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Tripod/head recommendation for Eclar ACL


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#1 Craig Knowles

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 04:32 AM

I'm looking for a few recommendations:

I'm in need of a tripod/head for my Eclair ACL and I'm having some difficulty finding something decent. I don't have the budget to get into high priced things like Sachtler, Miller, etc., but it seems most of the lower end stuff (Bogen/Manfrotto) is all geared towards 2lb DV/HDV cameras.

As such, I can't figure out what will work for me.

The camera package I'd like to use it with is a standard Eclair ACL 2, an Angie 25-250 zoom, rod support system, 400" mag -- probably about 20-25 lbs all told.

I had an old O'Connor 50D with O'Connor legs but I didn't like that at all. The zoom on the Eclair always seemed to pull the O'Connor downwards in the front no matter how much I tightened the tilt lock or sat the camera backwards. On top of that, when it did tighten, it was never stable -- the weight/length of the lens torqued the springs every so slightly when the camera motor was running, bouncing up and down ever so slightly, and I could never get solid footage.

Currently, I'm looking at a Bogen/Manfrotto package at BH Photo -- the 516 head with the 545GB legs -- but I wondered if anyone out there may have other recommendations before I go ahead.

Happy Holidays!
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 December 2008 - 09:14 AM

I'd check out some used tripods and heads. The high end kit will still last a lot longer than the cheaper new DV tripods.

The 25mm - 250mm zoom is a 35mm lens and it's a lot larger & heavier than the 16mm zoom lenses, so you'll be pushing it a bit getting a tripod designed for lighter cameras - even the 16mm film ones.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 01:35 PM

20 - 25lbs is a lot of weight for a small head, particularly when most of it is up front in that lens. Brian is right, you should look for good used equipment. Ronford Baker F7 or 2015, Sachtler 7+7, O'Connor 2060.

The Ronfords are probably cheapest, but the O'Connor is the best Fluid head you can get (except for the 2575....)

Try www.visualproducts.com

They're in Ohio too, so you may even be able to visit their showrooms for a look round
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 03:09 PM

Yeah, the camera package you are talking about is very heavy. The 516 is going to be borderline if it works at all, as it was mentioned your heavy lens is going to pull forward quite a bit. I'd say the way to go is with used bigger heads/ tripods such as the ones listed above, which are not precisely cheap unfortunately.

I have a large and heavy 15-150mm Angie that balances out when used on an ACL with 400' mags, without the mattebox and rods though, then it just pulls forward like crazy. I believe the 25-250mm Angie is even heavier, and I have a hard time finding a reasonably priced tripod to use my 15-150 lensed ACL with, so I found the solution below.

Why do you use that 25-250mm 35mm lens on a 16mm camera? If you do a lot of telephoto work, you can get smaller, lighter 35mm lenses with even longer lens capabilities with the use of ACL or c-mount lens adapters, such as Nikon to C-mount lens adapter available for under $50 on eBay. Just a thought. Going that way would make the 516 head work beautifully, saving some $$$, even if you had to buy a new lens.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 29 December 2008 - 03:13 PM.

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#5 Craig Knowles

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:17 PM

Why do you use that 25-250mm 35mm lens on a 16mm camera?


Thanks for the suggestions, Saul. The lens I have is actually a 15-150, but it's a rare type a tiny bit larger than a 25-250. I just wrote 25-250 so people would have a concept of the size of the lens without having to write a detailed explanation of my 15-150.

(Pictures of that lens on this thread, next to a regular old 12-120. It's since been converted to a PL mount.)

I'm overjoyed with the lens. Unbelievably sharp for a lens of this type. Cuts very well with my SuperSpeeds and that isn't a joke. Call Paul in the lens department at Visual Products and ask him about it! Certainly not as sharp, but much closer than I had ever imagined it would be.

Anyway, so I use the ACL with this zoom/rod supports and a Superspeed prime package. Otherwise, my Eclair is pretty bare bones -- no videotap, no on-board batteries, nothing special. It's probably under 20 pounds, but it's just the torque of the lens that was a problem in the past. I don't want to go overboard with a massive head (nor can I afford to) -- an O'Connor 50D was a bit too big -- but I don't want to get a dinky DV setup either.

The 516 Bogen/Manfrotto setup seems to be on the borderline, but I realize it's a total pro-sumer rig. That's why I thought I'd ask around for opinions.
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#6 Tom Hepburn

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Posted 29 December 2008 - 09:36 PM

Hi Craig,

I also have an ACL II and I'm using a
503 HDV

It works well with my camera and can also be center balanced if with your lens you're a little front heavy. Although I haven't used a large array of different heads, this one feels like a good match for this camera.

Tom
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#7 marc barbé

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 08:02 AM

I'm looking for a few recommendations:

I'm in need of a tripod/head for my Eclair ACL and I'm having some difficulty finding something decent. I don't have the budget to get into high priced things like Sachtler, Miller, etc., but it seems most of the lower end stuff (Bogen/Manfrotto) is all geared towards 2lb DV/HDV cameras.

As such, I can't figure out what will work for me.

The camera package I'd like to use it with is a standard Eclair ACL 2, an Angie 25-250 zoom, rod support system, 400" mag -- probably about 20-25 lbs all told.

I had an old O'Connor 50D with O'Connor legs but I didn't like that at all. The zoom on the Eclair always seemed to pull the O'Connor downwards in the front no matter how much I tightened the tilt lock or sat the camera backwards. On top of that, when it did tighten, it was never stable -- the weight/length of the lens torqued the springs every so slightly when the camera motor was running, bouncing up and down ever so slightly, and I could never get solid footage.

Currently, I'm looking at a Bogen/Manfrotto package at BH Photo -- the 516 head with the 545GB legs -- but I wondered if anyone out there may have other recommendations before I go ahead.

Happy Holidays!


Hi,
Are you sure that O'connor 50D was in good shape? It's a great head which should handle the weight...
Regards,
Marc.
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:00 PM

Thanks for the suggestions, Saul. The lens I have is actually a 15-150, but it's a rare type a tiny bit larger than a 25-250. I just wrote 25-250 so people would have a concept of the size of the lens without having to write a detailed explanation of my 15-150.

(Pictures of that lens on this thread, next to a regular old 12-120. It's since been converted to a PL mount.)

I'm overjoyed with the lens. Unbelievably sharp for a lens of this type. Cuts very well with my SuperSpeeds and that isn't a joke. Call Paul in the lens department at Visual Products and ask him about it! Certainly not as sharp, but much closer than I had ever imagined it would be.


I see. I have that same lens myself. I really like it too, sharp and fast. But it is very heavy.

I once used an O'Connor 50 D head that was in good condition and it worked fine with a heavy camera. There is also a 100 model tripod that is old but good. O'Connor will refurbish their old tripods to spec, so that is an idea maybe? Unless you can afford a new O'Connor, which will run you $10K +. Couple of weeks ago, I shot a couple of shorts with my Aaton on a Cartoni, very nice head and sticks, can't remember the model #. Liked it MUCH better than the comparable O'Connor 1030B. Really recommend Cartonis, if you can afford them.

Good luck!

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 31 December 2008 - 02:04 PM.

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Willys Widgets

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Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc