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Mick Haensler
tripod kit opinions
on Jan 7, 2008 at 3:30:36 pm

I'm in the market for a new set of sticks for my EX-1. I've been using a Bogen 503 head on 1100 series sticks for my Z-1's for the past 3 years and I want to step up a bit. Not exactly thrilled with the Bogen stuff. I've been looking at the Cartoni Focus. The head gets rave reviews but the sticks don't. I've also been looking at the lower end Sachtler kits but alas, I have no way to do a hands on. I don't want to spend more than $1500 total including bag.

I would also like to find a set of lightweight, packable "backpack" type sticks with a 100mm ball for wildlife and international shoots. I will be doing quite a bit of outdoor stuff in backcountry situations and possibly a trip to Guatemala this year. All opinions from hands on experience are greatly appreciated.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media



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Craig Seeman
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 2:01:58 am

I'm in the same hunt. I was looking at Bogen 503HDV or Sachtler FSB6. It's nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find reviews though. Sachtler's "seem" better but it's hard to tell without hearing from those with experience. My current tripod is over 15 years old so tripods may well be the longest lasting piece of gear one gets, if it's good. The Sachtler FSB6 is the upper limit of my budget but I'm always cautious about buying a "name" rather than a product that really outperforms another product.

Any thoughts?


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ken hon
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 8:49:21 am

Aloha Craig and Mick,

We have had a number of light to intermediate Sachtler Tripods, none of which are made any more. We've had 3 Video 14's and a DV-4 all of which carry loads between 15-20 lbs (full sized camcorders). I personally like the feel of the Sachtler heads though 2 of ours no longer work correctly (ooops, they got too hot and the gooey oil spurts out......).

We also have a 503 head and I don't like the movement of it as well, but that may just be me. We have a Miller DV tripod too and it was fine. If you have a chance you might want to go play with some of these.

And I noticed that the price of the Sachtlers has really gone up in the last 1-2 years, yikes. Can this be the Euro? Funny, German mikes are still about the same. What gives?

Mick also was wondering about a lightweight tripod. We put together this Frankensteeen's monster tripod for backpacking. It has Gitzo G1157 Carbon legs, an Acratech ball level, and a Manfrotto 701RC2 head. Works ok and is about as light as you can get and not have it tip over with a camera on it.

Hope this is useful.

Aloha,

Ken





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Craig Seeman
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 12:55:28 pm

Ken, it seems the FSB6 has replaced the DV4 since the FSB6 is priced just a bit cheaper than the DV6. FSB6 with 1 stage Aluminum legs start at $1349 at B&H. DV6SB starts at $1749 at B&H.

FSB6
and
DV6SB
Which doesn't really tell much.


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ken hon
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 7:07:42 pm

Aloha Craig,

I kinda figured that, it's just that we paid around 900 for the DV4 a couple of years ago. It's a pretty big price jump. Anyway, if you're using a matte box or doing a lot of telephoto shots outside, the bigger tripods are worth it for wind stability. The Sachtler sliding legs have always worked well for us. We get lots of volcanic glass and stuff crunching in the legs but they've never gotten stuck (of course the feet have a tendency to melt off, but no one seems to make a tripod with melt proof feet).

Most of the production crews that come through here use Video 18 or 20's which are like a rock in high winds, but then again they weigh more than the average boulder too.

Miller and Cartoni also make some lower end tripods that are worth considering too. But you really need to mount your camera on them and see how they feel to you when panning.

Aloha,

Ken





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Wayne Carey
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 10:23:40 pm

Give a real good look at the Gitzo tripods. They are lightweight and sturdy. Plus, they have the advantage of 100 percent posable legs. Meaning, when working in nature, you can set your legs for any enviornment.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://www.schazamproductions.com
http://blogs.creativecow.net/waynecarey


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Mick Haensler
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 8, 2008 at 6:41:22 pm

[ken hon] "Mick also was wondering about a lightweight tripod. We put together this Frankensteeen's monster tripod for backpacking. It has Gitzo G1157 Carbon legs, an Acratech ball level, and a Manfrotto 701RC2 head. Works ok and is about as light as you can get and not have it tip over with a camera on it.

Hope this is useful."


Very much so. I'm thinking my best bet here is to rig something similar from my still camera tripod which is very lightweight. Optimally I'd like this rig to serve double duty for still photography and video. I shot in Guatemala last year and went with a 501 head on a lightweight set of Bogen sticks. It strapped to the back of my Cinebag backpack and I was able to carry it on the plane with no problem. The sticks had a bad flip lock that kept slipping and had to be taped and any amount of wind over 5-10 mph rendered this rig useless. I need something more robust.

Mick Haensler
Higher Ground Media






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Gary Alan
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 10, 2008 at 1:20:48 am

I got a Sachtler DV8 with carbon sticks and a mid level spreader. The DV8 allows me to use a newer LCD teleprompter when needed. And it is not any heavier than the DV6.

Gary

Mac Pro 3Ghz Intel Dual Duo, 6GB RAM, 30" ACD
MacBook Pro 17"
Sony XDCAM EX with a Sachtler Tripod System


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Craig Seeman
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 11, 2008 at 8:59:28 pm

I got the Sachtler FSB-6 with 2 Stage Carbon Fiber Speed Lock Legs. Very nice system and just a bit less expensive than the DV 6SB (and DV 8SB of course). FSB-6 looks to be good if you don't quite have the budget for higher DV models.

FSB-6 & Carbon Speed Lock Legs


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Gary Alan
Re: tripod kit opinions
on Jan 12, 2008 at 3:10:32 am

Craig,
I almost got the same system. But my new employer wants a teleprompter at times and the DV 8 is something like 31 lbs. payload. I did get the sticks you mentioned. Definitely go your way if you don't need that higher weight limit. And the soft bag they give with the system is very nice with a real soft leather handle.

Gary

Mac Pro 3Ghz Intel Dual Duo, 6GB RAM, 30" ACD
MacBook Pro 17"
Sony XDCAM EX with a Sachtler Tripod System


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