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Old March 20th, 2003, 05:19 PM   #1
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Tripod Feature Advantages?

Can anyone explain to me the advantages of the following tripod features:

* a dual system tripod rather than a single; how many have
preferred a dual system and why?

* a midspreader

I know these questions may seem a bit naive, but I have a very simple Bogen that I plan to retire, and would like some input on the above features. Thanks!
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Old March 20th, 2003, 06:10 PM   #2
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A mid level spreader (midspreader) provides stability and increased rigidity to the tripod. Unlike still photography tripods that have legs that lock in place, pro video tripods will go all the way to the ground without a spreader. Mid level spreaders are preferred for field work because they setup quicker and allow the tripod to be setup on uneven ground. If you do not choose a mid level spreader, most pro tripods come standard with ground level spreaders that attach to the bottom of the legs. They are bulkier and do not set up as easily. Ground level spreaders work best on level terrain. Uneven or rocky ground presents a problem for the ground level spreader. Mid level spreaders usually do not come standard and can add considerably to the cost. But if you hope to do field work they are almost mandatory.

What do you mean by a dual system tripod? If you mean they work for both still and video work I would not recommend them. As a rule tripods that work well for still photography do not work well for video. I own separate tripods for both my video work and still photography.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 09:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply--sorry about my confusing words; I meant a double stage tripod--the type that extends upwards another level.
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Old March 20th, 2003, 10:05 PM   #4
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Barry,
"2-stage" refers to a tripod's leg design, whereby each leg consists of 3 sections. 2-stage leg designs provide a bit more flexibililty in height adjustment because the lowest height of that design is going to be a bit lower than that of a single stage design. 2-stage legs also tend to be a few inches shorter when packed-up.

Conversely, 2-stage legs can take a bit longer to deploy than single-stage legs since there is an additional section to release and lock in each leg.

Each has a particular functional design objective. I tend to see news camera operators using 1-stage legs more often than 2-stage, probably because of speed of deployment and less need for low-height.
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Old March 21st, 2003, 05:53 AM   #5
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I don't find the 2 stage design as rigid because of the thinner cross section of legs and extra joints. Usually they are slightly heavier, but fold up smaller, as Ken points out. If you need a mid level spreader check to make sure it will work with 2 stage legs, many won't.
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Old March 21st, 2003, 05:32 PM   #6
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Thanks again for the clarification. I find the Miller tripods realllly interesting lately. :)
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Old March 21st, 2003, 05:52 PM   #7
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Barry,
I have a Miller DS10 and can tell you it's an excellent tripod (mid-level spreader) and head for a standard XL1S (i.e. one not loaded with a great deal of heavy accessories). Very thoughtfully designed with a shoulder strap on the legs for easy hauling and a well-designed soft case. I think it's the best value in this class of support.
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Old March 21st, 2003, 07:36 PM   #8
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Yes, everything I hear about the DS-10 sounds superlative, even up against some wildly defended brands. :) The price also seems reasonable for a tripod-for-life choice, which is my intention. I got by with a basic, inexpensive Bogen for ten years, but now I think a major leap is called for! Oh yes, the new tripod would be used for a future Pan DVX-100. A match made in heaven, I should hope.
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Old March 21st, 2003, 08:40 PM   #9
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Barry,
You've probably long since found this, but the Miller site is worth a browse. With such a small, light camera you might actually be able to get by with the DS-5.

Have fun shopping!
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Old March 22nd, 2003, 07:06 AM   #10
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Thanks--I looked at the DS-5 but I'm wondering how it wouldn't take much to load another pound or two on a DVX-100 setup. Still, I'm mighty impressed with what I've found so far with this brand. I know for sure I'll never be in the $3,000 + tripod bracket. :)
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