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Joe Bodego
I need your feedback
on Nov 17, 2011 at 3:32:44 am

Well I am getting the NX5U in about 3 weeks so i am looking for a tripod. Having just spent $4500 my budget can't stretch much further so it's off to ebay. I found this tripod that seems very good for the price can you take a look and tell me what you think? http://www.ebay.ca/itm/110514122833?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984....


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Brad White
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:34:10 pm

Joe,

What you are looking at is an import from China. I'd be cautious as specs can be misleading or overstated, and quality marginal.
Check out B&H Photo Video at http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=ma190xdb701h&N=0&InitialSearch=yes. I have several of these combination tripod and fluid heads that work well with my lighter (under 10 lbs) cameras. The manufacture is Bogan/Manfrotto (Italian) and they have a good warranty and U.S. service if you need it. And the best news is this combo "MA190XDB701H" normally $233.50 now has a $35.00 rebate for a total of $198.50, plus free shipping.
Brad


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Joe Bodego
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 18, 2011 at 5:51:32 pm

Thanks brad, i would keep this in mind and the price is right.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 19, 2011 at 5:08:15 pm

My advice is don't cut corners on your support or audio. I'm off Manfrotto gear, although I appreciate their comprehensive line of specialty items. My most recent Manfrotto purchase was a magic arm, and I also bought their video monopod recently, though it has had issues with binding in the foot ball joint that has transmitted jarring jolts that are visible on camera as tension builds in the joint, then releases like a little mini earthquake.

At an absolute minimum, I would look carefully at the Libec line of video tripods out of Japan. This manufacturer seems committed to high quality and value pricing. I would not consider any Manfrotto tripod with a geared center colum and a flat mounting base for the head. Any proper video tripod should have a ball mount.

Libec is available at B&H, and the prices start very low. See:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/628720-REG/Libec_TH_650DV_TH_650DV_He...

That said, I'll warn that I have never seen or used a Libec product. But I was shopping for support recently, and read everything I could find about them on the net, plus lots of reviews on YouTube and Vimeo.

Ultimately, I purchased a Vinten Vision Blue. Do your homework on this, and good luck!


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Joe Bodego
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 19, 2011 at 6:29:41 pm

Danny you guys are killing me (lol) i browsed to your link and bookmarked it. I would now begin research on your recommendations. Thanks guys i really do appreciate this.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 19, 2011 at 9:40:42 pm

Something else you should look at - the brand new Sachtler Ace. So new, in fact, it has not shipped, but it is due any day now:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822102-REG/Sachtler_1001_Ace_Fluid_He...

I'm a believer in quality support. Cameras these days are changing every 6 months. But I've got one Gitzo tripod for my still cameras that I bought 30 years ago, and it is still going strong.

B&H is listing the Sachtler Ace at $535, which is half what I paid for the Gitzo.

There are already reviews online for the Sachtler Ace - search YouTube and Vimeo.

Is this the first time you have bought a video tripod? If so, I can tell you this: it all comes down to balance and backlash. This is much different than a still tripod head, because a video tripod head must move, and the movement is visible in the shot.

Balance is critical in a video tripod head because it is essentially levitating a weight in the air above itself. Here's the catch: when you tilt forward or tilt back, it needs to remain in balance. Not close, but perfect. To accomplish this, good video heads incorporate springs and cams. Even if you tilt forward so far the lens is aiming at the floor and the camera is hanging off the side of the head, it is all still in balance. Perfect balance. In other words, not dependent on operator muscle pressure to maintain position. Muscles become fatigued, and shots are ruined.

Which brings up the second essential for video tripods: freedom from backlash. Backlash is what happens when your muscles cause a move in the tripod head, but at the end of the move, muscle pressure is removed. Cheap tripods suffer backlash - a slight rebound movement as pressure on the pan bar is removed. This backlash resets composition slightly. It is visible and ruins the shot.

Manfrotto video heads are notorious for these kinds of problems. Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of people like them and they have a huge market share. But they are strictly entry level in pro gear.

It is critical that you buy a tripod rated at the weight of the camera you intend to use. The Sachtler tripod mentioned here is a very low priced model from a company with a very high end reputation. So everyone has their eye on it.

I've used the phrase "perfect balance" several times. My Vinten Vision Blue has a feature called "perfect balance" which specifically means this tripod has a mechanism where the internal balance springs can be continuously tensioned to dial in exact compensation for the weight of a specific camera. BTW - there are 3 Libec tripods with the exact same capability, which is why I mentioned that brand to you. You'll have to read up on their website to find the specific models and determine from there if it is priced within your abilities. Or, buy a Sachtler Ace. No perfect balance, but probably a better product than Manfrotto and certainly a lot more brand cachet.

One final note on the tripod. A ball head allows you to level the camera almost instantly. This is essential so that pans don't skew off towards the sky or down at the floor. Without a ball head, it is a time consuming pain to work with leg locks individually until the platform is level. Center colums are strictly for still camera tripods. With video, you are applying lateral thrust as you operate the head to pan and tilt. This works great on a real video tripod, where the force is applied at the convergence of all three legs, the point of maximum strength. But if you crank up a center column, you are asking for problems with backlash because there is some degree of flex that is unavoidable in an extended center column. No big deal for stills, but fatal for video.

Too much information, but maybe it will save you or someone reading this from learning things the hard way. I bought a half dozen cheap video tripods before I figured it out.


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Joe Bodego
Re: I need your feedback
on Nov 19, 2011 at 11:54:05 pm

Waw! dan , this is deep man, i feel better prepared to make my purchase now that you took the time to guide this neewbie. Well it looks like i would have to budget for a damn god tripod. Thanks again, you;re the man.


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