First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 14, 2020 10:39 pm

Nine posts up, I raised the question of what the difference is between Miller’s CX2 and CX6 fluid heads, besides the fact that the CX6 has a significantly larger load capacity for an extra US$230.

Today, I came across a video on YouTube in which a Miller employee, while being interviewed at a trade show, says in passing that the company made the pan and tilt drag “lighter” on the CX2 compared to the higher capacity heads in the CX series. He says that Miller did this in response to customer feedback on previous heads.

This begs the question of what the difference is in drag, if any, between the CX2 and the CX6. Both have three drag settings plus zero. Starting with the CX8, which has the same load capacity as the CX6, there are five drag settings plus zero. However, at least I now know one avenue to go down when I visit B&H this Sunday. Other videos on YouTube about the CX heads, including one by ProAV TV using a Sony FS5 MK2, the body of which weighs less than a Pocket 4K, don’t even mention drag as a potential differentiator in these heads.

If it turns out that the only substantive difference between the CX2 and CX6 is the greater load capacity of the CX6, it’s unclear to me what the case is, in this price category, for purchasing a CX2. Interestingly, both Adorama and B&H have the CX6 in stock, but at Adorama the CX2 is “special order/shipped by the manufacturer” and at B&H it’s on “backorder”. My experience with B&H suggests that “backorder” in this case means that the CX2 is in stock intermittently and that, between the two, B&H mostly sells the CX6.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 2:33 am

This video, from Vistek, is the best overview that I’ve come across on the internet on fluid heads, ways to attach a fluid head to a tripod and a camera to a fluid head, and video tripod legs. Vistek is a photographic equipment retailer based in Toronto, where it is an important vendor of professional gear. The presenter doesn’t have the flash of fellow Toronto native Peter McKinnon, but he’s pretty good on substance. He even demonstrates with a Pocket 4K at one point. Looks like he’s also a fan of Sachtler’s Flowtech tripods:

“Fluid Heads and Tripods: Everything You Should Know”

Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 6:18 am

I found playing it at .75 speed to be helpful. Slow and methodical wins the race....
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 2:14 pm

Interesting to see the Flowtech in operation. With my two stage tripod, I often only use one stage. Converting to to use the second stage with the camera mounted is some precarious balancing act! With the Flowtech, he would just extend each leg a smaller amount and the continue extending the legs further. Safer.
Rick Lang
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 6:51 pm

Yeah, that is really slick. Here's a great, just fantastic video on the Sachtler vs the Cartoni. I think this guy could write about the paint drying on the wall and I would find it worth listening to:

Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 7:44 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:Here's a ... video on the Sachtler vs the Cartoni.


Cinema5D’s profile of Cartoni:

Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 7:47 pm

These are the fluid heads that I want to discuss tomorrow with staff at B&H. Sachtler’s FSB 6 and Miller’s CX6 are on the floor in B&H’s video department. The only Cartoni that they have on the floor costs $10,000 :)

Sachtler FSB 6 (released 2010)
Manufacture: Cartago, Costa Rica
Nearest service: Connecticut

Miller CX2 and CX6 (2018)
Manufacture: Sydney, Australia
Nearest service: New Jersey

Cartoni Focus 8 (2015) and Focus HD (2011)
Manufacture: Rome, Italy
Nearest service: California

For more info, see 6 and 15 posts up. Since those posts, I’ve added Cartoni’s Focus HD, a 100mm fluid head, to the list. B&H is also showing a Focus 10 as a new product, “coming soon”. Cartoni does not show a Focus 10 on its web site and does not appear to have announced this model. It’s possible that Cartoni is making the Focus 10 specifically for B&H.

The question tomorrow is whether I can identify advantages over my US$142 Manfrotto head (MVH500AH) that make one of these heads worth about a thousand dollars more (except for the Focus 8, which would be about $650 more with a flat base adapter). Also, I’ve ruled out purchasing a fluid head that has questionable support/service in the U.S.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 10:37 pm

Good luck, Rob. Your findings will be very interesting. If you include some findings that may be more relevant to supporting a minimum of 26 pounds, I’d appreciate that although I know you may not purchase that one.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 15, 2020 11:33 pm

rick.lang wrote:Good luck, Rob. Your findings will be very interesting. If you include some findings that may be more relevant to supporting a minimum of 26 pounds, I’d appreciate that although I know you may not purchase that one.


Hi Rick,

That’s a different league. If you need a minimum of 26lbs (12kg):

in Cartoni, it’s a Focus 18, Focus 22 or up a range;

in Miller, either a CX18 or one of their heavier duty heads;

in Sachtler, it’s up a range, nothing in the FSB series would work.

As fluid heads go, I guess I’m looking at pretty lightweight gear, kids’ stuff :)
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 16, 2020 3:27 am

Rob, my URSA Mini 4.6K PL rig is that if I add the 1.33x-65 Anamorphot, with matte box, dual PD Movie motors etc, BMVA12G7 and dual NP-F970 batteries. The BMPCC4K is my light rig which would be in the range you are likely evaluating. Thanks.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSun Feb 16, 2020 9:30 pm

B&H had more on display than I expected and I think that any of the heads that I looked at would work fine. Because the heads were display units, heavily played with by customers, I can’t make fine distinctions. I’d need to go in with my camera and a shortlist of two, ready to purchase, and ask for new units to be brought up from the stock room. On look and feel, admittedly subjective criteria, I would rank them as follows:

Cartoni Focus HD
Miller CX2 and CX6
Sachtler FSB 6

I plan to call Cartoni’s US distributor this week to get details on the Focus 10, which B&H says on its web site is a new product “coming soon”. The Cartoni web site does not show this product, and the B&H staff that I spoke with know nothing about it. Here are the Focus 10 specs from B&H’s web site: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... html/specs

If I get serious about this, I also want to see the Cartoni Focus 8, which was not on display but which staff can call up from stock.

In addition, I plan to contact Miller to get a better understanding of what the difference is, apart from a big difference in load capacity and a fairly small difference in price, between the CX2 and CX6.

Miller’s strong American/Canadian presence, and the fact that it updated its lightweight heads in 2018, are arguments in its favour. The Sachtler FSB 6 and Cartoni Focus HD are a decade old. Current marketing practice suggests that these heads will be updated sooner rather than later, which will not help their resale value.

I’m also inclined to support Cartoni and Miller as independent specialist manufacturers. By comparison, the Vitec Group, which owns Sachtler, is a publicly traded conglomerate that will probably survive without my business on this product. For those interested in independent manufacturing, five posts up there’s a video profile of Cartoni.

All that said, I did not leave B&H with a clear answer to the question of whether my US$142 Manfrotto head needs to be replaced. In the world of small, light cameras, shoulder rigs, gimbals and portable sliders and jibs, I’m not fully convinced that tripod-based, high precision pans and tilts are worth a thousand dollars. I find it interesting that the big YouTube names in photography and video, who review just about everything, don’t spend a whole lot of time talking about fluid heads.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 1:58 am

In the video I posted, the guy mentions that one of the things a person might take pleasure in is that the Cartoni gear is still made in Italy. Thanks for pointing out the information about Miller as well.

I guess the other question is whether these are adaptable to a flat base tripod (for instance I know for the Gitzo you can remove that top plate and I assume, put in a bowl) and how well they perform in that scenario.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 2:52 am

Chris Leutger wrote:In the video I posted, the guy mentions that one of the things a person might take pleasure in is that the Cartoni gear is still made in Italy. Thanks for pointing out the information about Miller as well.

I guess the other question is whether these are adaptable to a flat base tripod (for instance I know for the Gitzo you can remove that top plate and I assume, put in a bowl) and how well they perform in that scenario.


Hi Chris,

The Cartoni heads require an adapter for use on a flat base. I’m coming around to the view that this is not necessarily a bad thing. The Sachtler bowl can be removed, but apparently it requires breaking a Loctite seal, and if the Loctite is not reapplied when the bowl is put back there’s a risk, if one isn’t paying close attention, of the head coming apart in use. I don’t think that it’s a big deal to make sure that the parts are fastened securely, but it’s true that if they came apart it wouldn’t be funny. The Miller can also be configured for use on a flat base, but I have to ask Miller whether it raises the same kind of issue. In any event, as you suggest the Gitzo Systematic tripods (I use one) will take a bowl. My Ries tripod won’t, but maybe that’s where an adapter comes in.

The other thing to be aware of with the Cartoni heads is that only the Focus 8 is 75mm. The Focus HD that I saw today, and the Focus 10 that B&H says is “coming soon”, are both 100mm. Bowl size is also an issue on which my view is evolving, largely as a result of learning that wildlife/bird videographers, and wildlife still photographers who use fluid heads, prefer 100mm to 75mm bowls. This brings home that the question of fluid heads and smooth pans and tilts is tied up with the question of tripod stability.

On design, I should admit that I am not unbiased - I’ve lived in Italy, my motorcycle is Italian and my suits - even when I lived in France - are Italian :) The Cartoni heads have Italian design written all over them. The Miller CX heads look similar in a way, like someone took the Cartonis and gave them a New World Australian spin. I liked both.

I haven’t seen “1917”, but this evening I saw an interview that Arri did with Roger Deakins. Having wondered about the role these days of locked-off pans and tilts, this rather underscored the question. Pretty amazing technology:


Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 7:19 am

Thanks Rob. Very interesting video.

I'm hoping to get to AbelCine next Friday to talk to them about this. My feeling on the 75 vs 100 conundrum is that I don't see myself getting an Alexa, Red or an Ursa Mini to put on the head so 100mm seems like overkill. I think birders use the larger size because of this ginormous lenses they use. Something I'll never do. I'll ask the guys at AbleCine, but since I see BM Pockets being my camera of choice for the foreseeable future mostly I'll be using a small setup. The largest camera I would put on that would be the Eclair ACL and that's 12-14 pounds with 400' foot mag and lens. But I doubt that's a long-term thing so I'm not going to move up just for that. I do see the possibility of getting dedicated tripod legs along with a fluid head. That would be my nod to stability. But I'll see what the experts say. I'm leaning towards the Miller myself. Unfortunately, AbelCine is not a Cartoni dealer, but luckily, the dealer is in Burbank as well.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 3:32 pm

I’ve solved the mystery of the Cartoni Focus 10 fluid head. It’s a new head that Cartoni is releasing in advance of NAB 2020. It looks to me like it’s an update of the Focus HD (released 2011) that I saw yesterday and quite liked:

Cartoni Focus 10
Price: US$950
Weight: 2kg (4.4lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-10.9kg (0-24lbs)
Bowl Size: 100mm

Miller’s 75mm CX6, with similar load capacity, is $410 more at $1360. CX6 specs:
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-12kg (0-26.4lbs)

At this point, I would not consider Sachtler’s FSB 6, which is the same price as the Miller, has less capacity (topping out at 8kg/17.6lbs) and is a ten year old product. I think that the Sachtler is now on marketing life support, and will be replaced this year or in 2021.

More info on the Focus 10, and photos, on B&H’s web site: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... 100mm.html

B&H also describes the 75mm Focus 8 ($670) as a new release. The Focus 8 was launched in 2015, so I don’t know what describing it as a new release is about: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... _head.html

Elisabetta Cartoni mentions the Focus 10, without using the name, at 05:00 of this video. The video is from last fall’s IBC show in Amsterdam and is principally about a new line of aluminum tripods called Red Lock:



She also mentions the Focus 10, this time by name, at 02:50 of this IBC video:

Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 5:29 pm

With the new info on Cartoni’s Focus 10 (see above post), I now have a short list. I plan to call Cartoni and Miller for answers to a couple of technical questions, at which point it should be possible to narrow this down to one Cartoni and one Miller. Next step would be to try out the two remaining heads with my camera.

In order of price in USD:

Cartoni Focus 8 (launched 2015; 2020 update?)
Price: $675
Weight: 1.8kg (4lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-8.2kg (0-18lbs)
Bowl: 75mm
Warranty: 5 years

Cartoni Focus 10 (2020)
Price: $950
Weight: 2kg (4.4lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-10.9kg (0-24lbs)
Bowl: 100mm
Warranty: 5 years

Miller CX2 (2018)
Price: $1125
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-8kg (0-17.6lbs)
Bowl: 75mm
Warranty: 3 years

Miller CX6 (2018)
Price: $1360
Weight: 2.3kg (5.1lbs)
Load Capacity: 0-12kg (0-26.4lbs)
Bowl: 75mm
Warranty: 3 years
Last edited by robedge on Mon Feb 17, 2020 6:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 6:07 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:I'm hoping to get to AbelCine next Friday to talk to them about this. ... I'm leaning towards the Miller myself. Unfortunately, AbelCine is not a Cartoni dealer, but luckily, the dealer is in Burbank as well.


Hi Chris,

I’m very interested in what you learn, whether via a post here or by personal message. I was at Abel’s New York office a couple of weeks ago to get some ARRI parts. It’s a considerably calmer environment than B&H, with a lot of expertise. Abel does offer some Cartoni products on its web site, and as recently as 2017 uploaded a video about two of the Focus series heads to YouTube, but perhaps things have changed. If the Burbank dealer is Manios Digital and Film, it’s Cartoni’s US distributor and service centre.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 9:03 pm

Yes, I looked at Cartoni's web site and found Manios. AbelCine has a couple head devices, but they don't carry a range of products like Manios, which makes sense. I fly out this afternoon. Depending on my hectic schedule, I may be able to run up to Burbank tomorrow, but more likely, it will be Friday.

Too bad the Focus 10 is a 100mm bowl...

It looks to me like the new Cartoni leg locks are their own version of the Sachtler/Vinten Flowtech leg locks...which would make a Cartoni package deal more appealing.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 9:17 pm

Chris, the new Cartoni Focus 10 tripod bundle is ‘native’ 100 mm but the tripod has the equivalent of a stepdown ring that will function as a 75mm bowl if you have other fluid heads with 75mm balls. Moving up to 100mm is a good thing in my opinion. That’s what I had planned to do before this thread discussion. My dream head, the OConnor 1030d is 100mm.


http://www.llsr.com/product/oconnor-103 ... od-system/
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 9:53 pm

rick.lang wrote:My dream head, the OConnor 1030d is 100mm.



Pin money :)

Chris and I both have Gitzo Systematic tripods. I know that they’ll take a 75mm bowl, but 100mm?

Bingo:


32DEC2CB-E2A5-4D86-BA3D-AC358C19011E.jpeg
32DEC2CB-E2A5-4D86-BA3D-AC358C19011E.jpeg (42.49 KiB) Viewed 3098 times



Mind you, not cheap for something that probably costs less than $5 to make: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... bowl.html/
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 10:07 pm

Good find, Rob.
Rick Lang
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 10:21 pm

Cool! I did not know that Gitzo adapter existed. Thanks Rob. As for O'Connor, yes, if I had unlimited funds and time, I'd put my Arri Mini LF on that head and attach my set of Cooke Panchros....
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostMon Feb 17, 2020 10:59 pm

rick.lang wrote:Moving up to 100mm is a good thing in my opinion.


I’d love to hear your reasons if you’re willing to expand on this a bit. If that Cartoni Focus 10 head is more or less the equal of the Millers for performance and reliability, it’s attractive financially as well as 0.7lb lighter.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 18, 2020 12:13 am

Rob, I don’t have that 100mm bowl currently but it seems the larger bowls are associated with tripods that provide larger loads with greater stability and ease of use when leveling the camera base. 150mm is another option for even heavier loads. Often you can still manage with a smaller bowl but somewhere around 10 Kg, 100mm seems to be recommended. I hope others here can provide more information.

Now if you’re under 10 Kg, 100mm might still make sense if you want some future-proofing. When I started with the URSA Mini 4.6K, I never thought I’d be adding as much as I have. I remember when I was shopping for a head in 2016, I was shown a model that was over $400 and I just scoffed at it as it seemed overkill. I was wrong. The weight of cameras may be trending lighter as in the ARRI LF Mini, but accessories are becoming more capable and appealing, such as the BMVA12G7.

Perhaps if you pickup that Cartoni Focus 10, you’ll tell me why 100mm bowls are good! I was very impressed with the Cartoni videos and they are a very special company in this day and age to do it all in a shop with 60 employees while they recognize China is making some very good products too.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 18, 2020 12:59 am

rick.lang wrote:Rob, I don’t have that 100mm bowl currently but it seems the larger bowls are associated with tripods that provide larger loads with greater stability and ease of use when leveling the camera base. 150mm is another option for even heavier loads. Often you can still manage with a smaller bowl but somewhere around 10 Kg, 100mm seems to be recommended. I hope others here can provide more information.

Now if you’re under 10 Kg, 100mm might still make sense if you want some future-proofing. When I started with the URSA Mini 4.6K, I never thought I’d be adding as much as I have. I remember when I was shopping for a head in 2016, I was shown a model that was over $400 and I just scoffed at it as it seemed overkill. I was wrong. The weight of cameras may be trending lighter as in the ARRI LF Mini, but accessories are becoming more capable and appealing, such as the BMVA12G7.

Perhaps if you pickup that Cartoni Focus 10, you’ll tell me why 100mm bowls are good! I was very impressed with the Cartoni videos and they are a very special company in this day and age to do it all in a shop with 60 employees while they recognize China is making some very good products too.


Thanks for that.

Cartoni, with its Focus 10, and Miller, with its CX10, offer 100mm heads with a load capacity of zero to 11kg (Cartoni) and 12kg (Miller) respectively. At the top end, these are not high loads, and they are maximums that I imagine most people avoid approaching. Miller, in its description of the CX10, refers to a number of fairly light camera platforms and effectively says that this is not a matter of load, but a matter of improved stability over a 75mm head.

The thing that most attracts people to Ries tripods is the solidity of the square leveling head, which is either 4” or 6” square and brings stability to a camera that other tripod heads simply don’t. I am thinking that bowl size in fluid heads may be analogous. A lot of wildlife and bird photographers/videographers are using 100mm, and even 150mm, fluid heads with lightweight mirrorless cameras. They are doing it because they think that they get more stability with larger bowls, which shows up particularly when using long focal lengths. It may also show when using a Pocket 4K with a long lens on rods, etc. on a city street, or in a bit of wind.

If one has a choice between two fluid heads, 75mm and 100mm, and there isn’t a meaningful weight penalty for the latter, the larger head would appear to make sense. I’m not suggesting that this is the only factor, but I think that it’s one worth considering.

It sounds like Chris is going to raise this question of bowl size when he visits AbelCine, and maybe he’ll pass on what they have to say.

I agree with your comment about Cartoni as a business. The Cinema5D profile earlier in this thread is worth watching.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 18, 2020 1:55 am

Yes, I agree. I looked at a couple videos that seemed to admire the company. I had thought the top end recommended load for the 100mm would be more than 11 Kg.

So if I ever bought that dream OConnor 1030d, I should get the 150mm bowl versión. I really thought the price of the 1030d would drop significantly when they introduced their 1040, but that didn’t happen as I recall. I guess quality gear is like a quality lens, it ages well. Unlike some cameras that are ‘replaced’ every 6 months to a year.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostTue Feb 18, 2020 10:30 pm

Here are service and operational differences between the Cartoni and Miller heads on my short list (see 11 posts up). Cartoni info is based on the Focus 8 and Focus HD. The new Focus 10, not yet available, may have some differences from the Focus HD. Miller info is based on the CX2 and CX6.

Warranty and Service
Cartoni: 5 years, Burbank
Miller: 3 years, New Jersey

Counterbalance
Cartoni: variable
Miller: zero plus 15 settings

Pan and Tilt Drag
Cartoni: continuous
Miller: zero plus three settings

Tilt Range
Cartoni: +90° to -90°
Miller: +90° to -75°

Quick Release Plates
Cartoni: The Focus HD plate is proprietary. The Focus 8 takes Cartoni/Sachtler/Manfrotto plates.
Miller: proprietary

Pan Bar Included with the Head
Cartoni: telescoping
Miller: fixed length

Spirit Level
Cartoni: illuminated on the Focus HD, not illuminated on the Focus 8
Miller: illuminated

Mounting the Head on a Flat Base
Cartoni: requires an adapter
Miller: can be done, but how easily/conveniently is unclear

Who Can Replace a Worn-out Rosette?
Worth noting, but for my purposes not a significant differentiator.
Cartoni: technician
Miller: user
Last edited by robedge on Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:46 am, edited 2 times in total.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 12:14 am

Thanks for the summary, Rob.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 1:09 am

rick.lang wrote:Thanks for the summary, Rob.


I find it helps to write stuff like this down. Great if people find it useful. Given your location, I should note that Miller also appears to have an office in Vancouver, but I don’t know if that office handles service. You may know more about that than I do.

In principle, I’m attracted to the idea of continuous counterbalance and continuous pan/tilt drag, and in my situation I question whether the easy repeatability of steps/detents is an advantage. In any event, I’m coming around to the idea of going ahead with this, and if I do I’ll test a Cartoni and a Miller with my camera, with both the Fujinon 18-55mm and a prime lens, before making a decision. I just have to get it down to one Cartoni and one Miller, from two of each :) I’m hopeful that brief phone discussions with Cartoni and Miller this week, to get answers to a couple of technical questions, will accomplish that.

Also looking forward to any comments that Chris Leutger has arising from his visit this week to AbelCine (Miller) and maybe Manios Digital and Film (Cartoni).
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 3:33 am

Yes, and there’s a Cartoni dealer in Vancouver. I’m leaning toward them on the heavier end. If the tripod will handle the Fujinon MK, the prime should be no problem. I have that Fujinon 20x7.8BRM M10 that’s even larger which I’d use on the big rig of the URSA Mini 4.6K. Trouble is it wouldn’t surprise me if my full ‘big’ rig is at least 26 lbs.

The infinite adjustability on the Cartoni is similar to that of the OConnor for significantly less money. Not a fan of the stepped adjustments, but they’ll do the job as well and it’s easier to remember the values with different rigs.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 4:23 am

This thread has now had 7,000 views, which suggests that a fair number of people have found it useful. I want to thank the contributors, from whom I, and I gather others, have learned a few things: John Brawley, Claude Chiarot, Mark Garrett, Brad Hurley, Donald Keller, Rick Lang, Chris Leutger and Howard Roll.

Thanks to all of you.
Last edited by robedge on Wed Feb 19, 2020 4:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 4:26 am

Thank you, Rob.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostWed Feb 19, 2020 11:46 pm

I spoke with Miller and Cartoni representatives today. Both were very helpful.

There is no difference between the Miller CX2 and CX6 fluid heads except load capacity and price. The Miller rep looked at the internal schematics while we spoke to confirm this. The rep also does not believe that there is any disadvantage to using the CX6 with cameras in the weight range of the Pocket 4K. He was not surprised that I’m a bit puzzled that both heads exist, which led to him talking about the previous generation of Compass heads, where the existence of two models made sense due to differences in minimum loads.

The Cartoni Focus 10 fluid head is essentially the same as the Focus HD. The differences are largely cosmetic. The name change arises from Cartoni’s new line of “Red Lock” tripods, with which the Focus 10 will be bundled as well as sold on its own. The Focus 10 should be available in early to mid-March.

The Cartoni rep said that he thinks that a 75mm Focus 8 would be a perfectly good match with a Pocket 4K. That said, at my instance we got into a discussion about 100mm and 75mm heads. The rep said that he believes that 100mm heads are inherently more stable than 75mm heads, and that the difference is noticeable in use. Miller says much the same on its web site, and this is consistent with my own experience in still photography.

The rep also confirmed that an adapter is needed to mount a Cartoni head on a flat base. Cartoni itself makes a 100mm to flat base adapter, although it is fairly expensive. B&H sells several cheaper adapters. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask the Miller rep how easy/convenient it is to configure one of their CX heads for a flat base tripod. I intend to follow up on this question.

The minor issue of rosette wear appears to be a wash. In trade show videos, Miller pushes the fact that its CX rosettes are user-replaceable. Cartoni uses hard plastic rosettes on its pan bars. These do not cause wear to the metal rosettes on the fluid head and are easily replaced by the user.

I also learned that Miller’s New Jersey office is also its North American warehouse. Cartoni is represented by a distributor - Manios Digital and Film - in Burbank, California, which also services Cartoni heads. Miller’s warranty is three years, Cartoni’s is five.

As I said in an earlier post, I look forward to Chris Leutger’s comments arising from his visit this week to AbelCine’s Los Angeles office (Miller) and possibly Manios (Cartoni).
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 4:07 am

I want to follow up on the discussion earlier in this thread about syncing picture and audio. I’ll post a photo or two this weekend, but here’s the gist.

I use a slate because it’s foolproof and because I can write shot and audio data on the slate that is consequently right in front of me when I edit.

I decided to try using timecode as an experiment. One of my two audio recorders - a Sound Devices 702T - can both record timecode to its audio tracks and feed that timecode to the Pocket 4K.* The 702T sends the timecode via its Lemo 5-pin timecode port and the Pocket 4K receives it via its 3.5mm mike port. The sound shop that I use made a Lemo > 3.5mm cable for me that is 4’ (1.2m) long.

This makes syncing picture and audio very easy, but unless I also use the slate I don’t have the footage that the slate gives me showing shot and audio information. The way to get around this is to talk into the mike, making that information part of the audio recording. I am not keen on going down this road, nor in metadata alternatives, which invariably involve hunting around for the metadata. Just give me the info in front of my eyes on the slate :)

That said, the use of timecode does speed up syncing and means that I can turn off the camera’s audio completely, because if I use both a slate and timecode I no longer need a scratch track as a sync backup. I regard turning off camera audio altogether as one of life’s little victories.

So far, I’m happy to run a cable from the audio recorder to the Pocket 4K, which means that I don’t have the additional expense and hassle of adding to the mix timecode boxes such as the Tentacle Sync E, Ambient NanoLockit and Timecode Systems UltraSync One. I do not regard hanging more gizmos off the camera, messing around with yet another app and periodic jamming as progress.

However, it’s probably worth noting that I’ve looked at these boxes enough to know that the cost of cable is a significant consideration when choosing one of them. In my case, despite liking the more rugged build of the NanoLockit, the latter would require a Lemo > Lemo cable that would make the Tentacle Sync E less expensive by $60-$90. Consequently, if I decide, against my better judgement, that I want one of these boxes, the Sync E is likely to be the one that I choose.

I also have a MiixPre-3 v.1. Using this recorder instead of the 702T in a timecode workflow would require two of these timecode boxes, at a cost, if purchased as a pair, of about US$550. At that point, I think that it makes financial sense to sell the MixPre and replace it with a MixPre v. 2 (US$650), which like the 702T generates timecode. Having used my 702T to run timecode to my current MixPre, one thing that I can say with certainty is that the original MixPre recorders can’t be jammed. In other words, they will stop recording timecode the minute the timecode master is disconnected.**

* Sound Devices made its reputation on the basis of what are known as its 7-Series field recorders. The 702T, with a 2017 price of US$2700, was the last 7-Series recorder in production. It was discontinued in late 2017 or 2018.

** Oddly, I can power down the 702T and the MixPre will continue to display timecode until the cable is unplugged. I’m curious about this, but the bottom line is that the MixPre can’t be jammed. It can only function as a slave while there is a connection with the master.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 7:44 am

Interesting day today, nothing being quite like what I thought. I went to AbelCine. Now they do have a showroom, but it's just a large room with some stuff around. Not what I would think of as a "sales" room. They were friendly, but didn't seem like they were there for some goofball like me coming around with nothing but a bunch of questions. They did not have the CX heads in stock for me to see which I thought was odd after seeing that video. They had much larger heads, so maybe that's what they sell mostly. As for 100 vs 75mm, they said that they rent tons of 75mm heads/legs all the time and didn't give me any pitch about stability. For the question of why Miller is better than my cheap Manfrotto, they talked more about durability than performance. I got the sense that their business is rental and the showroom is for people that know what they're doing and what they want. They suggested Film Tools as a place that might have the heads in stock.

Next I went to Manios Digital and rang the doorbell. While less of a "public" showroom than AbelCine, they did have a variety of Cartoni items set up. Including the Focus 8, 10 and the new legs. Chris at Manios was super nice and very helpful, he showed me how the legs worked and ran me through the Focus 8 and 10 and 12 heads. He showed me how they were continuously adjustable instead of 'stepped' like the others. The legs were pretty sweet and it gave me ideas seeing the whole setup in action. Made me think I need legs. They don't sell since they're a distributor, but he took my name and email. They obviously don't get drop-in's very often but he said they have the things set-up for people like me. I was impressed with the service and the answers. He said they could be adapted if I so desired and didn't think I would see a lack of performance operating that way. I like the feel of the Focus 10 and like the side-loading system. I really like the European drop-in plate on the 12 though, but that's a big head. He also said that I shouldn't get too hung up on the weight issue, that I don't need to 'overshoot' because I don't know how heavy something is. He sent me cut sheets a little later and a couple places to buy in Seattle.

I decided to swing by Film Tools. Now they had a regular sales room. They had a couple Miller CX2's set up and a bunch of Sachtler and other items. Lots of inventory there, a variety of cameras setup and an Area 51 showroom with an alien on a counter. The guy there showed me a Benro that was basically a reverse engineered Sachtler, there was a flat base version ($349) he suggested to use on my Gitzo (or on a slider) and a ball version that would support more weight than I would need (22 pounds) and it was only $649. He thought I was a over-guestimating my weight requirements (he's right, I have no idea) and said that for my purposes he thought the Benro would suffice. He said Miller and Cartoni are great equipment and while he didn't have the Cartoni in stock, he could order it for me. After regaling me with some amusing Hollywood anecdotes, he said they could ship for free and I took his card for any questions. He showed me how counter balance, drag etc worked and showed me why a nice fluid head is better than the cheap Manfrotto that I had and also said I shouldn't get too hung up on the weight spec. They did have a lot of more expensive Manfrotto equipment so he wasn't dissing the brand, just gave me a run through that showed why a cheap head doesn't balance and operate as nicely as a real one. I played around a bit with the Miller and really liked it. I didn't think the layout of the knobs on the Benro was as nice, but I don't know what I'm doing. The Miller looked and felt nicer. It seemed cleaner than the Cartoni as well. I don't know enough to talk about the continuous vs stepped drag and balance controls. I really like the Film Tools store and appreciated that for my purposes he wasn't trying to sell me on something expensive when he easily could have.

The various answers were not as definitive as I thought they might be. No one really pushed 100mm as necessary or more stable. I did like the Focus 10 head and thought the new legs were pretty slick as well. Since I've seen that there's a 100mm bowl adapter for the Gitzo, I guess I could get the Cartoni Focus 10 if I so desired.

Not knowing anything about Benro, I'm still leaning towards Miller or Cartoni. I'll probably come back down in March, I might come back to Manois and Film Tools and play more to see what I think. I'm sure either would be fine. Nothing leapt out at me as to which would be 'better' though as the video I posted above posited, at a certain level it might be just which suits your personality more.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 7:57 am

Thanks for all that effort, Chris. Between you and Rob, we are getting lots of insight. Glad the shops are pretty objective about this.
Last edited by rick.lang on Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 12:15 pm

Hi Chris,

Great write-up. You met the same person at Manios/Cartoni that I spoke with on the phone. I also found him very helpful. Three questions...

In your second paragraph, you write “He said they could be adapted if I so desired and didn't think I would see a lack of performance operating that way.” What is the “they” that you are referring to and what adaptation?

B&H didn’t have a Cartoni Focus 8 on the floor for me to try out. Do you have a view on the Focus 8 in comparison to the Focus 10?

Did you happen to ask at AbelCine or Filmtools how easy/convenient it is to configure a Miller head for use on a flat base?

There appear to be a few third party 75mm and 100mm bowls for Gitzo Systematic tripods, and they are quite a bit less expensive than Gitzo’s own.

Several Asian manufacturers of fluid heads are competitive on price. When I was at B&H, I didn’t ask for recommendations on them or try them out, but I know that there are participants in this forum who are happy with fluid heads by Benro, Sirui and Ikan. On the internet generally, the Ikan E-Image GH-06 appears to have a fair number of proponents.

Rick,

Because I called late in the day here on the east coast, I spoke with Miller in Vancouver rather than New Jersey. Since you’re in Victoria, I should mention that they were also very helpful.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 6:24 pm

The 'they' meant the Focus heads. My question was if I was using a bowl adapter for my Gitzo, would he expect any issues with using it that way (other than the fact that the legs wouldn't have the same stability of using cine-legs with a spreader) and he thought that would be fine. As long at the bowl adapter was a good fit.

The Focus 8 was mainly just smaller than the Focus 10. I spent more time handling the 10 because I liked the side-loading mechanism over the traditional insert. I like the euro-QR best of all.

No, I forgot to ask about flat bases and Millers. I'm thinking about going up to Film Tools later today to get some other items I forgot to get yesterday, so I'll ask then. I was a little thrown off by my experience at AbelCine and since I'd seen the Gitzo bowl adapter, that was less on my mind. Forgot about your Ries. After viewing various leg setups, I started to think more seriously about getting legs with the head.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Online

Brad Hurley

  • Posts: 1659
  • Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:42 pm
  • Location: Montréal

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 6:44 pm

I wish you guys had done this exploration back when I was shopping for tripods (although I'm generally happy with my choice, a Sirui cinema tripod and head).

My next quest is to find a better travel tripod (e.g., when I fly overseas) than the one I have now...almost anything would be better than the one I have now, which is one of the Manfrotto Befree tripods with a fluid head. I like the head (it actually has a good leveling mechanism) but it's not a great performer in windy conditions, even if I hang a weight from it. I suppose it's just physics, you can have small and light or stable and steady, but not both. But I'd love some recommendations for a tripod I can travel with. The Sirui is too big and heavy for that.
Resolve 16.1.2 Studio, Mac Pro 3.0 GHz 8-core, 32 gigs RAM, dual AMD D700 GPU.
Audio I/O: Sound Devices USBPre-2
Offline

Denny Smith

  • Posts: 12903
  • Joined: Thu Aug 01, 2013 4:19 pm
  • Location: USA, Northern Calif.

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 7:04 pm

Brad, tripods is a different subject than the original discussion on this thread, I would start a new thread with Travel Tripods as the Subject, and ask this question there. You will get more direct responses, and quicker. ;)
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 8:11 pm

rick.lang wrote:Thanks four all that effort, Chris. Between you and Rob, we are getting lots of insight. Glad the shops are pretty objective about this.


All the shops seemed pretty neutral on the 75 vs 100 question for todays lightweight cameras. Which is interesting considering the internet view.

Brad - I agree with Denny on starting a travel tripod thread. Rob and I probably should have started a fluid head thread. My answer for travel is that I carry a tripod that will fold short enough to fit in my carry on. I've given up on light weight in favor of stability.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 8:53 pm

Hi Brad,

I travel with either a carbon fiber tripod or carbon fiber monopod and it goes in checked baggage.

My tripod is a Gitzo Systematic Series 3 and I’ve travelled with it a lot. When I replace it (it’s over a decade old) I’ll be looking for something similar. You might find it useful to look at the Gitzo Systematic line, see what might work and then see who’s making something similar at a better price.

The Gitzo Mountaineer line is a bit lighter weight. As you’ve seen earlier in this thread, the advantage of the Systematic line is that it is highly modular, which for me is a big attraction. I have a leveling base on mine, and I can fit it with a 75mm or 100mm half ball if I purchase a fluid head that needs one. It’s my understanding that a number of tripod manufacturers, including Sirui, make tripods that copy the Systematic modularity and use the same accessories.

For stability reasons, I have never used a centre column.

My monopod is a current Gitzo GM4542. I am extremely happy with this monopod with the Pocket 4K, and would have no reservations about traveling with it.
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks for tip about Miller in Vancouver BC, Rob.
Rick Lang
Online

Brad Hurley

  • Posts: 1659
  • Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:42 pm
  • Location: Montréal

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 9:03 pm

Thanks, Rob! I'll check those out. I always put my tripods (I travel with two, one for the camera and one for my sound recording rig) in my checked luggage as my carry-on is at the limit with camera, mics, lenses, batteries, etc.
Resolve 16.1.2 Studio, Mac Pro 3.0 GHz 8-core, 32 gigs RAM, dual AMD D700 GPU.
Audio I/O: Sound Devices USBPre-2
Offline
User avatar

rick.lang

  • Posts: 13977
  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:41 pm
  • Location: Victoria BC Canada

First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Lens

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 9:07 pm

I wonder if the reason vendors were promoting 75mm bowls more than 100mm was their desire to present a lower cost to you and win your business. People on the internet don’t mind pushing a higher priced option when appropriate as they’re not financially benefiting from you selecting one option over another.
Rick Lang
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 9:16 pm

Brad Hurley wrote:Thanks, Rob! I'll check those out. I always put my tripods (I travel with two, one for the camera and one for my sound recording rig) in my checked luggage as my carry-on is at the limit with camera, mics, lenses, batteries, etc.


My Pocket 4K is on a Manfrotto MVH500AH head and the Gitzo GM4542 monopod in the top photo in this earlier post: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=105319#p582585

As with tripods, the trick with monopods is to arrive at a preferred balance between ruggedness, weight, carry length and maximum height. I settled on the GM4542, but there are one or two lighter Gitzo monopods that would work with the Pocket 4K. I would not consider the Gitzo Traveler monopod or similar for anything but a very light camera. Also, I should emphasise that I’m not pushing a Gitzo as a brand.

Like you, I have one of these ultra-light travel tripods, a MeFoto. Interesting that you mention sound recording gear. The only purpose of the MeFoto is to mount mikes on it. As a camera tripod, I consider it pretty much worthless ;)
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 9:42 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:The 'they' meant the Focus heads. My question was if I was using a bowl adapter for my Gitzo, would he expect any issues with using it that way (other than the fact that the legs wouldn't have the same stability of using cine-legs with a spreader) and he thought that would be fine. As long at the bowl adapter was a good fit.


Thanks very much for expanding on that.

Personally, I’m skeptical that mid-level spreaders have a stability function when it comes to a Pocket 4K camera. If they aren’t necessary when shooting with an 8x10 camera, what is their purpose for a Pocket 4K? Miller Solo tripods don’t even have spreaders.

You might find it interesting to scan this DVInfo thread, which started in 2006 but has had contributions as recently as 2016: https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/tripod-sti ... aders.html

The thread caught my attention when I noticed that one of the earlier contributors was this guy, who suggests in his post that mid-level spreaders are about supporting heavier cameras: http://www.davidmullenasc.com/styled-2/index.html
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline

Chris Leutger

  • Posts: 281
  • Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:00 am

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 10:07 pm

The spreader comment was my own analysis. When Chris lowered the legs and I was feeling it, it seemed more stable than my own setup. I have no idea whether the spreader matters or not or whether the legs matter or not. Mostly, they seemed to move differently than my Gitzo and I liked it.

Considering that people buy those insanely heavy Ries tripods for 8x10, apparently there are some things going on for stability in all sorts of ways.

I'm familiar with Mr. Mullen, he knows his stuff.
Amateur Auteur

i7 8700k 6c 3.7 GHz - Crucial DDR4-2666 16x2
GTX 1080 8GB Ver 456.38 - Windows 10 Pro 2004
Resolve 16.2.7.10 - SSD 250GB-cache
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostFri Feb 21, 2020 10:55 pm

Chris Leutger wrote:Considering that people buy those insanely heavy Ries tripods for 8x10, apparently there are some things going on for stability in all sorts of ways.


Ha! As the owner of one of “those insanely heavy Ries tripods”, I can’t let this pass :)

My Ries J100 tripod legs weigh 7lbs (3.2kg), which is not much more than carbon fiber equivalents, and less than the video tripods that I’ve looked at, which are surprisingly heavy, even before adding spreaders. My Ries head, at 2.5lbs (1.1kg), is notably lighter than the video heads that we’ve been talking about :)

The Ries tripods have three attractions. The first is the Ries head, which is both extremely simple and extremely stable. The second is that each of the tripod legs can be articulated at any angle you want, not just at the tripod crown, but at the second stage joint. That is a very handy feature, and as far as I know not one that you will find on other tripods. The third is that wooden legs are less sensitive than metal and carbon fiber legs to the elements (e.g. water, sand and dirt). Ries also claims that wooden legs are more vibration resistant.

Like a lot of people, I thought that only a technological Neanderthal, or a hipster who has well and truly lost it, would use a wooden tripod. Then I tried one :)

Ries J100 tripod: https://www.riestripod.com/product/the-j100-tripod
Ries J250 head: https://www.riestripod.com/product/the-j250-head
Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
Offline
User avatar

robedge

  • Posts: 1466
  • Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2019 1:24 am
  • Location: U.S.
  • Real Name: Rob Edge

Re: First Impressions: Blackmagic 4K + Fujinon MK 18-55mm Le

PostSat Feb 22, 2020 12:47 am

Chris Leutger wrote:Chris at Manios was super nice and very helpful, he showed me how the legs worked and ran me through the Focus 8 and 10 and 12 heads. He showed me how they were continuously adjustable instead of 'stepped' like the others. The legs were pretty sweet and it gave me ideas seeing the whole setup in action. Made me think I need legs. They don't sell since they're a distributor, but he took my name and email. They obviously don't get drop-in's very often but he said they have the things set-up for people like me. I was impressed with the service and the answers. ... I like the feel of the Focus 10 and like the side-loading system. I really like the European drop-in plate on the 12 though...


Just to expand a bit on Chris’s post..

Manios says on its web site that the Focus 12 and the Focus HD/Focus 10 differ principally in their quick release/top plate, the Focus 12 having the European plate that Chris likes. Manios explains here: https://maniosdigital.com/blog/cartoni- ... ra-plates/

The Focus 12 sells at a significant premium to the Focus HD/Focus 10, apparently due to the European plate. As a result, the Focus 12 and Miller CX6 are essentially the same price, differing by US$25.

The operation of the European plate is shown at 00:40 in this brief video:



This video shows the operation of the Focus HD/Focus 10 plate at 02:08:



In the Vistek Toronto video posted earlier, the European plate is referred to as a wedge plate. Its advantages are discussed at 17:55:




If you understand Italian, Alessandro Cartoni, the future head of the company, talks about the Focus 12 and Cartoni tripod legs in this 2019 video:

Image: Fujinon MK 18-55mm, Leica M primes, Pocket 4K

Sound: DPA & Schoeps mikes, Sound Devices recorder

Post Monitors: Eizo 27" UHD, Focal Solo6 Be
PreviousNext

Return to Cinematography

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot], pnguyen720 and 38 guests