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Re: Eclair ACL gitzo tripod

Yes, you need a solid set of legs.  But at long focal lengths, even
using a fluid head nicely within its rating, it is a challenge to
avoid small jerks and vibrations, especially when following erratic
action.  I use an old O'Connor 100 that is rated at probably 200 lbs
or more.  I'd take it out on sticks if it didn't require a couple of
grips to move it around.  And I'm talking about shooting with an Arri
SR-II.  We have a Cartoni Alfa II for video cameras.  This head is
rated at 22 lbs., but with the 13 lb. DVCPRO AJ-D700 camcorder on it,
zoomed 'way out you cannot make a small, slow move without visible
vibration, even at the highest drag settings.  Big moves are okay, but
try making a small correction--no good.  On the stage, using a crane
or dolly for a complex move, that big O'Connor still delivers smooth,
liquid moves even when I have to bend around the equipment in an
awkward position.
To each his own!  The bottom line is, as Warren says, don't cheap out
on the support equipment.  And try it out to see what works for you
and the kind of work you do.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614

wy@warrenyeager.com 11/7/01 12:09:52 PM >>>
I couldn't disagree more.  At long focal lengths, you need a very
head and a solid set of legs.  An overrated head will not be nearly
smooth as a head which is being used within the meat of its range. The
caveat is that you have to start out with good equipment.  Crappy
heads are
crappy.  It's so worth while to buy a good head.  You've saved a lot
money by buying and ACL rather than an Arri or Aaton, so spend a
little more
on a head.

People get so fixated on the camera, which is the least important
part of
film making. A film camera is nothing but a motor and a shutter. When the
shutter is open, the film has a free pass to the atmosphere, affected
nothing.. As long as it's working well, you'll get a stable image.

Cinematography is all about the lens, the lighting, the camera
support and
of course, the artistry of the Cinematographer.

So well done on buying a good, inexpensive camera.  Not put you money
it's important.  If you can't afford a good tripod, rent one.  Buy
the best
lens you can.  Find a gaffer with access to lighting (you'll never be
to buy all the lights you need) and finally, learn the craft.

Warren Yeager, SOC
www.warrenyeager.com ----- Original Message -----
From: "Wade Ramsey" <wramsey@bju.edu>
To: <EclairACL@topica.com>
Sent: Wednesday, November 07, 2001 7:21 AM
Subject: Re: Eclair ACL gitzo tripod

Personally, I prefer a head that is rated for a heavier camera
I'm using, actually, quite a bit heavier.  The reason is that when
need to zoom out to 120mm or more you need all the drag you can
Even a fluid head that is rated for twice the weight of your
may be difficult to use successfully at long focal lengths.  Even
short focal lengths, lots of drag (in my opinion) is good because
smooths out the movements so nicely and reduces any tendency to
moves.  I do primarily dramatic filming, so this is an important

The downside of this is that unless it has a breakaway feature,
can't do swish pans; it's very difficult to follow sports action;
costs and weighs more; and if your legs are light it may tend to
them when you do try a rapid move.

So I like to have a heavy duty head for normal use and one rated
closer to the weight of the camera for  sports, etc.

It's a good idea, if you can do it, to try out the head you're
interested in on the legs you want to use.  Some combos are simply
more compatible than others, as far as handling is concerned.  You
want to see how stable the legs are when the head is panned
with drag on.  Some lighter weight legs will tend to twist at the
or simply slide around on the floor.

Also, depending upon which ACL you have, some heads can't even be
used--the mounting plate runs into the 400' magazine.  We have an
ACL-1 and I made a 3/4" aluminum mounting block for the base to
it up so we could use it on a couple of heads that had larger
So be sure your camera mounts nicely on the head.

Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614

>>> wy@warrenyeager.com 11/6/01 11:20:33 AM >>>
The head is the most important part.  You keep mentioning tripods,
which is
by definition, the legs of the system. The fluid head is the most
element.  If it's too light duty, it will create sloppy moves and
constantly be fighting the head.  It will break at some point too.
If it's
too heavy, you'll be forced to use the lowest drag settings, which
limit the feel of the head, causing you to fight the head.

Weigh your camera (with battery, lens and a full magazine) AND the
head.  If
it comes out close to your legs' maximum, you're a little too
other words, don't put 30 lbs of weight on legs which a max of 33

Gitzo uses a 3/8" spud as a tiedown.  You simply screw the head on
tripod, which is fine (I have Bolex legs with the same system),
if you
want to use your camera on a dolly, you may have to find a way to
adapt the
system.  Dollies typically have a 100mm ball or a Mitchell mount.
likely have to build your own hi hat too, which I did, which again
isn't a
big deal.

Warren Yeager, SOC
www.warrenyeager.com ----- Original Message -----
From: "jason davis" <doodindee@hotmail.com>
To: <EclairACL@topica.com>
Sent: Monday, November 05, 2001 10:52 PM
Subject: Eclair ACL gitzo tripod

> I have found a gitzo carbon fiber tripod for sale g1549. Would
> o k for an ACL? How does carbon fiber compare in terms of
> concerned?? It has a load capacity of 33lbs. How would this
to a
> schatler. Thanks to all for the previous help. I am just getting
> so I have some pretty basic questions for you all. Thanks

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