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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Berkshire, UK
Posts: 1,562
Nice combo - thanks eBay!

Your tripod will outlast your camera, and probably outlast your lens - and in my clients' view, if your shots don't contain movement, why didn't they hire a photographer? :-) Anyways...

At my get-go, I purchased a Vinten Pro-5. On the first couple of vids, it earned its way and then some. It needed ongoing maintenance for the legs and head, but it was only GBP300.

The problem was on following the talent. Most budget heads seem to have different drags for pan (left to right) and tilt (up to down). I was brought up to believe that there should be no difference in these moments (because our station had Ronson 7 heads - expensive!).

A friend/colleague had gone the Sachtler route. Expensive low end, but low end nonetheless. Even the low end Sachtlers knocked the living dung out of my Pro-5 for smoothness, but they didn't go up as high or go down as low (this really is an issue if you have to shoot over people sitting at tables or get table-height GVs - which happens a lot at conferences).

I've been waiting on eBay for some time. Waiting and discipline has paid off. I have purchased a Sachtler DV8 head on really nasty legs for a song. I've teamed this with a non-eBay purchase of Miller's DS-10 carbon fibre legs to make a lightweight but capable combo.

If you're on a budget, here's my advice: The Miller legs are great for the money. The Miller head is not. IMHO, buy Miller legs over Sachtler, buy Sachtler heads over the Miller.

The Miller legs also have two amazing things: 1) the upper legs are encased in foam rubber that's great to hump over the shoulder. Secondly the centre has a shoulder strap that doesn't slip off the shoulder. I can haul a complete Z1 kit in a Petrol bag, have the tripod slung over the shoulder, whilst wearing a backpack edit kit (Apple PowerBook 17, LaCie 0.5 Terabyte disk drive, cables, even a 7 megapixel camera kit) and still walk the last mile.

Sachter/Miller = heaven. IMHO. :-)
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