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class="style10">Best Camera Support System For HDV Cameras

>Published : 9th September 2006

>I’ve been using a Manfrotto camera support system for my Sony Z1 but the resistance of the head is not solid enough for me.

>What other heads would you recommend that have better friction on this scale of camera support systems?
Best to all,

>Mario Cardona
Producer/DP
Zen entertainment
TEL. (506) 289 2476
(506) 381 2370


>I own a similar model to this, although mine is bigger & beefier. I've had it for more than a decade and while there have been a few repairs along the way, everyone has noted how robust and smooth it is. Mine is Mitchell plate with 150 ball adapters, so you can imagine how beastie it is.

>A few things to note: The cases aren't that good and will have to eventually be replaced with regular tubes like Tuffpaks. My spreaders had a lot of hard plastic in them and eventually cracked on a subzero day. The head has been in storage for more than a decade so it will need relubing, and it is better to do this before you use it so that you do not wear internal parts. Watch out for the spikes on the bottom of the sticks--they're so sharp they must be designed for piercing the frozen tundra of Siberia.

>On a good note, these tripods are more than just based on Sachtler, they are complete ripoffs of them. That means that all parts can be replaced with Sachtler parts, even very specific internal parts that were obviously just taken from castings of the originals. I found that mine head used mostly Sachtler Studio 20 parts, and that smaller head looks like a Studio 18 or so to me. I actually took mine to Sachtler and they were more than a little stunned to see how precisely their parts fit my Soviet tripod head.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP


Mario,


I've had pretty good success with the Panther T6. Its a solid head, albeit with only two friction settings, with predictable action. I've been using it since last NAB with the Z1 and the XL-H1 on top of Miller Solo Pro sticks - the combo great for weight and ease of use.

>I've had to replace a couple parts but have found the guys at AbelCineTech and Panther to very responsive to replacement parts and listening to feedback. They even changed the brakes from plastic to aircraft aluminium once we discovered the parts couldn't handle the stress of lock downs.

>Cheers,

>David Brillhart

>Brillhart Media
9200 Rt. 108 Ste. 209
Columbia, MD 21045
O: 410-730-5994
F: 410-730-7496
C: 410-707-3552
www.brillhart.com


>Mario Cardona wrote :

class="style11">> What other heads would you recommend

>I bought one of these and I've been really happy with it:

>http://www.rafcamera.com/mca/support/7shks-m.htm

>Robert Jackson
Sonoma Co., CA


>Daniel Drasin wrote :

class="style11">>Some of the middle-priced Manfrottos have some very nice features, >including continuously variable counterbalance springs.

>Ditto. I call our equipment checkout room the Student Abuse Equipment Testing Labs. We have Manfrottos in all sizes and they've worked fantastically, and been much more rugged than their much more expensive Italian competition, which now sit in the corner waiting for parts.

>Steven Bradford
Film HD Program Chair
Collins College
Phoenix Arizona


>O’Connor 50's will pass the abuse test, I've got two that looked like heck when I got them. They were ENG gear at a Tulsa TV, then donated to a local university that used them in their version of your SAETL. They were getting ready to junk them and asked me if I wanted them. Between the two of them I had all the parts (quick change plate, etc) to make a perfectly good one, with a touch-up coat of paint it even looks pretty good. The other one works, I modified an elevator bolt to replace a missing quick change lock down assembly, bought an aftermarket plate for it, and replaced missing lock knobs with good quality electronic test equipment knobs (the O’Connor lock shafts are 1/4" like most test equipment). Haven't painted that one, it looks kinda cool with all the truck rash on it!

>Steven Bradford
Film HD Program Chair
Collins College
Phoenix Arizona


>Illya Friedman wrote :

class="style11">>and my pick for best bang for buck (for a Z1U sized camera) is the >Cartoni Focus system.

>Hi,

>I used the Cartoni Focus recently and thought it’s the best small head I have ever used. Works well with an Aaton Minima.

>I have no connections to Cartoni.

>Stephen Williams DoP
Zurich
www.stephenw.com


>Mario Cardona writes :

class="style11">>I¹ve been using a Manfrotto camera support system for my Sony Z1 but >the resistance of the head is not solid enough for me.

>Manfrotto produces a really broad range of camera supports and heads. Which one have you been using?

>Some of the middle-priced Manfrottos have some very nice features, including continuously variable counterbalance springs. And their camera plates are pretty much compatible across that middle range, down to the bottom-end 501s and 503s. A definite advantage if you use several different Manfrotto heads.

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


>Mario Cardona wrote:

class="style11">>I¹ve been using a Manfrotto camera support system for my Sony Z1 but >the resistance of the head is not solid enough for me.

>I've think I've tried every current head/stick combo on the market these days and my pick for best bang for buck (for a Z1U sized camera) is the Cartoni Focus system.

>http://www.cartoni.com/eng/focus.html

>Illya Friedman
Production Maven
Van Nuys, CA