Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Production Gear › Questions about my new tripod
August 11, 2008 at 5:54 AM #43806ralckParticipant
Okay,soI justgot mynew tripodyesterday.I ended up purchasing a Davis & Sanford Pro Vista tripod with the FM18head.Seemed great onpaper, got great reviews, great pricerange,soI figureditwould bea decent tripod (certainly better than myprevious tripod).
I’ve playedaround withit abityesterday and much moretoday and I’m a little worried aboutit, so I’ve got a few questions…
Firstis withthe 75mm Claw ball.Ithoughtthe way yousetthisis, after youset your tripodto the height you want, youusethe handle underneaththeheadto move itaround untilthebubblelevelislevel.Ididthis,thenpannedandfoundthe bubblelevelto be off (actually, by what seemedlike quiteabit-atleast10 degrees).AmIdoingsomething wrong,or (as I’m suspecting)thebubblelevelis not accuratelypositioned.Note,this isabuilt-inbubblelevel, not oneI added.
Now, question 2isthat thehead feels very stiff, even whenI open upthepanandtilt dragcontrolls (Isthistheright term?).So much stiffness thatIcanactuallyseethelegs twistinga littlebit when I tryto pan. Also, when I try to tilt forward the back of the tripod starts to lift up off the ground (this is when no camera is on, but I would expect that to possibly make things worse?). I try opening up the pan or tilt drags more, but it doesn’t help. The movement does loosen up from “locked,” but on my old tripod (a Slik) it loosened up a lot more (but was a much cheaper tripod, so I don’t know if this is actually expected?).
Third,thereis an oilysubstanceall overthe tripod and I’ve triedto wipe itoff,but Ican’tseemto getallofitoff… EverythingIread/hearsaysthisis normalandwillgo awaysoon, but howdoI getrid of it now!Ikeep washingitoff myhands becauseIreallydon’t wantto getit on/in mycamera.AmI just beingparanoid?
Fourth,thereis achipin the anodizing onthehead onthetiltpart.It doesn’tseemlikea big deal or very deep, but thereisa lotof oily substancein/aroundit and I’m startingto get worriedthatit’s somehowleakingthe fluid from thehead.Itreally doesn’t looklikeit’s deep enough (just looks likethe anodizingis missingreally),but it’s worryingme.
Fifth… howdo you measure a tripod’s height.Tiffen’s website and B&H (where I boughtit from)bothsaythe height should be 64″.Well, Imeasureditand it’s60″ from the groundtothe top ofthe head…amImeasuring wrong?It’sreally not abig deal,but with everything else that is worrying me, this just adds to my annoyance/etc.
Okay… Ithink I’vegotten throughthe potential problems thatare worrying/annoyingmethe most.IknowIcan’t expect an amazing tripod for200 bucks,but I’m lessandlesshappywiththis tripodthe moreI playwithit.Honestly I guessI was expectingsomething better from thecompany thatinvented the Steadicam.I guessIneedtocall Tiffen tomorrowandsee whattheythink aboutit… But of courseIhave afilmfestnext weekendsothereisn’treallyenoughtimetosend it backand geta new onesentout bythenifitis defective…
August 25, 2008 at 8:50 PM #183611ralckParticipant
So just a quick update on this situation…
After playing around with the tripod, and going back to a store to check out some Bogen and other brand equivalents again, I’ve determined that the tripod head is defective.
After calling Tiffen (twice actually) I’ve had the second most rude customer experience of my life and still haven’t received the RMA email they promised me (it’s been almost 2 hours by now… I’ll give them a full day though to be fair).
I’ll keep posting updates has this really annoying situation develops…
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