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Tripod for HDX900

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John Rosson
Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 4, 2009 at 8:53:22 pm

Folks,
I'm looking for a tripod for my HDX900.
It's a heavy camera compared to our previous, and the Manfrotto model we have isn't cutting it.
Any suggestions as to a good, fluid, preferably light-enough weight tripod that will be a solid performer?
Thank you,
JR


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John Cummings
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:12:05 pm

After you hang a lens, battery and perhaps a wireless receiver, mattebox and monitor on that camera, it could weigh close to 30 pounds or more.

There are no safe "lightweight" solutions. If you go with too small of a capacity head, you risk overloading the head or a leg collapse that could ruin your entire day. Trust me, I know about failures.

I'm a big fan of sachtler heads and tripods. I have the same camera and would suggest the video 18 head at the very least. Heads (and especially tripods) lose some load capacity as they age and wear, so you're always better off buying more capacity than you think you need.

Some guys I know use lighter Gitzo legs, but I feel safer with the HD legs from Sachtler.

Bottom line: this is one piece of gear where you get what you pay for.

J Cummings
Cameralogic/Chicago
cameralogic.tv
HDX-900/HDW-730S/DXC-D50


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Ernie Santella
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 5, 2009 at 12:34:14 am

Here's a few suggestions.

I'm old school and have used good old O'Connor 50D heads/Gitzo carbon fiber stix for years. Sure, they don't tilt 90˚ or have lighted bubbles, but they are rock solid, smooth as glass, built tough. I can even run a prompter on top of them with my HDX900. I highly recommend them and everybody thanks me when they get one. You can usually find them used on Ebay for $250-$750.

I tried a Manfrotto/Bogen 526 as a trial (A buddy is a rep for Bogen and let me test it for a while). Horrible. I could never get the head to be smooth, it just had a sticking issue starting and stopping. I chatted with the engineers, no dice. IMHO, they are just not ready for prime-time.

I did come across another nice head/system, the Libec H60. Very nice. Smooth, solid, lightweight and well worth the $$$$ compared to Sachtler, Vinton or some of the other heads.

http://www.libecsales.com/products/ls/h60.html


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John Rosson
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 5, 2009 at 2:28:53 pm

John/Ernie,

I've googled and found the Sachtler name -- and Ernie thank you for the Libec link.
Will investigate both -- and thank you gentlemen for your responses.

JR


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Robin Probyn
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 6, 2009 at 7:50:47 am

Also have HDX900. Sachtler 18 with light weight CF 2 stage legs,I think we be your best bet.. and as light weight as you would want to go.The off ground spreader is also very good.. once your used to it,you,ll never go back..



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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 6, 2009 at 3:19:03 pm

I've used the Vinten Vision 10 head and sticks for about 15years with a heavier Sony 500 and for the last 2-1/2 years with our HDX900 and it's worked beautifully and is lightweight.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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John Rosson
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 13, 2009 at 12:42:55 am

robin, mark --
beg pardon this late post.
haven't checked in in a bit -- and appreciate replies.
i'll re-post when i buy.
thank you.
jr


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Robin Probyn
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 13, 2009 at 1:35:02 am

Ok thanks good luck.I found B&H was a good deal on the 18.But really I would recommend the off ground spreader.. so much better than on ground..



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Mark D'Agostino
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 13, 2009 at 2:34:40 pm

John,
The spreader on my sticks is at the ground but is flexible so it works nicely on very uneven surfaces. However, I wholeheartedly agree with Robyn that you should look for sticks with the spreader at mid-level.

Mark D'Agostino
http://www.synergeticproductions.com


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Robin Probyn
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 13, 2009 at 2:43:26 pm

Yes IMHO the off ground spreader was really a leap forward .. as well as setting up on steps etc the thing doesn't wear out!!! the plastic around those pins cracking etc.. the pins coming out.. and its weighs alot less than the heavy duty rubber spreader to say nothing of those steel monsters.. :)



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John Rosson
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 13, 2009 at 9:17:41 pm

You know -- I am so used to the mid-level spreader -- I wouldn't have considered otherwise.
I'm on uneven ground alot, steps often enough and was surprised to see your post Mark that the bottom spreader can even work on uneven ground.
Was surprised as well to see the price on the B&H Sachtler kit -- around 7.5K for the sticks and head -- yikes.


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Robin Probyn
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 14, 2009 at 12:09:40 am

But a good investment.. over the years will certainly pay for itself many times over.. take it off your tax anyway..



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John Fishback
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Nov 27, 2009 at 9:36:40 pm

Been using the Video 20 for over twenty years. 3 new cameras, but same sticks & head. And robust enough to accommodate prompters when needed.

John

MacPro 8-core 2.8GHz 8 GB RAM OS 10.5.8 QT7.6.4 Kona 3 Dual Cinema 23 ATI Radeon HD 3870, 24" TV-Logic Monitor, ATTO ExpressSAS R380 RAID Adapter, PDE enclosure with 8-drive 6TB RAID 5
FCS 3 (FCP 7.0.1, Motion 4.0.1, Comp 3.5.1, DVDSP 4.2.2, Color 1.5.1)

Pro Tools HD w SYNC IO, Yamaha DM1000, Millennia Media HV-3C, Neumann U87, Schoeps Mk41 mics, Genelec Monitors, PrimaLT ISDN


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John Rosson
Re: Tripod for HDX900
on Dec 3, 2009 at 6:50:06 pm

Ernie,
Up for a breath of air from a boatload of work -- and just now fishing full-bore for this tripod setup.
What issues, if any, did you notice with the Libec system?
Were you able to get smooth starts & stops? No drifting?
I've googled all over, and this system, if as smooth as your experience with it, beats the others hands down in cost -- $2K or so for all.
Tough enough? And enough to support a 900?
I suppose I'm looking here for reassurance -- because it's 1/3 the cost.
Thank you,
JR


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