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Getting an Ursa Mini soon...What tripod should I buy?

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  • Getting an Ursa Mini soon...What tripod should I buy?

    As in title, I'm upgrading to a UM4.6 EF from the BMPCC and therefore making a huge jump in terms of the set up weight. our current tripod has seen its last days so we will probably also buy a new tripod along with the kit.

    Wondering what's a decently affordable (<USD2k) and quality tripod that can fit my needs. I was originally looking at the Sachtler Ace L but then I realised that it's not going to be solid enough for the Ursa Mini.

    Looking to use the set up with the BM Viewfinder, shoulder kit, vmount and Samyang DS lenses. However, I'd like to future proof my tripod to be able to carry the weight of the CP2/CN-E/XEEN type of lenses as well.

    I haven't found much substantial discussion online and would really appreciate any suggestions put forth by anyone.


  • #2
    I really like my Vinten Vision Blue. It has variable counter balance, so provided you've centred the camera and you're within the minimum/maximum weight, you can dial in perfect balance. The fluid drag adjustments are great and it has some smart engineering to allow fast pans with more pressure, but increased resistance with less pressure.

    I got mine used on eBay, beaten up and covered in sand/dirt. It still worked smoothly, which suggests very good build quality and sealing.

    The Blue 3 and Blue 5 are the same, but take heavier loads.


    • #3
      What is good for one person is a load of crap to another. It may be personal preference but it can also be because the person had not used a better tripod than the one he/she is recommending. It is best to try yourself.
      Frank raves about his Vinten Vision 20 from the 80s no doubt it is a good fluid head but I must caution buying any old head that are no longer serviced by the manufacturer or third party, they are potentially near their end of life and if anything goes wrong you end up wih a expensive paperweight. I prefer buying nearly new used something with a lot of life and serviceable if needed.


      • #4
        I've got this, but non-carbon version. Works a treat and is very light weight.


        • #5
          I used to own the Miller Air (CF version) and it's great. Although an 11lb max might be pushing it. (I think they can realistically probably handle a bit more though.)


          • #6
            you know what I hate is that most about video tripod legs they aren't 70"+ like they just don't care about tall people having to bend over. SUCKS


            • #7
              The tripod height is set for the subject, not for the operator's comfort. Sorry.


              • #8
                I just noticed that a Compass 12 does 10 kilos, I might be able to push the budget a little more. I've rented an Air before and it was amazing. anyone have the Compass 12 though? any suggestions for sticks?
                Last edited by basilyeo; 12-11-2016, 07:11 PM.


                • #9
                  I use one of these for my 4.6k, The head is pretty good and handles the weight alright, the sticks are so-so, about what you'd expect at that price point.



                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ThomasHennessy View Post
                    I use one of these for my 4.6k, The head is pretty good and handles the weight alright, the sticks are so-so, about what you'd expect at that price point.

                    Thanks mate, I'll check with my local dealer to see if they have it.


                    • #11
                      For the price this is interesting:
                      It sometimes goes on sale.

                      I went to B&H and I auditioned the inexpensive fluid heads on display and I liked the E-Image heads best.

                      I know another union (local 600) camera op/dp who has been raving about these E-image sticks. The functional weight capacity of the head is optimistic- but all the rated weight capacities on fluid heads are optimistic- basically cut the weight capacity in half if you want a smooth head that can handle a telephoto without the shakes.

                      I have used Benro H8 heads (producer owned) and personally I detest them. The Benro head can't even handle the Canon 5D Mk3. E-Image feels like it has significantly better build quality. I own a tiny E-image head paired to old Manfrotto sticks (photo sticks!) for unmanned DSLR shots.

                      I've used some of the new Vinten Vision Blue heads, and as a union camera op I didn't like it at all. Low build quality for the money. These are the new heads, not the old Vinten heads.

                      Daiwa (Japanese) makes good broadcast heads- but kinda pricey. I owned a set once.

                      Miller is old line professional. Can't go wrong. $$$
                      Sachtler is old line professional- can't go wrong- and has great resale value. But $$$$$

                      Ops have been mentioning Secced heads/tripods lately too. Not as expensive as Miller (Arrow series) but supposedly professional grade. European company- I "think" made in China.

                      I haven't been happy with any Manfrotto head (I've owned a bunch). Hugely popular, but there are now better options at the same price point. I do however own a set of Manfrotto sticks- the 536 CF. Similar to Miller's Solo sticks but faster for me to deploy when working without an AC.

                      My main head is an O'Connor 1030HDS with Ronford 2 stage alum legs. I purchased it new, for the price of an economy car. But lasts much longer than an economy car.

                      A good deal, if you can find one, is an ancient O'Connor 50 head, modified by Visual Products. Old O'Connors didn't use 100mm bowls- it was some quack (by our standards) dimension.

                      A good fluid head, in the long run, is a much more important purchase than the camera. Right now cameras have an extremely short "relevant" life- something new and 'better" is always around the corner, every 6 months it seems. A good, professional fluid head will literally last decades. It is very difficult to operate a camera at a professional level (I'm not talking about interviews- we're talking about tracking action) with less than industry standard fluid heads.

                      Over the years I've owned:

                      Right now I own the O'Connor. When I really, really need to own a second light weight head, I'll likely go E-Image or maybe Secced. If I win the Lotto I'll get another O'Connor.

                      I leave the heavy heads for rentals- though I really miss my old Ronford heads. The Cartoni Master and Maxima heads are also nice big heads. I haven't used the Cartoni Focus series.

                      Doesn't Phil Bloom use the Miller Air?


                      • #12
                        Yes, yes he did., His Miller reviews got me to,try the Miller DS series for the Pocket and Micro camera rigs. It will also,hold mymLsnny AF100 with a Veydra Mini Prime lens mounts.

                        Nice tripods head review, and you brought up some very good,points on max loads with long lenses.


                        • #13
                          Saving for a OConnor 1030D for the URSA Mini 4.6K PL.


                          • #14
                            klk, thanks for the very very detailed post. that helps alot. my final purchase is likely to be a Miller Compass15 with Manfrotto sticks, given that the Mini is likely going to be our A Cam for a long time and the largest lenses we'll ever likely use will be the CZs. thanks everyone. I'm excited about the Mini.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rick.lang View Post
                              Saving for a OConnor 1030D for the URSA Mini 4.6K PL.
                              I see them pop up on eBay used for a few thousand dollars from time to time. They are great heads. I'd love to own one myself someday.