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Old August 27th, 2008, 04:30 PM   #196
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I'd suggest something that can take a weight of 20 pounds or more slung underneath the tripod - for stability as well as reducing vibration. The deeper and faster the water, the more weight you need. A bag of stones will do the trick.
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Old August 27th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #197
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Thanks Annie. Yeah, we had already figured on slinging some sort of weight underneath the tripod. I hadn't even thought that would reduce vibration, but now that you mentioned it, of course it will! Have you used anything that fits that description?
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Old August 27th, 2008, 06:55 PM   #198
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When I've shot under situations with high vibration I've found that hand held is usually better. But if it's just a lot of motion and not lots of vibration as you'd get in a fast moving speedboat, a tripod is good. You might go to the Gitzo web site and find the appropriate head and a set of their lightweight carbon fiber legs; I think they're called the Mountaineer. I bought a Gitzo 1338 system a few years ago for about $1500. It was good for weight up to 22 pounds, and of course the legs could hold more.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 02:30 AM   #199
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I've done some work in a shallow river (10-12 inches deep) using an old Manfrotto (Bogen) 144 tripod with a plastic shopping bag of stones hung underneath. I think that tripod would support about 20lb and certainly the combination felt pretty stable. My usual 190Pro tripod supports only 10lb, so there isn't much leeway for extra weight once I've got the camera on it.

That extra weight helps in windy conditions too. If the head as well as well the legs, can support the weight then fix the weight so that it goes over the head, and even over the camera. Just make sure your bag of stones doesn't swing in the wind and knock against the legs.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 10:38 AM   #200
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Vision 3 alternatives?

I currently use a Canon XH-A1 mounted on a Manfroto 501 pan/tilt head and Manfroto 525 legs with a 75mm half-ball leveller. The only accessory I mount on-camera, normally, is a microphone and wind-gag on a shock-mount. No matt-box, 35mm adaptor, etc.

I'm considering replacing the head with something better. I have tried, and really like, the Vinten Vision 3, and I think I can afford it (£675 - £700 in UK atm, depending on the dealer). What other models should I be considering? Sachtler DV4 or DV6? Miller? Gitzo? Cartoni? Anyone else? I'd like to save a little weight and/or money, as long as the operation is as good as the Vinten. Must have a 75mm half-ball, or be able to take the one off the old 501.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 12:58 PM   #201
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Mark,

That seems very cheap for the Vision 3 - I paid over £600 for a Vision Pro-6 HDV, which has good heavyweight Vinten legs but a head based on the Manfrotto 503HDV. All complete Vision 3 kits (legs + head + bag) seem to start from around £950 for single stage alloy legs up to £1500 for two-stage carbon fibre.

My Sachtler DV6 is fantastic. I never thought I would love an inanimate object so much! Very sturdy and smooth, but possibly overkill for a Sony V1 (more or less the same basic size and weight as the Canon A1). But I'm future-proofed for life!

If I was to buy again I would think about the Sachtler FSB-6. It has a max 6kg payload compared to the 10kg or so max for the DV6. It has the same number of balance steps, so you get finer adjustment. It seems to be the same robust construction as the DV6 that I have, and it's probably £300 at least cheaper. But still around the £900 price range, which may be outside your budget.

Your location in the UK might be handier than mine - there's at least one specialist Sachtler dealer (not a DVinfo sponsor though) who would probably let you play with the gear before you commit.
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Old August 28th, 2008, 03:27 PM   #202
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Hi Mike,

I am considering either the Vinten Vision 3 or Sachtler DV6 or FSB6. I'll be using it with a Canon XH A1 and I have had a chance to briefly try both but not side by side. I preferred the feel of the Sachtler but am a little undecided. I have read some posts that mention wind up in the Sachtler sticks. Do you notice any and how do yo feel the Vinten and Sachtler compare? I'd be interested to hear your pros and cons on each since you have had a chance to live with both tripods.

Thanks,
Garrett
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Old August 29th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #203
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Hi Garrett,

I should first point out that my Vinten wasn't one of the professional Vision range, it was the Pro-6HDV (based on the Bogen/Manfrotto 503HDV head). So I can't compare between the Vision 3 and the Sachtler directly. I also haven't carried out extensive performance tests, I've just put it through some normal use.

Pro-6 HDV legs:
+ Genuine Vinten 2-stage alloy pozi-loc legs
+ Solid, very resistant to twist/torsion
- Floor spreader was awkward for me, had to fumble round on the ground if I had to adjust these. (A mid level spreader is available though.)
- Heavy! I carried this on a 3-mile hike for UWOL and I was bruised.
- Awkward to set up if I wanted to use the lower stage, have to fumble round on the ground

Sachtler CF 2-stage legs:
+ Lighter than the Vinten alloy legs (obviously!)
+ Again, very solid. I haven't detected any major torsional/twist problems (but see below), but I'll admit I've only done normal shooting, not an in-depth shakedown
+ Mid spreader is pretty good. It's sort of a "budget" one compared to their higher end models, it looks flimsy but actually seems to do the job very well.
+ Dead easy to set up. A single lever at the top of the middle leg section is used to tighten everything without scambling round on the ground. So you set up your tripod, release three levers, lift the head to the desired height (both sections of legs will extend as required) and then clamp the three levers shut.
+ The Sachtler feet are brilliant!
+ Built-in hooks for carrying strap. I use the strap that came with the tripod bag. I'm hoping to replace it with something with metal clasps rather than plastic ones.
- I don't like the velcro strip to keep the legs together, it seems a bit cheap on a tripod that costs this much.

Both tripods had a similar maximum height - I'm 6 feet tall and have to stand on tippy-toes to be on the same level as the camera in both cases. The mid spreader is better at maximum height than the ground spreader, this applies to both models. The floor spreader is better for low angle shots.

Vinten Pro-6 HDV head: (Note: not Vision series head)
+ Good for general (event and documentary-type) camerawork
+ Adjustable tension for both pan and tilt
+ Good plate and fore/aft adjustment.
+ Adjustable counterbalance (0,1,2,3)
- Camera plate can be a bit big for hand held work, it sometimes got in the way for me.
- Counterbalance doesn't give much fine adjustment
- Awkward to adjust pan tension. The knob is underneath the tripod head so you have to tilt the camera to get at it, unless you have small girl-like hands. And I don't!
- Tilt tension doesn't have a very high "max" setting. so artisitic tilts are more tricky.
- Not ideal for telephoto work, as the tension adjusting isn't exactly scientific.
- Driftback is quite apparent at high levels of zoom.
- Build quality just doesn't feel right for me. Still very good, but not bomb-proof.


Sachtler DV6-SB:
+ Good all-rounder tripod head
+ Adjustable pan and tilt tension, 0-5 for each
+ Easy to access both tension knobs
+ Counterbalance in 10 steps from 1-10 kg (it might be 1-12, I can't recall!), easily adjusted. No messing with springs like the Vinten Vision 3.
+ Tiny camera plate for the bottom of your camcorder, so it doesn't get in the way when you are hand-held.
+ Great for telephoto work. I tracked a snail oozing across the garbage bin in macro close-up with tension set to max, it was really smooth. Tracking birds at 20x or 30x zoom is much more achievable, though you obviously still need good technique. I'm not quite there yet, need more practice. But it is much easier to pull off the good moves.
+ Tilt tension works! I can do artisitic tilts now
+ Build quality is excellent. Built like a tank.
- Touch & Go camera plate adjusts backwards only, and my V1E is a bit back-heavy it seems. I need to buy an adapter to push the camera further forward on the plate. The Snap & Go would probably be a better plate choice for small cameras.
- "Gear change" when you adjust tension up. You get a noticable "clunk" before the new tension kicks in, so you can't do it mid-pan or tilt.
- At 20x or 30x zoom, there is a very slight driftback. I am unsure as to whether this is the legs or the head. It is pretty easy to control if I use max tension or just keep my hand on the tripod bar.
- I think the head is heavier than the Pro-6, so while the legs are lighter, the head is heavier. Overall, my tripod and back weigh in at 6.6kg, appox 12lbs. Pro-6 was 8kg, 16lbs.
- Still don't know how to pronounce "Sachtler!"

Some of the issues I have had (with both tripods) are probably down to the fact that the V1E is quite light. Handing improves when I have the camera "Pimped up" with big Mic, battery and lens. A naked V1E doesn't have a lot of mass to it.

Like I said previously, if I were buying again, I would investigate the FSB-6 head if only for the fact that it's cheaper. Availablity of the FSB head is very poor in the UK, it only appeared at one dealer after I had ordered the DV6. I have no regrets though, the DV6 is superb.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Mark,

That seems very cheap for the Vision 3 - I paid over £600 for a Vision Pro-6 HDV, which has good heavyweight Vinten legs but a head based on the Manfrotto 503HDV. All complete Vision 3 kits (legs + head + bag) seem to start from around £950 for single stage alloy legs up to £1500 for two-stage carbon fibre.
That price is for the Vision 3 head alone. Pukka Vinten legs would add £300 or more, so my Manfroto 525 legs will have to soldier on for a while yet.

Thanks for the comments regarding the Sachtler DV6. It seems to be about £100 more than the Vision 3. There's also a DV4 model that's a little over £600, but doesn't have so much adjustment for drag and counter-balance. I haven't yet found a price for the FSB6 head on its own, but I guess it will be somewhere between the DV4 and DV6, looking at the prices of full kits.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 08:35 AM   #205
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I've had a quote of just over £600 for an FSB6. I see that there is also an FSB6T listed on the Sachtler web site. The only difference appears to be that the FSB6T has the "Touch & Go" mounting plate, whereas the FSB6 has the "Snap & Go" mount. Does anyone have any experience of the different mounts? Which is more appropriate for an XH-A1? As I mentioned, I don't use a matt box, 35mm adaptor, etc, so balancing the camera with a range of different accessories is not really an issue for me.
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Old August 29th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #206
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Mike,

Thanks for the great info and comparison. I believe the sticks that the Pro-6 and the Vision 3 come with are the same. I've tried teh Vision 3 and DV6 SB heads and I like the feel of the Sachtler a littel better. Just a matter of personal choice as both were excellent. The only thing holding me from getting the Sachtler were reports of the sticks exhibiting wind up. It sounds like if you use a little more drag it doesn't happen and that would be fine with me as I usually need a bit more for me to get smooth even pans.

I wouldn't mind the weight since most of my shoots are stage events which mean I'd set up and leave it and I do prefer a little more weight. Maybe it's just my mind playing tricks but I feel like I can get a steadier shot with more weight on the tripod. I usually put a couple of weighted bags around my current tripod legs to help with vibration.

I did get a chance to compare the FSB6 to the DV6SB and they are very close. I think the FSB6 would work for now but I want a setup I can really keep for a long time and I think the difference between a the 6kg mas for the FSB6 and the 9kg for the DV6 may be a factor in the future. I also like the way the DV6 mounting works better than the FSB6.

As for your adjustment issues (problems?) with your V1E I read somewhere where a guy reversed his mounting plate so he could ajust it for a Sony EX1. He said he had to drill one extra hole but that it worked great. You might look into that.

I also am not sure how to say "Sachtler". I've heard all kinds of way. I've heard

Sack-la
Sock-ler
Satch-ler
and even saw one that said it was Zaht-la.

I have no idea. I just know they make pretty darn good heads.

Mark,

I'm planning on using it with my XH-A1 and when I compared them I liked the Touch & Go system better (the same one as on the DV6). The Snap & Go is similar to a Cartoni I have and the only thing is everytime you remove the camera from the head you have to reposition it. I can't remember if that was how the FSB6 was but it's kind of annoying. Most people I've spoke to or heard feedback from way to go with the Touch & Go system.

Thanks for the great info,
Garrett
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Old August 29th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #207
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Garrett,

I think that logic dictates that higher drag makes for more wind up, but my logic isn't always right. I will try to experiment with that tomorrow, in between holiday preparations - so I can't promise anything.

Even if there's a bit of wind-up with the legs, I can live with it - they're lighter and more user friendly than any lower-end tripod I've ever used. Vinten Fibertecs are reportedly the ultimate for minimal wind-up, but they make the Sachtler look affordable.

Not sure I like the sound of taking the drill to my $3000 tripod, though!

My limited grasp of the German language suggests "sack-ler" - but as you say, who cares when the kit is as good as it is!
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Old August 29th, 2008, 02:30 PM   #208
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Mike,

I was also thinking that with higher drag the sticks should experience more torsion. But it may not be too bad. I was thinking that if I did really find it to become an issue I could experiment with a different set of sticks. Like I said, from heads I've tried with my camera on it I liked the DV6SB the best.

I've heard that the larger Sachtler tripods are increadible. I did talk to a professional camera operator (the History Channel was filming in my home town so I got to talk to some of their shooters) using a Video 25 setup. Extremely nice and at almost $10k it should be.

I hear you on drilling holes in your tripod, but from what I understand you only need to drill the hole in slide plate which can be removed. But I would be very skiddish about doing it too. My XH A1 is front heavey so hopefully I wouldn't have to do any adjustments.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing your results of your tests.

Garrett
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:26 PM   #209
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Tripod help! Support for XH-A1, NTG-2, and Litpanel Micro LED

What do you think is a good tripod option for a XH-A1 with a NTG-2, and a LitePanel Micro LED light kit connected? My budget is about 500 dollars, and was thinking if a decent ($400-ish) tripod with a fluid head that can support a lot of weight (15-20, just to be safe) would be better option.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 04:44 PM   #210
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Hi Arif,

one of the Libec LS-22 series (several versions available: check out their website) will do the job.
Pros: lightweight, fits into a regular suitcase (if you unscrew the head), is well within your budget.
Cons: well, it's lightweight (hence not the most stable tripod on the market) and a bit borderline for your gear (but it works perfectly: I use it with my A1 when I have to travel by plane).

Best

Vasco
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