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Spreader Question


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#1 Tim Carroll

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:52 AM

At the risk of sounding like the biggest dope out here, I got a basic question. How exactly does a spreader work? Got a new set of legs from Manfrotto, the medium duty cine legs that hold 44 lbs. And I got the mid-level spreader with it.

I always thought the spreader was supposed to lock into all three legs and hold them tightly in place. But when I put the spreader on the tripod, it holds securely to each leg, but there is no tension pulling in toward the center. It just kind of hangs there. I thought it was supposed to be tensioning the legs inward, I don't know, maybe to dig the foot spikes in more securely or something. Are you supposed to hang a sandbag from the spreader, that would certainly tension the legs inward? Or is it just supposed to sit there and keep the legs from jumping out if one of the feet slips?

Basically, what is the spreader supposed to be doing on the tripod?

Sorry if that sounds like the most basic newbie question possible. But I'd appreciate any and all input.

Best,
-Tim
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:48 PM

Or is it just supposed to sit there and keep the legs from jumping out if one of the feet slips?


That is pretty much it. If you're outdoors, you can step on the spikes to dig them in well. Some don't even use spreaders but rather some thick pile carpet for the spikes to dig into. That method makes leveling sticks with a mitchell top really fast.
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#3 Drew Hoffman

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Posted 25 April 2008 - 07:11 PM

It doesn't really tension them inward so much, as it prevents them from sliding outward. If it's a mid-level spreader... I don't think I'd try hanging a sandbag from it, unless it's really heavy duty. I've seen a number of spreaders break that way.
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 01:58 AM

They're only to be used if you're on a flat and slick surface. Usually good to use'em on carpet, so you're not poking holes in the floor.

If you're shootin exteriors on dirt or grass, be sure to leave the spreader on the truck, otherwise you'll hear it from the operator or DP.
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#5 David Auner aac

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Posted 26 April 2008 - 02:36 AM

At the risk of sounding like the biggest dope out here, I got a basic question. How exactly does a spreader work? Got a new set of legs from Manfrotto, the medium duty cine legs that hold 44 lbs. And I got the mid-level spreader with it.


Mid level spreaders are nice to have outdoors. My Manfrotto 500MV/510 combo has a ground level spreader (we call 'em Spinnen (i.e. Spiders) here) which doubles as rubber feet for the spikes. When outdoors in soft ground I' take that off and use the spikes. Have never really seen the need for a mid level one. Am I missing something?

Cheers, Dave

Edited by David Auner, 26 April 2008 - 02:37 AM.

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