Gitzo GT-3540XLS and Miller 1505 (3-stage Solo DV) at DVinfo.net

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Old March 5th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #1
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Gitzo GT-3540XLS and Miller 1505 (3-stage Solo DV)

I am in the middle of finding the perfect tripod (if it exists) within my budget range (1500 - 2500 EURO). I have narrowed it down to the Vinten Vision 3 or 6 and Sachtler DV-6 SB or DV-8 SB.

I have heard so many good things about the Miller Solo DV legs that I am really convinced that these type of legs are ideal for my type of shooting. I plan to shoot weddings, theater productions, corporate video and documentary. My goal is to make wildlife/nature documentaries. For all of these things, the two tripods mentioned seem like the optimal solution. Both are made from carbon fiber, only weigh around 2 - 2.5kg and the Gitzo has a lifetime warranty.

The only concern I have is with levelling the head. I used to have a Bogen 503/351MVB2 combination which I could level easily by turning a stick under the head and rotating/turning it untill the level bubble was in the right place. I want to be sure that this can be achieved on the above mentioned tripods. I do know I need a 75mm bowl adapter for the Gitzo.

These are links to both products:

Gitzo GT-3540XLS
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Miller 1505
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont....x=0&image.y=0

My personal preference goes to the Gitzo. It goes anywhere from 201cm to only 10cm which is truly amazing.

One another question I have is: what are the disadvantages of this type of tripod? Most professional video tripods are off the other type with a ground or mid-level spreader which has to have a reason. The Gitzo/Miller design is similair to all photography tripods. Is there a trade-off?

Sorry for all the questions but I really want to make a good choice!
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Old March 5th, 2007, 07:06 PM   #2
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Boy, you ask a lot of questions! ;>)
A trade-off is that you have only 3 floor positions, (Miller Solo) so if you want to place it on a dolly or something, you can spread the legs in 3 preorganised settings. With a mid- or floor spreader you are free to adjust the feetposition in its range.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #3
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Thanks raymond. That's something I can live with.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 02:28 PM   #4
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Interesting thread--I've researched both legs. The Gitzo GT-3540XLS is a brand new tripod that has some innovations new to Gitzo like anti-leg rotation (older Gitzo legs spun so you had to lock them in a certain order), G-Lock locking collars and 6 layers of carbon. This tripod is also part of Gitzo's "Systematic" line which means the flat plate on top of the tripod can be removed and you can replace it with various accessories like a 75mm bowl, 100mm bowl, or various center columns. I have an old Gitzo G-340 tripod and I do the same thing--swap out the top plate for a 100mm bowl and my OConnor mounts just fine.

The advantages that the Gitzo has over the Miller are:

- You can change the top to be a 75mm or a 100mm bowl.
- It's lighter: 4.3 lbs vs 6.8 lbs
- It's a little less expensive.

The advantages that the Miller has over the Gitzo are:

- It has spiked feet built-in.
- It's rated for more weight.
- It has a padded top section and comes with a shoulder strap.

The differences between these types of tripods and spreader tripods are:

- These are less bulky when closed because they don't have multiple tubes.
- These generally weigh less and cost less because they don't have a spreader.
- These have 3 fixed leg angles and can go very low, but the spreader tripods IMO are somewhat faster to set up and adjust.
- The spreader tripods generally hold more weight.
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Old March 6th, 2007, 04:09 PM   #5
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Thanks Tim. What a great reply. I have no experience with Gitzo so your comments are very welcome. I do know that Gitzo is the #1 choice of photographers and they make really durable gear. I hear many positive things about the Miller so I did some research and found out about this new Gitzo line.

The Gitzo can hold 18kg which is plenty for my gear. With a Vinten Vision 3 or Sachtler DV-6 head it leaves 15kg for my gear. The heads go to a maximum of 10kg so the extra capacity of the Miller is not necessary. The spiked feet are nice but I can buy them separately. With regards to the padded section, how much of an advantage is that? I thought it might damage and faster and with padded things, once a flap is loose it all goes loose.

So the only disadvantage for me compared to spreader tripods is the setup time but I reckon it will be a difference of seconds not minutes.

One final question I have and I need to be sure about this is with regards to the bowl. With the heads, there is something sticking out underneath which with you can level the ball (ball leveler is what Manfrotto calls it). I want to be able to level the head like this but I have read that some Gitzo tripods require you to level the head with the legs -- which is not desired. Do you know if my preferred way to level is possible with this tripod?

Again, many thanks for all information that you are sharing!
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Old March 6th, 2007, 04:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floris van Eck View Post
One final question I have and I need to be sure about this is with regards to the bowl. With the heads, there is something sticking out underneath which with you can level the ball (ball leveler is what Manfrotto calls it). I want to be able to level the head like this but I have read that some Gitzo tripods require you to level the head with the legs -- which is not desired. Do you know if my preferred way to level is possible with this tripod?
Yes, you can do that with this tripod. You just need to buy the Gitzo bowl adapter and install it to the tripod:

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

There is a possibility the tie down cup from your head may be too small for the opening in the Gitzo bowl. This was a problem with Cartoni Focus heads and Miller Solo VJ legs. You might want to call or email Bogen (Gitzo) and Sachtler to find out if they will fit and that there are no other compatibility issues.

I agree, the padding is not really an issue. You can always buy commercially available padding for the Gitzo if you wanted to.
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Old March 7th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #7
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Thanks Tim. I will see if I can find out if they are compatible. I do think so, as I think the Cartoni Focus head is a bit strange and therefore does not fit the Miller. I thought it had to do with the height of some elements.

Anyway, I have sent Gitzo an e-mail. The Miller is also an option but then I get a 100mm bowl so I would have to go for the DV-8 SB/100. Which is definitely an option. The difference is 10cm in height at the top and 10cm in height at the bottom. The Miller goes from 22cm to 188cm while the Gitzo goes from 10cm to 201cm. But like you said, the Miller holds 12kg more weight.

What I really like from Miller are the stories of users on their website where you can see that those Solo tripods are really put to the test by professionals.
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