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Tripod for a 16mm camera. 6kg/13lbs. WEIFENG WF-717


Guest Vadim Trofymenko
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Guest Vadim Trofymenko

Hello. Just finished some work on camera and looking for a secure tripod. The problem is that I spent all my money on camera modifications and very little left. Was looking for a tripod on eBay and found WEIFENG WF-717, with fluid head. Is it the best option for £180/$290?

 

The camera with 400' mag, lens, mattebox is just little over 6kg.

 

Can anybody leave some feedback of this tripod or recommend something at this price range?

 

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And here is the link to tripod itself http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=190578551127

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Chinese gear is all very well but expecting it to conform to a specification is a tall order. It may be poorly made and wear out very quickly. If you're not going to use it heavily every day it may be OK but a known brand second-hand might be better. Too much Chinese merchandise is just very shoddy.

That said, I would probably buy it myself. But I'd read some reviews first. You can't take it back.

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I purchased a cheap Velbon Videomate 638 which is rated for 6 kg and it holds my CP-16 kit complete with body, mag, battery, lens, small matte box, and 400ft load of film. Pans are still smooth, no sign of any poor movement. I just use DIY sandbags my wife made me to stabilize the legs but it feels rock solid.

 

It isnt a pro setup but it is good for $110 USD and a 7.7kg rig.

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Guest Vadim Trofymenko

I purchased a cheap Velbon Videomate 638 which is rated for 6 kg and it holds my CP-16 kit complete with body, mag, battery, lens, small matte box, and 400ft load of film. Pans are still smooth, no sign of any poor movement. I just use DIY sandbags my wife made me to stabilize the legs but it feels rock solid.

 

It isnt a pro setup but it is good for $110 USD and a 7.7kg rig.

 

That's kind of response I was hoping for! Thanks Matthew.

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Vadim,

 

Don't make the mistake of going too small and light. A setup like Matthew describes will make it much harder to oprate well. Go bigger, heavier, stiffer (legs) with the best head you can afford. There are a few old tripods with 75mm bowls that come up for sale cheap that are still good, may not have tilt springs or the graded drag controlls of later models. Some of those are in your price range and I think they are the minimum you should start with. The Weifeng may be OK, there's probably someone importing those to London, so go try one out with your fully built camera.

 

Better, some 100mm bowl tripods may also be in your price range if you are lucky or patient. Otherwise just spend a bit more.

Go to eBay UK and in Cameras and Photography search Vinten or Miller.

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Gregg, I know you mean well and we all want premium gear but Id rather have him get something thiat I know will hold his gear than tell him advice of something he cant afford and then he gives up and buys something that will dump his camera on the floor. Most beginners (and some poor non beginners) are not going to go buy a Sachtler and spend more for the sticks than the camera. I love this forum but people are too unrealistic about money sometimes.

 

btw- I operate my setup just fine. Dont know what else to expect other than the thing holds my camera well, no shake, pans smooth, and can keep steady in full telephoto?

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..... I love this forum but people are too unrealistic about money sometimes.

 

btw- I operate my setup just fine. Dont know what else to expect other than the thing holds my camera well, no shake, pans smooth, and can keep steady in full telephoto?

 

Actually I'm trying to inject some realism.

 

I'm directing him to something like an old Miller, maybe with wooden legs. In the States these have been selling cheap recently. Check the sold listings for Miller. Saw about 3 units on that page in his price range (from late last year). I had an old Miller for years, never needed work, never leaked and the legs give a very stiff stable platform.

 

http://www.ebay.com/csc/Tripods-Supports-/30090/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=miller&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&rt=nc

 

I found it a bit harder to rummage around in the UK

 

I don't think your choice of tripod is realistic at all. You may learn to use that as best you can but it will effectively limit the range and standard of what you can achieve.

You are better off going too big than too small. O'Connor 50s are really cheap now.

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I don't think your choice of tripod is realistic at all. You may learn to use that as best you can but it will effectively limit the range and standard of what you can achieve.

You are better off going too big than too small. O'Connor 50s are really cheap now.

 

First off, its not true to go "too big" as there are problems with having a tripod rated too high for your camera. I dont even think my CP rig is big enough for an OConnor 50. And I have looked at those and many of them leak and have to be rebuilt anyway and last I heard, that was an $800-$1000 job. It may give you an awesome fluid head for about $1,200 which is great but when you buy your camera package for $650...well, I guess you know the rest.

 

You can argue the "room the grow" theory and that is a valid theory. But if I use that for every item then I will never shoot a project because I am always chasing the rainbow. I believe in shooting a project this year, not later when you have found the money tree. I know this sounds contradictory to my previous posts about quality but I believe you still have to be realistic with finances. I COULD buy a Sachtler or rebuilt OConnor but thats money that I cant see onscreen. Maybe I should just forget the tripod, add a little life to my film, go RR style and shoulder cam it while someone pushes me in a wheelchair...aka the Rodriguez dolly shot.

 

edit: You mentioned that it "limits what I can achieve." What should I be able to do with a tripod other than what I mentioned?

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When I bought my first camera outfit, I got a Vinten Vision 3 tripod. For this, with only the double-extension legs as opposed to the more desirable triple, I paid an at the time eye-watering £800. Secondhand.

 

When one of the plastic friction adjust knobs needed replacing, Vinten shipped it back, shipped me a loaner, replaced the knob, and charged me... £25 for the shipping. There are upsides to buying the real thing and there is no doubting the quality of a lot of big brand filmmaking gear. I also take the position that buying grip, lighting and other ancilliary gear is more worthwhile than buying expensive camera gear, as it's far less likely to go out of date. I suspect my tripod is more than fifteen years old. Last week I had it out with an Epic on it. The camera with which it was purchased (a 4:3 PAL interlaced-only DVCAM ENG camera) now gathers dust.

 

That said, when I bought it, I'd probably have bought the Big Happy Shiny Golden Sun Brand alternative if it had been £200, such is the commercial value of my brand loyalty.

 

Phil

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Guest Vadim Trofymenko

Hey guys, thanks for replies! Very appreciated.

After browsing forums I found some reviews of people using WEIFENG WF-717 tripod saying that they had problems with fluid motions when they put 10lbs on it. I think I'd better keep looking for something better.

 

However, at the moment I'm looking at the 6 ShKS tripod, which is soviet professional motion picture tripod. Well, was at least. Even used it's very expensive in good condition. I kind of trust soviet equipment, since I have a Kinor 16 CX 2M Super 16mm camera and it ben marvellous. Comparing to other cameras I've been working with such as Arri SR II there is no difference in picture quality. However, Kinor is a bit more noisily then Arri.

 

I'm trying to get affordable offer, but at the moment not much luck.

 

Here are some pictures of it

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$T2eC16h,!ysE9sy0k1WwBP6yZ1bWZ!~~60_57.JPG

Edited by Vadim Trofymenko
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First off, its not true to go "too big"......edit: You mentioned that it "limits what I can achieve." What should I be able to do with a tripod other than what I mentioned?

 

Problems, difficulties and non useful things are always possible. But the suggested tripods are particular.

 

I think quite a few people have used O'Connor 50Ds for 16mm cameras. I don't know what the minimum weight and camera centre of gravity (CG) height is. Find out. The answer may be useful to you. If your camera build is at 7.7kg already then I think you are heavy enough. Some of the 50Ds that are being sold will be useable as is. Others may have a small leak and still be useable as is. Yes, one should avoid buying a head that needs an moverhaul, but isn't this just beyond obvious. I think your friend Adriene has used 50D and could clue you up on them.

 

The older Millers with wooden legs are a good cheap option. Price-wise, both these and the O'Connor 50s are useful to Vadim (or you) now.

 

The Velbon 638 has a load rating of 8.82lb (4kg). At 7.7kg with the CP camera you are almost at twice the load rating. I don't know what safety factors the engineers employ for the design of these tripods but you are well outside safe normal usage. You may have nothing in reserve for inadvertent dynamic loads. A small accident by the grip that would normally not matter could produce these loads.

 

I don't know if there really is a rule of thumb for the optimal or maximum useful weight rating of tripods/heads. If there was it would something like less than half the specified maximum load..

 

Rather than quibble about what you can or can't achieve with the Velbon, just try operating with something bigger and better. A lot of the resulting stability comes from the mechanical stiffness of the overal geometry, and bigger normally neans stiffer.

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Problems, difficulties and non useful things are always possible. But the suggested tripods are particular.

 

I think quite a few people have used O'Connor 50Ds for 16mm cameras. I don't know what the minimum weight and camera centre of gravity (CG) height is. Find out. The answer may be useful to you. If your camera build is at 7.7kg already then I think you are heavy enough. Some of the 50Ds that are being sold will be useable as is. Others may have a small leak and still be useable as is. Yes, one should avoid buying a head that needs an moverhaul, but isn't this just beyond obvious. I think your friend Adriene has used 50D and could clue you up on them.

 

The older Millers with wooden legs are a good cheap option. Price-wise, both these and the O'Connor 50s are useful to Vadim (or you) now.

 

The Velbon 638 has a load rating of 8.82lb (4kg). At 7.7kg with the CP camera you are almost at twice the load rating. I don't know what safety factors the engineers employ for the design of these tripods but you are well outside safe normal usage. You may have nothing in reserve for inadvertent dynamic loads. A small accident by the grip that would normally not matter could produce these loads.

 

I don't know if there really is a rule of thumb for the optimal or maximum useful weight rating of tripods/heads. If there was it would something like less than half the specified maximum load..

 

Rather than quibble about what you can or can't achieve with the Velbon, just try operating with something bigger and better. A lot of the resulting stability comes from the mechanical stiffness of the overal geometry, and bigger normally neans stiffer.

 

Gregg, I am aware that Adrian uses an O'Connor. I dont know what other things he has on his rig that may add weight. He has a rail system for one which I dont have. Im not sure if he has video assist and monitor or not. Those can make additional weight differences. I am not disputing that an OConnor 50 is a good head. But its not as cheap and cut and dry as you make it. I had the opportunity to get one on ebay recently for about $200 but the fellow told me it would require unique legs since it isnt a modern style bowl. I dont know if he was right or not but it's his head so I assume he knows.

 

Once again, I think you mean well but one flaw you have Gregg is telling other people they dont know about their equipment. First off, you arent here with me to check out my rig and how it works. Secondly, you try to tell me what my tripod is rated for when the box is not but 3 feet in front of me. It's annoying when you tell me about things you havent even tried. Before you pull out your spec sheet or argue "but B&H said so..." remember that typos happen and mistakes get make in print. When all else fails, listen to the manufacturer before some vendor or random internet person. Here is a picture of the box so you can be more well informed next time. It is, like I said, 6KG.

 

post-14289-0-37750900-1357946114_thumb.jpg

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...... one flaw you have Gregg is telling other people they dont know about their equipment. ....

 

I may well be in error on the load rating of that Velbon. I checked the specs at B&H. Maybe they are wrong, or it's a different model. The gist of what I am saying doesn't change. The only reason I spoke up on this thread was because you were misdirecting someone else towards a really poor choice of tripod. To be honest, I simply can't reconcile your choice of tripod with the films you sound interested in making. It is a miss-step. It's not nescessary to see or handle the tripod to know this.

 

Have a talk about with someone knowledgeble that you trust. Either experience, good listening or just plain common sense should lead you to an affordable solution far superior to the Velbon.

 

Again, I don't think these opinions would come up if you were not misdirecting someone toward an inadequate solution. So I would say you are the source of difficulty here, and that this kind of thing is perhaps routine for you. You should only offer what you genuinely know or strongly believe in. I don't really feel either of those two things in evidence here.

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I may well be in error on the load rating of that Velbon. I checked the specs at B&H. Maybe they are wrong, or it's a different model. The gist of what I am saying doesn't change. The only reason I spoke up on this thread was because you were misdirecting someone else towards a really poor choice of tripod. To be honest, I simply can't reconcile your choice of tripod with the films you sound interested in making. It is a miss-step. It's not nescessary to see or handle the tripod to know this.

 

Have a talk about with someone knowledgeble that you trust. Either experience, good listening or just plain common sense should lead you to an affordable solution far superior to the Velbon.

 

Again, I don't think these opinions would come up if you were not misdirecting someone toward an inadequate solution. So I would say you are the source of difficulty here, and that this kind of thing is perhaps routine for you. You should only offer what you genuinely know or strongly believe in. I don't really feel either of those two things in evidence here.

 

EDIT: Better yet Gregg, Ill just agree with you and maybe then you;ll shut up. Yes, Gregg, you are right. I am using an inferior tripod and I beg your forgiveness. The OP should definitely postpone shooting any project until he can afford a tripod worthy of your standards.

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Yes, where is Chris Miller when I really need him. I think there sometimes is a useful value in just calling it as you see it even if one crosses the line into vulgarity.

 

But sticking to factual points, trying to herd you back to what has actually been said: I gave some directions to old tripods that were in Vadim's price range. It took me a few seconds to find the old Millers that had sold cheap late in 2012. Could he find something similar in London. My guess, yes. Without breaking his budget an O'Connor 50 might also be an option. Yes I suggested he might spend a little more and an old Vinten might be found in the UK. Absolutely nothing like "elitism" at work here. Quite the opposite actually, just tying to suggest cheap old gear that could be usefull.

 

I don't think that Velbon is realistic, nor is suggesting it "keeping it real". Quite the opposite. And defending this bizzare excursion with the Velbon is just completely puzzling. I think others have learned to ignore this kind of thing, or just flipped the switch in their personal settings to render it invisible

 

I wrote this before you edited your last post, but I think it's still relevant.

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Yes, where is Chris Miller when I really need him. I think there sometimes is a useful value in just calling it as you see it even if one crosses the line into vulgarity.

 

 

Well, If I am a vacuous ballsack then you are the sweat that comes off the vacuous ballsack :D

 

I agreed with you so please shut up friend.

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