Help identifying Miller tripod and head? at DVinfo.net

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Old June 24th, 2015, 07:11 PM   #1
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Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Hey, thanks for looking.

I am new to filming I've literally never done it before. I knew nothing about anything until I picked up a bargain priced DSLR (Nikon D3200) two weeks ago. I broke the cheap tripod included with the Nikon kit within a few days. I have been looking for a bargain tripod that could work.

I found this Miller setup on craigslist for $75. I called to ask what was broke and he said to his knowledge everything worked as it should, but he knew nothing about it. He said a company he had closed several years back had it for their video department but he just didn't know much about it. I met him and I opened and fooled with it for two seconds and it seemed to be in good order so I brought it home.

There is no product number and I cannot find a picture of one exactly like it online. I absolutely do not know camera tripod part names or jargon but reading through this site I guess it's a tripod with 100mm bowl, single stage, w/ mid level spreader (I think it's heavy duty but not sure how to tell) and some type of dual arm fluid head. I didn't measure it at full height, it seems the camera would be right in my face I am 5'11. It is ridiculously wide with the legs down and the spreader wide open. Anyway, it would be cool to know how old this is or any details. I feel like I got a deal. At the end of the day it's not really what I need, it seems bigger and maybe more heavy duty than I need to shoot with my little Nikon. Furthermore the screw on the head is too big for my camera so I would need some sort of adapter? If I were to keep the tripod I need to find out how to mount my camera to this beast.

Thanks for reading and I really appreciate any feedback!

-Chase
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Old June 24th, 2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Hi Chase..............

Wow, that thing is a monster and no mistake. It looks more like a 150 mm than a 100 mm, measuring across the half bowl will tell you, bigger than 100 mm/ 4" it's a 150.

There appears to be some sort of manufacturers identifier on the front edge of the heads top plate: I can make out a stamped "Miller" on the left and what looks like a patent number on the right but can't make out the stamped characters in the centre.

Unless we get a taker here on DVinfo for positive identification, your best bet is to contact Miller direct: Tripods - Fluid Heads - Tripod Fluid Head - Miller Camera Support

One thing seems certain - you ain't gonna want to be shlepping that monster around, especially with a diddie DSLR perched on top. Think you may need to look for something a tad less, er, agricultural! I think your find might be better suited to a museum.

Regards,


CS
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Old June 25th, 2015, 07:24 AM   #3
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Thank you for weighing in Chris! I love the smooth motion I get from this setup. Once the legs are out it seems to be attached to the ground, it doesn't shake or move when I am panning / tilting. I have never touched a nice tripod or fluid head before. My thought process right now is to find the specifics on the dinosaur then perhaps try to sell / trade for a more appropriate tripod. If I am unable to swap for a more appropriate setup I will actually lug this thing around with me. It's definitely overkill for my baby camera but I am impressed with its structural rigidity. With it on the short setting I sat on it last night (maybe a bad idea) but it didn't creak or crack, bend or bow, seems built like a tank.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 09:37 AM   #4
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Hi Chase,

The head is stamped LPT i.e. the Light Professional T. the serial number is also shown.There was also an LPS that had an second pan unit on top of the the prime pan section and could be used for faster pans if need be. Your unit is in remarkably good condition and it would be something like 40-50 years old. The design is very simple and I recently modified one so it would be more resistant to sea-water.
In their heyday there were used for 16 mm cameras with 400 foot magazines that had a run-time of 10-11 minutes if you could afford the $0.50 per second. No instant replay, no formatting and using it again and those 50 cents have inflated somewhat.
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Old July 5th, 2015, 02:00 PM   #5
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

The info is there from other replies. Except for weight, you should be well pleased with this tripod and head.

It looks to be in good condition. As you will have discovered it is not spring counterbalanced. I prefer it that way. It will be a bit draggy in pans and tilts but the sticks should not wind up. Mine which appears identical is a 100mm bowl.

Leaving it in the sun for about half an hour or in a warm car will loosen it. After it warms, exercise the movements fully with frictions backed right off and it will be smoother. When not using it or transporting it, back off the friction thumbscrews so that the friction material does not become extruded out.

When transporting, take the trouble to tape the lockscrews on the spreaders if they are the slotted telescopic sliding style. They otherwise may come out and go MIA.

Take the trouble to carry it in a rigid internally padded container. The little winged thumbscrews are not tender like a Vinten but will bend if abused in transport. The arc of the pan lock lever is adjustable so that it can be protected when wear makes it come around into a vulnerable position. Softpacks can be sometimes be unprotective.
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Old July 13th, 2015, 02:31 PM   #6
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Thank you for the history Alastair Traill!

Bob Hart thank you for the tips!

It is definitely cumbersome to lug around, I carried it around Myrtle Beach for a while last week and I'm pretty sure it weighs as much as my two year old. LOL I bought a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter online and it worked somewhat, but truly need to build/mount a new platform to accommodate the extra height. Despite the weight I am happy. I can be rough on stuff so I'm glad for the rigidity.
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Old July 14th, 2015, 08:28 AM   #7
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Re: Help identifying Miller tripod and head?

Hi Chase, you might be interested in an adaptation I made to my Miller LP head. As supplied the Miller LP offers no compensation springs nor does it offer any fore/ aft movement of camera position which I found to be a bit of a drawback when using long lenses. To compensate for these deficiencies I replaced the top place with a couple of pieces of aluminium angle as shown in the photograph. I fitted two shoulder bolts to the base of my camera to attach to the new top plate. The shoulders of the bolts could be moved along the gap between the two pieces of angle and then tightened. I was an easy way of obtaining fore/aft movement for balancing. I also found it was possible to tilt the camera a few degrees up or down from the chosen balance position without the camera overbalancing providing a simple though limited answer to the lack of compensation springs.

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