Fluid head on a carbon fiber “photography” tripod?

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    • #54399

      I was wondering if there is any reason why I shouldn't use my carbon fiber tripod that I shoot stills with for my video camera? I have a Feisol tripod. It works great and is sturdy with my DSLR w/ battery grip, and any of my heavy lenses. My video camera is a Canon HV30 and is pretty light. Is there any reason not to use these legs for video? I have been looking at the Manfrotto 501HDV Pro head for use with my tripod.

      What exactly does a floor spreader do? Does it make the tripod more stable?

      Thanks for any help / advice.


    • #206150

      Spreaders are flexible connectors that help maintain spacing on the legs of a tripod. With no spreader in place, the legs of the the tripod can move freely to allow leveling on extremely challenging terain.


      The legs on a professional tripod are generally only attached at the top where they connect to the bowl that holds the head.  The legs of the tripod typically have rather sharp spikes or points that hold the tripod secure when shooting outside.  Press those spikes firmly into the ground and the camera isn't going anywhere.  Tripods without spreaders are generally found only on film sets.  Modern video cameras just don't have the mass needed to keep spikes anchored.  


      Spreaders come in two forms.  One is a mid spreader and the other sits at the bottom of the legs and the function is the same.  Spreaders allow you to use a professional tripod on surfaces where you can't use spikes to secure the legs.  The spreader allows you to restrict the movement of the tripod legs relative to each other.  Spreaders that attach at the bottom of the legs also protect floors from scratches.


      Hope that helps.




    • #206152



      Excellent info. Thanks very much.



    • #207302

      You could probably get a bowl adapter that would assist in facilitating a video head for your ‘photography’ legs.  I think what you’ll find is that you need a ‘bowl’ to make the fine adjustments for your video head to be level.  If you just slap a flat based video head on your ‘photography’ tripod – it’s not going to level out very easily. 




      I found some Manfrotto 755XB legs on Ebay, but they don’t come much off the retail price.  There is a rebate offer right now that gets the price down if you can deal with the headache of a rebate.  They aren’t all they are cracked up to appear to be – document everything if you go that route. 





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