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tripod recommendation

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Noam Osband
tripod recommendation
on May 5, 2010 at 6:58:09 pm

I'm trying to settle on a tripod. But there are so many to choose from! My camera is a Panasonic HMC150. I was hoping to pay 500-600 for a tripod, although could go a bit higher if someone thought it was a good idea. I figured I'd ask for any recs since, right now, all I'd end up doing is just guessing on the B&H website. I do documentary work, and, alas, most of it is me alone shooting.

thanks,
noam


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Emre Tufekci S.O.A.
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 6, 2010 at 6:28:32 pm

I would reccomend Sachtler with DV4 head. We have those for our HVX200's and they work great. Light-weight yet very functional. We will be selling one soon (we will be upgrading to the Sachtler Soom).

If its not out of your budget ($3000) you should look into the soom system as well.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/601882-REG/Sachtler_0373_0373_FSB_4_A...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/544094-REG/Sachtler_0480_0480_FSB_6_w...

Emre Tufekci
http://www.productionpit.com



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Noam Osband
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 6, 2010 at 6:41:33 pm

Im trying to keep my tripod costs under 1k, and even under 800 if i can. I also am interested in carbon legs since I'll be doing a lot of solo shooting and that makes weight important to me. With that in mind, any recs?

thanks,
noam


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Todd Terry
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 6, 2010 at 6:44:57 pm

Another recommendation would be to hit eBay.

I know eBay's not perfect for everything, but they can be a GREAT source for tripods. All kinds, sizes, brands, etc., and you can often find extremely good deals on the gear in very good condition.

We have a big preference for Oconnors (mainly because a couple of particular Oconnors are one of the few models of any brand of tripod where you can adjust the length of all three legs at once with one hand... you get spoiled very fast being able to do that). We have two Oconnor heads and three sets of Oconnor sticks, all from eBay. My best score was one of the head/sticks combos that was only a couple of models old and in like-new mint condition... I couldn't tell they had ever even been used. I paid $600 for them, whereas the MSRP on them was $4500+ when new just a couple of years earlier.

I've also bought Vinten sticks/heads and Miller heads off eBay through the years with good success.


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Mark Suszko
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 6, 2010 at 7:29:35 pm

I would stay away from Vinten Sticks, though I have no arguments about their heads. My favorite brand these days is Sachtler, O'Connor a close second. You're paying more for carbon fiber's stiffness and light weight, so if on a budget, go back to aluminum and buy some ibuprofen.


I think if your lens or your sticks/pan head compbo don't cost at least half what your camera did... well, they might be toys.


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Todd Terry
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 6, 2010 at 10:31:08 pm

Here's another tip if you want to hit eBay for Oconnor sticks/heads (which I most heartily recommend)...

The real name of the company is Oconnor. No apostrophe. But the company used to spell their name O'connor... with the apostrophe. Combine that with the fact that a lot of people further misspell it, ending in er rather than or.

Ergo... during my eBay tripod shopping days I was diligent about doing searches using all spellings... Oconnor, O'conner, Oconner, and O'conner. In fact, I once saw a nice nice set of Oconnor sticks go for absolute peanuts (sub $100)... and I think it was largely because the seller's listing wasn't popping up on many people's searches since they had incorrectly spelled Oconnor as O'conner.

Just a tip...


T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com






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Alan Lloyd
Re: tripod recommendation
on May 7, 2010 at 3:53:55 pm

A good tripod is an investment. It's not something to skimp on, as a too-light pod will deflect and lash back on pans and tilts, sometimes bounce in response to nearby motion, and in general make for unpleasant results.

Spend more - when was the last time you found yourself wishing you had not got something quite as good? You're not buying it for this camera, you're really investing in it for two or three cameras from now.

I am definitely not a fan of most Manfrotto heads, as their lower-priced units tend to have pan and tilt locks on the pan and tilt axes. This is mechanically terrible and to be avoided. Cartoni, Libec, Vinten, and Sachtler are all good. (I used to have a very low opinion of Sachtler, as it was possible to detach the wedge plate one-handed on their earlier models, which would make the camera falling to the ground a possibility - they have since corrected this mistake.)

Gitzo legs are heavy and awkward, and I dislike them for that reason.

Some years back, I got a very good deal on a Vinten I still have today. It's taken a lot of use and still holds up. I've used all the others listed above, as well as some others.

Do not, under any circumstances, get a tripod that requires leveling by adjusting leg height. You'll curse it every time you use it. the leveling ballhead (with a good, well-placed bubble level) is your friend.

I hope this is helpful.


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