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What tripod and head are these?


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#1 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 October 2017 - 06:32 PM

The camera belongs to a DP named Lawler. I know nothing more about this picture, but would like to know if anyone knows what tripod and head they're using.

 

 

tumblr_inline_mmlldmPWXI1qz4rgp.jpg

 

I'm tempted to say it's a Manfrotto 509HD Video Head & 545GB Aluminum Tripod but the quick release doesn't match/


Edited by Samuel Berger, 19 October 2017 - 06:43 PM.

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#2 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:13 AM

Okay so that's a 504HD video head. That makes no sense. Why would a professional DP use a head that supports 16.5Lbs....to support a camera that, with lens and film weighs 21Lbs??

 

Maybe sometimes it's doable but I wouldn't risk it.

 

Would you?


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#3 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:21 AM

I dont think a professional DP would be using either TBH.. looks like a film school shoot with not alot of money..:)


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#4 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 01:33 AM

I dont think a professional DP would be using either TBH.. looks like a film school shoot with not alot of money.. :)

 

http://www.michellel....com/#page/home

 

This is her site, that photo is her kit.

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2044345/


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#5 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:37 AM

Are you sure she shot all these on an ancient Eclair and a very cheap tripod.. ?.. it just looked like a classic film school shoot from the picture.. and my reply was a bit tongue in cheek..

 

But for sure thats not a standard freelance DP,s kit these days.. for your own stuff sure.. but I doubt you could make a living with an ancient Eclair and a cheap tripod as your main kit.. or have it hired onto shoots.. unless you are already so famous thats no one would question you..   


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 20 October 2017 - 05:43 AM.

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#6 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 11:01 AM

Are you sure she shot all these on an ancient Eclair and a very cheap tripod.. ?.. it just looked like a classic film school shoot from the picture.. and my reply was a bit tongue in cheek..

 

But for sure thats not a standard freelance DP,s kit these days.. for your own stuff sure.. but I doubt you could make a living with an ancient Eclair and a cheap tripod as your main kit.. or have it hired onto shoots.. unless you are already so famous thats no one would question you..   

 

Well, the Eclair NPR does something very important. It puts images on film. ;-) If it's running and doing that, why not?

 

Look at this trailer shot wide open at 1.4 on an old 1950's Pentaflex 16 camera.  It's a tiny handheld camera, standard 16.

 

 

 

But my issue with her tripod isn't the cheap price, it's just that it's very weird to use a tripod head rated at 16.5Lbs to hold 21Lbs of rig.


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#7 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:48 PM

Well yeah you probably don't want to overload a head like that, but that photo does look like a bunch of young film students who either didn't know better or didn't have anything else. Where is the link that says that's Lawler's kit? I couldn't see anything on her website. Maybe it was her first camera kit back when she was a student? At any rate, like Robin said, I really, really, really doubt she's shooting her current gigs with that set-up. :)
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#8 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 05:52 PM

Well yeah you probably don't want to overload a head like that, but that photo does look like a bunch of young film students who either didn't know better or didn't have anything else. Where is the link that says that's Lawler's kit? I couldn't see anything on her website. Maybe it was her first camera kit back when she was a student? At any rate, like Robin said, I really, really, really doubt she's shooting her current gigs with that set-up. :)

 

Found it. http://holapublicart...s-filmvideo-day

 

It had been a while since I found that picture, maybe I was wrong. Reading the text it isn't clear who owns it, seems Lawler was using one of those video cameras that look like plastic SLRs.


Edited by Samuel Berger, 20 October 2017 - 06:00 PM.

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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 07:16 PM

 

Found it. http://holapublicart...s-filmvideo-day

 

It had been a while since I found that picture, maybe I was wrong. Reading the text it isn't clear who owns it, seems Lawler was using one of those video cameras that look like plastic SLRs.

 

 

I rest my case mi Lud.. she is doing a class with high school students.. for some reason with that Eclair .. but I would very much doubt she would be turning up for paid shoots as the DP with it.. unless they are very low budget ones.. or she is the producer too..Im sure the camera works fine.. and she obviously is very talented.. my point is solely that this camera and head/tripod would not be considered "normal" kit for a professional freelance DP in any market except very low budget self financing shoots..  


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#10 Samuel Berger

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Posted 20 October 2017 - 10:16 PM

It's never professional to put a 21 pound camera on a head that can only hold 16.5 pounds.

 

But, other than that, are you saying that the 504HD isn't considered "professional"?


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#11 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 03:05 AM

Professionals use them with the lighter video cameras,

 

Using an Eclair NPR on a 75mm bowl is pushing things. I wouldn't use it on anything less than a 100mm blow, It's a tall, heavy camera, so there is a lot more leverage on it compared to the cameras that are usually mounted on the 504HD.


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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:57 AM

It's never professional to put a 21 pound camera on a head that can only hold 16.5 pounds.

 

But, other than that, are you saying that the 504HD isn't considered "professional"?

 

 

Well each to their own.. but in general I would say Manfrotto heads and tripods are considered prosumer level..as your A Camera tripod.. it depends what your charging as a day rate..but if professional means its your only source of income and you can house yourself ,and pay your bills to support a family..car.. buy gear etc..then turning up with that tripod would probably not be a good look..and be noted by some directors /producers on set who know about gear.. I have never seen one being used except for B camera.. DSLR etc.. Im not wanting to sound snobbish but to some extent you have to justify a liveable day rate by having good gear.. your camera has to look good.. glib as it may be, its also good for business in the long run.. 


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#13 Samuel Berger

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 01:59 PM

 

 

Well each to their own.. but in general I would say Manfrotto heads and tripods are considered prosumer level..as your A Camera tripod.. it depends what your charging as a day rate..but if professional means its your only source of income and you can house yourself ,and pay your bills to support a family..car.. buy gear etc..then turning up with that tripod would probably not be a good look..and be noted by some directors /producers on set who know about gear.. I have never seen one being used except for B camera.. DSLR etc.. Im not wanting to sound snobbish but to some extent you have to justify a liveable day rate by having good gear.. your camera has to look good.. glib as it may be, its also good for business in the long run.. 

 

Okay, Robin, here is mine. How bad is it? And what modern tripod and head would make me look more professional on the job? I'm interested in your suggestions.

 

post-10433-0-09324600-1508454111.jpg


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#14 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:45 PM

.... a 21 pound camera on a head that can only hold 16.5 pounds.

 

 

A couple of interesting concepts relating to all this.....

Engineers have a notion of "maximum load in service".   At this load,  a metal aircraft, for example, might bend but not break.  A safety factor (a multiplier) is applied to give the load at which it will break (failure load). Normally,  one load tests a thing until it breaks,  so there is a factual basis for the load rating, calculations.

 

For something like a tripod,  these standard definitions may not be useful,  a designer/engineer might instead choose/define a more conservative notion that is more useful to the tripod user.  The tripod/head becomes non useful well before any material failure occurs.  But tripod/head specs don't refer to any novel definition of standards that might help us better understand how useful the kit is....

 

The usefulness of the tripod/head is governed more by "stiffness" than by "strength".  By stiffness I mean that in the conventional engineering sense.  The materials are elastic and the geometric design helps enable or inhibit stiffness.  Also,  the fit of parts,  bolts etc have clearance,  and once again the design will enable or inhibit the effect of those clearances.  The operator experiences the apparent stiffness of the kit due to a combination of all these factors...

 

So how do the tripod/head designers come up with the max load rating of their kit...?  I'm sure (though I can always be wrong) that it's not based on a failure test.  And if it is based on some informal notion of stiffness or how the kit feels to the operator at higher loads,  then I think they need to make those standards transparent,  understandable to all.......


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#15 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 06:55 PM

Yeah, the tripod and head I bought are, I'm pretty sure, going to turn out to be (ideally speaking) too light for my Bolex, which is approx. 4.5 kg but I'm only using an inaccurate scale to weigh it on. I could have bought an old Miller but went with a much newer Manfrotto combination that is rated at a maximum capacity of nearly 7kg, so strong enough in that sense, but rated at 4kg for the non-adjustable counterbalance mechanism. So my camera will be too heavy no doubt. However, I had to weigh up my limited budget with the need for a tripod/head with a lot of versatility. These Manfrotto tripods are very variable in height. With the sort of filming I want to do, if I'd gotten the Miller I would have also had to buy a tiny hi hat type tripod as well. I hope to later on, when I've saved up more, buy a bigger Miller tripod and head but the priority for now is get out there and get filming.


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#16 Jon O'Brien

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 08:11 PM

That would make a good T shirt - with a picture of a Bolex or Arri S or something like that. Probably already been done.

 

"Get out there and get filming"


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#17 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:07 PM

 

Okay, Robin, here is mine. How bad is it? And what modern tripod and head would make me look more professional on the job? I'm interested in your suggestions.

 

post-10433-0-09324600-1508454111.jpg

 

 

It looks to be an excellent and strong tripod..for the weight of your camera.. presume you have a spreader for the pointy legs..


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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:32 PM

I think the issue here is the definition of "director of photography."

 

The term has become so flexible now as to have lost almost all meaning.

 

I have made money balancing things on a Vinten Vision 3 that most people wouldn't give house room.

 

I need something better but nobody's ever going to pay for it, so they get the Vinten. That is a very straightforward business decision...


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#19 Samuel Berger

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 09:41 PM

It looks to be an excellent and strong tripod..for the weight of your camera.. presume you have a spreader for the pointy legs..


I have a crappy ground spreader by Manfrotto. The original mid-level spreader didn't come with the tripod and I have no way of getting a replacement. I looked on eBay and a lot of these Peter Lisand units are sold without the spreader.
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#20 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:20 PM

I think the issue here is the definition of "director of photography."

 

The term has become so flexible now as to have lost almost all meaning.

 

I have made money balancing things on a Vinten Vision 3 that most people wouldn't give house room.

 

I need something better but nobody's ever going to pay for it, so they get the Vinten. That is a very straightforward business decision...

 

 

I dont claim to be a DoP.. Im a cameraman.. sorry.. to the OP.. basically I made a rather tongue in cheek ,glib "joke" about neither camera or tripod being typical gear for a "professional" DP.. of course both can produce good result.. Ill bet Roger Deakins could get great results from both.. better than me with a Venice and an Arri geared head..  but I would still think it to be true that very very few if any .. jobbing freelance DP,s Cameraman etc..(i.e. those that work for other peoples productions).. who,s sole income is that job, would have either as their primary gear.. you just wouldn't get any work.. unless you were Roger Deakins already :)


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