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Old September 15th, 2008, 06:17 PM   #226
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It's all relative.

I bought a $30 cheap tripod with my first Hi-8 camcorder. I thought it was great.

Then I bought a Velbon for around $150. I thought it was best tripod ever. I raved about it, and it made the $30 one look really poor.

I bought a Sony VX2100, and got a Libec 950DV for around $350. It was the best tripod ever, it made the Velbon and the no-name look like toys.

Then I got a Libec LS-37. $700. It was the best tripod ever...

...then I got a Sony V1E, and needed an upgrade. So I got the Vinten Pro-6 HDV, $1200 - and guess what - it was the best tripod ever!

Now I have a Sachtler DV6-SB, and yes, it is the best tripod ever. $3000 or so. I think my game has to stop now, they're not going to get any better, surely!

My point is, at each stage I got a significant upgrade and it really did seem the best deal for the money to me, and, yes, thought I'd bought the best tripod in the world and raved about it at the time.

At each stage though, I started to notice shortcomings, mainly as I became more fussy and particular over time. Put it this way, if the Velbon was going to give me perfect panning, tilting and zero driftback and wind-up, why the heck did I spend so much money on the path to Sachtler-ness!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 01:40 AM   #227
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Hi Mike,

I got my DV6 SB in and I have to say it is teh best tripod I've had my XH A1 on. I went in a similar route as you. Started with a Sunpac, then got a Cartoni Action Pro, tried a Miller DS10, then finally was able to get the Sachtler. I tried the Vinten Vision 3 also and that is also a very good system. I liked the legs on the Vinten a little better than the Sachter's. They aren't as quick to set up and break down but they just seemed more solid. I didn't like that the mid spreader for the Vinten was almost $800.

I did like the DV6 SB head the best. I was lucky in that I bought all of my tripods used so I was able to recoup almost all of the cost for each step.

I spoke to a service tech for Sachtler out here and he pronounced it "SZock-lar". The S and Z almost ran together.

Garrett
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:34 PM   #228
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We just received a Sachtler Soom for review. WOW!
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Old October 5th, 2008, 06:42 AM   #229
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Help

Hi,

I am in desperate search for a new lightweight tripod. I am going to need it for a 6 month travelling/documentary work. My libec LS 55 is to heavy for this so when I decide anyway to take it it will be more staying in the hotel then anything else...
another thing is that iI have to stay low profile. walking around with this big setup will not be helpfull. so size is off greater importance then weight ( guess I will get used to it..)

my setup is canon XH A1, ntg2 mounted + wideangle...

any suggestions. I am willing to sacrifice quality. maybe thinking about a super compact tripod in combination of a dvrig pro. or something.

really need advice as I am leaving soon...



thanks a lot.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 07:35 PM   #230
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Gosh. There are really many tripods to fit your requirements. for the type of shoot that you're talking about, a still photo tripod is less conspicuous. I use the Manfrotto 755XB MDeVe Video Tripod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terwingen Niels View Post
Hi,

I am in desperate search for a new lightweight tripod. I am going to need it for a 6 month travelling/documentary work. My libec LS 55 is to heavy for this so when I decide anyway to take it it will be more staying in the hotel then anything else...
another thing is that iI have to stay low profile. walking around with this big setup will not be helpfull. so size is off greater importance then weight ( guess I will get used to it..)

my setup is canon XH A1, ntg2 mounted + wideangle...

any suggestions. I am willing to sacrifice quality. maybe thinking about a super compact tripod in combination of a dvrig pro. or something.

really need advice as I am leaving soon...



thanks a lot.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 08:31 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terwingen Niels View Post
Hi,

I am in desperate search for a new lightweight tripod. I am going to need it for a 6 month travelling/documentary work. My libec LS 55 is to heavy for this so when I decide anyway to take it it will be more staying in the hotel then anything else...
another thing is that iI have to stay low profile. walking around with this big setup will not be helpfull. so size is off greater importance then weight ( guess I will get used to it..)

my setup is canon XH A1, ntg2 mounted + wideangle...

any suggestions. I am willing to sacrifice quality. maybe thinking about a super compact tripod in combination of a dvrig pro. or something.

really need advice as I am leaving soon...



thanks a lot.
I think the Miller Solo tripods are well worth a look at lightweight and very smooth.

Best,
Peter Rhalter
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #232
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Hi,

sorry guys but i dont call this ultra light and neither low profile.
these tripod are everage 4-5 kilo and 60-70 cm high. this is to way to much... , allmost same as my libec LS55. I am surprised that there isnt a bigger market in this section. Is now thes days nobody walking around with his gear? I tought thats why they maked this dv hdv cameras so small and light, guess they forgot about the tripod....

grtz
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Old October 6th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #233
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You could try the Libec TH-950DV. Reasonably good fluid effect head with counterbalance, lightweight legs. If you're willing to sacrafice quality for portability this could work. You just couldn't overload the camera though, there's a limit of 2.5kg on that head I think.

The problem I see with a complete tripod kit that only weighs a couple of kilos is that it will weigh less than the camera and the physics with that are bad, particularly with the risk of everything toppling over and falling to the ground.

I just checked the kit list for "Long Way Down" from the book of the series. On the bikes, they used a Velbon tripod (probably for the Sony A1s) and a Gitzo traveller (G0041587) with Manfrotto 701RC2 head. I can't find any details of the tripod legs, so that may be the wrong model number.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #234
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hi,

thanks for the info,
you think you can do panning with that 701 head?

grtz
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #235
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It might be worth your while to check out www.safaritripod.com

This is supposedly a sub-company of Miller (even though Miller doesn't want or have their name on them), but I believe they don't actually manufacture these & most likely just license them from a Chinese co.

I got one only for backpacking/hiking & it serves it's purpose well. The head kind of leaves something to be desired, but for the price, being carbon fiber & super lightweight, it serves it's purpose.

There's a Belgium company listed as a dealer.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 02:47 PM   #236
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terwingen Niels View Post
hi,

thanks for the info,
you think you can do panning with that 701 head?

grtz
Having struggled a bit with panning on a 701RC head, I wouldn't recommend it for the Canon A1 even though it is supposed to be able to take the weight easily. I really felt the difference when I put the small Sony A1 on the head this weekend - not perfect, but much easier than with the Canon A1.
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Old October 7th, 2008, 12:42 PM   #237
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thanks guys for the info.
going to test the safari tripod.. did you mean that the head was not good enough? can you please give some more info on that?you think the HDV 501 is a better head?

grtz
niels
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #238
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"good enough" is subjective. It's good enough for it's limited intended purpose for me. Check it out for yourself. Make sure when balancing the XHA1 you have the tilt drag knob completely neutral. Even though that head has a sliding plate for balancing, I also use a Giottos quick release assembly for further balance if needed. Then adjust the tilt drag after you get it about right. There's really no pan drag, but with practice it's ok, but I don't do a lot of panning for my purposes when I use it anyway.

You were looking for something lightweight, low profile & compact, and for the price I doubt there's anything else out there.

I'm not familiar with any recent Bogen/Manfrotto offerings, so I can't comment on the 501. The Safari has a ridiculous 55mm bowl, so finding a head to replace it is near impossible. I've been on the lookout for an alternative though and if I could get one of these Chinese manufacturers to reply to emails regarding the simple bowl part in 75mm then I think I'd have something.
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Old October 12th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #239
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I just installed a 501 HDV head on Velbon El Carmagne 530 carbon fiber legs. I already had the legs and used a 1/4" to 3/8" bushing to make the head fit on the narrower legs screw (with a makeshift gasket between the two to increase stability). I have started testing this set up with the XH-A1 and so far I like it a lot. This set up replaces the Velbon legs with the 700RC2. The whole tripod/head combo weighs about 6 pounds I believe. The panning and tilting is very smooth, and although slightly top-heavy, the combination is stable. With the XH-A1 at full zoom, I can still get a little swing back at the end of a pan, but I can minimize it or eliminate with some attention to technique.

Manfrotto makes a set of legs that is comparable to these, i.e., lightweight and carbon-fiber. This system comes with a 3/8" screw and Manfrotto's 3 lock-down/adjustment screws. I would recommend the 501 HDV head and carbon fiber legs as a good option for field work with the XH-A1.

Pat
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Old October 12th, 2008, 01:30 PM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terwingen Niels View Post
thanks guys for the info.
going to test the safari tripod.. did you mean that the head was not good enough? can you please give some more info on that?you think the HDV 501 is a better head?

grtz
niels
I looked at the Safari and it's not that small or lightweight for what I consider the ultimate travel tripod.

I think you should look at this:
Bogen / Manfrotto | 190CXPRO3 Mag Fiber Tripod System with | B&H

Here is a review:
http://www.videomaker.com/article/12717/

As far as being lightweight and stable, nothing compares to the Gitzo legs. Not Sachtler, Miller, etc. Gitzo series three are rock solid. Series two are solid and very lightweight.

The Bogen listed above is very nice and also lightweight at a lower cost. It opens quick and the head works well. The panning is smooth on the 701RC2. To get best panning results use a rubber band and other techniques. For jump pans and a handheld look it just takes a little practice. In the long run, for extensive traveling without porters, lightweight and small size is going to take precedence over all other considerations, in my opinion.

Last edited by Jack Walker; October 12th, 2008 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Added link to review
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