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Re: Eclair ACL gitzo tripod

I couldn't disagree more.  At long focal lengths, you need a very smooth
head and a solid set of legs.  An overrated head will not be nearly as
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 of
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 by
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 where
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 able
to buy all the lights you need) and finally, learn the craft.

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

The downside of this is that unless it has a breakaway feature, you
can't do swish pans; it's very difficult to follow sports action; it
costs and weighs more; and if your legs are light it may tend to twist
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 rapidly
with drag on.  Some lighter weight legs will tend to twist at the top
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 raise
it up so we could use it on a couple of heads that had larger plates.
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 heavy.
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 to
tripod, which is fine (I have Bolex legs with the same system), but
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
----- 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 this
> o k for an ACL? How does carbon fiber compare in terms of vibration
> concerned?? It has a load capacity of 33lbs. How would this compare
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 again!!

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