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Head for SR3


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#1 James R Blann

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 12:00 PM

Hi all,

 

I'm looking to buy a relatively inexpensive head for an SR3 setup and am wondering if anyone has some good advice on something more modern that might fit the bill as opposed to an old F4, of which there are a few on ebay. I guess it could do with taking 25lbs. Looking at around the £1000 range. Any expertise would be great!

 

Cheers!

 

James Blann


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 December 2014 - 01:55 PM

O'Connor 50D.


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#3 James R Blann

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 09:33 AM

Cheers, Adrian. That's definitely going onto the watch list.

Has anybody had any experience with Secced tripods and heads? -- http://www.secced.com/

Their prices seem very good but i'd never heard of them before.


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#4 aapo lettinen

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 03:05 PM

Cheers, Adrian. That's definitely going onto the watch list.

Has anybody had any experience with Secced tripods and heads? -- http://www.secced.com/

Their prices seem very good but i'd never heard of them before.

I have used their smaller versions and they were very good for the price but I have heard from others that they don't stand corrosion etc. long term use as well as the Sachtler versions they are copied from


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#5 Oron Cohen

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:19 PM

Cheers, Adrian. That's definitely going onto the watch list.

Has anybody had any experience with Secced tripods and heads? -- http://www.secced.com/

Their prices seem very good but i'd never heard of them before.

I wouldn't recommend Secced that much, they're okay, not bad, but not reliable as Aapo stated, they are basically a Chinese Sachtler knock off, you're better off with a used good condition Sachtler 18. 

 

One really good and really cheap head is Ronford F4, it's old, but is quite small and build like a tank, it's a steal if you could find one. here is one for sale I found, but sometimes people or rental houses sale them with sticks: http://www.visualpro...5&Cat=3&Cat2=49

 

I also second Adrian recommendation for O'Connor 50D (or anything made by O'connor ). 


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#6 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 07 January 2015 - 07:37 PM

Ronford F15 without the update mods sell quite cheap.  I sold a couple locally (NZ) recently for about USD400 each.  I followed on from the prices I saw on eBay.

 

They are heavy,  150mm bowl,  very smooth,  but have no balance springs,  so you need to balance the camera to suit the shot with the heads own sliding plate or a dovetail plate. 

 

For precise narrative where you have an assistant,  quite good for 16mm.  Not so good if you are working on your own on EXTs with a lot of repositioning.


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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 09 January 2015 - 12:10 PM

The Ronfords are also a good good call, I'm tempted to pick one up as well in 150mm or maybe Mitchel base so I have some variety and don't need to worry as much about adapters on the prolific danadolly and dana dolly like systems out there.


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#8 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 10 January 2015 - 08:48 AM

The three support brands that I have good experiences with are O'Connor, Sachtler & Miller.  I have an old wooden Miller tripod & 100mm fluid head and it's still going strong.  It's perfect for my Arri-S, but I also wouldn't trust it to hold an SR-III set-up.  I'd love to pick up a Sachtler with spreaders, but those are really expensive even on ebay.

 

But you really can't go wrong with any of those brands.


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#9 James R Blann

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Posted 17 January 2015 - 06:51 PM

Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm definitely thinking twice about the Secced head. Will just keep on at ebay and hope for a bargain at a car boot sale :)


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#10 JD Burditt

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 10:32 PM

Save up around 2500 and you can find a decent Oconnor 1030


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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 12:35 AM

Earlier O'Connor 1030 (10-30)  may be cheaper. Just a bit harder to find.  Transylvania Films in the states  (I know,  so wierd or so cool with the name) still give an complete overhaul for within USD1000. 

 

Dom Jaeger, a tech in Melbourne who often writes generously on the forum doesn't like the 1030s,  but I didn't find out why yet.


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 20 January 2015 - 12:38 AM.

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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 January 2015 - 02:30 AM

It's surprising to see in the behind the scenes docs that the F4 still turns up as the head being used on quite a few high end HD BBC documentaries. I've still got mine, although these days I use it more for smaller cameras using the carbon fibre legs for my Sachtler Horizon head. It'll be fine with SR3, since the F4 was used with heavier film cameras like the Arri 16BL.

 

The Ronford F7 is great to use, but heavy if you need to walk any distance with it.


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#13 Larry DeGala

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:08 PM

the Manfrotto 509HD Pro Head is not too shabby.

http://www.amazon.co...d/dp/B005AHJWPM

what does a loaded SR3 weigh?

 


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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 01 August 2015 - 05:15 PM

Although it could take the wieght, I suspect a F4 would still be working long after the Manfrotto has fallen apart.


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#15 Larry DeGala

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 11:33 AM

Abel Cine of New York, a reputable rental house, featured the 509HD in one of its Sony camera YouTube videos.
I also still own a fully-operating Manfrotto (sold under Bogen brand) 3066 fluid head from the mid-1990s.
I don't work for AbelCine, Manfrotto, or what have you, so I'm not peddling any brand.
The good gent queried for a heavy duty head with certain specs of weight and price.
And if the darn thing broke, I'm sure there is a manufacturer's warranty for that event as well.
Maybe one day, someone will conduct a head-to-head test of each brand on YouTube.
At day's end, it also counts on how you treat (abuse) your gear.
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#16 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 12:03 PM

Sorry, but the F4 is heavily over engineeed piece of kit. Examples from the 1980s, if not older, rather surprisingly continue to be used high end documentary productions in remote locations that involve rough transport. Much to my surprise one was used in recent years on a TV commerical by the DP, since it was his personal head. I wouldn't call the F4 the best Ronford head, the F7 is the best one I;ve used, although it's much heaver.

 

I suspect a warrenty wouldn't apply in these time scales. He only mentioned a price of £1000 and a good F4 isn't something to be ruled out.


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#17 Larry DeGala

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 12:36 PM

Agreed.

I love engineering from the 1980s. Back then, I was using German gear dating from the 1950s and were bulletproof in the 80s and 90s. And there is a reason why they keep their over-engineered gear in heavy, solid steel transport cases with extra padding. Someone is bound to drop a heavy case by accident.

150mm bowl fluid heads have bullet proof design that meets the needs of the rental industry.

F4 may be over-engineered for a documentary SR camera but may not be suitable for intense run-and-gun work (which is the purpose of SR). Steel cases with rolling wheels to the shoot site may not be viable option. And soft PortaBrace sling bags with 150mm sticks will get heavy at day's end, putting much wear and tear on the crew before end of month long assignment.

One will be surprised with today's metallurgy, using light-weight alloys and CAD/CAM precision, reducing slack/lash with tightest tolerances never before possible in the 1990s.

Yet, nothing replaces a good operator who knows inherent characteristics of each head, and uses skill and years of experience to make up for the shortcomings if any.
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#18 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 12:52 PM

I don't think the Arri SR was used much for run-and-gun work in the modern sense, with a one person crew. 

 

The F4 works rather well with cardon fibre legs, you balance the head and sticks on your shoulder without carrying it in bags,

 

Transportation still needs good cases, the ridgised aluminuim case is still pretty common for camera equipment. Portabraces are not really in the same league for protection. but good for working out of from the car etc on the shoot.

 

I suspect we are in a different price bracket with light-weight alloys and CAD/CAM precision for even tighter tolerences.


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