Which tripod are you using with the Canon XL-H1? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 16th, 2007, 11:23 AM   #1
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Which tripod are you using with the Canon XL-H1?

I know that there is a tripod sub-forum but my question is specifically for XL-H1 owners and although some of them will visit the sub-forum, many of them will not so I think this is the right place to post this message.

I am currently using a Bogen 503 head and am not very satisfied with its performance. I read very good things about the Libec LS-38 on this forum but am wondering what kind of tripod other people are using with the XL-H1.

Does it have a counterbalance mechanism?
Does it have friction control?
How much weight can it carry?
What is the price?

I just want to learn a little bit more before I make a new purchase. I already have a buyer for the Bogen so that will not be a problem. I use the 351MVBII legs and I also do not like the way they work. So that the Bogen/Manfrotto kit I have will be replaced is already decided upon. I only want to have some feedback on what combination other people are using.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #2
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Moved to Tripod Sticks & Heads -- Floris, please work with me to properly categorize the various discussions here on DV Info Net. I want our members to make full use of the entire site, not just one particular camcorder forum.

Pretty soon I'm going to implement a way to put direct links in all of the various camcorder sections to not only this forum but also our sections devoted to monitors / lighting / audio / etc.

If I can locate most of the numerous threads that discuss "which tripod for the XL-H1," I'll try to merge all of them together.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 10:09 AM   #3
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Dear Floris,

I use a Sachtler DV8-100 with Speed Lock II Carbon Fiber Legs.

This set has a mid-level spreader.

I am more than pleased with the setup. It has never let me down.

I believe the DV8-100 is now the DV12 which more accurately descibes it load carrying capacity. I believe it will work properly with up to 12 Kilograms.

The legs (only) will support 225 pounds.

One good thing about the Sachtler's is that the are engineered to work in extremes of weather. They are still smooth when it is much colder than I want to be.

How heavy is your setup (now) and how heavy do you expect it to be in the future when you add more accessories?

Please be advised that a tripod like this will not work well with a very light camera. There is a range of weights that are proper for any tripod setup. For example, will you could mount an HV10 on the tripod, it will be difficult to properly counterbalance it.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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Thanks Dan. My setup is around 5/6kg right now and I expect it to become 8 - 10 when I add an external monitor and matte box in the future.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 06:00 AM   #5
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If you purchase a high quality tripod, like a Sachtler, you will have at least two advantages:

1. It will do a great job (rock steady, smooth starts to any pan or tilt).
2. And it will last you through multiple cameras.

As these tripods are very sturdy, you can usually purchase with reasonable confidence.

I overbought for my relatively lightweight XL1s and have grown into it with my XL H1, mattebox, Firestore, etc.

I recently noticed something interesting. If you see an ad in a magazine for a high end camera, more often than not it is mounted on a Sachtler tripod.

If you overbuy and buy a tripod whose minimum weight is greater than the weight of your current camera, then it will be difficult to counterbalance the camera. By this I mean that if you put the tripod on minimum drag and do not lock down, then at high degrees of tilt, the camera may slowly move back to level. This can be compensated for by adding some tension in the "lock down" lever.

While the above works, it is always better to be within the weight range of the tripod.

If your camera is underweight, you can add weight to the camera or something between the tripod head and the camera. Extra weight is sometimes desirable as it gives the camera more inertia thus helping with smooth pans. Extra weight is not great if you have to lug it over a long distance.

Be sure to get a tripod with a leveling ball. This makes life much easier.

Also, better tripod legs, such as the Speed Lock II CF legs and others, have leg locks that work without you having to bend down. These are much better than the simple barrel locks that many tripods have.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 06:16 AM   #6
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Thanks again Dan. I really like the Sachtler's but I do not have the budget for them at this moment. I am thinking about a Libec now and later on when I am really in business I will take a look at a Sachtler.

Which other brands have you used?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 06:25 AM   #7
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How good are the lower priced Sachtlers? And which model would be the minimum required for a Canon XL-H1?

This model might just fit in my budget:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old February 18th, 2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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Dear Floris,

That model is too light. I recommend a higher end model.

I will research and get back with you.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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I also did a little bit more research and came up with this model:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Other tripods worth looking at are the Vinten Vision 3. I guess I will stick to me my Bogen 503 a little bit longer and then buy a tripod I can use the next 10-years or so instead of outgrowing another tripod.

The only other option I am considering right now is the Libec LS-55. It has no counterbalance system but I am not sure wether I will miss that yes or no. That is the thing I have to discover. What kind of shooting is impossible without a counterbalancing system? Maybe that will help me.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 02:45 PM   #10
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Dear Floris,

I like your latest selection better.

I prefer a 100mm bowl as they are more study and will allow you to get a heavier duty tripod head at some latter date.

Have you looked for used tripods, or do you wish to purchase new?

A counterbalance system, in my opinion, is most important. This allows you to set up the tripod to match the weight and balance of your camera. Then when you tilt the tripod, the camera will stay in one place, if the counter balance is set correctly.

I can not imagine a professional tripod without a counter balance system or a sliding mount so that you can perform the necessary balancing.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; February 18th, 2007 at 07:33 PM.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #11
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Thanks again Dan. I have looked at 100mm bowl alternatives but they will add like another $1000 to the total price. I figure I can spend something like $1500-2000. When my business lifts off, I want to buy a second camera and thus I need a second tripod and at that moment I might look at 100mm. But for all the camera's I imagine myself using the next five years, a 75mm bowl is sufficient. Do you recommend the Sachtler or Vinten kits? Or is it better to buy the head and legs seperatly. I read about some people going for a Vinten 3 with Miller Solo DV legs. What are other good options besides the Sachtler's? Do you know anything about the Miller fluid heads?
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Old February 18th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #12
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The more I look at your latest selection, the better I like it. It seems to have a very wide range for camera weight and a wide range of counter balance options.

Personally, I recommend a system by one manufacturer. I feel this way as I feel the system would be much easier to sell and have higher resell value.

On the other hand, mixing and matching is done all the time.

I agree with you that a 100mm bowl may add another $1000.

Yes, I would recommend the kits.
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Old February 18th, 2007, 07:26 PM   #13
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Well - I'll add my fourpennys worth....

I do shows and events as well as corporate stuff so I have a couple of Vinten Pro-130s, and a Miller DS30. they're OK for shows etc with smaller cameras, but on corporates with my DSR-450, I thought I was missing something...

I was on a shoot a while ago, tried a Sachtler that another camerman was using and wanted one ever since. After a long wait and a wrestle with my conscience over the amount of money, I finally got a used Video 20 with carbon legs. It's just so much smoother and easier to use than anything else I've tried.

Best advice is to go to a shop with your camera and try a few - beware though Sachtler's are expensive(!) and for me, once you've tried one (particularly the 18 or 20) anything else is a poor second!

Good Luck
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:18 AM   #14
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I'm using a Sachtler 6SB with Miller Solo dv legs. That is a smooth combi, going high and low. (uploaded some images but do not know where they are going...)
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Old February 21st, 2007, 10:57 AM   #15
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The Miller Solo DV legs... do you have a link to them on BH Photo Video? I get multiple hits and do not know which everyone is referring to.
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