Last edited by Madjid El ayari; 10-02-2012 at 01:29 PM.
At this point I wouldn't shoot with anything less than the Manfrotto 509HD and 536 legs. You can get away with the 503 and 504, but no where near as good in my opinion.
Go by the weight rating for the head and you'll get a good feeling of what you can use. My rigs land between 15 and 35 pounds usually.
Huge vote of confidence here for the Libec RS 350 Majid. Great on the wallet with exceptional quality and performance.
Since everybody has a different idaa of what affordable is, why don't you post you budget, and max weight requirement, as in any situation could cover many bases.
I would say your bottom level tripod/fluid head combo for the Scarlet would be around $1500. Don't make the choice to go cheap on the tripod only to find out you need to spend another $1000 to get what you actually want to work with. It's an investment. But yeah, it would help to know what your budget is?
I like to think about cost vs flexibility/multi-use, and i get a lot from the kessler-crane tripod (http://www.kesslercrane.com/kpod-s/38.htm ) for $600 ... since you can use it for fluid head, jib , flex dolly and table end for a shuttle. Kessler is great for the "mid-range" weight rigs of not over 25 pounds. All my vdslr gear is just too wimpy for my RED setups.
If you look around, (Craig's List / Red User / Dvx User), and are somewhat patient, you might be pleasantly surprised what you can get. For instance, on Craig's List I picked up a mint (used for one feature) Manfrotto 526 head (I did have to buy a $35.00 quick release plate for it that was missing) and from our own for-sale forum, I just picked up a Vinten 3772-3 2 stage carbon fibre tripod-w-spreader, in excellent condition. Total cost: less than $1,000.00. I have just purchased RED's Dovetail Plate, Dovetail Quick Release Platform and DSMC Modular Assault Plate and I am totally happy. The cool thing is that I can also use the Dovetail Plate and Quick Release Platform with my Manfrotto 3245 monopod if I don't want or need the big tripod.
Scarlet X # 1859 “Bettie Page”
“… preparing to ‘whip’ the competition …”
There are many threads on this subject. Prepare to be frustrated.
You can't get a decent all-around video tripod for the epic/scarlet for much under $2500.
75mm systems are cheaper, but I think their limited load capacities/stability/ease of use would make them more suitable to run-and-gun or really creatively (inconvenient or more expense) stripped down set ups.
One of the cheapest/decent 100mm heads would be the cartoni focus hd at 1K. Not a perfect head but I don't think there's any 100mm close to performance/price. I wasn't too excited about its looks in person, and it's movement was just ok, but I didn't test it extensively.
Legs: Decent video, meaning 100mm legs, with a reasonable height, stable, easy to adjust...I think Miller, Cartoni, Vinten have legs around $1500. Carbon Fiber will be a little more but stiffer. Don't forget the spreader, which will be a couple to several hundred bucks.
You can spend an infinite amount of time messing with different combinations, but tripods are an unforgiving problem of pros and cons, which will waste many hours of your time.
You can save that time and money and just buy one of the libec or sacthler 75mm systems and dealing with lighter loads/weaker stability, or going cartoni for an affordable 100mm system.
If you have a higher budget, go with the higher end Millers, Sachtlers, then the O'Connor systems. I think you get what you pay for, although I would test these head/legs anyways because each may have its idiosyncrasies (or flaws), such as plate, handle, leg, feet, adjustment issue.
FWIW, I went to B and H and played around with some of the heads a few weeks ago, one of the Miller Compass 15 heads was flat-out busted. The pan mechanism was messed up something awful, can't believe a) they allowed that on the floor b) miller's lower end heads were that fragile
But some users here are real high on Miller, no personal experience, but it seems like they're generally using the better, more expensive ones.
Hopefully there might be more options for tripod head/legs in the near future, but prepare to deal with some compromises if you're working within a tight budget.
NO EASY ANSWER FOR TRIPODS
We have been testing one of these, and for the money, they are very good. Good fluid head, no problem handling the Epic and most medium weight lenses (we have not tried our 300 or 25-25 on it for obvious reasons) 75mm ball and lightweight legs. Fluid action on the head is quite good. We always have our bigger Cartoni system with us, but I'd have to give this one pretty good marks, especially for its cost and light weight.
About $700, from Lumiere Technology
EI7063A2 Video Camera Tripod Leg&Fluid Drag Head Hight1650mm/65"MaxLoad15Kg/33Lb (on ebay)
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