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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:11 AM   #1
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Tripods for GL2/XM2?

Can anyone advise about the best tripod for the XM2? I use a cheap tripod and panning can sometimes be wobbly and unpro like! A good trippod with smooth panning is what I need! What about cost?

Thanks!
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Old June 13th, 2006, 06:19 AM   #2
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I'd say go look at the Manfrotto range. I love my 525/503 combo. It's fast to set up, has a ball head for rapid levelling and gives silky-smooth pans and tilts.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:03 AM   #3
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I can't disagree with Tom, but if you can't afford a $500 or so tripod there are alternatives. Smooth panning and tilting without the leg rigidity/stability of the expensive tripods can be had in the $100 range. Velbon tripods tend to have smooth quasi-fluid heads. The Sony VCT-870RM is a good inexpensive choce (about $120 at B&H). It ostensibly uses the same head as one of the good Velbons and offers a built in hard wired zoom controller that works with Canon and Sony cams. I have two of them as well as a two-ton Bogen tripod and legs. For convenience I often opt for the Sonys, knowing that care must be not to shake them when grabbing or releasing the handle the handle else you'll see a bit of wobble for that reason.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #4
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As bad as people slam ebay, I still find deals there. I just got a Bogen 3046 tripod with 3026 head for about $170, slightly used of course. I also missed out on a almost new Miller DS10 with head, but wussed out at $600. It went for $635.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #5
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By the way, I am currently using the Bogen 2001 legs with a 501 head, and it is a very sticky setup, and tends to twist and wobble.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 10:59 AM   #6
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Yes, the 503 was a great improvement on the 501, Keith.

I know tripods seem a lot of money, but they're like good microphones - they'll be with you for years and years to come, ever faithful, ever sturdy. Your camera will be replaced every 4 or 5 years, same with your computer.

It took me a good few years to learn this, and upgrading has cost me more in the long run, and given me wobbly pans and hummy sound along the way.

tom.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 08:07 PM   #7
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Tripods

Raymond,

Everything is always a trade off!! If you have a thousand bucks then go top of the line.
I was short on bucks and needed a heavey duty tripod and bought a sandford and Davis (made by tiffen) because I wanted the dual handles and weight. this tripod has served me well so far and I am happy for the the outlay in relation to quality. down the road i will want the smoothest I can buy and I am not sure wha that is!! you can spend a fortune on tripods.
Besides the camera, the tripod is second most important in my book. If you have the bucks go big.
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Old June 15th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #8
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I triple underline Tom and Dale's comments.

OK, I now have a Miller 10 SOLO. It has a fluid head and I can apply dampening on both pan and tilt. No earth shattering news there. BUT! It is the quality of the dampening that has been a revelation and completely convinced me of the value of this trip. I can now dial in "pressures" for each vector as the "loading" on my camera may change: the angle of the camera throws the centre of gravity. I can now "glide" through a shot and concentrate on the work in hand AND NOT BOTHER myself with any snap or snatch. THIS is what I/you/we pay for.

I have now purchased a secondary pan handle and only NOW realise just what a difference this makes too. Having another/alternative to the "lanc-pan-handle" allows me to concentrate on that which I'm zooming in on and NOT worry about steadying the whole rig through just one handle.

Finally, I can now so comfortably & neatly balance the camera that I can frame a shot and the camera will "stay" put at that angle, often without "locking-off", ready and waiting for me to make any further adjustments. Now THAT is what I've been wanting!!!

Oh yes! Paying, and handing over that amount of cash was not easy. But now? I won't consider videoing ANYTHING that required a trip and NOT using the Miller.

Grazie
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:00 AM   #9
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Grazie -
You've said it, my man!
I just can't take any more of the "snatch" on starting pans/ tilts I get with the Manfrotto 503- and as for a smooth diagonal move - forget it.
Ok, so the 503 isn't that bad - for the money - but if you're used to proper heads, they really don't cut the mustard. The Miller DS10 is so much of an improvement. The Vinten Vision 3 is good too.
I guess I've been spoiled by using the Vision 250 for the "day job" -
(not mine unfortunately - can't afford it) but I'll certainly be putting some scheckels in the savings box towards something else :-)


Robin
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Old June 16th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #10
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Hi Robin .. .

Well, that IS major endorsement indeed!

I haven't had your wide experience with Frotties, or your wide experience PERIOD - but have tried out stuff at expos and that. I was advised strongly on the DS10 SOLO by an Aussie. Played with it at, I think, VideoForum05 and bought it! And so far the more I use the DS10 the more I'm understanding just how to use it.

Grazie
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Old June 16th, 2006, 06:34 PM   #11
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To put my advice toward considering a cheaper tripod with proven smooth pan and tilt in perspective, the "art" in my productions is mainly in editing a mix of three camera angles, which greatly diverts attention away from the difference between a $1400 pan and a $120 pan.
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Old June 16th, 2006, 06:48 PM   #12
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Also consider the type of shooting you do. If you're usually close to the subject and shoot with the zoom at the wide end then you can get away with a much less expensive head. But if you shoot events or wildlife from a distance and spend a lot of time at full zoom then every little imperfection in the head action will be very noticeable.

I was pretty happy with my 501 until I started filming performances from over 100 feet away, and then I very quickly found it unacceptable. I got a Miller DS5 a few years ago and think it's a good head for the price. It's pretty much like the DS10 but without adjustable balance or drag. But it's a huge upgrade from the 501.

That being said, the 501 is a real workhorse and a good value. I still use mine with Manfrotto 3221WN sticks when I'm hiking around and want something smaller and lighter than the Miller.

BTW, since this thread really doesn't have much to do with the XM2, I'm moving to our tripod forum. Try browsing around there because basically we're covering ground that has been pretty thoroughly trampled already :-)
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