What video tripod to get

Started Jun 3, 2014 | Discussions thread
LingoDingo Contributing Member • Posts: 560
Re: What video tripod to get

Susteren wrote:

Sometimes I use my rig with v-lock battery (total is 9kg), but there are times that I only use my 5d3 with a 24-105mm lens

There is only one video head that I know of that can properly balance a camera-package with a weight range of 1.5 to 9 Kg, and that is the Sachtler FSB-8 video head which is designed for cameras weighing between 1 to 10 Kg. It's an expensive video head, but then it really has no competition.

Sachtler Web Page for Their FSB Video Heads

Here's a video that demos what it means to have a properly balanced video head...

Camera Balance Demo with a Sachtler CineDSLR Video Head

The main thing you will notice is that once the camera is properly balanced, you can point the camera in any direction and then let go, and the camera will stay exactly where you let go without having go lock anything. This is a big deal, because it means that you can move your camera in any motion you like, and if your subject suddenly stops then you can stop too, and if your subject suddenly starts moving again then you can start moving too. It makes for very smooth camera movements that can be in any direction you like.

I have bought and sold more than 7 different video tripods over the past 10 years...

- I first started with a Manfrotto 701 which had no counter-balance at all. It was a good tripod when locked down, but a terrible tripod when trying to shoot video.

- Next I upgraded to a Manfrotto 501HDV, which was bigger but still terrible for video work. ( could not properly counter-balance anything)

- Next I upgraded to a Manfrotto 503HDV, which was still terrible for video work. ( again, it could not counter balance properly )

- Next I tried a Benro S6 with tripod, which was actually a good video tripod, and could balance my cameras pretty well, but it was very limited in the weight range it could work with.

- Next I bought a Sachtler ACE M, which was a very good video tripod. It could easily balance my cameras, and had very smooth movements, but there was a tiny bit of "kick-back" when stopping a camera pan movement. ( it would have a tiny bit of "bounce" when I let go )

- Next I bought a Libec RH35R video head with Miller Solo legs, which is a fantastic video combination. The Miller Solo tripod is very strong and solid, and the Libec RH35R video head is very smooth for both panning and tilting. The only thing I do not like about this tripod is that the Libec head has a counter-balance weight range is 3.5 to 7.5 Kg, which means my DSLR cameras are too light for this tripod.

- Next I bought a Sachtler FSB-6 video head and legs, which is also a fantastic video tripod that can properly balance a camera package from 1 to 6 Kg, so it works perfectly for my DSLR cameras. This is the tripod that I end up using most of the time, and is the tripod that I wish I had bought the first time. Yes it's expensive, but the movement is so smooth and it properly balances every camera I own.

Eventually I will buy another Sachtler video head and use it with the Miller Solo legs. ( and sell the Libec video head ) I really like the Miller Solo legs, and the Sachtler video heads are about as good as it gets.

I have tried out the new Manfrotto video heads ( 504HD and 509HD ), but I still find them very difficult to properly counter-balance. ( I would never buy another Manfrotto head for video work )

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