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Under Water, Over Land
Tools & Techniques for Nature, Outdoors, Wildlife & Underwater Videography.


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Old July 16th, 2007, 03:14 AM   #1
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Sticks, head with XL-H1?

Cartoni F102 with Focus head? Miller SOLO with Focus or Arrow 30? Gitzo sticks with either head? Have seen some discussions here but...All matters relative to stability and weight are of most concern. Have the Cartoni F102 (two-stage, 100mm bowl) and Focus head on loan. Focus seems very good. Concern is with bulkiness, weight of aluminum sticks. Often hike to location, shooting in rough terrain.

Don't know the Miller single-tube per leg model at all, but worry about Gitzo-like twist locks on legs. Don't know the Arrow, either. Had very bad experiences with Gitzo carbon-fiber sticks, but am told that new, one-quarter turn, twist-lock design has been introduced for multi-stage tripods.

NB: In addition to stock lens, am using Canon EF 100-400mm w/ adapter plus (sometimes) 1.5x extender. Shot Jupiter and four of its moons tonight. Great stuff! (I normally shoot hummingbirds and other wildlife.)

Would appreciate any comments you have to offer.

Thanks.

Tom Kaminski
Avian Video Center
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Old July 16th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #2
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Tom,

I have been doing a lot of rresearch on tripods sense i fell and broke my last one.

My general accessment after reading dozens of reviews, emailing others that use various pods, is that the miller arrow 30 is the standout tripod. This was true of those using larger lenses in particular.

The miller solo legs has been given pretty good reviews. I personally think that I would have them for packing in or carrying to sites that you can't drive to. This tripod is on my list for next spring. I reckon the miller solo with arrow 25 would be a great set. About 4000 dollars however.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #3
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Sticks and Bones

Thank you, David. $4,000 is about double the amount I budgeted for a field tripod/head. But, as you noted, time is growing shorter, and my bones are getting creakier. Soooo...I'll take another look at Miller.

Tom
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Old July 16th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #4
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Oops! I meant Dale

...and the mind is growing feebler. Thank you Dale (not David).

So much for multi-tasking.

Tom
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Old July 16th, 2007, 02:29 PM   #5
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If you have that kind of money, I would suggest the
Vinten Vison 3 kit. About $2K with aluminum legs.

The new Miller tripods I have seen break easily and are not
anywhere as nice, but they go for less than $2K too.

At NAB I tried out the Cartoni Focus and thought it was
pretty nice, but I have also read that it might not be
as durable as the Vinten.

WMMV.
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Old July 16th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #6
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Gitzo 1380 fluid head 75mm bowl base with the new Gitzo carbon fibre legs I would put it up against anything on the market within its price range.
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Old July 21st, 2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Tom,

Im using a Vinten Vision 6 head with a Gitzo 1410 aluminium legset. Quite heavy but its rock solid and can go very low to the ground. Since you have a bigger budget, I would rec that you try out the Gitzo 6X CF legs that John has recommended. The G-locks are very much improved and there are many a satisfied user worldwide.

Do try out the Millers too (I was going to try them out but the price was a tad too much). I was looking at the slightly cheaper Gitzo G5540 which has a height of 2.1m if I recall correctly.

Cheers

Han
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Old July 22nd, 2007, 12:25 AM   #8
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Tom,

Whatever you decide to do I would appreciate hearing what you got and a review of how they turn out for you!!

When I bought my legs I got themwith the idea of getting a vinton vison 6 later to use under my other camera.

Bottom line it boils down to money, get the best you can afford.

Problem is, to many choices.

pretty safe going vinten, sachtler, miller, higher end models though!!
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Old July 23rd, 2007, 04:25 PM   #9
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If you go with the Miller DV solo tripod, watch your camera closely. When the legs are seperated with no extension of the legs the legs are not far apart. Sort of like standing with your feet close together, you dont have that good of balance. I have seen that tripod fall over several times with a camera attached.
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