my existing Ace head. I do plan to get a heavier camera later - looking seriously at the DVX200 if the images are as good as the specs.

Thanks for the info and I'll post here with results.
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Old June 21st, 2015, 11:17 PM   #21
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

David,
Part of the reason that the Miller solo legs go so high is because the legs aren't spread apart too far in their highest setting. That means that the base is much smaller & more prone to tipping over. While this has never happened to me, i just wanted to point out that is in part, how they go as high as they do. If you think you would use the tripod in its lowest point, then the flexibility of this type of tripod is a good choice. Keep in mind what Chris mentioned though with regards to the concentric leg locks, they definitely are slower to operate, since you may find yourself adjusting 6 of them for any given shot on uneven terrain!
There are other choices as Mark pointed out, with Gitzo & Really Right Stuff making some awesome legs in the same style as the Solo's. I have both the CF Solo legs you linked to, & also a set of Gitzo CF in a far beefier build. I love them, & have never had any issue with wind up on pans or tilts, but i do make sure i have the spiked feet bedded firmly in the ground (outdoors of course!)
If the majority of your work is on relatively flat ground, & you don't have to lug the tripod too far, don't have to go too high, or too low, then there are lots more options to choose from.
Regards,
Bryce
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Old June 23rd, 2015, 05:36 PM   #22
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

OK, after Chris's great reply I'm wincing as I write this, but...

As a non-pro one man band shooter, I keep getting drawn to the light weight and quick ultra-low adjustability of those Miller Solo legs. Despite being single sticks with no spreader, out of 10 reviews at B&H only one even remotely mentions any issues with "torsional flex."

So I've decided to get those legs and try them with my Sachtler Ace M head. If they don't solve my issues, I'll send them back and spring for the full Vinten Vision Blue - head and all. You do get a lot more than just legs with that package, but still it's twice the cost and more than twice the weight, so I'm saving that as Plan B.

Thanks again for all the information found in this thread!
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Old June 24th, 2015, 09:20 PM   #23
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

David

Do keep us posted about your discoveries. Not being familiar with your (current) chosen sticks it's always good to get feedback from others in how kit behaves.

Good luck.


CS
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Old June 28th, 2015, 08:29 AM   #24
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

Quick update. After more reading, mainly in older posts here, I've ordered the Manfrotto 535 CF legs instead of the Miller solo to try with my Sachtler Ace M head. It's considered to be a pretty good lightweight head, and some say it's the same as the FSB-4. The Manfrotto legs are generally considered to be the same as the Sachtler TT 75/2, only without the S and the red leg locks :-).

A lot of people find Manfrotto overrated, but these legs seem to be an exception. Compared to the Millers these are $100 less, have quick release locks, go a few inches higher, almost as low, and weigh .5 pound less.

I still may end up with the Vinten, but this will be more versatile for me if it gives me the control I need.

I'll keep you posted.
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Old July 3rd, 2015, 12:39 PM   #25
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Re: Tripod for use with Panasonic GH4

I did get the Manfrotto 535 3-section CF tripod legs and really like them. They are definitely better than the Sachtler Ace M legs and do reduce the kickback I was getting on pans.

However - the difference is not night and day. If zoomed in close doing panning I still get a touch of kickback, but it's now easily covered by just keeping my hand on the handle after the move. For some, the noticeable reduction (but not total elimination) of kickback might not be worth $650. But for me, that reduction is combined with the Manfrotto legs being lighter plus going much lower and higher. The height is crazy - I'm 6'2" and the center of the camera lens is right at the top of my head, and by reducing the leg spread in a pinch I could eke out 3-4 more inches.

So, this did give me a nice upgrade for the price, and I'm keeping the sticks.
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