Is the Miller/Sachtler free of stiction? at DVinfo.net

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Old November 11th, 2006, 05:23 AM   #1
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Is the Miller/Sachtler free of stiction?

Hi,

I've got a manfrotto 501 which is suffering from stiction so I'm upgrading. I've got Sony Z1 so I'm pretty set on either the Miller ds10 (828) or the Sachtler DV4.

I know theres been another post comparing these but could someone clarify that either of these will definately not suffer from stiction. I was assured by a salesman the sachtler wouldn't but I'd like a more independent voice, particularly on the cheaper Miller.

And do both these have good pan/tilt friction options - i read in a previous post that Sachtler has just one setting for pan and tilt. i wasnt sure exactly what that meant.

Thanks. Neil.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 07:07 AM   #2
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Sachtler makes very good tripods.

Yes, they are free of stiction, as they are true fluid heads, whereas your 501 is not.

(Stiction is the initial friction that occurs between two objects, which causes one to exert more effort to start something moviing. The two objects stick together.

If a tripod has stiction, then it is nearly impossible to create smooth starts whenever you move the tripod. You can, however, be smooth after overcoming the initial stiction.)


However, the DV4 is a relatively economical tripod from Sachtler. As such, they have limited the number of resistance levels in both the horizontal and vertical directions. It has two levels, moderate resistance and essentially zero resistance.

To be clear, the DV4 actually has two levels of resistance, On and Off. The resistance level for horizontal panning is set independently of the vertical resistance level.


Higher end models, which are much more expensive and can handle greater weight, have more levels of resistance. I am very familar with two Sachtler tripods, one has 6 levels and the other 8 levels.

The one I own, a DV8-100, has 6 levels, zero resistance plus levels 1 through 5. The DV4's resistance level would be the same as my level 3.

This level 3 is a very good overall choice of resistance. However there may be times that you might want it stiffer. I find myself using level 5 a lot as this is very stiff and is great for very smooth operation.



When off, you can do whip pans as there essentially is no resistance. On is moderate resistance which is a very good choice by Sachtler.

When I first started using the DV8-100 I used level 3 almost exclusively. Since then, I have been using level 5 the most as I like the stiffness it provides.

Sachtler makes very good quality gear and should last a very long time. While it may seem expensive, the DV4 is actually quite a bargain in the Sachtler world.

The B&H site currently list three DV4II models. I highly recommend the DV4IISL model as it has carbon fiber legs with their "Speed Lock" locking mechanisms. This is a wonderful system as you do not have to bend over and lock multiple locking mechanisims on each leg. If you choose this tripod I feel that you will be happy with it for a long time. It is well worth the additional money.

Choose your tripod carefully. If you get the right tripod, it will outlast many cameras (unless you get a much heavier camera).
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Old November 11th, 2006, 09:13 AM   #3
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that was a great reply. i think the one thing i'm concerned about (on both heads) is the lack of settings for creating drag. I like a lot of weight in my panning. (though that is subjective).

If i want to increase the drag on these heads does it offer something else as well to make the pan/tilt heavier? Do they have similar adjusters as those on the 501? If thats the case i can live with that. (as long as it doesnt cause stiction!)
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Old November 19th, 2006, 11:58 PM   #4
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Adding to...

Hi all:

Great explanation of the functions on the Sachtler vs. a low end piece of gear like the Bogen.

If I may add, try your hardest to swing the extra pounds to get a DV-6SB over the DV-4, if it's not too late? The DV-6SB adds many levels of tile and drag and counterweight over the DV4. The DV-4 is a good head but the next step up is leagues better.

Also, if I may, I have found the Miller Solo DV carbon fibre legs to also be a considerable step up over any of the low end Sachtler legs. No spreader, lighter, much more weight capacity, a joy to use. The low end Sachtler legs are among the worst for rigidity and flex. The Millers are just plain better IMHO.

Best,

Dan
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 02:11 PM   #5
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dv6 bought

as it turns out i wanted the better options of resistance so bought the sachtler dv-6 sb and am really pleased with it. i think the legs are quite good but not as sturdy as i would have liked but theyre lighter than my manfrotto so all in all i'm happy.

cheers for everyones thoughts.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #6
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Hi Neil:

Glad to hear you went for the DV-6SB, as I also did. I too have been very happy with mine. I used to own a Sachtler Video 18 with my BVW-D600 Betacam and I really miss them. The DV-6SB is not as good, of course, but it also cost about 1/3 as much as I paid back in the late 90s for the Video 18.

Enjoy it!

Dan
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Old November 26th, 2006, 05:30 AM   #7
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Sachter DV 6 SB + Miller SOLO

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett

Also, if I may, I have found the Miller Solo DV carbon fibre legs to also be a considerable step up over any of the low end Sachtler legs. No spreader, lighter, much more weight capacity, a joy to use. The low end Sachtler legs are among the worst for rigidity and flex. The Millers are just plain better IMHO.


Dan
Dan,

I plan to get the same combo after having studied many threads here. Have you experienced any difficulties when mounted Sachter DV 6 SB on the Miller legs? Is there any additional part necessary?
One more (maybe for the expert stupid) question:
is Sachter DV 6 SB same as Sachter DV 6? In some stores I see Sachter DV 6 without this SB and wonder whether its an older model.

Thanks a lot.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:14 AM   #8
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Dear Zsolt,

The "SB" stands for "Speed Balance".

I have searched the Sachtler website, but I could not find out any information on "Speed Balance". I will try again.

You could call Sachtler directly, I have found them helpful in the past.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 06:36 AM   #9
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Here is a link to the Sachtler website page that discusses "Speed Balance".

http://www.sachtler.com/press.asp?li...535F425D5C5673

It appears that the Sachtler SB tripod heads have a finer degree of counter-balance (more settings) and possibly a greater sliding balance plate range.
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Old November 26th, 2006, 10:16 AM   #10
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Thanks Dan for the info.

I have just ordered my DV 6 SB from a German online store (not easy to find the head only!) - now looking for the Miller legs...even more difficult.
It would be easy to order from the States...but I don't want to pay the taxes..
Maybe I will end up with Gitzo CF legs - they are very similar to the Miller SOLO.

I will let you know once I will get everything and try the combo out.

Cheerz

Zsolt
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Old November 26th, 2006, 08:03 PM   #11
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Hi Zsolt:

Sounds like a good plan you have there. I have had no trouble at all with the DV-6SB mounted on the Miller Solo DV legs, no extra adapters or plates needed.

I almost went for the Gitzo legs as well, they looked fine but nobody had them in stock for me to try out and Abel Cine had the Miller Solo DV in stock so that's what I tried and bought. Persoanlly, I am not very fond of the low end Sachtler legs and I hate spreaders unless they are necessary, like if you are using a really heavy setup or a jib. But for featherweight cameras like the HVX-200, these Miller legs are awesome, I cannot believe how high they go, how low they go and how light they are.

Let me know how your setup works out. So far, mine is a dream come true, I have been forced to use those horrible Bogen tripods for a year at work so going to this Sachtler and Miller combo is the best.

Dan
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Old November 27th, 2006, 10:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsolt Gordos
is Sachter DV 6 SB same as Sachter DV 6? In some stores I see Sachter DV 6 without this SB and wonder whether its an older model.
You definitely don't want the older DV-6 non "SB" if you plan to use it with smaller cameras. This older head had a much narrower balance range so the smallest camera it would balance was around 10 lbs, if I recall.

I also agree the Sachtler 75mm 2-stage Speedlock CF legs are pretty bad. I hope Sachtler knows how bad these legs are because they make their heads look really bad. There is a lot of flex in those legs.

Btw, Dan, do the leg sections on the Miller Solo drop down on their own when you release the locks or do you have to pull them out? I know with Gitzo CF tripods, you have to pull them out because they are so precisely made, air gets trapped in the upper part of the legs.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Brockett

Persoanlly, I am not very fond of the low end Sachtler legs and I hate spreaders unless they are necessary, like if you are using a really heavy setup or a jib. But for featherweight cameras like the HVX-200, these Miller legs are awesome, I cannot believe how high they go, how low they go and how light they are.
Dan,

This is exactly the reason why I am looking for either the Miller or the Gitzo. No spreaders, lightweight, sturdy design.

So far I managed to order a Sachtler DV 6 SB from Munich, Germany. It is not at all easy to find an online store in Europe that sells heads of any kind without the legs of the same brand. Always in a kit.
In the US it seems to be much easier - but I don't want to pay all the import taxes and VAT.

Now I also ordered the Gitzo G1325V model, that is a 3 section CF leg with a 75mm bowl, from a UK store having online sales (R. White, I hope I don't violate rules by letting you know).

Funny how difficult it was. I have browsed the net for days to find the only 4 online stores in Europe (again, to avoid unnecessary taxes) that keep Gitzo's full selection. Most shops have only the basic legs, not the Systematic ones, that can be fitted with 75mm bowl.

2 stores in the UK, 2 stores in Germany. The 2 German stores had no immediate stock and one has not accepted order from Hungary, so I went to UK sites. One UK shop replied my email telling me they don't ship to Hungary.
Finally I placed my order with the above mentioned one - there was no geographic restriction for the orders....

Never thought in this price category I would face such difficulties....

Oh yes - my other option for heads, Vinten Vision 3 is impossible to find in Europe without the legs. Again all stores sell kits only. All, I mean both :P

So the Sachtler looks like being ordered...waiting. The leg...I hope that stroe wont turn me down for living in Hungary.

Btw, Miller is worst in Europe. The nearest dealer for me in Vienna, not only failed to respond to my email but I can't even figure out from their website what their office hours would be. Let alone their lack of online sales....

So I go for the Gitzo.
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Old November 27th, 2006, 03:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Le
You definitely don't want the older DV-6 non "SB" if you plan to use it with smaller cameras. This older head had a much narrower balance range so the smallest camera it would balance was around 10 lbs, if I recall.
I have figured it and specifically asked the webshop sales dept. They replied it was just an old photo but naturally they sell the latest model, that is SB.
Thanks for the warning anyways!
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Old November 27th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Le

Btw, Dan, do the leg sections on the Miller Solo drop down on their own when you release the locks or do you have to pull them out? I know with Gitzo CF tripods, you have to pull them out because they are so precisely made, air gets trapped in the upper part of the legs.
I just checked and for the most part, the Millers work the same as the Gitzo. The larger top stage drops but the smaller lower stage requires a nudge to release. When you put them back up, you do feel a small whoosh of air at the top of the leg, these legs are just like the Gitzos, made to precise tolerances.

Best,

Dan
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