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Tripod for Eclair NPR?


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If you're looking for a modern style of head with adjustable counterbalance, there's unfortunately a large gulf between the affordable heads and the heads that can handle a higher payload.  You're right to look on the used market.

Something like an old OConnor 30 doesn't have an adjustable counterbalance, but it's from the same era as the NPR and would probably work rather well.  When I owned an ACL, I used a higher-end Libec head - they're often overlooked because most Libec gear is aimed either at the low end or towards broadcast studios.  A used H70, H80, H85, or even H100 could likely be found at a much cheaper price than an equivalent head from another manufacturer.

Since you're in the UK, you might be able to more readily find a Vinten Vision 22SD - it's a substantially larger head, but would easily handle the weight of the NPR.  Though like any used, older head, spare parts are going to be difficult if not impossible to find should anything need repair.

For any head, be mindful of the stated weight capacity - it's usually quoted for a low center of gravity, while film cameras' C.G.s are much higher, meaning the maximum payload is much lower. 

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I have an old O'Connor 30 which I use with an Eclair ACL. Unfortunately I have been less than satisfied with the quick release plate and the part where it mounts - I don't know if it's just mine that has this issue, but it was very susceptible to small vibrations. Those were made even worse by the need to use a separate cheese plate in order to move camera forward to balance it, as then the center of gravity got even higher. 

 

In the end I wound up modifying my O'Connor 30: I removed the quick release plate and replaced it with the cheese plate. The plate is held there from separate points so it is sturdier than the quick release ever was. I also stuck some cardboard under it to further make it sturdier and dampen any possible vibrations. Now I'm quite satisfied, though there is no quick release. Slower but works.

On the other hand, previously I had no way of fully securing the camera and keep it from loosening by turning, now I have a second screw holding the camera steady in its place just by sticking to its bottom through the cheese plate...

I have a photo of the fluid head on my instagram account @kuparikettu

If I had the money, I'd go for a Sachtler Video...

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The ideal head is a Ronford F7, which I gather was originally  designed for the NPR. The downsides are that even used ones are expensive and they''re pretty heavy.

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