Panther X15 Tripod
Posted 04 May 2005 - 03:35 PM
Posted 04 May 2005 - 05:10 PM
just googled it
I saw most all the Panther products at NAB this year at the Abel Cinetech booth. To be quite honest, I wasn't "blown away" by any of it. The German designer of the products was on hand to demonstrate the capabilities and he was very cordial and well informed (to be expected considering he designed the equipment) but the tripods didn't seem much different or really any better than the others I've used in the past.
After talking to another Able rep on the phone the following week, I discovered this manufacturer is traditionally known for large cranes and possibly portable dolly solutions and just recently made an effort to target the small format video/eng market. The dollies they had on hand had some pretty nice features (like being able to fold up pretty small and have a storage compartment underneath and the dollies were modular, i.e. - buy a few parts now, buy a few more later to build a different dolly, etc.) but even then, it still seemed like the Losmandy product was just as portable and robust.
Overall, the Panther products I saw and briefly demo'd looked nice, but I just couldn't see anything they offered as being "better" than any other products I've used. I have no axe to grind here. My honest sincere assessment was that I wasn't unimpressed, what they had to offer did look very nice, but I wasn't blown away, either. One of the guys at Abel says he's been using Panther products for seven years and has been working to get them in circulation in the states for a long time. I have no idea why, but he seemed to really like the stuff.
Hope this helps,
Posted 05 May 2005 - 12:32 AM
I have used Panther's Husky Dolly and it's pretty nice. It's sixty pounds, folds in half and can be carried by one person. There are lot's of add ons so you can build it however you like. I'd be happy to own one. Their tripods look pretty nice. I'm going over to Abel Cine in the next week or so, I'll check out the tripods. I got the brochures last time I was there, but didn't have time to really get a feel for the tripods. Their larger dollies are also really nice. They use a rising/falling column design and they are battery powered, rather than by air.
I wouldn't bad mouth their gear, it's reliable, robust and easy to use. They are more popular in Europe and haven't really got the same market penetration as other companies, here in the US.
Posted 11 May 2005 - 09:06 PM
Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:37 AM
Buy the best head you can afford, and spend the rest of your budget on the legs.
Sachtler is fine ( that's what I have), but a little overpriced.
It's really advantageous to do a "shoot out" between brands (trade shows, like NAB are great for this).
Unless someone has tried ALL the current models, a recommendation is pretty meaningless.
Having said that, check out Vinten, Miller, O'Connor (now owned by Sachtler), and Cartoni.
With Legs: two stage legs cost more than single stage (big advantage if you can afford it), and carbon fibre is lighter than aluminum or steel (and more expensive).
Hope this helps...for $5,000 you should definately find a nice unit.
Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:52 AM
It doesn't really compare with Sachtler like the rest of the Panther line (in that it doesn't use fluid modules). It's a true fluid head and it compares with an O'Connor head. I even think the counter-balance mechanism is better than that you would find on an O'Connor head.
In the end a head is a head. They're either really good or really bad and that judgement is based very much on familiarity and preference.
Posted 14 May 2005 - 09:24 PM
Ken is quite right regarding head and legs being two different, but equal issues. Also if you can check out Panther and the other manufacturers, that may help you narrow your choices. You can always mix and match heads and legs.