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What is a good tripod choice for me?

Will Faulkner's picture
Last seen: 2 years 6 days ago
Joined: 07/09/2011 - 11:07pm

Hi all. I am starting out as a proffesional videographer.

I have just purchased a Canon 27D with a 17-55 mm 2.8 lens.

Now I need a decent tripod.

Obviously starting with a low budget but i want something decent.

I also want to start working with cranes pretty soon.

So I need a tripod to support a crane system.

I had my eye on the Kessler cranes and Kessler says th only crane they recomend to use with anything other than there expensive hurculees head is the kesser lite crane.

So that brings me back to tripods. Which one would you all recomend?

I thought maybe this one http://vimeo.com/10903579 but I just saw one used for sale on ebay and the seller said it didnt suit his proffesional needs.

With so much out there isn't there a popular model that most people are using?

Cheers.

Will from Australia.


Rocky M's picture
Last seen: 3 days 3 hours ago
Joined: 03/12/2010 - 5:53am

Having usedManfrotto and Millar tripods I consider they are great professional products, but a bit pricey, somehow I feel I would be paying for thename.

Many mainstream manufacturersincluding some tripod manufacturers now have products made in China.Ipurchased a fluid head tripod from one of those Chinese manufacturers and have been using it professionally for two years on-location and in the studio, its a good solid workhorse and a quality product, only con is it does not have provision for spiked feet.If you search;EI-717 Pro Heavy Duty Tripod Fluid Drag Head, you can find it on eBay, todays cost is $189.79 including deliveredto Australia.I was happy with it, I bought another.

When I decided I wanted a crane jib I checked out every commercial supplier I could find in Australia and overseas, what I wanted I could not afford, so I ended up building a 14 foot crane jib for just under $800.

From the outset I determined I wanted the following features,

- LANC remote for camera rec on/off, variable zoom, focus, power

- Remote control ac/dc pan tilt head, lightest possible weight.

- All remotes located on operators handle

- 7 inch ac/dc colour monitor with A/V in located head high 12 from operator

- Built entirely out of aluminium extrusions (local hardware store)

- Ability to lock arm in to any height position

- easily transportable unassembled

- quick and easy to assemble on-site

- provision for a PAG light on camera and battery mount on boom

- mobile in a studio, tripod mount on aluminum frame with pump up tyres

- a strong tripod, I used a second hand projector stand tripod

- A lightweight HD Camera a Sony HVR-A1P

I have used the crane jib for over 3 years its been great, a real asset and because of its small size and features I have had professional work for it on locations where there is restricted overhead space.

So if youre thinking about a crane jib make sure what you get first up includes all the features youll want long term. Hope the above helps.

Rocky. Sydney.


vid-e-o-man's picture
Last seen: 7 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 02/06/2010 - 4:20am
Plus Member

Will, I purchased a used Bogen/Manfrotto tripod on ebay for much less than $100. It is an older model 3130 but very solid and smooth. I haven't attached anything other than lighweight camcorders though, no jibs etc. It might be worth a look at the used market to extend your dollars. Good tripods seem to hold up very well over time.



Charles Schultz's picture
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 10/25/2010 - 10:38pm

Will, the one thing you have to remember in purchasing a tripod that you plan to use with a crane is how much weight can it handle. You are not just looking at the weight of the crane itself but also the camera and counter weights, which can add quite a bit of weight to the overall crane. There is a DYI crane video on here that describes a very good tripod and it will hold quite a bit of weight. This is the link to it.http://www.videomaker.com/video/watch/tutorials/121/do-it-yourself-crane-tutorial/


David Forrester's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 05/09/2010 - 8:04pm
Plus Member

I have used a Manfrotto 701 head and a good set of manfrotto aluminum sticks for 2 years. It is lightweight enough and sturdy too for the 5D and Sony Z5. The handle is too short (minor fix). the performance is good everywhere, smooth in all directions. But bump it a bit and camera shake happens. Recommended. Costs about $300 total.

When it comes to real serious filming, I go big. To the Manfrotto 36061 - at least I think that is the model number. it is a monster equal to the Oconner. And heavy and tall. you could put an industrial TV camera on and your jib. I can tell you, the control and results of the big one are evident. Rock solid. If that shot means anything to you, don't cheap out. A lost shot is far too expensive to lose and not worth it.