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Old November 22nd, 2009, 09:38 PM   #286
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So are you saying that you think the fsb-6 would work well for both the xh-a1 and the 5d?
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Old November 23rd, 2009, 12:43 AM   #287
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The FSB 6 and other video tripods do not allow turning the camera for portrait framing, only landscape framing.

The FSB 6 would be fine for holding a stills camera in landscape position, or for using one of the new photo cameras for shooting video. The FSB 6 might be overkill for a light camera, but it would work to hold the camera in landscape mode.
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Old November 27th, 2009, 01:56 AM   #288
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Hi

I bought the kit FSB6/2MD which contains the Sachtler FSB6 together with ENG75/2 tripod legs, mid level spreader and a bag. I own a Canon XH-A1 and made a long research to really get the right kit for my purposes. Like others I have used a Manfrotto 503 head earlier and to be honest I've never really liked it. It makes a 'gluing' sound and it's hard to make a soft panning/tilting start, it suffers from kickback when I stop panning/tilting and it's more or less impossible to do a tilt and a pan at the same time.

After long research with alternatives like Libec LS-38, Vinten 3AS and Sachtler FSB4/FSB6 I went for Sachtler FSB6. The Libec have a fixed balance spring and no drag adjustment, the Vinten 3AS seems to be made for cameras a little heavier than the XH-A1 as some reviews says. The Schtler FSB4 is for cameras up to 4kg which would be OK for the XH-A1 but to be a little safe for the future and perhaps heavier cameras I went for the FSB6.

The FSB6 head is absolutly fantastic. It have a 10 step adjustable balance spring which for my XH-A1 without any extras is perfect at step 1 or 2 so there is a lot of power left for extra equipment on the camcorder like lights, mic, matte box etc. The fluid system is adjustable in 3 steps + zero for both tilt and pan.

I can now do things as tilting and panning at the same time without risking hangups or strange sounds. No kickback at all. Pans and tilts can be performed really slow without any problems. Be aware that panning/tilting is an art by itself and can only be mastered by training.

What I don't like is the legs though. They are OK if I don't fold out the lower part of the legs but when I do that, the legs will suffer from twist if I'm not careful. If I have had the money when I bougt the kit I probably would have chosen the carbon fiber legs.

All in all I give the head 5 points out of 5 and the legs 4 points. This is absolutely my own oppinion and for my own needs. Read reviews and other peoples experiences and if you have the possabilities, try the kit before you buy.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old November 30th, 2009, 04:20 PM   #289
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Thanks to advice I read in these forums, I went with Sachtler. I have an FSB-6 with carbon fiber legs, for use with a Canon XH-A1s. I also bought the FSB-2 with the cheapest aluminum legs (because the head was not available separately) and will pair this with Gitzo CF legs (with 75mm bowl) for use with a Canon HV40 (which cost less than the video head!), and for possible future use with a Canon 7D. The Sachtler FSB heads are wonderful. I will sell my Manfrotto stuff.
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Old November 30th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #290
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Cheap tripod for XH A1

I'm new into the prosumer video world. I bought a used canon XH A1 a few months ago and I've been using a crappy tripod my grandfather let me have. It 'works', but its not really made to hold the full 5 pounds of my XH A1 and the legs are starting to mess up.

I would like it to cost less than $75, go up to at least 60 inches high and have some sort of bubble level on it. Beyond that, the extra features dont really matter. As long as it pans and tilts smoothly and is pretty stable I'll be happy. I dont really need an adjustable head on it as that probably costs more and I dont mind leveling it by adjusting the legs.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 02:44 AM   #291
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Steven,

I'm afraid you're not going to get that functionality for $75. You can have cheap, or you can have good, but in the world of tripods you can't have both.

I wouldn't trust a $75 tripod to even hold my camera, let alone try to get smooth pans and tilts out of it.

- You need to spend $1000 on something like a Sachtler FSB-6 to get good results.
- You can get acceptable results on a Libec LS-38 (around $600).
- You can get sort of acceptable results on a Bogen/Manfrotto 503 for around the same price.

At a pinch, you could use a Libec LS-22 for around $380 (but don't expect too much from it).

A sub-$75 tripod is a toy. Sorry, it's tough, but I have to say that. You couldn't even take your hand off the camera and walk away without fear of a $3000 camera falling over and hitting the ground.

Normally I would take the view that everyone has to start somewhere - but with a camera of that spec and price, an ultra cheap tripod is just too risky in my opinion.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 11:15 AM   #292
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Mike, there is no way I can afford a $1,000 tripod. I'm a student with a very tight budget. I can probably go up to $150, but I'd rather not. I've used a $20 tripod from walmart with that camera (and a lighter one) with no problems. Besides, the smoothness of a pan has more to do with the operator than the actual tripod.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 11:32 AM   #293
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Hi Steven,

Sorry, but the smoothness of the pan is very much a *combination* of operator skill plus the quality of the tripod head. You can't get lemonade from a lemon no matter how talented you are with the pan handle. Mike's advice is spot on, but if you're not able to afford a good $1000 tripod then you might want to consider watching our Private Classifieds forum and look for a decently used one, they will show up from time to time.

Also, try a little creative financing. As Mike points out, at the very least you'll need a budget of close to $400 for the bare basic Libec LS-22. There are a number of ways in which you can raise this money, including temporary part-time work (true story: back in 1985 when I was a struggling college student, I spent a couple of late Saturday nights at the local city newspaper distribution center folding inserts into the Sunday morning paper... not at all glamorous, but it was short-term work that gave me the extra cash I needed that month). And you might look around your stuff for anything of value that you don't need to keep anymore, and put it on EBay. One person's junk is another's treasure, and you'd be surprised how easy and quick it is to generate some extra cash that way.

A $75 tripod is a hinderance at best -- get rid of it. Target a decent set of sticks such as the Libec and then work toward acquiring them. You need only the will and the effort to make it happen.
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Old December 1st, 2009, 11:43 AM   #294
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Hey Steven,

Just to throw my 2 cents in, you have yourself a nice camcorder, you will definitely want, if not need at least an entry level tripod with fluid head. The tripod and head really can make or break your shot (not to mention break your camcorder if the tripod falls over)

Libec just provided an extension until this Friday on the promo's I have mentioned in the "Sticky" section above. The LS22 system really is about as cheap of a system you want to go with to get satisfactory results on your panning with your XHA1 camcorder. I would normally recommend the LS38 system, but do understand your situation with your budget.

Best advice, if you can't afford the right tripod now, hold off and save some extra money until you can. Or, Christmas is right around the corner, put a bug in your friends and family's ears and maybe they can team toghether to get you a nice gift!

Best of Luck to you!
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Old December 1st, 2009, 01:15 PM   #295
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Instead of a $75 tripod, get a $20 tripod from craigslist - and talk them down to $10. That will give you something to support your camera with, and you'll be able to take good fixed shots if there is no wind. You'll be able to do bad pans and tilts, but it might be all you need for a while.

Rather than a tripod, you might find a friend with an electric saw and drill and buy some aluminum from Home Depot or Lowes to build a shoulder rig. You can work BMX handles over square 1/2" aluminum tubes. You can bend some strap material to form to your chest and shoulder. Total cost should be just over $50, depending on how much you scrap on your first prototype.

A shoulder rig isn't a tripod head, but viewers won't know if you used a $50 homebuilt job or a $2,000 Zacuto setup. If you build it well and paint it black, people outside of the business will think it's totally pro.

Essentially, it will allow you to be a human tripod head. :)
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Old December 1st, 2009, 01:40 PM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Cantrell View Post
Libec just provided an extension until this Friday on the promo's I have mentioned in the "Sticky" section above. The LS22 system really is about as cheap of a system you want to go with to get satisfactory results on your panning with your XHA1 camcorder. I would normally recommend the LS38 system, but do understand your situation with your budget.
A Libec LS22 for approx. $340???
Steven, order NOW! (if feasible, of course...)
I have an A1 & use a Libec LS22:
yes, it might be borderline (weight-wise), but it works pretty well,
the Libec head is smooth (much better then a Manfrotto, which I owned before),
and the whole contraption is pretty lightweight
(that's why I bought it in the first place).
Oh, and it's really really cheap!

Just my two cents, of course...

Best

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Old December 5th, 2009, 04:32 PM   #297
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Why is it that folks that are on a "tight budget" and can't afford to spend any money at all on tripod systems, somehow have the funds to get first class HD cameras like the XH-A1s? I fully understand limited budgets. What bothers me is mis-allocated limited budgets.
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Old December 5th, 2009, 05:00 PM   #298
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Because I spent all my money on the camera now I want to even my budget out around other things. I used a cheap crappy tripod on a shoot yesterday. I think it was made for still cameras and I got some nice pans on it with no bumps or imperfections or anything. I just had it as loose as I could and just used a steady hand. I would keep using if the legs weren't messed up. Since no one can recommend me a cheap tripod, what are some of the best brands I should look at?
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Old December 5th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #299
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Hi Steven..................

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Swanson View Post
Since no one can recommend me a cheap tripod, what are some of the best brands I should look at?
Bottom line is that no one can recommend a cheap tripod because no one CAN recommend a cheap tripod, there simply is nothing to recommend.

There is absolutely nothing to prevent you using the cheapest, nastiest stills tripod for video if you can put up with the imperfections, and imperfections there will be.

You may not notice them now but you will at some point. Then it is simply a question of your pain threshold.

If you can accept this basic fact now, you can start working on the piggy bank to afford what the posters here on DVinfo consider the bare minimum for shooting HD succesfully, and, of course, everybody's mileage varies.

The Libecs mentioned previously seem to be a firm favourite at the bottom of the food chain and seem to outperform Manfrotto which are nevertheless popular.

Often overlooked but worth looking at are the Vinten Pro 6 system:

Vinten | PRO-06-HDVM Protouch Lightweight Tripod | PRO-6HDVM

which keep the entire package below 4 digits.

With every step upwards from these the piggy bank needs fattening considerably, the amount of pork inevitably tied to that pain threshold.

Mine must be extraordinarilly low as my support rig set me back in excess of $5K, but I sleep real good at nights 'cause I've never once had to say to myself "I should have spent more money!"


CS

PS: As an excercise you might want to spend some time playing with piggy bank figures as compared to what's available here:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/buy/Tr...9/N/4291074044

My personal belief is that any system under a grand is pretty quickly going to go head to head with that pain threshold, but don't mind me, I'm anal.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; December 5th, 2009 at 06:04 PM. Reason: +
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Old December 6th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #300
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Not to put a damper on new conversation, but haven't we been over this problem far too many times already?

Please read this:
Which tripod for THIS camera, why why why

Chris Hurd: We need a sticky on this. Whether it is my thread or a new one or someone else's, we need something where people can see the folly of cheapo tripods and then get answers on how to get what they should be getting instead of arguing with new people every time that they are looking at things the wrong way.

As I try to say in the thread I have referenced, a tripod system is not just some lump of material that exists between the camera and the ground, it is an integral part of the final image. As such, the tripod system demands, yes demands, as much consideration in the budget as the camera itself. It is better to not have a tripod at all and just hold the camera than waste money on junk that will ruin the shot or worse break the camera.
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