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Old July 11th, 2006, 03:14 PM   #31
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Do you use the Rover Snap Quick Release? I think this is just what I am looking for.
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Old July 12th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #32
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MightyWonderCam

Yup, the Rover MightyWonderCam Snap Quick Release. Works absolutely great. I think they go for $62.
JH
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Old August 6th, 2006, 09:38 PM   #33
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Alright, I assume when you say the plate for broadcrast cameras, I assume you mean the standard for all the Sony cameras (post UMatic era), with the V-ish shape on the front. (Known as a VCT-14, or Beta-type QR plate)

The plate on it's own, has a series of 1/4" and 3/8" holes on the bottom, making possible to mount to (almost) any tripod.

Which means, yes you can mount your run of the day BetaSP cam to a Wal-mart tripod... not that it'd hold up the weight. This plate, should attatch to a series (at least two I hope) screws, on the CSI head. There should be a quick release, on the CSI head, that reveals a plate, in which reveals the screws, to be unscrewed. With this plate, you may remove the beta QR plate, and use the smaller of the two screws to attatch it to any camera with a tripod. I have attatched a Digi8 consumer cam, to a Sachtler Video18 head, just for laughs.

...only Sony Digital8 on a HotPod.

Depending on your CSI head, and the size of the QR plate, it may or may not inhibit with the tape door, depending on the way it opens.

Also, I'd be careful, if using the CSI. It's getting hard to find support for CSI equipment, last I heard they were dealing through Daiwa, and then nothing. A google on CSI tripod, mostly gets info on that CSI:NY episode where the ENG photog flogs the reporter in the head with a tripod.
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Old October 11th, 2006, 07:28 PM   #34
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Seeking tripod recommendation for my Z1

I have moved from the DV to the HDV world, and I have to upgrade my tripods as well.

What do you recommend?
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Old October 12th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #35
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Mark, it really depends on your budget. One thing I find with tripods is that bang for buck and quality are both highly subjective depending on the individual. There are people who swear by the cheaper stuff like Bogen, and others who recommend more expensive gear. I'm of the latter, having used a 501 head for several years, and just recently upgraded to a Miller Arrow 30. So I've gone from one end of the spectrum to the other.
What sold me was going to NAB and trying all the different tripods out. The Miller was by far the smoothest, and that to my mind just offers so much more production value.
The most important thing is to try before you buy. If you can't find a tripod that you like and can afford, consider renting a high quality tripod until you can afford what you want. That's what I did.
To really torture test a tripod head for smoothness of motion, use it with your HDV camera, and try very small corrections. See if you can follow a subject smoothly, even when zoomed in. Don't just whip the camera back and forth to feel how smooth the head is. I find with the 501 that it sticks at the start of motion, so if I'm doing an interview shot, and the subject moves slightly, its difficult to make small corrections without the camera jerking. Some people don't consider this any big deal, others (like me) are more picky.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal Johnson
.......
The most important thing is to try before you buy. If you can't find a tripod that you like and can afford, consider renting a high quality tripod until you can afford what you want. That's what I did.
To really torture test a tripod head for smoothness of motion, use it with your HDV camera, and try very small corrections.......
Cal,

Thank you for the wonderful reply. You told me WHAT I NEEDED TO KNOW. Turns out there is an equipment show around here next week, and I definitely plan to take my Z1 along and do some hands on testing. I too got a 501 head a while back and had just the situation you describe. It is sort of ok for DV coverage of social events, but for more critical commercial work ESPECIALLY in HDV, tripod head smoothness is much more critical.
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Old October 12th, 2006, 07:56 PM   #37
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Glad to help Mark. I just got my Miller Arrow 30 today, tried it out with my XL2. It's great. While its a tripod that was more expensive than my camera, its a total end game in terms of smoothness. I realize its probably way more than you want to spend ($5199), but man, it works so well. Hopefully I'll be shooting with it this weekend. Post back how things go with your testing.
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Old October 13th, 2006, 09:50 PM   #38
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Mark, for a decent tripod you'll be spending at least twelve hundred, possibly more. I like the Vinten sticks and Vision heads. Abel sells Panther tripods and they are very well made and very robust. The Sachtler DV 2 and DV4 heads seem pretty flimsy to me, but the 6 and 8 are better, also more expensive.

The Z1, even fully tricked out won't be more than about twelve pounds, unless you put it on a Movietube, or something. It's center of gravity is pretty low, so counterbalance isn't as big a deal. A smaller tripod with a 75mm bowl may be the way to go.

Just keep in mind what you are doing now and what you may be doing in the future.
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Old October 14th, 2006, 10:07 PM   #39
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I got a Gitzo 1380 Fluide head with Gitzo 1325V carbon tripod. 75mm levelling ball head. I love it. Best tripod I ever tried.

Here's a nice review of the combo here (slightly different model numbers used when sold as a combo, but it's the same):

http://www.viewonline.com/pages/articles/gitzo.htm
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Old October 15th, 2006, 11:32 AM   #40
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Vito, that looks like a great little tripod. Mark, its probably worth checking that one out. The only thing I really advocate is the "try before you buy". When I worked as a camera op at a TV station, myself and another op both liked a "heavy feel" to our head movement, and I remember him echoing my sentiments of how can anyone be smooth with a loose feel to their head. But, there are people out there who just have a different touch, can easily work with less resistance and therefore the definition of "smooth feel" can vary a lot. The camera that the guy is using in the Gitzo review is a lot heavier than what you're going to be using. This is why is so important that you try it yourself with the camera or similar weighing camera that you intend to use.
I've never tried the Gitzo that Vito is recommending, but Gitzo is a good name, and the price is sure right. The fact that they are talking about the different springs is a good sign, that is what allows the head to be effective with different camera weights. The only thing I thought was weird in the review was the spreader (worst design for tripods).. uh, all spreaders are removable, and just wait til you try to but 20lbs on those sticks on a slick tile floor (if you go with this tripod, and you're going to run into this situation, just try to take a piece of deep shag carpet with you). Other than that, it sounds good and I wish I'd heard about it before commiting to the Miller Arrow 30, though I'm still thrilled with my purchase.
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Old October 15th, 2006, 11:55 AM   #41
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The Gitzo 1380 head looks suspiciously like the Vinten 3. They have the same interchangeable spring setup. They're also about the same price. I've never used a Vinten 3 but people on here who have them seem to like them.

If you like the Gitzo legs, you might want to wait a few more months for the new 6X carbon fiber legs to come out. Gitzo has been updating their entire line with the 6X features and they announced the new models recently at Photokina. The 6X legs are slightly lighter because of 1 mm wall tubes (versus the old 1.5mm tubes) but they're just as rigid because of the six layers of alternating longitudinal and crossed carbon fibers. Also, the leg lock collars have been improved to hold better and the legs have the anti-rotation feature, which eliminates a common complaint about Gitzo's locking system.

As for the original poster, I'd recommend looking at the following if your budget is around $1500:
  • Gitzo 1380
  • Vinten Vision 3
  • Cartoni Focus
  • Sachtler DV6-SB
I can't really recommend the Miller DS-5 or DS-10 or the lower end Sachtlers because they only have one drag setting. IMO, you really need a range of drag settings because a light setting is good for fast whip pans and a heavier setting is essential for very slow moves or moves on telephoto. The larger Millers like Cal's Arrow 30 have stepped drag and are very nice but I'm not sure if they will balance a Z1 unless you pile on the accessories or raise the camera a little higher.

But like Cal said, always try out these heads in person with a live camera if you can. They all operate a little differently and they all feel a little different. A lot of it comes down to personal preferences.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim N Le
The Gitzo 1380 head looks suspiciously like the Vinten 3. They have the same interchangeable spring setup.
Actually, I take this back. After looking at some of the Vinten maintenance manuals, I think the Gitzo 1380 is more similar to the Vinten PRO-130 (but they may not be exact). The inner workings of the Vinten Vision 3 is very different from the PRO-130, but it is basically identical to the Vision 6 and Vision 8. The main difference is the Vision 6 and 8 do not have interchangeable springs but a counterbalance adjust knob instead.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 04:51 PM   #43
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Gitzo 1380 with the Z1 is awsome. We have tried many but the 1380 with Gitzo/Bogen service and repair dept and also trade in old equipment for new at a small price, Its hard to beat. We have 13 of them and never had a problem.
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Old October 19th, 2006, 06:29 PM   #44
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I have the Cartoni Focus...

surprisingly good and it will take both small cameras and big cameras just by rotating the spring adjustment. Cost me 1000 but the head feels like it is from a tripod 3 times that price! Very very smooth.

Phil
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Old October 20th, 2006, 03:42 PM   #45
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Just bought a miller 1511 solo with ds10 head. Will let you know how it feels with a sony 170 5.5lbs on it when it is delivered. It is weighted for cameras 5 to 10lbs and I would say probley 12 lbs at a push. This will set you back $1300 or so.
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