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Old November 20th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #1
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Libec LS-38?

I am wondering if anyone here has first-hand experience with the Libec LS-38 and would care to comment on it.

I am looking at the LS-38M(2A), the mid spreader model. (http://www.libecusa.com/ls-38m(2a).htm). I would be using it with a Canon XH A1.

I have been using the cheap little TH-M20 with my GL-2 and have found it quite nice for the (very low) price, but need something bigger and better for a new cam. I use a tripod for traditional narrative work so I am looking for smoothness and reliability first. For anything really dynamic the camera would be on a shoulder mount or a crane. Still, I am a bit concerned about the fixed drag on the LS-38.

If I came up with more money, I would go for the Cartoni Focus, but at the moment that looks out of range.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 08:42 AM   #2
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Bill,

There's a review in Nigel Cooper's DV magazine in the UK:

http://www.dvuser.co.uk/back-issues.php

Download the PDF for issue 4. Nigel seems more than pleased with it.

I'm thinking about one of these myself (to replace an ancient wobbly cheapy Velbon) for my VX2100. Now if only any of the UK suppliers had it in stock!
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Old November 20th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #3
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Mike

Thanks for the quick response and the _very_ informative review link. Although the reviewer seems awfully full of himself, the article does provide a lot of useful detail.

That pretty much cinches it for me in favor of the LS-38 unless a lot more money turns up.

Libec is not marketed much in the US either, although some of the more well known dealers do carry it. When I needed to get a replacement part for my little TH-M20 I had no problem getting from the US rep for Libec, so I am not worried about service.

It seems strange that equipment with such high marks among reviewers is not put in front of us more by the manufacturer, but I guess they would have to double the price if they bought ads like Schatler, Vinten, etc do.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:37 AM   #4
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No worries Bill - Nigel does have a distinctive style, but at least we know he's put it through his paces.

In the end I settled for an LS37 at offer price from a UK dealer. It's still probably overkill for my VX2100, and at US$700 is cheaper than the LS-38. I could probably have got a Bogen/Manfrotto 503/525 set for that sort of money, but I've heard good things about the Libecs so thought 'why not'.

I'd imagine that some people may prefer to hang on for the better sliding plate on the LS38, I understand the '37 has a more traditional quick-release plate.

I think we'll need to wait a bit longer in the UK for the LS-38 to become more widely available (most Libec dealers just list the LS37, those who list the 38 haven't got it in yet).

Geez, this is an expensive hobby. :D
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:49 AM   #5
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I've been exchanging email with Brian at Zotz Digital, and he's recommended the Libec 22 for the A1. It's rated at 8.8 pounds. With the camera weighing in at about 5 pounds, and probably a couple of pounds for the tripod adapter plate, it seems like a pretty good fit. It's $400, and the mid level spreader version is $440, and there's a deal going on with a free lanc controller.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:25 AM   #6
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Here's a place selling the Libec LS-38 tripod for $550.00. non-sponsor reference removed
I'm looking at a new tripod for my Canon A1 I just ordered and after reading a review, it look like I'm buying a Libec.
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Old December 4th, 2006, 10:49 AM   #7
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Thanks for the info. Note that they are shipping that from NZ so you are really looking at $677.00 to the US, which is pretty close to what many vendors in the US are charging.

For example Zotz quoted me $690 and BHPhoto is asking $675. I would rather spend a few more bucks and buy from one of the DVinfo sponsors, like those two, who are not halfway around the world from me.

At any rate, I'd like to hear from you once you have tried out the combo of camera and tripod together. I am planning to buy both but it may be a few weeks.
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Old December 8th, 2006, 11:45 PM   #8
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Just received my LS-38 from B&H; first impressions are that they are one sturdy set of legs - the whole thing looks like it's very well put together.

Now for the head: the pan on it seems to be excellent, with no stiction that I can detect, very smooth indeed. However, the tilt on mine seems to be something else, with a noticeable soft region before hitting the fluid action, unless I'm missing seeing some adjustment, but I don't think there's anything to adjust. I don't think that will affect the bulk of my uses, but it does seem strange.

However, overall, a very nice set of legs.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 07:23 AM   #9
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Greg,

Which model did you get? Floor spreader or mid-level? I have a mid-level model on back order from them and wonder if they're shipping them now.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #10
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Wade, I got the floor spreader version since I wasn't sure how long the mid-level version would take to come in - also I figured that the floor spreader would enable lower level shots. BTW, the instructions are all in Japanese (this model *really* isn't marketed for the US..!) but are fairly self-explanatory since the system is very simplistic. Will be interested to hear your thoughts on the tilt when you get yours.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 05:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Quinn
BTW, the instructions are all in Japanese (this model *really* isn't marketed for the US..!)
Greg,
If you go over to

http://www.libec.co.jp/

They have an "English" version of their site.
Maybe you can find some extra information there.

I took a quick look and found some very basic information at

http://www.libec.co.jp/eng/ls/ls-38-2a/ls-38-2a.html

I have 2 Libec models, the cheaper of them is not very responsive on the "tilt" function.

I bought a middle range Daiwa tripod and found it to be much easier to balance for tilting.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:50 PM   #12
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Thanks for the links, Douglas, very useful info there about accessories too.
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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:57 PM   #13
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Greg,
Did it come with 3/8" and 1/4" screws?
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Old December 10th, 2006, 09:24 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wade Hanchey
Greg,
Did it come with 3/8" and 1/4" screws?
Wade, I don't have it with me right now, but I believe that it came with just one screw.
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Old December 14th, 2006, 12:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ball
Thanks for the info. Note that they are shipping that from NZ so you are really looking at $677.00 to the US, which is pretty close to what many vendors in the US are charging.

For example Zotz quoted me $690 and BHPhoto is asking $675. I would rather spend a few more bucks and buy from one of the DVinfo sponsors, like those two, who are not halfway around the world from me.

At any rate, I'd like to hear from you once you have tried out the combo of camera and tripod together. I am planning to buy both but it may be a few weeks.
wow....Zotz quoted you $690 for the Libec LS-38? Zotz quoted me $600 for the Libec LS-38 and $660 for the Libec LS-38M.
Tapeworks Texas cost $575 for the Libec LS-38 and $600 for the Libec LS-38M (Ask for Scott). I went and bought the Libec LS-38M tripod.
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