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Karl Lee

Sachtler Video 14II...Under-powered for an SR3? Your Suggestions for Head & Sticks?

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I was fortunate enough to have been given a Sachtler Video 14II fluid head and tripod about 15 years ago. It has served me very well for some DV and super 8 projects I've done over the years, and now that I'm shooting S16, I've been using it with my SR3 package. It's a quality and incredibly smooth fluid head, but I'm starting to get the feeling that it's perhaps a little under-powered for a fully-loaded SR3. The 14II has a 75mm ball mounting, and the sticks I have (also Sachtler) are single-stage aluminum.

 

According to the specs I found online, the Video 14II head is rated for a max. load of 33 lbs. and has a counterbalance system of 15 - 35 lbs. Completely assembled (with a full mag of film, zoom lens, matte box, battery, etc.), my SR3 weighs in at around 23 lbs. That said, it would seem that at least on paper, the Video 14II would work just fine with my SR3. However, in practice, while the head seems to pan and tilt ok with the camera attached, I just have the feeling that the head and sticks combination isn't quite up to par with what I should be using with a camera that's the size and weight of an assembled SR3, and I'm afraid that the entire assembly is even a little top-heavy with the camera attached.

 

In the meantime, I've been looking around at some options for a more formidable head and sticks. I'll probably want to keep it under $1500, so right now I'm considering some pre-owned options, like perhaps a Vinten Vision 11 or Vision 12 head with the signature Vinten gray aluminum sticks. I think the best option would be a 100 or 150mm mount, so any thoughts or suggestions would definitely be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

 

For some perspective, here's a photo I found (not my photo) of the head / sticks combination I have...

sachtlerMunchen14II_zps878f5fc5.jpg

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Hi!

I have a Cartoni Focus HD 100mm head with "carbon tripod 1stage DV 3 tube" legs. It works good with my SRII. What I like about it is that the counter balance is adjustable to also balance light cameras, so I can use it for my "day jobs" with lighter digital cameras too.

 

Take care/Kalle

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Thanks for the note, Kalle. Looking at the specs for the Focus HD, I noticed that it's rated at supporting cameras up to 26 lbs. My SR3 when completely assembled weighs in at around 23 lbs., so this seems a little too close for comfort. Do you use a heavier zoom or a lighter prime with your SR3, and do you have any other accessories attached to your camera when using the Focus HD?

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Hi,

I've just been using the SrII (S16 converted) With Zeiss Super Speeds and no extras. Thought the maximum wight was more… it will probably work for you, but I'm not an expert. It's quite cheap compared to O'connor and similar. Maybe a used O'connor could be a good idea for you?

Good luck!

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if using sachtler, I think something like Video20 is quite perfect for a camera this weight range and use if not using very heavy lenses. maybe Video18 is good enough for the camera weight and use, especially if you need to carry it a lot. I don't know Cartoni heads very well but they surely have something similar available.

100mm mount could be easier to handle if you're not planning to upgrade to heavier head later for bigger rigs

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a good rule of thumb I was taught by the rental people is to always use a head with about double the maximum load compared to the actual weight of your rig. so, for 10kg rig you would use about 20kg rated head, etc.

has always worked like a charm and over rated head has more stability and more precise moves compared to a head which is struggling near its load maximum.

but sometimes you just need to have something a little lighter to be able to carry it around more easily :rolleyes:

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