Does anyone know why the O'Connor 35L was discontinued? All they have is a 25L, but it doesn't have quick-release for each leg the way the 35L has. Did O'Connor get bought out?
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[Scott Davis] "Does anyone know why the O'Connor 35L was discontinued?"
Couldn't say why they discontinued it... although I guess it's a moot point as to why... if they have, they have. There's no mention of any company buyout in the news or archives section of their website.
I personally am a big fan of the older 35A sticks and have a couple of sets of those. I didn't realize just how much I relied on the quick-release on each leg, as well as being able to instantly adjust the height of all legs all at once.... until I was on a location job out of state when we thought it would be a bright idea just to rent sticks along with all the other grip gear that we would normally rent rather than include them with the rest of the gear we were shipping. Big mistake. We had a really nice Sachtler tripod that we rented... but it was maddening having to adjust all the legs independently one at a time. Until then, I hadn't quite realized what a rare feature that was, nor how much I really depended on it.
There's often a lot of really good used Ocon gear on eBay... but here's a search trick: many (if not most) sellers spell it wrong. The real company name (now) is Oconnor. No apostrophe. But not only do many people still insert it, they often make other spelling errors too. So... if you are looking specifically for Oconnor sticks (or heads or whatever), search not only "Oconnor" but also "O'connor," "Oconner," and "O'conner." Sometimes you'll actually get a lot more search results when using one of the wrong spellings.
I once saw a mint set of 35A sticks sell on eBay for TWELVE DOLLARS (even fair condition ones usually go in the $600-$1000 range for the sticks only). I forgot about the auction because I didn't really need another set, and by the time I remembered... the auction was over. Boy was I mad.
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We still have an Oconnor 35 here, with the retractable aircraft-cable mid-height spreader. I'm the only guy to still use it, since it took a fingertip off one of our cameramen out in the field, right to the knuckle. Guillotined it right off. We named her "Christine", after the killer Chrysler in the Steven King book/movie. They all fear her, since she's tasted blood. Me, I'm more careful, but it IS one of the few tripods that I know of that are single-hand deploy/collapse/adjust, which is handy in the field when your other hand is busy holding the cameras to keep it out of snow, mud, etc.
The aircraft cable spreasder isn't perfect, and has caused me some problems afew times, but it remains worth using becuase of how far you can adjust the individual legs with that. The Oconnor can work as a high-hat, a baby, and fit any hillside or set of stairs, regular or irregualar, that you can throw at it.
Just don't move the tripod carelessly, with the camera still on top of it, if piano playing is your second career.
Now we have a Sachtler that we all love, with a built-in elevator column that gets my lens up over 6 feet, great for looking over crowds or fences, but it really isn't a one-hand-deploy thing: you need a special technique to "wiggle" the center column flange while forcing the legs apart or together with your other hand.
[Mark Suszko] "We still have an Oconnor 35 here, with the retractable aircraft-cable mid-height spreader"
Yeah, the first time I saw that I thought "What kind of science-project-gone-wrong is this thing?"... but I completely got used to it, and it's pretty smart engineering. The older 50D heads that we use on them are also completely awesome. Occonor will still refurb them, if you happen to run across a cheap one for sale. I think their refurb service for that head is something like $500... which isn't cheap, but then you've got a head worth several thousand bucks.
One of the little retractor things stopped working on one of our sets of legs, so we bought another used set just to cannibalize for parts... but by the time it arrived the other set had miraculously healed itself.
[Mark Suszko] "it IS one of the few tripods that I know of that are single-hand deploy/collapse/adjust"
Sure seems to be... I've looked an looked for another set that will do the same thing, and have turned up completely dry. As I said, it's something that I completely took for granted... but rely on so much.
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.