4K fluid head and sticks, which one is best? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 29th, 2006, 10:20 AM   #1
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4K fluid head and sticks, which one is best?

Well, I have worked my way up the ladder from a cartoni Focus to a Sachtler DV8 to the Cartoni Gamma.

Now before I buy the Gamma I pausing to make certain. Tired of returning the tripod.

I like the stick on the Gamma and the head is built much better than the other models I have tried.

But would love to hear from anyone using models in this price range.

My salesman says that Sachtler is not good until after the Dv12.
That is moving into the 10K range and I would like to stay around 4K.

Thinkin about Oconner btu not certain if they even make a combo in that low range.

Any help is appreciated!
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Old December 29th, 2006, 01:57 PM   #2
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I think at this price range, all the heads are pretty good so it's really down to personal preferences. In the film world, OConnor is pretty much the standard for fluid heads. In the video world, Sachtler, Miller, Vinten and Cartoni are all popular. Sachtler and Miller have step drag and counterbalance while Vinten, Cartoni and OConnor all have continuous drag and counterbalance so there is that operational difference (it's faster to make a drag/counterbalance change on a step system but you can't fine tune it like on a continuous system).

You'll have to budget about $1,000 to $1,500 for good legs. Make sure you don't skimp on the legs! Bad legs that twist will make even an OConnor look bad.

So you might want to increase your budget to $5K or so. Here are some options for heads:

Miller Arrow 25, $2550
Miller Arrow 40, $3200
Vinten Vision 8, $2850
Vinten Vision 11, $3400
Vinten Vision 100, $4500
Sachtler Video 15 SB, $3300
Sachtler Video 18 SB, $4800
Cartoni Gamma, $3200
Cartoni Delta, $4100
OConnor 1030B, $4300
OConnor 1030HD, $5100

I think the OConnor 1030B is being phased out though. You'll have to call the factory to see if they have any left. The OConnor 1030HD is the same head, just painted black and the maximum drag level reduced a little.

This is a big purchase that will last you a lifetime, so make sure you try them out before buying to make sure you will be happy. Good luck!
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Old December 29th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #3
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thats is some of the best advise, jesus , thank you somuch, wish I could be of equal value in help to you, but I will pass it on to the next person that asks me for help thanks! :)

I am going to try the OConner, I am having trouble figuring out if I like the Continuous drag or Step method.

yeah I got to have good sticks, but the price on this whole thing keeps getting higher!

Is the Cartoni Gamma good enough, does anyone have any experience with it.
I read that some people think that drag is mushy, is the Oconner not mushy?

The place to rent a OConner is FAR away and I dont have the time yet to do it.

Whew, fluid head dreams.
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Old December 29th, 2006, 11:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luc Meisel
I like the stick on the Gamma and the head is built much better than the other models I have tried.
I have used the Gamma and Delta and they are both wonderful heads. I ended up buying a Sachtler Video 18 and absolutely love it. The tilt and pan drag on it is sooo silky smooth. It's also nice because it will support everything from my DVX-100A to a Varicam or Film camera.

Have you thought about buying a used head on ebay to save yourself some money? I got My video 18 head for $800 (which was a real steal) and it was in pretty good shape for being 20 years old (I am guessing it's that old since it says "Made in Western Germany.") Right now you can pick up a used Gamma head with sticks for $2300 and could probably get a Sachtler 18/20 for $2500 to $4000.

Matthew
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Old January 7th, 2007, 01:55 AM   #5
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Luc,

The mfrs mentioned are all topflight. Personally, I like O'Connor better, it's smooth and built like a tank, but as others have said, try all of them out, it's your personal preference. If the Cartoni feels best in your hands, maybe that's the one. As long as you take care of what you buy, it should be fine and last for years.

But, before plunking down your 4K, give them all a test drive and see how they feel.

Get a good case for your purchase. Sometimes if you are shipping, it's good to have the head and sticks separated. Or at least have some padding, esp around the head, in the hardcase (Tuffpak/Nalpak)
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