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Opinions on the Miller Solo VJ Tripod?


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#1 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:38 AM

what do people think of the Miller Solo VJ tripod? I have heard some good things, but am worried about the lack of a spreader and vibration issues. can one get a removable spreader for it? otherwise, the size/weight of it are ideal and exactly what i need. my camera weighs about 17 pounds, and i'm thinking of a sachtler head. opinions??
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#2 Rohan Dadswell

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:46 PM

I've had one (with a Miller Arrow HD head) as part of my travel kit for last year & a half and wouldn't be without it now. I too was dubious about lack of spreader but the 3 position locking system works really well enabling really low shots as well as very high ones. It is a little bit slower to set up than my other pods - the twisting leg locks as opposed to lever locks make fine hight adjustment with the camera onboard not easy (take the camera off).
I use it mainly with a fully loaded (matte box, wide angle, sun gun, radio mics, 7in monitor etc) Sony 570 or digibeta and has no problem handling the weight, even at full extension there is very little flex.
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#3 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 10:10 PM

I've had one (with a Miller Arrow HD head) as part of my travel kit for last year & a half and wouldn't be without it now. I too was dubious about lack of spreader but the 3 position locking system works really well enabling really low shots as well as very high ones. It is a little bit slower to set up than my other pods - the twisting leg locks as opposed to lever locks make fine hight adjustment with the camera onboard not easy (take the camera off).
I use it mainly with a fully loaded (matte box, wide angle, sun gun, radio mics, 7in monitor etc) Sony 570 or digibeta and has no problem handling the weight, even at full extension there is very little flex.

awesome, that's exactly what i wanted to hear. i'll be using it outdoors mainly, on some very uneven terrain.
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#4 Matt Irwin

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 09:33 PM

I'll second what Rohan has said. I've had my Solo for a while now using O'Connor and Cartoni heads with small HD cams as well as an Aaton XTR and Arri SR. Handles the weight just fine. They seem a bit tippy with only the head on top, but once the weight of a camera is added they are rock solid. And don't worry about the lack of spreaders... once they're gone you'll never look back.
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#5 dan brockett

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 01:18 PM

what do people think of the Miller Solo VJ tripod? I have heard some good things, but am worried about the lack of a spreader and vibration issues. can one get a removable spreader for it? otherwise, the size/weight of it are ideal and exactly what i need. my camera weighs about 17 pounds, and i'm thinking of a sachtler head. opinions??


Hi Benjamin:

I own the smaller version of this, the Miller Solo DV legs which I have paired with a Sachtler DV-6SB head. Love these legs, they are great. Very steady and solid. BTW, my rig weighs 20lbs and the legs and head handle it no problem so at 17lbs with the Solo VJ legs, you are gold. I HATE spreaders, which was the main thing that led me to this tripod and I have not missed them. These tripods let you setup nearly touching the ground, all of the way up to 70 or 80" in height. Very versatile. Good quality.

HTH

Dan
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#6 Benjamin Cameron

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 01:50 AM

yeah, i really don't like spreaders either, and i don't shoot on the level much anyway (level ground that is), so i always end up taking them off rental legs. and thanks, Matt, for turning me on to the miller legs in the first place. any thoughts on the sachtler fluid heads, anyone?
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#7 Matt Irwin

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 02:23 PM

Sachtler makes great heads. Very sturdy and smooth.
One thing to note is that Sachtler's fluid drag transmission adjusts in click steps. I've found that after changing steps, it takes a little pan/tilt movement to "engage" that gear (at least that's what I've noticed w/ the Video 18 and 7+7... haven't used all their heads). I'm personally more of a fan of O'Connor and Cartoni's infinitely adjustable drag because it allows for finer tweakingt and the ability to change drag settings during a shot/take. That may not matter to everyone though.
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#8 dan brockett

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 07:42 PM

yeah, i really don't like spreaders either, and i don't shoot on the level much anyway (level ground that is), so i always end up taking them off rental legs. and thanks, Matt, for turning me on to the miller legs in the first place. any thoughts on the sachtler fluid heads, anyone?


Hi Benjamin:

I have a Sachtler and love it. I used to own the Video 18 and it was great as well. That said, Sachtlers are really expensive. If you are looking for a deal, what a lot of RED owners are doing is digging up used O'Connor 50 heads and having them refurbished. You can get them for around $800.00 to $1,000.00. Send it to O'Connor in Costa Mesa and for a few hundred dollars more, you have a head that is better than almost anything out there, can handle any HD/S16 packages and many lighter 35mm packages for very little $$$.

If you want new and shiny, Sachtlers are great and you will be very happy with them but expect to pay big bucks. The other one to check out that is also pretty expensive and are also excellent are the Panthers. Also made in Germany. Good stuff!

Dan
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