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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:34 PM   #1
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Tripod Recommendations

I have searched the forum pretty hard, and am not finding a whole lot of discussion on tripods & heads. I know there is the Support Your Camera section, but I am more interesting in opinions from the point of view of weddings, where the needs are a little different than studio and location type stuff.

I am looking to support some HMC150s, which are around 4 lbs. I have kind of homed in on the Libec LS38 or the Manfrotto 503HDV and undecided on legs for it. One drawback I see on the Libec is the floor spreader, which could be a pain to set up and move around quickly. Repositioning because someone steps in the way doesn't look to easy with that one, although I have seen some good opinions and reviews on the head itself.

What do you all like & dislike?

Thanks,

Mike
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Old March 24th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #2
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I really like the LS38. The only downside is the inability to adjust the friction. But it's really smooth. Personally I strongly recommend the LS38 over the 503HDV which I found to be a little jerky and loose.

T
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Old March 24th, 2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Petrucco View Post
I have searched the forum pretty hard, and am not finding a whole lot of discussion on tripods & heads. I know there is the Support Your Camera section, but I am more interesting in opinions from the point of view of weddings, where the needs are a little different than studio and location type stuff.

I am looking to support some HMC150s, which are around 4 lbs. I have kind of homed in on the Libec LS38 or the Manfrotto 503HDV and undecided on legs for it. One drawback I see on the Libec is the floor spreader, which could be a pain to set up and move around quickly. Repositioning because someone steps in the way doesn't look to easy with that one, although I have seen some good opinions and reviews on the head itself.

What do you all like & dislike?

Thanks,

Mike
hi, I'm in the same position as you do .. I wanted something easy to move around and lightweight. I'm using a DVX102.

I got myself a manfrotto head 701RC2. Some said it's real fluid head ... some said it's not.. However I tested it out.. it feels almost like 501HDV, I couldn't feel the differences other than the variable friction control and also the Counterbalance.

Now looking for the legs.. some ideas in mind : manfrotto 055 carbon fibre, velbon, or a gitzo 2330. All of them are very lightweight.. and tall enough .
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Old March 25th, 2009, 03:47 PM   #4
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That Libec looks like a a great value/$, but I am afraid it's legs are not good for quick set-up and moving around. I may go with a 503HDV. Anyone have any pluses or minuses on using that head for weddings
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Old March 25th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #5
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I've got a Libec LS-22,T-68 legs, and the floor spreader if you want to check it out locally. It might give you a better idea of how the LS38 might handle.

It's this setup,
Libec | LS-22(2A) Professional Tripod System | LS222A | B&H

I like it, and use it more often than my Bogen tripod.
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Old March 25th, 2009, 04:21 PM   #6
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To be honest, I've never found a floor spreader that much of a problem - I've got mid range Libec, and a heavy duty Vinten - both with floor spreaders, and if you need to strike quickly, then all you need is a length of cord tied to the centre loop, going up to the head end. To strike in a hurry, just pull up on the cord and it collapses - that's it!

I've also got a couple of old Manfrotto 503s, and a Vinten clone. To be very honest, they're not a patch on the Libec, and of course, the Vinten heavy duty one is by far the best. I'm not sure if it's possible to choose a head without playing with them - you need to put your camera on them and play. For me, it's not the 'fluid' feel, it's can they keep the camera at the angle I want, when I let go of the pan handle?
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Old March 26th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kevin Dorsey View Post
I've got a Libec LS-22,T-68 legs, and the floor spreader if you want to check it out locally. It might give you a better idea of how the LS38 might handle.

It's this setup,
Libec | LS-22(2A) Professional Tripod System | LS222A | B&H

I like it, and use it more often than my Bogen tripod.
Kevin- I might take you up on that. I'll send you a PM.
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Old March 26th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #8
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Paul- that is a great idea. The Libec seems more heavy duty than the Manfrotto, at least as far as I can infer from reviews and descriptions. That is a drawback for not living near any pro equipment dealer.
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Old March 27th, 2009, 07:10 AM   #9
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I've just taken delivery of a Libec LS-22. I've yet to use it at a wedding but initial tests prove pretty positive - quick to set up and level, smooth pans and tilts.

I also bought a Libec monopod MP66DV as some of you swear by monopods so I thought I'd try one

Pete
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Old March 28th, 2009, 10:43 PM   #10
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Here's what I bought from B&H:
Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 351MVB2 Tripod Legs | 503351MVB2K
Cost with shipping was about $500 (a little more now). Excellent sticks and head. Head has half ball for easy leveling without adjusting legs, really nice.
Randy
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Old March 29th, 2009, 12:05 AM   #11
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Randy, I have the same sticks but the 501 heads. I love them!
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Old March 29th, 2009, 01:39 AM   #12
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I am using the Manfrotto 055XPRO with the 701RC2 head and I find them easy to work on weddings and other staff too. Not too expensive either.

Stelios
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Old March 30th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #13
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I use Manfredo 501 and it works really well for what I do
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Old March 30th, 2009, 12:47 PM   #14
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I use 503 with 28b legs. Manfrotto | 028B Tripod Legs

the mid level spreader lets you control the leg spread, for weddings mobile setup i keep the legs in close so its like a mono pod, and grip the geared column to quickly reposition, one stage legs are great for fast setup. The geared column can give you that extra height you often need to shoot over ppl.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:05 PM   #15
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Of those three, the 701RC2, 501 and 503, I believe only the 503 is a true fluid head
By the Way Manfrotto is having a sale right now. Buy a select model and get a
monopod or padded carrying bag for free.
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