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Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor

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Seth Marshall
Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 3:10:05 am

I'm going to call O'Connor in the morning but wanted opinions or alternatives to the O'Connor 30L tripod (legs). I love my 1030HDS head and want to get another (which has been updated). My previous model came with the now discontinued 25L legs which have had issues (slipping, requiring frequent surgery to tighten, and they were a replacement from the originals). My contact at Abel said they were all made somewhere in south America and has issues since moving the plant there. I'm not sure what the issue is. They look similar to other popular tripods out there.

The new 30L looks expensive and for the premium I would prefer Sachtler quick deploy legs with one latch per leg.

Does anyone have opinions On what is currently available in the market? Thanks!


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Mark Suszko
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 2:55:20 pm

I would not hesitate to approve an O'Connor head on Sachtler legs. The legs I hated most were Vinten's, though their heads were okay.


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Seth Marshall
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 2:58:34 pm

thanks, any legs in particular you like most? I do like the idea of quick deploy so long as it doesn't break down any faster


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Todd Terry
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:12:09 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:18:54 pm

Love Oconnor, and to me nothing (and I mean absolutely nothing) beats the 35 series legs... either 35A or 35L (the latter being the carbon fiber series).

Unfortunately, I don't think either are manufactured anymore (the 35A ones definitely are not), but to me it would be more than worth it to find a gently-used set (occasionally they pop up on eBay) as opposed to any new set.

I love these so much because, unless someone has come out with something in the last year, they are the only sticks that allow you to release all three legs easily and simultaneously...

This is an old COW video of me doing it with 35A legs....



I've found no other tripods of any brand that will do this, and no other Oconoor tripods of any other models that will do this either.

I didn't realize how much I relied on this until once on a cross country shoot where we rented part of our gear there rather than ship it... and I was cursing the (otherwise very nice) Sachtler tripod all week. If you have been using an Oconnor model that will do this (and it sounds like you have been), you're going to miss this feature more than I can describe.

These legs were several thousand dollars when new, but you'll often see good or like-new sets selling at auction for around $1000, sometimes even a fair bit less (I think I bought one of my sets for $800). Just make sure you are getting ones with the right bowl size, as there were multiple versions. All of our sets have the big 120mm bowls for the big 50D heads that we use... I wish I had a smaller set for the occasional use of some of our other heads when the 50D is overkill.

Oh... one more thing... if you search eBay or wherever for these, try multiple searches with different spellings. While the real company name is now "Oconnor" (previously O'Connor), you'll find just as many people who (incorrectly) spell it "er" rather than "or." So if I'm looking for Oconnor gear I always search "Oconnor," "O'Connor," "Oconner," and "O'Conner." It's surprising how often the wrong spellings sometimes get more results than the right one.

T2

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



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Seth Marshall
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:41:10 pm

That's one very strong review! I remember seeing that option when I bought my 25L (which I haven't been very happy with). At the time I noticed it only has (2) stages versus the 3 stages most tripods have. The 35L model I've read goes from 26"-62" (which is comparable to the 30L, although the 30L goes down to 22"), but what I thought was the bigger issue is that the 35L's collapsed length is 36.5" and the 30L is 29.5".

Maybe that's nit-picking, at the time I didn't realize it had this quick deploy capability. I was concerned it wouldn't fit in my cases. Too bad there's no version like it coming out today. I'm not sure I want to buy an old set that has a lot of wear on it. I need something new.


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Todd Terry
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 4:48:50 pm

[Seth Marshall] "30L goes down to 22"

And the 35A will technically do down even more than that, because you can completely release the aircraft-cable spreader, and the legs will go all the way out so that the head is all the way down on the deck... down to high-hat level. Or actually even lower, my high-hat would position a head a little higher than the Oconnor legs when they are spread all the way out.

It's just DUMBFOUNDING to me that no other legs will do the simultaneous release... it's my #1 tripod feature, my "must have." Absolutely cannot live without it. I raise and lower my head height probably a couple of dozen times on the average shoot. I can now do that easily in literally one second without even unmounting the camera. We'll even change heights with a jib on the 35A legs without unmounting it (although a couple of people are recommended for doing that).

T2

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



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Mark Suszko
Re: Need tripod legs suggestions for 100mm O'Connor
on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:29:31 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Dec 17, 2014 at 5:31:19 pm

Just a caution on that: one of our shooters amputated the end of one of his fingers by trying to collapse and carry the O'Connor with the camera still on it. The serrated inner side of the lower leg sections worked like a bone saw when he misplaced his grip. We have a rule that you always dismount the camera to move the sticks more than a foot, but that day... well....

I had this same model as Todd, but the leg segments weren't red anodized. The cable spreader was certainly flexible, allowing as he said, using the tripod as a hi-hat, or adapting to highly irregular surfaces with ease. Without an elevator column, to get more height you had to bring the legs in closer, which reduced stability and could in a few cases lead to tipping over when unattended, but those were extreme cases. The beauty of the O'Connor was true one-handed deployment, which meant I didn't get my betacam dirty placing it on random outdoor surfaces, or trying to hold it between my knees or on the shoulder strap while setting up the legs. In ENG work, it was heaven to drop the landing gear with one hand and clip into that standard Sony/Panasonic style plate, bada-boom, 5 seconds.

My daily ride these days is a Sachtler Video 15-plus; nice hand grip, carbon fiber legs with a center gas and spring-assisted center column that gets my lens up and over a 6-foot high fence, or over the the heads of other cameras and crowds at news events. But the center-column-based leg deployment chuck system is NOT a one-hander, definitely needs two hands, or a hand and a leg, kicking it open or closed.


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