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Old March 3rd, 2007, 01:10 AM   #1
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Very basic noob question about video tripods

Most of my experience to date has been with still cameras.

All of my tripods are fitted with a 3/8" threaded stub to which the heads attach.

I'm looking for a sturdier tripod for video and have been looking at Manfrotto and other lines of video tripods, but they all refer to a half bowl mounting system.

Could someone explain to me how this mounting system works? For example, do the heads that attach to this kind of tripod have a bowl shaped section that mates to the tripod? I would think the purpose of the bowl is to facilitate leveling the camera, but I may be wrong.

If I have the right idea, is there any kind of adapter that would let me use my existing collection of tripod heads with such a tripod?

Or am I completely confused???

My camera is a GL-2, so it's quite light, but I want a sturdier tripod partly so I can weight it down to minimize vibration and jiggling while panning, etc.

Seems like a good idea, but I'd also like any comments on this thought, pro or con.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 07:09 AM   #2
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No, the bowl is integrated into the tripod head. It's part of the design of the head. A large threaded bolt extends out of the bottom of the bowl, to which a mating hand-turned piece attaches to provide friction against the bowl in the base. Most video tripods have a bubble level integrated into the head - you're right about the function of the bowl. There are two main sizes of bowls - 75 mm and 100 mm. The 100mm size is more applicable to heavier/larger cameras (over say, 15 lbs.), and the 75 mm is usually employed for smaller rigs. Most of the time, tripods are sold as a system - head, legs, handle(s) and spreader. But you can buy them as separate pieces, too.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 10:44 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
No, the bowl is integrated into the tripod head. It's part of the design of the head.
Actually, on Manfrotto/Bogen gear, and lots of others as well, the bowl is removable, so you can swap 75 for 100. Bogen generally sells the head and top-bowl together, but you're safer to make sure you're getting both if you're buying a head and sticks separately. There might be some smaller heads that are integrated as you say, but my last two Bogen heads were indeed separate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Darling View Post
There are two main sizes of bowls - 75 mm and 100 mm. The 100mm size is more applicable to heavier/larger cameras (over say, 15 lbs.), and the 75 mm is usually employed for smaller rigs.
Be aware there's some 150mm bowls out there as well, if you're trolling Ebay. This is more for full-size motion picture gear.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 11:34 AM   #4
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Ah, I'm unfamiliar with Bogen's stuff, so that's good to know.

I have seen larger bowls, but they are relatively rare - hence the "two main sizes" comment.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 12:36 PM   #5
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Yeah, the bowls are sold seperately from the better branded heads. And the 'grip' that tightens the bowl can vary from a 'star knob' to a 'twist rod' but both work the same way.
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Old March 3rd, 2007, 11:19 PM   #6
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Thanks much. I think I've got it!
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