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Old December 7th, 2008, 08:05 PM   #31
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I'm not an aweful lot more help.........

I bought a set of these with all the bells and whistles, plus a Vision 3 head earlier this year, ran me well over US$4k.

It hurt, but what a support system!

Vinten | 3498-3 ENG/EFP 2-Stage Fibertec Tripod Legs | 34983

Absolutely gobsmacked they're still on the B&H site, they were supposed to be discontinued.

Still only 5' high tho'.

CS

PS: Hmm, what about:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...specifications

OR

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...specifications

Aaah, I'll let you guys check this one out, I don't "do" craigslist:

http://longisland.craigslist.org/pho/897011519.html

That latter one could be a bit much, the counterbalance doesn't kick in till 15.4 pounds, so, less you're putting your HV20 on a "super size me" diet, probably overkill.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; December 7th, 2008 at 09:09 PM. Reason: +
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Old December 10th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
it's more rigid than either of my Manfrotto's.
I also should have been more specific: I'm not saying my Manfrotto's are all that stable. I was comparing the Vinten's and Miller's to the Sachtler I will be buying next. Good to hear you're having luck with the Miller, Bill. I may need to try that one out before I make my final purchase.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #33
 
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In all honesty, a spreaderless leg system will never be as solid as one with spreaders. That's simple engineering. However, spreaders will keep the support system quite tall. The beauty of a spreaderless system is the ability to get quite close to the ground. I love the perspective I get from 14" AGL.
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 03:11 PM   #34
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

sorry to reignite an old old thread but I have been trying for the best part of a decade to find a tripod system I'm happy with and it all comes down to the spreader. Not for stability (although this is a plus) but for ease of extending the legs quickly. I shoot weddings and find it a pain with no spreader to set my 2 legs with my 2 hands and then need to move my hand to the third leg to extend it. When you're moving around constantly this is a real grind so I'm basically after any recent additions to the tripod selection with a spreader that would work as a fast way of extending legs like the cheap velbon dv700 does (probably my favourite tripod, I use it more than my 500 carbon manfrotto legs and my old gitzo and benros)

Any suggestions very much appreciated! One thing I would say if if the spreader lays flat and sort of locks into place it makes it harder to use for the speed purpose so one that sits kind of diagonally down the center columb would be a bonus (yes a center column with a flat head is also preferably to just a high tripod with a bowl for me)

thanks!
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Old January 2nd, 2016, 05:04 PM   #35
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

@David.. Interesting.

I have three tripods, the one I like the best is a Libec - it has a mid-level spreader that some say is "flimsy" but I don't agree.

I turn it upside down, grab two legs, pull gently and the setup is done..

For dismantling, I lift one of the tripod legs off the ground, put my hand under the spreader and gently push up.

Is this not the protocol everyone uses? I don't know.

I use my Manfrotto 028B exactly the same way but with the metal spreader it's more effort.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 01:05 AM   #36
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

The spreader position makes a big difference to the setup speed too. My old Libecs (can't remember the models) had the spreader fixed to the top stage, so when you set the tripod up the spreader and legs are always locked at the same width/angle.

My newer Manfrottos (546B) have an adjustable spreader attached to the middle stage which leads to 2 big problems when setting up:

1) The height of the tripod will effect the angle of the legs. As you go higher, you need to adjust the spreader (make the spreader arms longer) to get the tripod legs wider and maintain stability.
2) If you're on uneven ground, your legs will often be extended to different heights and the spreader ends up with it's 3 arms at different lengths, and pointing at different angles.

The adjustable arms on the spreader should theoretically overcome these problems but in reality they introduce another massive problem: Unless all the arms are set to the same length (and I mean EXACTLY the same length, to fractions of a millimeter) the tripod will not properly fold up. You basically need to reset all the arms to their mimimum length in order to get the tripod to pack up again. Very awkward for fast moving shoots where you are constantly in and out of vehicles - like a wedding, for example.

I guess this is why so many of the big ENG tripods only have 2 stages - it makes a mid level spreader more effective, at the expense of minimum height.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 02:13 AM   #37
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

David,

There is a technique for spreading tripod legs without a spreader that you may find useful. Put the front leg on the ground, grasp the other two legs and spread them while pulling away from the grounded leg and voila! Three spread legs, one pull.

Dave
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 02:22 AM   #38
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

But that doesn't work well in the opposite way, it happens I have to push the legs closer to eachother when I have to reposition, with a spreader below the tripodhead I just need to grab the spreader joint that connects the 3 legs and lift it up and all 3 legs will reposition in the same angle.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 02:51 AM   #39
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

I'm glad others use a spreader in the same way as me. Yep Dave I do try that technique with my non spreader tripods but it's nowhere near as simple. This is why I love my cheap Velbon DV7000 the spreader is a diagonal one it's just so flimsy due to the center column design. I think I'd be willing to lose the center column if the rigidity was improved but ideally a center columb with solid stability would be great.

Any suggestions of specific models? I'd love to put my 10 year hunt for a tripod to bed at last!!
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 04:13 AM   #40
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

Lately I've taken to using these legs

Manfrotto 536 Carbon Fiber Video Tripod 536 B&H Photo Video


It was the reviews that tempted me to try these them. Loving the freedom without the spreader and having anywhere from 10" to 80" height is amazing, I can walk under them! They are plenty rigid up against the dual tube two stage Miller, Schatler and Vinten legs.

The Manfrotto 536's combined with a Vinten

Vinten VISION 100 Fluid Head (100mm Ball Base) (Black) 3466-3


are giving me the best I've ever had in ENG type camera support for years.

I've been using Vinten heads for ages now and I have found nothing to beat their Perfect Balance and TF (Thin Film) Drag Control control systems. Perfect Balance any camera setup to sit at any angle with NO tilt lock or NO drag wound in and you can let go and it won't move. No heartbeat thumps at 30x zoom as you don't have to touch the pan bar until you are ready to move. Fantastic for football and stage performances.

The Thin Film Drag allows you to have any amount of drag dialed in but if you have to whip away to an incident as often happens in motor sport the head breaks free from the drag but as you slow down on your new target the pre-dialed in drag returns.

Every now and again I have to use use a Miller or Schatler on other production shoots but can't wait to get back to this Vinten / Manfrotto combo.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 05:13 AM   #41
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

thats exactly the manfrotto legs I have. I liked them at first but soon the lack of a spreader and awkward action to set up and collapse/move around really pushed me away from them..

I also use a slider on my head most of the time so when I give one end a bit of a push to level it up a flat base head adjusts accordingly but a ball head moves from the ball point meaning I think I'd prefer the flat base head
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 05:55 AM   #42
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

Fully understand David.

I don't have a call for sliders on tripods so I couldn't comment on that observation. Where I find the 536s ideal is setting up shooting positions amongst seating in stadiums. It's something we have to do quite often if there is no proper camera platform.

It's these locations where the ground level spreader is useless and the mid level ones not a lot better. Doing a broadcast boxing one a couple of weeks back meant having two legs down on the level below us and the back leg passing back under and behind and through to the next row behind. This was a basketball stadium with telescopic bleacher seating. So two legs steep on the normal lock position and the third back leg locked at its flattest position. Then the whole lot was locked down with octopus straps. The camera was carrying a top viewfinder, 24x studio lens, rear controls, external recorder and three radio mics. A fairly heavy load. We couldn't get a two stage ENG with spreaders anywhere close to securely locked down in that position.

Different sticks for different jobs. I still have a set of heavy wooden Miller sticks which are the best for damping high frequency vibration. I use these filming for the Navy as some of their ships under full throttle battle stations exercises are running up to 33 knots and vibrate quite savagely. Alloy and carbon legs almost start to hum vibrate under those conditions. Regardless of legs it's always the Vinten head though.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 08:57 AM   #43
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

Totally agree the manfrotto is a fantastic set of sticks and if speed wasn't an option the minimal weight, huge max height and rigidity would win over most.. It's just sadly not very quick when setting up a shit and then moving to the next 10 seconds later..

On the topic of the 536c do you know how to adjust the rigidity of the leg angle? I find when I lift mine up one of the three legs flops back down slightly but the others remain out in position..
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 09:48 AM   #44
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

Go with the best tool for the job. In my case as a nature videographer working on uneven terrain I have no use for a tripod with a spreader. More important is being able to go high and low to the ground and light weight.
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Old January 3rd, 2016, 02:00 PM   #45
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Re: Why do people use tripod legs with spreaders?

Morning, Gents..................

Been trying to make head or tail of this update to a VERY old thread - heck, there's a post from me from 2008 fercrisakes!

Having read all the comments at least 4 times I'm still not entirely sure I've got a handle on it, but I'll give it a shot nevertheless.

First thought: A tripod, by definition, is one gigantic compromise; trade offs of rigidity vs. weight, versatility vs. rigidity, max/ min height vs.everything etc etc.

Ergo, no tripod can be perfect because perfection implies doing everything better than the camera levitating where it's put, all on its own with no support whatsoever, cool as that would be.

I'll cut to the chase and leave out the boring stuff, but lets make a few assumptions first.

Weight vs. rigidity = Below a particular weight any tripod of any design will fail to pass your rigidity pain threshold; ergo if you're anal it will be on the meaty side.

Speed vs. versatility = Spreader and leg locks. Without spreader more versatile, with spreader faster to spread legs if correctly designed; this does NOT apply to ground level spreaders as I simply have never found a use for any of the three I own!. Locks - the more of 'em there are, the bigger the pain in the ass and the slower it will be.

Assuming that ultimate versatility is NOT a primary concern, from the above we're looking for a meaty system with mid level spreader and as few leg locks as possible. Nice would be a 2:2:2 parallel tube configuration for the ultimate rigidity/ weight ratio.

The only contender I know of, gentlemen, I give you, tara............drum roll:

Speed Lock CF HD - Sachtler

No, I've never tried a set BUT I do use it's baby brother, the 75 CF's for stills work. They're light and fast to set up/ break down, only one lock per leg and that's at the top of the mid section so not too much bending, yay!.

The down side is they're only a 2:1:1 configuration which leaves them sadly lacking in the rigidity stakes and the spreader is, sob!, permanently attached. That 2:1:1 is the reason I wouldn't (and don't) use them for video.

Whether the indicated system matches your criterion David I'll leave up to you. As you're in the UK from where Sachtler gear is distributed, why not fire a mail to: Barbara.Jaumann@VitecGroup.com (I'm assuming she's still the product manager) and ask to have a trial - IF they look like a possibility.

If I've missed by a country mile, have another stab at your criterion list as I've obviously not grasped the point.

Regards,


CS

PS: These do have an intermediate sibling that's lighter and cheaper BUT bear in mind that neither comes stock with a spreader of any sort, and they're eye wateringly expensive;

BH (Links)


These are not quite as rigid as big bro' as they're only a 2:2:1 design
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