First Video Tripod at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old July 27th, 2017, 12:22 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 95
First Video Tripod

Finishing up the details of my camera kit and the only thing I'm having trouble deciding on is the tripod. I can't spend a lot out the gate ($400), so I know my options are limited. The tripod will support a GH5 and Rode VideoMic Pro with various Olympus lenses (all in, under 5 lbs.). I'll be using the tripod for action sports and narrative work.

Here are the head and leg combinations I'm considering:

Benro S8 and A3573F Series 3 AL Tripod
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...2855/KBID/3801

The Benro either gets rave reviews or terrible ones. Definitely skeptical, but those who love it, really love it.

Manfrotto 502A w/Benro A373T legs
https://www.adorama.com/bgmvh502a.html
https://www.adorama.com/bea373t.html

The 502 seems to be the budget darling, though I've heard that it's counterbalance can be problematic with lighter cameras.

Libec ALX H w/Benro A373T legs
https://www.adorama.com/lbalxh.html
https://www.adorama.com/bea373t.html

Mostly good reviews on the Libec, though some claim that the quality of newer models suffer due to a new manufacturer.

I'm not too concerned with weight at this point. Properly balancing my camera and the quality of the pan are most important to me. The only other variable I'm pondering is flat vs. ball head. I was pretty set on a bowl, but I have a DP friend telling me that they are more cumbersome and that I should get a hybrid like the 502AH instead. Any and all thoughts welcome. Thanks!
__________________
Me on Vimeo, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Shane Coburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 12:53 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: York, England
Posts: 502
Re: First Video Tripod

Having your camera level is imperative for video!

A flat base heads mean that you have to level your rig each time you change position using the three tripod legs, which is slow and cumbersome.

A ball head enables levellling quickly and precisely whenever you move your camera. The legs need adjusting only when there is a major change of slope of the surface you are working on.

Action sports will involves a fair bit of movement on your part.
Alan Craven is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 02:05 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,224
Re: First Video Tripod

You'll get more for your money buying (lightly) used. Here's an interesting little kit you could try:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...2855/KBID/3801

Sachtler Ace are about $400 used on eBay, but I was never that enthused about the sticks on those....
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 03:12 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Southport, England
Posts: 619
Re: First Video Tripod

No problem in theory with a flat base head provided you have either a levelling tripod, like a Gitzo 2540 LVL which I have, (there are Manfrottto semi-clones) or you have a pod that will take a levelling centre column, I have a Manfrotto 556B column.

Advantage to me is that the Gitzo is lightweight, takes a heavy payload (though not needed with me and my GH5 outfits), extends to eye-level view (higher with column extended) and is easily packable for air transport in a suitcase.

The problem is finding a decent flat base head. I have a Benro S7 which crap for video. Okay if locking onto a subject eg for stills but hopeless for a moving subject particularly one needing "tilt".

I also have a Manfrotto 502, a crude piece of kit and a E-Image GH03F which nice and light (and cheap) but never a video head in a month of Sundays.

I did have one of the new Manfrotto "Nitrotech" heads but I had to return it due to a manufacturing fault (along with everybody else's) and am expecting a replacement any time now.
This did seem to do the trick (not particularly cheap) but overly complicated and too many knobs and projections to get banged and damaged IMHO.

Will give the "Nitrotech" another go when I get mine. A decent flat base video tripod head a bit of a Holy Grail.

Ron
Ronald Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 10:07 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: New England USA
Posts: 28
Re: First Video Tripod

Libec makes a series of flat based video heads such as the RH25D and RH45D. You can check them out B&H's web site. If you are shooting primarily on flat level surfaces flat video heads should work.
W. Bill Magac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 11:47 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 95
Re: First Video Tripod

Thanks all! Going to go with a bowl head.

The BV4H is intriguing. Do you think this a better/smoother head than the 502AH? The review are good, but when I do 'compare,' the Manfrotto 500 comes up, which looks to be inferior to the 502.
__________________
Me on Vimeo, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Shane Coburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 28th, 2017, 02:01 PM   #7
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 29
Re: First Video Tripod

Since I bought my first tripod with a bowl/ball head leveler about ten years ago, I would never even consider another video tripod without that feature. It saves precious minutes (and more important, frustration) every single time I set up or move the rig from one spot to another.

I second (or third) the suggestion to go used for your first serious tripod. Use it to figure out what features are important to you while you save up for a fancier one. Tripod design changes very slowly compared to cameras and recorders, and there are lots of quality used ones for sale, so they can be a very practical buy.

- Greg
Greg Smith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 29th, 2017, 08:12 AM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,224
Re: First Video Tripod

The 502 is a disappointing video head. The "counterbalance" is fixed, the drag settings are continuously variable and not repeatable, and the tilt and pan locks are on the wrong side of the head and hard to apply. It wouldn't take a lot to beat the 502.

A ball leveling base is definitely a must for your main tripod. If you need a head for your slider, get a cheapie that uses the same plate design. You'll appreciate not having to take the head on and off the slider when working. https://www.ebay.com/itm/311886718453

It also looks like that benro BV4 has a removable ball: "For added versatility, the tie down stud is removable to convert the BV4 head to flat base mode for mounting to a slider."
__________________
Nate Haustein PXW-FS5 / iMac i7 / FCPX
www.flightcreativemedia.com
Nate Haustein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 31st, 2017, 01:00 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 95
Re: First Video Tripod

Thanks all! I think I'll just get a cheapo tripod to stack the camera on for locked off shots for now and save for something truly good. Seems like nobody is really happy with moderately-priced fluid heads (and everyone learns the hard way), so will just wait until I can afford a nice Sachtler, Miller, or the like.
__________________
Me on Vimeo, LinkedIn, and Twitter
Shane Coburn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 1st, 2017, 01:20 AM   #10
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,770
Re: First Video Tripod

Wise decision Shane. Many of us, myself included, learned the hard way that with tripods and fluid heads, you get what you pay for. One way to make your way up to your ultimate camera platform is to keep an eye out for a good used setup. It may not be your final desired sticks and head. but, if you can work your way up, you can actually not loose money as you make steps. My path was Cartoni -> Miller -> Sacthler my final setup (for now). Would love to have an OConnor but that is a long next step.

All were purchased used, and on the Cartoni and Miller I actualy sold them for more than I paid. When purchasing a used head, make sure to have it checked out by a qualified technician.
__________________
Garrett Low
www.GLowMediaProductions.com
Garrett Low is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 23rd, 2017, 07:37 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Kauai, Hawaii
Posts: 75
Re: First Video Tripod

I went from Manfroto to Libec to an Old Miller to... BENRO BV4H which I love. I think this particular Benro kicks butt with the lighter DSLR cams like a GH5. My Sony EX1 works great with it as well.
Aloha,
wz
__________________
Wayne Zebzda
LookLookTV.com
Wayne Zebzda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2017, 08:15 AM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Melbourne Australia
Posts: 601
Re: First Video Tripod

I have found that the choice of tripod handle is a very important and very much overlooked element in achieving smooth panning.
One of the pictures below is of a Weifeng tripod from the low price end of the market. The camera is a GoPro fitted with a 300mm Nikon lens. The handle is not the supplied Weifeng issue but one made out of a tapered piece of PVC and fitted with an even more flexible extremity. The flexibility of this set-up absorbs most of the tremors transmitted by the operator and smooths a lot of the stiction present in the head. The result is a much smoother action than that achievable with the Weifeng handle. The other picture is of a mini fluid-damped boom set-up. I use it for macro work the camera is a GoPro mounted on a motorized ball-slide used for focusing. To position the boom I use the flexible white plastic rod seen protruding from the rear of the boom. Again the flexibility of the handle makes for smoother control of the boom than a rigid handle.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/images/a...attach/jpg.gif
Attached Thumbnails
First Video Tripod-_dsc1448.jpg   First Video Tripod-_dsc1479.jpg  

Alastair Traill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2017, 09:25 AM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Deep South, U.S.
Posts: 1,377
Re: First Video Tripod

If you are carrying your gear any significant distance then "weight" can be a big consideration. I have gone thru 3 tripods over the years and found the best solution for me is the Benro A2573FS6 S6. It has a ball head for easy leveling and is now on sale for $285 at B&H. It is not a great tripod but for the money it is a good value. Also, I found out parts are readily available when I bent a leg and the replacement was only $30 shipped. When I don't need the S6 head I just screw on my cheap and lighter photo head and the ball leveling still works great.
Attached Thumbnails
First Video Tripod-benro_a2573fs6_a2573f_sers_2_al_1351089697000_896849.jpg  
__________________
Mark
videos: http://vimeo.com/channels/3523

Last edited by Mark Williams; October 24th, 2017 at 11:12 AM.
Mark Williams is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:05 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network