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Sticks and a Fluid Head


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#1 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 10:33 PM

Hello All,
For quite some time I have been shooting with "imitation" fluid heads; Sony and *shudder* sunpak . At this point, I feel my skills and eye have developed adequately to invest some money in a quality set of sticks and a fluid head. I shoot with a Sony HDR-FX1 (4.4lbs) and expect to be purchasing a 35mm adapter down the road, likely the redrock m2. I'm looking to spend between $300-$1000. I was originally leaning towards manfrotto as I have plenty of ENG experience with their sticks and heads. Sachtler also is looking very good.

Thanks.
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#2 Steve McBride

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 07:16 PM

I have worked with this kit in the past with a DVX-100, XL1, as well as GY-HD200 and it worked out very nice. Check out BH's other kits they have a lot in your price range.

http://www.bhphotovi...1HDV_3284_.html
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#3 Hal Smith

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Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:56 PM

You're not too far from NYC, why not spend some time at BH to make your final decision? Let them know you're not tire kicking but you're there to buy.
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#4 James Martin

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Posted 08 January 2009 - 01:32 PM

I use a Manfrotto 503 head (recently updated to the 503 HDV model) and found it to be great. For legs I use a 755B, but they're a little flimsy for studio work (I need light weight for running around doing interviews).

But definitely take these guys advice and try what you can!
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#5 Bill Totolo

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:38 AM

I use a Manfrotto 503 head (recently updated to the 503 HDV model) and found it to be great. For legs I use a 755B, but they're a little flimsy for studio work (I need light weight for running around doing interviews).

But definitely take these guys advice and try what you can!

I think you'd be happier with a used Vinten.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:59 AM

It's very much on the low end price wise, but I used this Davis Sanford tripod once, and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it was: http://www.bhphotovi...ripod_with.html

With that out of the way, I find Sachtler is generally more durable than Manfrotto.
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#7 Serge Teulon

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 07:13 AM

Don't underestimate a good fluid head, its worth the weight in gold!
IMO the plastic heads that you see out there are nothing but a waste of money.
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#8 David Auner aac

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:25 AM

With that out of the way, I find Sachtler is generally more durable than Manfrotto.


Yes, true that. But on the other hand, one of the heavier Manfrotto heads (such as the 526 or so) will serve you well if treated with care. I have had my 510/500MVB combo for 8 years now, and they're ok for medium weight cameras. It's rated up to 10,5kg but I wouldn't put any long focal lengths on near that limit...

Cheers, Dave
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#9 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:47 PM

Thanks for all your responses. I'm heading down to B&H soon to check out your suggestions.
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#10 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 01:55 PM

Don't underestimate a good fluid head, its worth the weight in gold!
IMO the plastic heads that you see out there are nothing but a waste of money.


I've worked with some of the major Bogen studio fluid heads. Believe me, when my dad handed me a sunpak fresh out of best buy to shoot high school football, I cringed.
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#11 Tim Tyler

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 03:21 PM

Spend more than you can afford on a great fluid head.

A great fluid head will noticeably improve your work as an operator, and it will last you decades if you're kind to it.

A head made for a 40# camera will do fine with a 10# camera too, so a larger head will be more versatile should you use larger cameras in the future.

It may seem overindulgent to spent >$3k on a fluid head when Bogen sells them for $169.95, but I assure you you'll get what you pay for.

Used O'Connor heads on eBay are a good deal if you can get one in decent shape.
http://photography.s...d=p3286.c0.m282
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Opal

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CineTape

Visual Products

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Glidecam

Ritter Battery