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Old May 10th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #16
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hey frank..i did read that thread...twice i think. i called Leo's Camera and they quoted me a price of 2299 Canadian dollars for the system i wanted (DS 10 -2 stage) and the case was an extra 200. i asked the guy what the US equivalent was and he didn't know...he thought it was .70 US to the Canadian 1.00 ...is that right? he also told me that shipping would take an extra 7 days and some story how these reps sent them a can of popcorn and it cost Leo's 40 dollars to clear customs...is the duty tax (is that what it is?) gonna be alot? i haven't sent an inquiry to the Tasmania dudes yet....i asked you about the cost of getting one sent over but you hadn't ordered one yet (on the other forum).... do you happen to know what the charges are?

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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:41 PM   #17
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A good site for foreign exchange calculations

http://www.oanda.com/convert/classic
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:54 PM   #18
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You're thinking about the low-end Gitzo G2380, I believe. The G1380 is, indeed, a true fluid head -- that's why B&H sells the head alone for $809.

With a decent set of sticks, like the CF Bogens that DV.com just reviewed, you'll easily exceed $2,000. For that money I certainly hope it's a bonafide fluid head. In fact, the word "Fluide" is labeled right across the thing.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #19
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<<<-- Originally posted by Danny Dale : so the Gitzo 1380 is the Bogen 505? is it a modified 505 or did they just slap their name on it? -->>>

Actually, it is Bogen who "slaps their name on it." It is a Gitzo original that Bogen (the North America importer for both Manfrotto and Gitzo) imports and rebadges as the 505. The Bogen version is actually cheaper by about $100, but I don't know if something is missing in the Bogen kit (like the six springs) or what.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 08:43 PM   #20
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Bogen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Manfrotto. The Bogen family sold their interest after Lester Bogen died. Manfrotto bought Gitzo when they were about to go out of business. Tripods and such are not Manfrottos biggest business, they make department store fixtures and mannequins.

On the Bogen site, the Gitzo head is clearly labeled as having "Lubricated Friction Drag Controls".
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Old May 10th, 2003, 09:33 PM   #21
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You're right you old dog! leos and Miller Canada are at the same address. Leos should be able to compete on a whole pile of brands.


http://www.millercanada.com/home.html



Don't Manfrotto own Gitzo. Bogen is just the distributor in the US and screws the numbering system up big time for the rest of the world.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 10:24 PM   #22
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Manfrotto owns both Bogen and Gitzo. The Bogen name is to well known in the States to switch it to the parent company. It would be a huge mistake, the Bogen name is probably known by every SLR, medium and large format photographer in the States.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 10:38 PM   #23
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<<<-- On the Bogen site, the Gitzo head is clearly labeled as having "Lubricated Friction Drag Controls". -->>>

Jeff, thanks for clarification on the whole Bogen/Manfrotto/Gitzo relationship. I wasn't aware that they all slept in the same bed, but I suppose that's why some of the products are identical only with different badges.

As far as the "Lubricated Friction Drag Controls" are concerned, isn't that what all "fluid" heads are? The big difference being that many of the cheaper heads who claim to be a "fluid" are indeed just friction -- without the fluid?

I mean, there has to be frictional contact in there somewhere, right?
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:36 PM   #24
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Brendan, I'm glad you followed up your own post. I was about to correct your thinking on this head. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but it is NOT a true fluid head. "Fluide" is a term used to accomplish what it did in your case... it's misleading.

A true fluid head pushes oil through valving to accomplish what we feel as drag. Closing off valving creates resistance to increase the drag effect.

The super expensive heads aren't filled with pixy-dust... there is a little basis to justify the high price... proving again that more or less, you get what you pay for.

In our case I feel like we got a lot more then we paid for, but I wouldn't argue that the g1380 head is anywhere near the absolute best... in reality I'll wager that anybody in here would pick this head over any other head under $1k if they were blindfolded though.

Just because this head creates drag from the friction between two lubricated dissimilar surfaces... doesn't mean it isn't amazingly smooth and pleasurable to use.

Hey all you happy readers! If you enjoy the posts you've read from Matt Gettemeier (tm) about this topic then please apply them to memory because I've just reached that "magic moment" where I can no longer look at this new tripod system as anything other then a "tool"... aww, all that money and now I'm just tossing it into a bag until tomorrow. After a million pans and tilts and countless hours of admiring the almost hydraulic feel of this head, I'm bored. It's just another hammer, but it's a damn good one that I plan to use in some quality video construction.

Use what you brung. If your pod is total crap then nobody has to tell you. You already know. If your pod is decent then enjoy it and make some beautiful video.

Best Regards... Now go use your video talents for good, not evil. What? Never mind... too much wine.

Oh yeah, a message to DD... get the absolute best pod you can afford... if it's Miller, get that. If it's Vinten or Satchler, get that. You will almost never regret spending too much on an item like this... it's far more likely that you'll later regret spending too little.
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:47 PM   #25
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Foreign currencyconversion.

By all means use the online coverter to check but the safest way to do bussuness is use your credit card so long as the company will accept it.

If I buy something from the US (I'm Canadian) or if I travel to the US I use my credit card and I'm ensured that i will receive the best and the latest conversion rates.There is usually a 2 or 3% spread between buy and sell in currencies. If the banktae is .70 US for one can dollar then you'll usually pay $0.72. A month or so ago it was 63 cents
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Old May 10th, 2003, 11:53 PM   #26
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Matt: I've just reached that "magic moment" where I can no longer look at this new tripod system as anything other then a "tool".
Indeed, been there...twice. You do your research, take your best swing and then on to the next pitch! There is some curious, hypnotic aspect to shopping for a tripod that's akin only to that of shopping for a camera.
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Matt: You will almost never regret spending too much on an item like this... it's far more likely that you'll later regret spending too little.
Short of facing mortgage foreclosure or sacrifice of the kids' college funds, this is very true. Your abililty to resell top-grade equipment will likely be better. Plus, trying to save a buck may actually end-up being a "wish-I-would-have" tax when/if you ultimately spring for what you really wanted/needed in the first place.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 06:40 AM   #27
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Thanks for the education, Matt and Jeff.

I jess love lernin' gnu things! ;-)
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Old May 11th, 2003, 07:34 AM   #28
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Getting back to the original questions of sorts. Assuming you get two different cameras, fluid heads are better able to accommodate the different weights, center of gravity, etc. Friction heads wear much easier than fluid heads. A friction head that is used on heavier loads, wears a certain way. When a lighter camera is used, the wear causes the head to have different performance characteristics. In other words it will pan one way with a heavy load and a different way for lighter loads. By no means is it impossible for the operator to switch tripod handling styles, but it does make the job harder.

Friction heads typically wear faster and need to be rebuilt more often (or replaced). True fluid heads wear also, but unless abused, at a much slower rate. Fluid heads are more costly to rebuild. My original fluid head, an O'Connor 50, is almost 20 years old and has been rebuilt once at a cost of $500. My original Sachtler Video 16 is over 10 years old and has never been rebuilt.

If used with any regularity, I would say that the average well built friction head, will need to be rebuilt every 3 to 5 years. The frequency will depend on the weight of the camera used on it, how the tripod is treated, and frequency of use. Operator handling is key. I've seen many friction heads damaged by operators forgetting to unlock the movements or over tightening the friction controls.

My advice is to get the very best you can afford. To me the tripod is second only to the camera in importance. No amount of fixing in post will cure bad or sloppy moves.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 08:59 AM   #29
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You guys will have to forgive me for adding a slight change in direction to this thread, but everybody's been so cool on this thread that I'd rather post it here. Also I think it IS related to the subject at hand, getting the best pod for the money... so that you can make the best moves for your video.

Does anybody else like two arms on their head? (No obvious jokes here.) I feel that if any pan speed change or slight studder occurs that the effort used with both hands/arms dampens human induced error. Some may pose the argument that using two hands doubles the chances for human induced mistakes, but personally I'm abidexterous and I find that I can control my own inadequacy with my other hand... anybody else feel the same?

My point is that as a shopper, I would also choose a head that allows for left or right pan arm mount. That way you can use two arms if your doing a lot of tele/critical work on a given day.

The second bonus of this is that if you are doing close up work and want to use an off cam shotgun you can mount your Magic Arm* to the side you aren't using for the second pan arm... that way the cam and mic are pointed at the subject and the mic is plenty far off cam to eliminate handling/cam noise AND because of the (hopefully) smooth motion of the head your mic will be perfectly boomed for you.

*In case you don't know, Manfrotto makes a handy little item called a Magic Arm... it is just like your arm with an elbow and two rotating ball ends with studs... then a flip of the lever or a twist of the dial (your choice of style) locks the articulated arm into whatever position you put it in... VERY clever... also very handy for one man shooting where you don't have the luxury of a seperate sound man. Look into it, you'll be glad you did. BTW it can also hold lights or an umbrella. You'll thank me after you get one.

So to recap. One or two arms? I say sometimes one, sometimes two... in my case it was only an extra $35 to have the second arm as an option... for me this ability is one to pay attention to when you buy a head.

And to answer the question about why the Gitzo g1380 costs $100 more then the Bogen 505? The Gitzo includes 1 extra spring (6 rather then 5... and at $40-$75 a pop that matters) and Gitzo also uses a beautiful gray/black metalic finish that complicates production more then a simple black powdercoat. Easy $100 difference.
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Old May 11th, 2003, 10:18 AM   #30
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ok, some really good info here. a couple replies have been "get the best you can afford"....but the advice i'm looking for is whether the tilt/pan action on the Sachtler DV6 or Vinten Vision 3 worth the extra $600 over the Miller DS10, or, am i paying that much just for the extra features (adjustable tilt/drag)? i originally was looking at the DV4 (same price as DS10) but i really do want a mid-level spreader and i believe i have to go with a DV6 for that (puts the price up there with the Vinten)...i'm gonna call B&H to ask about that. the price difference could pay for my next acquisition..the ME-66 + some accessories.

i know i have asked those questions before but i guess i'm looking for the tripod gods to respond "yes, you'll notice a difference right away"...or "there's not that much difference, save the cash and get the mike". i know this might sound silly to some but i think it helps....

either way, your replies have helped tremendously...

danny
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