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Jarred Land
02-19-2006, 11:36 PM
Click Here to read the full review (http://dvxuser.com/articles/cartfocus/)

Lenilenapi
02-20-2006, 01:05 AM
I just got one as well.
My only reservation ( but I'm getting used to it), is that when you loosen the plate to slide it back & forth for balancing , you are opening the same lock that holds the plate into the head.
Thus if you loosened it to adjust balance & took your hand off it ( as you could with a Sachtler or Vinten) - it could fall. For an owner its easy to learn, but it could be dangerous in a rental.
This bothers me, but its so good otherwise that I'll probably keep it.
Great head for the money.

Mark Sullivan II
02-20-2006, 08:09 AM
What benefit if any is a 2-stage tripod vs. 1 stage tripod?...Went to EVS and saw both versions with same heads.

SilverWolf
02-20-2006, 08:10 AM
One packs up smaller

Mark Sullivan II
02-20-2006, 08:13 AM
Right after I hit post I was thinking...."well dummy...height,weight, size" lol

snarton
02-20-2006, 08:14 AM
I was planning on buying the Cartoni Focus head soon for my HVX200. Thanks for the review, which makes me more confident in my decision.

I need to buy legs too, and I'm still debating which ones. I'm leaning toward the Cartoni L502 legs (European model number is T622/2), but I'm also considering the lower priced Cartoni A304 legs. I'd like to stick to Cartoni legs to save money with a package deal and because I heard there are some issues fitting this head onto Bogen's 100mm bowls (which can be worked around). Are the T622/2 legs overkill for this weight class?

Thanks,
Jeremy

mccainds
02-20-2006, 09:24 AM
I Currently have a Bogen 510 Head. Anyone with expierience with both care to comment on if the Focus would be an improvment on my current system?

puredrifting
02-20-2006, 09:26 AM
Hi Jarred:

For the HVX-200, if you felt comfortable spending the extra $500.00, do you think the Sachtler DV-6 SB head would be a better choice? Everyone raves about the Focus and I am sure it is very good, but I am brainwashed by years of using Sachtlers with my old, huge and heavy Betacam.

I am between the Focus (which can be had for well under $1,400.00) or spending the extra $500.00 for the Sachtler DV-6 SB.

Any comments from anyone out there who has used both? I know I will be happy with the Sachtler but I could buy some other good toys for that extra $500.00 if the Cartoni is that good. I like the 100mm bowl on the Focus better than the 75mm on the DV-6 but other than that, I know the Sachtler has the feel that I like and am used to.

Best,

Dan

Jarred Land
02-20-2006, 09:35 AM
Bogen 510 -- I have used this head alot, its a good head but very heavy, and the drag has if i remember correctly only 2 settings.

About the Sachtler DV-6 -- This is the head i was going to buy.. I have shot with Sachtler probally 90% of the time on big gigs, and liked the durability and movement. They both feel pretty similar even with different fluid systems.. these heads in term of movement and features are very similar..., but the DV6 is only a 75mm bowl so leveling is a little easier on the Cartoni... and as you said 50% more money than the cartoni.

It was just very expensive,

Jarred Land
02-20-2006, 09:40 AM
I just got one as well.
My only reservation ( but I'm getting used to it), is that when you loosen the plate to slide it back & forth for balancing , you are opening the same lock that holds the plate into the head.

They are making a longer plate.. so you should be able to drop the head in flush with the edge instead of moving it back.. so you dont need to rebalance every time.

Barry_S
02-20-2006, 09:49 AM
Nice review. I tries out the Focus head at GVExpo and thought is was really nice. It really has the feel of one of Cartoni's ex$pensive heads. I wanted to review one at the time, but the rep said they were selling them as fast as they could make them and he didn't have a loaner. For the money, I don't think you can get a better head.

redindian
02-20-2006, 11:43 AM
whats the price difference between Bogen and this?

Jarred Land
02-20-2006, 11:50 AM
The Cartoni head alone is about $800... which bogen are you asking about?

Lenilenapi
02-20-2006, 01:32 PM
I wanted to buy the Sachtler DV6 which seems like a great head, but the legs it comes packaged with look dinky and have alot of flex. Sachtler is inflexible about changing its packages so it costs an extra $1K to upgrade to better legs. So i went with the Cartoni.
The sachtler is very light by comparison though. I will miss that.

thisiswells
02-21-2006, 01:55 PM
Have been using Cartoni Focus for 8 months now and it rocks! Thanks Rush @ EVS!

Lenilenapi
02-21-2006, 06:03 PM
With the Cartoni I wasn't worrying about being able to balance it myself. Just that some idiot would rent it and drop it.

Lenilenapi
02-21-2006, 06:23 PM
Here's a question for you Cartoni owners.
When I bought my head I got both a soft bag (which came in the package) and an expensive shipping case. The Cartoni Rep told me I would be able to stuff the unit into the soft bag and put both into the hard case for shipping. ( My buddy used to do this with a Vinton and it was great - lots of padding)
However the bag that came with my Focus (w/2 stage aluminum legs) is way bigger than neccessary (both length and width) and will not stuff into the shipping container. (Shipping container is about 8" too long also maybe made for 1 stage legs.)
Anybody else get something that worked better?
I can't get the guy on the phone yet.

ransom
02-21-2006, 07:29 PM
I bought the Focus last year and it's one of the best investments I've made.

Jarred Land
02-21-2006, 09:12 PM
Here's
Anybody else get something that worked better?
I can't get the guy on the phone yet.

did you get the C900 or the C921?

Lenilenapi
02-22-2006, 08:00 AM
Jarred,
Beats me. What do those numbers refer to?
My invoice just says Cartoni F192 w/ 2 stage ultralight tripod.
+ a B404 PVC hard case ( an extra $275 BTW)

Stuart Cummings
02-22-2006, 09:01 AM
Click Here to read the full review (http://dvxuser.com/articles/cartfocus/)
Just got my cartonifocus head with gtizo 4 stage carbon fiber sticks (thanks Christine at Abel Cinetech New York).I have had my HVX 200 for a month now and i am loving it! i am off to florida tomorrow to build an UW housing for it . I cant wait to try the camera UW it should kick butt!!

snarton
02-22-2006, 09:09 AM
I need to buy legs too, and I'm still debating which ones. I'm leaning toward the Cartoni L502 legs (European model number is T622/2), but I'm also considering the lower priced Cartoni A304 legs. I'd like to stick to Cartoni legs to save money with a package deal and because I heard there are some issues fitting this head onto Bogen's 100mm bowls (which can be worked around). Are the T622/2 legs overkill for this weight class?


Nobody responded to my question, so I called up Ste-Man Inc, the U.S. distributor for Cartoni, to ask them about it. I thought I'd post what I found out in case others are shopping for a Cartoni package too. I'm comparing the Cartoni F102 and F104 packages available through several dealers. Both packages come with the Focus head, but the F104 has beefier legs and costs about $750 more than the F102.

The F102 package comes with the Cartoni A627 legs. (That's the American model number. The European model is T627-2). This is a two-stage tripod with 3 tubes. It can support 110 lbs. The minimum camera height is 33.3 inches. Ste-Man didn't have the max height. Several websites list the F102 package as coming with an A304 tripod, but there is no such model according to Ste-Man.

The F104 package comes with the L502 legs (European model is T622-2). It supports 132 lbs and has 4 tubes. It has a minimum camera height of 32.8 inches and max of 56.4 inches. Thes legs are typically used by ENG crews.

Ste-Man suggested that for typical HVX-200 uses, the F102 package is most appropriate. But if you plan to use a jib on the legs (or repeatedly toss the tripod in the back of news van), then go with the F104 package.

--Jeremy

JarredLand
02-22-2006, 09:44 AM
Thanks Jeremy for digging a little deeper into the legs info.

Lenilenapi
02-22-2006, 04:08 PM
Jarred,
C900 or C921?
I don't know what those numbers refer to.

My invoice just says "2 stage ultralight tripod"
The $275 shipping case which is 8" too long is a B404 .

By the way I finally used the head on a job today and I loved the single locking and and sliding plate mechanism so disregard my worries above. Very nice bang for the buck.
The oversize bag and case bug me though .
I need to call the rep.
Anybody have the same problem - or maybe a different bag?

skyonic
02-23-2006, 09:28 AM
http://www.studiodaily.com/studiomonthly/tools/casestudies/5997.html

it is the best fluid under a $1,000... i own 2 of them...the legs however i'm not that thrilled with...i do love the Art legs by manfotto but the fluid head won't fit in the bowl when collapsed

snarton
02-23-2006, 09:55 AM
...i do love the Art legs by manfotto but the fluid head won't fit in the bowl when collapsed

There was a discussion at another forum on how to get this to work:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=39051&page=2

--Jeremy

skyonic
02-23-2006, 11:49 AM
yes i saw that, but i'm not retapping anything, first i don't know how and second there is a reason why the thread is off, so it fits...

Jarred Land
02-23-2006, 11:51 AM
yeah i wouldnt do it either.. there are better legs out there than the bogen.

Illya Friedman
02-23-2006, 11:58 AM
I've been a fan of the Cartoni line for years and know all the people over at Ste-man. Something you should all note is that the Cartoni legs will function just fine as long as they are treated in a respectable manner.

When I was running the camera rental department at Moviola, we got back a lot of legs from clients that had been damaged because people would force the each leg latch open and closed without pressing down on the release. This is operator error, and it means the legs will be out of commission for at least 48-72 hours for repair.

Just something to keep in mind before you lend your Focus to that buddy who wants to shoot a wedding...

I.

Jarred Land
02-23-2006, 01:59 PM
thanks Illya.. i agree, there is nothing specificaly wrong with the Cartoni legs.. they work fine, and are great quality. Some companies like Miller and Sachtler have some pretty neat tricks, but to me legs are legs and im not a field shooter so as long as they are stable i dont care if it takes me 10 seconds or 30 seconds to setup.

skyonic
02-24-2006, 10:59 AM
my art legs are the best i have ever used. the art system is the future... leg locks are way of video tape something i don't wan't to have to deal with...

Lenilenapi
02-24-2006, 08:51 PM
Well I spoke to Cartoni. The bag that comes with the F102 ( 2 stage legs) is designed for the 1 stage legs and that's all they have. Ditto the shipping container. So both are about 8 inches longer than I need and to me just feel sloppy and oversized. I will probably buy a different snugger more convenient bag. Kata makes a smaller cross b/n a shipping case & soft bag that I may try out.
That's the breaks. Too bad I can't return the bag since it comes with package. ($140 value at B&H). Its a nice bag for light stands though.

Its still a great head & I like the legs fine.

Green Hornet
02-25-2006, 08:06 AM
Well I spoke to Cartoni. The bag that comes with the F102 ( 2 stage legs) is designed for the 1 stage legs and that's all they have. Ditto the shipping container. So both are about 8 inches longer than I need and to me just feel sloppy and oversized. I will probably buy a different snugger more convenient bag. Kata makes a smaller cross b/n a shipping case & soft bag that I may try out.
That's the breaks. Too bad I can't return the bag since it comes with package. ($140 value at B&H). Its a nice bag for light stands though.

Its still a great head & I like the legs fine.


What are the dimensions of the bag?
I have a bogen 3191 tripod legs with bogen 516 head. If it will fit, I may take it off your hands for a discount.

cbdv
02-25-2006, 12:16 PM
Just got my cartonifocus head with gtizo 4 stage carbon fiber sticks (thanks Christine at Abel Cinetech New York).I have had my HVX 200 for a month now and i am loving it! i am off to florida tomorrow to build an UW housing for it . I cant wait to try the camera UW it should kick butt!!
Stuart, Great info on the cartonifocus head, I am interested in the UW housing, will you let us know your progress...pictures? Thanks cb

Lenilenapi
02-26-2006, 01:59 PM
Green Hornet:
42 1/2 inches long.
Its a great bag just too big for me. $149 @ B&H
If i get a replcement i would be glad to give you a good price.

B&H - Cartoni B410:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=188773&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

andyfedak
02-26-2006, 09:20 PM
Jarred,

What type of mattebox/follow focus/rods do you have on your HVX? I could not help but notice it in the final shot in the article. It's a beautiful thing... thanks, -andy

Jarred Land
02-26-2006, 10:16 PM
its a heavily modified cavision setup.. ive slowly been getting the plastic parts replaced my machined aluminum.. i shoulda just gotten the chroz to begin with.. but its actually starting to work pretty well now.

Mark A. Beal
03-01-2006, 07:22 PM
Is the problem with fitting the Cartoni head to Bogen sticks specific to the ART legs? I'm planning to get a Focus, but was considering getting a Bogen hi hat to go with it.

Mitch_Ives
03-06-2006, 12:09 AM
Nice review. I tries out the Focus head at GVExpo and thought is was really nice. It really has the feel of one of Cartoni's ex$pensive heads. I wanted to review one at the time, but the rep said they were selling them as fast as they could make them and he didn't have a loaner. For the money, I don't think you can get a better head.

I'd have to disagree. I use a Cartoni Delta every day and have for the last 5 years. The Focus doesn't feel the same (starting with the matrial it's made of). In fact, as much as I like the Delta, for smaller cameras I've got a couple of Vinten Vision 3's with 2 stage CF tripods. I have never found it's equal for dealing with smaller cameras and a range of accessories. The all metal construction is nice as well...

lucidz
03-07-2006, 09:53 AM
i thought the 503 was true fluid and that the 501 was not.
am i wrong?

Jarred Land
03-07-2006, 09:55 AM
the 503 isnt a true fluid, its pretty good for a "fake" one though. I believe the bogen gets real fluid starting at the 510.

lucidz
03-07-2006, 10:46 AM
whered my post go? I can't see it any more, but I see your response.

Which I appreciate :)

Hunabku
03-09-2006, 03:26 AM
Does anyone have an idea if the Focus head is compatible with Miller Solo VJ legs? Yes I know that they are both 100mm but I need to be certain and could not find any reference online.

If anyone is interested there is nice review of the Solo VJ sticks at b-roll.net: http://www.b-roll.net/products/miller2.html

I 'm particularly interested in the range of height (minimum 8.7" - maximum 73.6"). And the fact that they are very light yet are said to be pretty stable - especially at the wider spread of the leg's middle locking position.

Any thoughts?

Mitch_Ives
03-09-2006, 01:08 PM
About the Sachtler DV-6 -- This is the head i was going to buy.. I have shot with Sachtler probally 90% of the time on big gigs, and liked the durability and movement. They both feel pretty similar even with different fluid systems.. these heads in term of movement and features are very similar..., but the DV6 is only a 75mm bowl so leveling is a little easier on the Cartoni... and as you said 50% more money than the cartoni.

How is it when you load it up... matte box, LCD monitor, lens controls, etc?

Jarred Land
03-09-2006, 01:09 PM
if you look at the last photo in the article, you see thats how i tested it, rods, mattebox, followfocus, etc.

Mitch_Ives
03-09-2006, 01:32 PM
if you look at the last photo in the article, you see thats how i tested it, rods, mattebox, followfocus, etc.


And is it still solid... not jittery with all that on there. Many other less expensive heads tend to get skittish when the load goes up...

Jarred Land
03-09-2006, 01:35 PM
yeah its rated to 22 pounds and the weight balance is adjustable.

Lenilenapi
03-10-2006, 09:50 PM
I just received my Kata "Triporigid-1" Tripod bag that is soft & light yet also reinforced enough for shipping so you don't need a bag & a case. At least Kata says so. Seems very nice.
I may add a little more hard reinforcement out of paranoia, but it looks good to me.

That means my 42 1/2" Cartoni soft bag is for sale.
Its also very nice - B&H sells for $149.
Make an offer if interested.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=188773&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation

eddavid
03-18-2006, 08:28 AM
I just got the Cartoni Focus with F102 (2-stage legs)--and let me tell you--it feels great! This is a really awesome head--thank you very much, Jared, for telling us about it. The moves feel great on it, and having the light on the leveler--this is a really great feature. B&H has them in stock (as part of the head and legs package), unfortuately EVS did not, or they would have gotten my business.

Mitch_Ives
03-19-2006, 10:11 AM
I just got the Cartoni Focus with F102 (2-stage legs)--and let me tell you--it feels great! This is a really awesome head--thank you very much, Jared, for telling us about it. The moves feel great on it, and having the light on the leveler--this is a really great feature. B&H has them in stock (as part of the head and legs package), unfortuately EVS did not, or they would have gotten my business.

It's a nice head, but to be honest the Vinten Vision 3 with a #3 or #4 spring is still smoother. I have both. The smaller pan bar handles of the Focus also seem to flex just a bit... even so the head is a great value.

Jarred Land
03-19-2006, 10:16 AM
nope

Hunabku
03-23-2006, 02:41 AM
Jarred,

May I ask what you are saying "nope" to. Are you saying nope to Focus head compatibility with Miller Solo VJ legs?

:D

gregpen
03-26-2006, 12:44 AM
Jarred,

May I ask what you are saying "nope" to. Are you saying nope to Focus head compatibility with Miller Solo VJ legs?

:D

Hunabku,

I have a Cartoni Beta head and bought the Solo VJ Legs. The Legs are #@$%@ AWESOME.

For the Beta, I had to send it back to Cartoni because the doohickey that tightens the bowl onto the VJ's bowl (?) was too small and went right through the VJ's bowl. Therefore I had Cartoni fit a wider bowl doohickey on my Beta head to hold it on.

Therefore, check the Focus' bowl doohickey and see if it's at least 2" in diameter. If it is then the Focus will fit the VJ fine. ;-)

For the money, IMHO, the Miller VJ legs are freakin' great for run-and-gun shooting becuase they are so easy to setup, level and mount. Further, they are compact and lightweight. Carbon Fiber also helps, too ;-) Recommended!!

cheers,
-Greg

Jarred Land
03-26-2006, 09:51 AM
yes.. the miller legs are arguablly better legs for sure.

menchifus
04-01-2006, 12:16 PM
I'm sure you didn't get to test this but I'm wondering if the Focus can handle a Jib arm. Let's say the simple jib arm from Glidecam. And will the jib arm work with the packaged legs that go with the Focus?

Mike@AF
04-09-2006, 04:39 AM
I just ordered this system. Is it possible to get a quick release mechanism that I can mount to my Glidecam V16 so I can leave the wedge/plate on the bottom of the camera at all times? It will make it a lot easier and quicker to switch between tripod and glidecam too.

soarprod
04-09-2006, 09:03 AM
Anyone know if you can get the Focus head with 75mm bowl?

RichardVClark
04-10-2006, 10:36 AM
I love mine!!! The only thing that sucked is when I droped it and chipped the head. It still functions amazing it just has a battle scare.

Jarred Land
04-10-2006, 10:40 AM
Anyone know if you can get the Focus head with 75mm bowl?

no, but you can get 100mm to 75mm bowl adapters.

BennyOne
05-05-2006, 02:05 PM
does anyone know if you can put a bigger lock-down lever, particularly for the tilt, on this head? it's kinda small and somewhat of a pain to work with the tiny thing if you're moving a lot and working fast. seems like a giant one, maybe three times the size in all directions, would work better for me. le'me know if anyone still looks at this thread.

Digital Angel
05-13-2006, 02:01 AM
All this is great, but lets come to a concenses, however u spell that.

Best legs for

Run and Gun: Setup/Equipment/Where to buy/Price*

Film Maker on the Move: *

In the Studio: *

I Own a Hummer:*

And last but not least, the one im interested in, All round performer, amazing performance with mobility and style. Get the high shots high and the low shots low without sacraficing performance.

Sell me a tripod system guys, I want the Cartoni head, but what will it go with,

Cheers

BennyOne
06-18-2006, 04:06 PM
i know that i am going to get ridiculed for this but i have a problem with my cartoni focus head. here is what it is. the tilt lock down lever on this head does not seem to have enough or a varying level of friction to hold the tilt in place. it needs to be locked down really tight or else it will not have enough friction to hold the camera in the position you want it, especially when you're tilted up or down and it has to work against the leveler spring to hold the position in place. so, the problem that i have with this is really what happens when you unlock it. you have to put so much pressure on it to unlock it that it shakes the whole camera no matter what you do to try and keep it steady. i can even hear it coming loose through my shotgun mike.

i am wondering if i am the only one that has this problem because i have heard no mention of it and people can only say very positive things about this head. let me know what is going on. do i need to lube it up or something? or maybe this is not a problem for other people because they use it ony for studio production and are not actually rolling when they unlock the lever. maybe mine is faulty.

i havn't encountered this problem with any other (cheaper) tripods that i have used or in any of the tripods that we use at my work (news videography shop).

other thatn that it is an awesome head with really nice movement, just really horrible from lock down to unlock. please help.

smelni
06-19-2006, 12:04 PM
maybe your counterweight is set too high

Steve55
06-19-2006, 02:45 PM
Personally I can't share the enthusiasm for the Focus. I took delivery of one and sent it back due to the following characteristics that make the tripod head totally unusable for any series applications that require professional movies; there are a bunch of other gremlins with this tripod too. I've written up my own report and emailed it to Mrs Cartoni in Italy as I understand the like feedback. The owner is a bit of a perfectionist at Cartoni, so I'm hoping my comments are taken on board and they fix these issues in future.

I personally did not like the following:

I won't go into every test I do on tripods as part of my bench test, but I'll point out a few of the bad points about the Cartoni here. The first is the one that renders this tripod totally unusable for me.

I carried out my standard panning shot test. For this test I simply wind up the pan drag control about 70% of the way toward its strongest setting to aid in achieving a smooth pan with no jerky movements. I then zoom the camera right into a subject that has defined vertical lines in the scene, for this I used a high brick wall or building. Once zoomed right in with the correct exposure and focus I carry out a gentle pan to the right, then I aim to stop the pan with the horizontal edge of the building lined up with the left hand edge of the picture safety zone line on the flip-out LCD screen of the camera. The Focus head suffers from what I call serious ‘drift back’, meaning that when I get to the end of a pan and gently stop, as the head settles in the fluid, it drifts back a few millimeters. This does not sound like much, but when zoomed in this equates a very noticable movement at the edge of the frame; this looks ameturish. Most people looking at the center of the frame would not notice, but looking at the edge; forget it. This 'drift back' is glaringly obvious to professionals with a critical eye. I even slacked off the drag control so there was virtually no drag whatsoever, but still this ‘drift back’ problem was there. The Focus head is not the only head out there with this flaw, the Manfrotto 503 and 519 heads suffer from it too, only a lot worse. The Vinten Vision range and high-end Sachtler ENG tripods on the other hand do not suffer this problem, but they do cost more.

Other problems with Focus is the button you press to illuminate the spirit level light, it comes off too easily, mine was not on straight, so I pub my fingernail under it and peeled it off and stuck it back on straight, very cheap.

The pan handle sucks, it is too flimsy, when extended and the head is locked off, it bends real easily, I know you would not lock head off and do this, but I do it as a test, also, if you extend the pan handle about 2 inches, it rattles inside the outer shell when you pan as it is not a snug enough fit.

Don't like the quick-release plate, why it doesn't just slide like pro tripods I don't know. It is too difficult to balance as you can't make tiny adjustments on the plate in feat of the camera falling off the head.

The locking levers for pan and tilt hurt your thumb when locking the head off, especially the one for pan (or is it tilt, sent tripod back now so can't check) as it is facing the wrong way. You also have to apply some force to get it to lock off properly with a heavy camera. Also, when unlocking them, the camera shakes so if you are recording you can't unlock the shot to go into a pan without some jerk. I know this is what the balance system is for, but the lock levers need work.

Carbon legs are pretty good, but standard non-carbon ones are terrible, the legs have 'give' at the join between lower and upper parts. If you take the head off, grab the bowl and twist back and forth you will see what I mean. Design faults all over the place in the cheaper legs.

Personally, it is not a very good tripod at all, at least not to those who know what to look for and who actually try it out in the field.

I would not recommend this tripod, I'd go for a Vinten Vision 6 or a Sachtler DV8 any day. Might cost an extra £600, but you will know where that money went.

Please don't get me wrong, this is not a bitchy post, just how I found the tripod; from a cameraman point of view. You would be better off saving your money and getting a Manfrotto 503, it's just as bad, but if you are going to buy garbage, you might as well buy cheap garbage; unless you are happy with 'locked-off' shots of course.

BennyOne
06-19-2006, 04:46 PM
how do i adjust the counterweight? will this fix my problem? I am actually thinking of selling this thing because i cant stand the shake when i unlock it 'cause it totally looks like crap.

smelni
06-19-2006, 07:09 PM
the knob at the back is the counterweight - you should set it as low as you can while still having enough counterweight to move the camera smoothly

BennyOne
06-19-2006, 07:47 PM
that ain't it. the lock down lever just needs to have more resistance in between being locked and not locked. i can't explain it. it just needs to tighten more smoothly and have more gradual steps to being completely tightened down. thinking about sending to a guy that i heard about that rebuilds heads and seeing if he can fix it so that it doesn't take as much effort to hold the thing in place. is anyone else anoyed with this besides me?

smelni
06-19-2006, 07:52 PM
maybe you got a bum unit cause mine is smooth - in fact it has a large range of resistance

BennyOne
06-19-2006, 10:08 PM
yeah, loosening up the counterbalance actually helped a lot when i loosend it all the way. tilts are pretty good now. today i learned about counterbalance. thanks!

anybody know about replacing the levers for a couple that are a little bigger though?

dvxStephen
07-14-2006, 04:32 PM
Steve55, I purchased a two stage aluminum version of this unit a few weeks ago for a sound stage shoot, and fortunately afterwards was able to return it for refund (less restocking), as I agree with several of your concerns.

In particular, I found the drift-back problem even worse than you describe it. At full zoom on a HVX -- which isn't all that telephoto -- the drift back is an obvious, significant problem.

It's also tricky to balance right. LOTS of turns of various knobs. I was comparing it to a Vinten Vision 6, which I also own, and the Vinten has niether of these problems.

mbradley
08-03-2006, 07:46 AM
Thank you Jarred for your review and to all for additional good information. I too am shopping for a serious tripod.

As I have already stumbled once in my quest - buying the Bogen 503 head - I would love to read some responses to Steve55's post. As he mentioned, the 503 has serious drift back or "rebound" issues, so noticeable at all focal lengths beyond wide angle as to render this head essentially useless for serious panning with smooth stops.

So, you enthusiastic Cartoni Focus owners, is this an issue with your head or not? And what about his other criticisms?

I've already been guilty of shelling out for the cheaper garbage he mentions. I want my next tripod to be the last!

gco
08-15-2006, 09:15 AM
I just did a series of shots to capture the skyline at sunset and I think I have discovered a flaw in my Focus head. Each shot was a tilt starting from about 45 degrees down to the horizon. I tried this at various tilt resistance settings while using the handle to slowly, genlty, carefully push through the tilt move. Eventually, I moved the handle to face forward, extended it as a counterweight and set the tilt resistance to zero, letting the head float down to the horizon while using the tilt lock as a brake. The free float seemed to work the best.

After reviewing the shots on my tv, I noticed that clouds appeared to move side to side as the shot drifted downward from the high angle. Some people might not notice it but I do and its definitely there. When approaching horizontal, i.e, about 20 degrees, this is no longer evident. At first I thought it was me moving the handle. However, this also happened when I let the head drift down completely by itelf--hands off the handle.

Is this a flaw or am I just expecting too much from an $1100 tripod?

As an aside, the tilt resistance knob will sometimes make a squish pop sound. Nothing leaking out but dont know what to make of it.

any feedback/opinions appreciated,
Gary

tnle2
08-16-2006, 11:48 AM
Sounds like your head is not balanced. Ideally the head should not move or move very little regardless of how it's tilted and the locks are off. Have you balanced your head?

The squishy noise is also normal.

Mitch_Ives
08-16-2006, 01:08 PM
Sounds like your head is not balanced. Ideally the head should not move or move very little regardless of how it's tilted and the locks are off. Have you balanced your head?

His concerns are genuine. This head never balances perfectly with the 200. As a connoisseur of expensive tripods, I have a lot of experience with this. I am a big Cartoni fan (have Delta's), and the Focus is a lot of functionality for the money. Still, I am always hasseling with it to keep it operating as a proper fluid head should. My Vinten Vision 3 has none of these issues, and it has become primary for the 200's. The Cartoni is relegated to second camera...

tnle2
08-16-2006, 06:22 PM
I don't know, but it sure seems like he's operating the head in an odd way. I've never heard of anyone dialing out the fluid drag, using the pan handle as a counterweight to cause the head to drift down and then using the tilt lock as the drag. Or maybe I misunderstood his post. But more than once someone has thought their head was defective when really it was operator error because they did not have it set up correctly.

Mitch_Ives
08-16-2006, 06:44 PM
I don't know, but it sure seems like he's operating the head in an odd way. I've never heard of anyone dialing out the fluid drag, using the pan handle as a counterweight to cause the head to drift down and then using the tilt lock as the drag. Or maybe I misunderstood his post. But more than once someone has thought their head was defective when really it was operator error because they did not have it set up correctly.

Soory, you're right. I was sort of responding to this whole phenomenon that the Focus has and that so many others have been posting about in this thread...

gco
08-17-2006, 08:00 AM
Sorry if I wasnt clear at first, the whole idea was to get a series of decending shots from dark sky moving down to a sunset on the horizon. I actually did this test over several days after discovering the problem --- evidenced by clouds at the edge of the screen moving side to side. Again this effect stopped as the motion of the camera approached horizontal, i.e. as a tree enters the shot it stays perfectly in line with the edge of the screeen.

In order to test whether or not I was the source of the side to side movements, I purposely unbalanced the head by sliding the camera (100b) forward (otherwise the head stays put as it is supposed to). That way it would drift downward by itself thus taking my hands out of the equation to the extent possible---only touching the tilt lock as the cam approaches horizontal. The side to side movement of the clouds was less evident but it remained. In all shots with full zoom, balanced or unbalanced, its definitely there.

This has to be the result of the way in which the fluid cartridge is meteriing fluid through its channels. It doesnt do it evenly when moving through high angles. I just dont know if this is a defect or standard quality for this price range.

smelni
08-17-2006, 08:10 AM
I would wager a guess that the head is not intended to succeed at that sort of test - it is meant to be used while properly balanced and moved only while an operators hand is on it

Erik Olson
08-17-2006, 08:37 AM
The four socket caps secure a plastic top plate - not metal. We've broken two of them in addition to two of the flimsy arm sockets (also plastic here) under the weight of the Sony XDCam 350HD cameras.

I have no reservations recommending the Focus for lighter 1/3 form-factor cameras like the HVX. Anything over 15lbs. is pushing the specs of this particular head beyond its limits.

Our TLC series DPs quickly switched over to their own tripods (Sachtler, Vinten and Manfrotto) when the Focus heads started falling to pieces.

$.02 from the field,

e

hdinmotion
01-12-2007, 03:13 AM
Personally I can't share the enthusiasm for the Focus. I took delivery of one and sent it back due to the following characteristics that make the tripod head totally unusable for any series applications that require professional movies; there are a bunch of other gremlins with this tripod too. I've written up my own report and emailed it to Mrs Cartoni in Italy as I understand the like feedback. The owner is a bit of a perfectionist at Cartoni, so I'm hoping my comments are taken on board and they fix these issues in future.

I personally did not like the following:

I won't go into every test I do on tripods as part of my bench test, but I'll point out a few of the bad points about the Cartoni here. The first is the one that renders this tripod totally unusable for me.

I carried out my standard panning shot test. For this test I simply wind up the pan drag control about 70% of the way toward its strongest setting to aid in achieving a smooth pan with no jerky movements. I then zoom the camera right into a subject that has defined vertical lines in the scene, for this I used a high brick wall or building. Once zoomed right in with the correct exposure and focus I carry out a gentle pan to the right, then I aim to stop the pan with the horizontal edge of the building lined up with the left hand edge of the picture safety zone line on the flip-out LCD screen of the camera. The Focus head suffers from what I call serious ‘drift back’, meaning that when I get to the end of a pan and gently stop, as the head settles in the fluid, it drifts back a few millimeters. This does not sound like much, but when zoomed in this equates a very noticable movement at the edge of the frame; this looks ameturish. Most people looking at the center of the frame would not notice, but looking at the edge; forget it. This 'drift back' is glaringly obvious to professionals with a critical eye. I even slacked off the drag control so there was virtually no drag whatsoever, but still this ‘drift back’ problem was there. The Focus head is not the only head out there with this flaw, the Manfrotto 503 and 519 heads suffer from it too, only a lot worse. The Vinten Vision range and high-end Sachtler ENG tripods on the other hand do not suffer this problem, but they do cost more.

Other problems with Focus is the button you press to illuminate the spirit level light, it comes off too easily, mine was not on straight, so I pub my fingernail under it and peeled it off and stuck it back on straight, very cheap.

The pan handle sucks, it is too flimsy, when extended and the head is locked off, it bends real easily, I know you would not lock head off and do this, but I do it as a test, also, if you extend the pan handle about 2 inches, it rattles inside the outer shell when you pan as it is not a snug enough fit.

Don't like the quick-release plate, why it doesn't just slide like pro tripods I don't know. It is too difficult to balance as you can't make tiny adjustments on the plate in feat of the camera falling off the head.

The locking levers for pan and tilt hurt your thumb when locking the head off, especially the one for pan (or is it tilt, sent tripod back now so can't check) as it is facing the wrong way. You also have to apply some force to get it to lock off properly with a heavy camera. Also, when unlocking them, the camera shakes so if you are recording you can't unlock the shot to go into a pan without some jerk. I know this is what the balance system is for, but the lock levers need work.

Carbon legs are pretty good, but standard non-carbon ones are terrible, the legs have 'give' at the join between lower and upper parts. If you take the head off, grab the bowl and twist back and forth you will see what I mean. Design faults all over the place in the cheaper legs.

Personally, it is not a very good tripod at all, at least not to those who know what to look for and who actually try it out in the field.

I would not recommend this tripod, I'd go for a Vinten Vision 6 or a Sachtler DV8 any day. Might cost an extra £600, but you will know where that money went.

Please don't get me wrong, this is not a bitchy post, just how I found the tripod; from a cameraman point of view. You would be better off saving your money and getting a Manfrotto 503, it's just as bad, but if you are going to buy garbage, you might as well buy cheap garbage; unless you are happy with 'locked-off' shots of course.
I agree with Steve with this entire post. I own this tripod and have noticed the same problems.

I would like to try the vision 6 but I need a 100mm bowl for my jib. ( I want to use the same sticks) so im still looking around.

Justin Marx
06-15-2007, 02:05 PM
I just bought the Cartoni Focus, and I mounted my HVX. It seems as though it is wobbly when mounted.. if I grab the camera by the handle and push it just a little it woobbles on the head.. Does anyone have the same problem? It seems as though the bottom of the camera does not rest on the head.. so it has space to wobble.. All my cheapo heads and the expensive ones are level with the bottom of the camera..!!??!!

HELP!!

Am I doing something wrong?

dcort
07-25-2007, 06:03 PM
How much does the focus head cost?

Blaine
07-25-2007, 09:35 PM
How much does the focus head cost?

http://www.evsonline.com/merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=F100

LuckyStudio 13
09-12-2007, 12:30 PM
http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=166

"It would appear that after buying a semi-professional camcorder costing around £4,000, most people would go out and buy a tripod priced around £400, such as a Manfrotto 503/525P kit. Now, don’t get me wrong, the 503 Manfrotto is a fine budget tripod, in fact it is probably as good as you can get for the money. But this tripod (and many others like it) has some serious limitations that a professional simply could not live with. These include fluid drift-back, leg wind-up, dead-spots within the head and other mechanical limitations.......

I recently tested a Manfrotto 503/525P tripod, which cost around £365. As I’ve mentioned already, this is a great low-budget tripod, but it could not be used for any serious professional work. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is only really usable in the ‘locked-off’ position; don’t even attempt a pan as you will almost certainly see the dreaded drift-back effect at the end of the pan movement. This could be due to inferior quality fluid or the built-to-a-budget internal mechanics of the head perhaps? I’m not picking on Manfrotto tripods either, I recently reviewed the Cartoni Focus tripod, which costs £899 and it also suffers the same gremlins as the Manfrotto, so do many other budget tripods. It’s simply a case of you get what you pay for."

I have used both the 503 and Cartoni focus and i agreed with them 100%.

pixelator
09-14-2007, 10:30 AM
http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=166

"It would appear that after buying a semi-professional camcorder costing around £4,000, most people would go out and buy a tripod priced around £400, such as a Manfrotto 503/525P kit. Now, don’t get me wrong, the 503 Manfrotto is a fine budget tripod, in fact it is probably as good as you can get for the money. But this tripod (and many others like it) has some serious limitations that a professional simply could not live with. These include fluid drift-back, leg wind-up, dead-spots within the head and other mechanical limitations.......

I recently tested a Manfrotto 503/525P tripod, which cost around £365. As I’ve mentioned already, this is a great low-budget tripod, but it could not be used for any serious professional work. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is only really usable in the ‘locked-off’ position; don’t even attempt a pan as you will almost certainly see the dreaded drift-back effect at the end of the pan movement. This could be due to inferior quality fluid or the built-to-a-budget internal mechanics of the head perhaps? I’m not picking on Manfrotto tripods either, I recently reviewed the Cartoni Focus tripod, which costs £899 and it also suffers the same gremlins as the Manfrotto, so do many other budget tripods. It’s simply a case of you get what you pay for."

I have used both the 503 and Cartoni focus and i agreed with them 100%.


Iv'e got a 501, and yes, Lock off only, or loosen all the way up and never stop panning like at a soccer game. I saw this Cartoni reviewed somewhere with a face off with 7 other tripods in some magazine somewhere. Does anyone remember? Maybe 1 or 2 months ago? planing on a new pod $1,200 to $1,500 or so... Not to confuse the issue, has anyone seen Mathews new friction pro-sumer pod? $170 list? M25? looks like (not seen in person) a great starter pod for people.

RichardVClark
11-13-2007, 06:01 PM
The head and the bowl of my tripod is no longer moving freely when I level the tripod. Can I use some sort of oil to correct the problem?

Justin Marx
11-13-2007, 06:10 PM
i would give the boys over at cartoni a call

Nanometers
03-29-2008, 11:18 AM
Click Here to read the full review (http://dvxuser.com/articles/cartfocus/)


"Advanced pan and tilts such as dutch pans and ship snaps are very smooth."

Hi,

In the review you mentioned "dutch pans" and "ship snaps". I was wondering what you mean by these terms. Dutch pan - are you referring to tilting the head while shooting or panning with the head at an agle?. "Ship snaps" I haven't heard of. Always looking to learn. Would you elaborate?

Thanks

Nanometers

Zblock
12-02-2009, 03:25 PM
I've got a little problem with the focus head. It seem as if my hvx200 is too light for the drag at any level. I can't get it balanced quite right no matter how much I fiddle with it. My end result is either having too much tension so the camera comes up (when angled down) or falls back when level or angled up... Think I need to try and ad some weight to it?

Justin Marx
12-02-2009, 05:32 PM
The HVX works perfectly on that head.. I own both the focus and the HVX.. Seems like you need to BALANCE your camera on the baseplate.. I'm not sure if you are a novice or not so don't take it the wrong way..

DO THIS:

PUT all of you tension (fluid)/drag/EVERYTHING to its minimum. It should now be loose as a goose and spin freely..
Now unlock your tilt with your hands close by incase it wants to take a DIVE.. Now without adjusting ANYTHING, unlock the latch and slide the camera either FORWARD or BACKWARDS (depending on which direction it was going with everthing loose) locking the latch EACH time your adjust and remove your hands.. do this till the camera stays perfectly level without any tension or your hands on the camera.. You camera is now balanced..

If this doesn't work, your head is screwed up or your not doing what I said ;-)

Good luck - -

- - Justin

Donald Gregory
12-02-2009, 09:09 PM
I've had a Cartoni Focus for just over three years and the tilt lock had basically worn down to the point where the camera was no longer safe on it. I sent it in for service, expecting to pay a couple hundred or more to get it fixed and all I ended up paying was shipping. They said it was under warranty and replaced a number of parts and now its like a brand new head. Definitely a great head for the price.