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    Looking For Tripod Info
    #1
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    I currently have a Sachtler FSB-8 head with Sachtler carbon fiber sticks that I really like. The head is very smooth and the sticks are great to work with. My problem is that when running my FS7II pretty stripped down (no baseplates or anything like that), my 70-200 GM and 100-400 GM are pretty shaky. Iím looking at what options are out there to help me alleviate the shake and at the moment Iím leaning on picking up a new set of head and sticks that hopefully can help me with this. Iím not sure if this will solve my problem or not, but Iíve tried just about everything else.

    My budget for a new set is about $4,000, but I could stretch it to around $4,300. Iíve narrowed my options down to 2, one being a Sachtler FSB-10 (linked below) with a Flowtech 100 tripod. This setup comes in right around $4,000 and would get me from a 75mm bowl into a 100mm bowl. It also would get me a beefier head and would be similar to what Iím used to since itís still a Sachtler system.

    The other option Iím looking at is a Cartoni Focus 18 head with a Stabilo tripod (also linked below). I have no experience with Cartoni, but Iíve heard great things about them. This setup comes in at around $4,375 and also gets me into a 100mm bowl as well as a fluid head thatís rated to be much stronger than the Sachtler FSB-10.

    Iím not sure which route to go, but Iíd love some feedback from those willing to share. Thank you!

    Sachtler System: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ..._flowtech.html

    Cartoni System: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...luid_head.html


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    #2
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    I'd rent a set before buying it. But I also know the 100mm bowl will make a difference.

    I have a sachtler video 15 and that does well with a FS7 and long lenses (with lens support).


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    #3
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Joshua:

    I'm going to think outside the box here.

    I currently own and have used the Sachtler DV6-SB tripod, on top of the Miller Solo DV 75mm carbon legs for the past 15 years and both are still going strong and in great shape. No center spreader and no ground spreader, which is why I use a Miller tripod instead of a Sachtler.
    Shooting mostly documentary, travel programming, spreaders are the bane of my existence. If you are shooting out past 200mm a lot, you probably need a spreader for steadiness. But at "normal" focal lengths, I don't need one. Yes, they add a little tosional rigidity but they are
    such a fiddly nightmare to work with when deploying quickly to grab shots, then moving on. I have found the Miller legs, both the 75mm and 100mm versions are fairly rigid and don't have too much flex or backlash and you can do away with the middle spreader, which for every
    manfacturer, they are clunky and waste valuable seconds setting up and fiddling with.

    If you never run & gun, maybe spreaders are fine though? For studio, I have no problem with them. For hiking through the desert though in a sandstorm or lugging your gear down a muddy trail in the Brazilian jungle, spreaders are a nuisance.
    When I was shooting with heavier, larger cameras, I used to have the Video 18 head but when I went to smaller, lighter cameras, I sold it to reduce weight.

    My main point is, IMHO, having used, rented and tested the FSB line pretty extensively, my advice would be to take your $4k and buy a good used Video 18 or 20 head and legs. I say this as a Sachtler fan, IMHO the newer Sachtler models are just not as good
    as the last generation stuff. The FSB heads are rife with plastic and nylon where the older were steel and aluminum. The tilt drag, in particular, on the FSB heads is clunky and has some stiction where my DV6 SB doesn't, especially on starting or ending a tilt, the silky smoothness that the older heads
    had is missing. I've seen some screaming deals here and elsewhere for quite good condition Video 18 and 20 heads with legs for your price range and lower. Not sure if you need one right away, but if you have a little time, have a look around and you may find a really, really good value on a
    superior head. I havent used the current Video 18 S2 much, I don't know if they are good as the older gen ones, but they are out of your price range anyway.

    Another option would be that Sachtler still has the DV12SB in the lineup at $3,600.00 https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ead_100mm.html From the looks of it, this is identical to how my old DV6SB is
    constructed, doesn't have all of the plastic and nylon of the FSBs in it, more metal and better feel to the tilt and pan clutches and mechanisms. It's rated to support 2-31lbs, should be right up your alley.

    As far as Cartoni, my only experiences with them were a few years back when we rented a few. When they work, they have a good feel but two of them were leaking fluid from the heads and were rough. I don't have enough experience with them to say
    if I would ever actually buy one but I can say that I feel that Sachtler, besides O'Connor and Ronford-Baker, (both are way, way out of your price range!) is the best tripod on the market. I also own a Miller and like it but the larger Millers as far as I have experienced, lack the finesse and feel of the
    Sachtlers. Same with the Vintens, the more expensive ones were okay but the cheaper ones are just re-purposed Manfrottos.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #4
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    Hey! Thanks for the reply. I'm like you in that I don't like working with spreaders for my work. I do a lot of run & gun doc type work and am filming in remote locations very often. I am very intrigued at the DV12SB you linked. If I were to swing that fluid head for $3,600 and were to sell my Sachtler FSB-8 head and sticks for say, $1,300, that would give me approximately $1,700 to spend on sticks. I like that the DV12SB weighs only 6 lbs since I am hiking a lot. What kind of sticks would you recommend (carbon fiber preferred) could I get for $1,700 that would pair well with the DV12SB while also keeping the weight down?


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    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Miller Solo DV Carbon 100mm legs, they are superb and only $1,047.00.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...bon_Fiber.html

    These are the 100mm version of the ones I've been shooting with the past 15 years.

    IMHO, the Sachtler Flowtech legs are the best on the market, lots of DVXers have them, I've tested and reviewed them
    and my colleague who is a great DP has a set and swears by them. The are just quicker to deploy than the Millers, which have
    the standard threaded collar leg locks and they are slightly more rigid. But they are also $2,200.00 in the 100mm version so slightly
    above your budget. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...bon_fiber.html

    The Millers are great but the Sachtlers are newer tech that actually works well too and I like the design a little better. But not enough
    to sell my Miller legs and buy the Sachtler.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #6
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    Miller Solo DV Carbon 100mm legs, they are superb and only $1,047.00.
    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...bon_Fiber.html

    These are the 100mm version of the ones I've been shooting with the past 15 years.

    IMHO, the Sachtler Flowtech legs are the best on the market, lots of DVXers have them, I've tested and reviewed them
    and my colleague who is a great DP has a set and swears by them. The are just quicker to deploy than the Millers, which have
    the standard threaded collar leg locks and they are slightly more rigid. But they are also $2,200.00 in the 100mm version so slightly
    above your budget. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...bon_fiber.html

    The Millers are great but the Sachtlers are newer tech that actually works well too and I like the design a little better. But not enough
    to sell my Miller legs and buy the Sachtler.
    Flowtech 100’s are the bomb. I’ve had mine for almost a year, now. After I showed them to a friend right after I got mine, they ended up buying two sets.

    Using those Miller’s or any “Gitzo style” legs is an absolute punishment. Yes, they are versatile and inexpensive, but God are they a pain to actually use. You can set-up, grab your shot and tear-down and move on with the Flowtech’s before you even get “Gitzo style” legs set-up(ok, slight exaggeration, but not much). The Flowtech’s also get down to near hi-hat level, just like the “Gitzo style” legs, too, so the versatility that they used to have over other legs is gone, now. Flowtech’s are worth every penny.


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    #7
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    If you need to get down...

    Flowtech 100 vs hi-hat:

    IMG_1627.jpg
    IMG_1629 copy.jpg


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    #8
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Flowtech 100’s are the bomb. I’ve had mine for almost a year, now. After I showed them to a friend right after I got mine, they ended up buying two sets.

    Using those Miller’s or any “Gitzo style” legs is an absolute punishment. Yes, they are versatile and inexpensive, but God are they a pain to actually use. You can set-up, grab your shot and tear-down and move on with the Flowtech’s before you even get “Gitzo style” legs set-up(ok, slight exaggeration, but not much). The Flowtech’s also get down to near hi-hat level, just like the “Gitzo style” legs, too, so the versatility that they used to have over other legs is gone, now. Flowtech’s are worth every penny.
    The Miller Solo VJ and Gitzo legs I have both go a good foot or so higher than the Flowtech 100s I have which is important for shooting over people's heads, doing an overhead shot without setting up a jib, etc. Also, perhaps somewhat unique to my needs, my Hollywood Microdolly has small holes that the tripod goes into, and the feet for the Flowtech do not fit in those holes, while the Miller and Gitzos do. Sometimes having big feet is a bad thing if the feet can't fit into the hole, and you know what they say about the size of a tripod's foot.


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    #9
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Run&Gun View Post
    If you need to get down...
    If I was in Joshua's place, I would spend the extra for the Flowtech but the Miller legs are fine, just not as fast to deploy or adjust.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    #10
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    The Miller Solo VJ and Gitzo legs I have both go a good foot or so higher than the Flowtech 100s I have which is important for shooting over people's heads, doing an overhead shot without setting up a jib, etc. Also, perhaps somewhat unique to my needs, my Hollywood Microdolly has small holes that the tripod goes into, and the feet for the Flowtech do not fit in those holes, while the Miller and Gitzos do. Sometimes having big feet is a bad thing if the feet can't fit into the hole, and you know what they say about the size of a tripod's foot.
    Even shooting a lot of news/sports/network type content(i.e: press conferences), I don't think I've run into a situation where the Flowtech's weren't tall enough, yet. That doesn't mean that there aren't times that you don't need more height, just sayin'...

    Have you popped the carpet feet off and tried to see if the spikes will line up with the holes?

    My Flowtech's don't sit properly on the dolly I have, either, because the spikes are smaller than on my Speedlocks. But I use that dolly for a live situation once, maybe twice a year and I have three other tripods that work with it, so it's a moot point for me. I'll usually take the gear that benefits/provides an advantage for me for 99% of my work as opposed to something that I perceive as a compromise for the majority of the time, but does work for those 1% of the time situations.

    That's the great thing about all of the choices for gear, there's probably something that's available to fit everyones needs/criteria.


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