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Miller Canada

1055 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC
V6Z 1L4, Canada

Phone: 604-685-4654
Fax: 604-685-5648

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Choosing the Right Tripod System

    

Miller manufactures around 30 different styles of tripods, tripod spreaders and dollies to meet the needs of every camera production professional and every application, both in the studio and on location. Following are the tripod specifications at a glance.

Tripod and Spreader Selection
So, how do you choose one tripod over another. The three main factors to be considered are:
1. APPLICATION: studio or location, documentary, broadcast or corporate/industrial.
2. WEIGHT REQUIREMENTS: e.g. ENG want lightest possible, corporate not so critical.
3. BUDGET: Broadcast, documentary, corporate/industrial, Alloy less expensive than Carbon Fibre.

STUDIO
Choose alloy: Because weight is not an issue in the studio, then alloy tripods will perform ideally. They offer slightly higher tortional rigidity than carbon fibre so can also handle extra payload – something that is always added in the studio, be it top mount viewfinder or lens remotes.

Choose Lightweight or Single Stage tripods depending on payload:
Lightweight alloy on an #391 LW Dolly is ideal for very small Mini DV or VHS studio camera configurations. Single Stage offers the stability for slightly larger dockables and camcorders with extra weight caused by larger lens, viewfinder or remote control handles. There is no need for the 2-Stage or carbon fibre for the studio unless you are also taking the tripod on location. Then you must decide on the weight versus height range versus cost factors.

Choose Ground Spreader: The #410 ground spreader is the most practical and cost-effective spreader for the studio use. Of course, if you are using the #390 or #391 dolly, then there is no need to attach the spreader. It will still be supplied in your system because of the potential use of the tripod without dolly wheels.

For 25-35kg payloads: When the payload gets up to 35kg then the DS60, mounted to the new #943 HD Single Stage alloy or #937 HD 2-Stage CF are unbeatable. The #943 Single Stage alloy offers the most cost-effective alternative, while the #937 brings carbon fibre 2-Stage weight and height benefits into the equation, a great benefit if location production is also planned.

ENG
Choose 2-Stage Carbon fibre (#645): This is the most versatile and lightweight tripod for news gathering and corporate production as it offers an extended height range and shorter transport length compared to Lightweight and Single Stage Tripods. Personal preference will determine spreader type, but the Above Ground Spreader offers most versatility for use on flat or uneven surfaces. If price is an issue, then the 2-Stage alloy should be chosen over a Single stage alternative.

For additional ENG strength: If you require additional strength without too much extra weight penalty, or is using telephoto lenses regularly, then the HD100 CF 2-Stage (#925) will offer greater stability.

EFP
Choose HD range or Single Stage Series II alloy: If weight is absolutely critical and the budget is stretched then the Single Stage Alloy tripod (#621) will offer maximum tortional strength without too much weight. If you are intending on getting your tripod wet or snow-covered on a regular basis, then Alloy offers an excellent corrosion-free and knock-proof tubing material. The HD range is of course the ultimate for EFP, offering the highest level of stability, but designed by Miller to be as light as possible and as quick to set up.

Here's some practical examples of what situations may call for different types of Miller tripods:
Back-packing over a mountain Miller SOLO carbon
DV Stringer on the city beat Miller Lightweight Alloy
DV documentary maker Miller 2-Stage alloy or carbon
ENG or commercial production Sprinter 2-Stage carbon
Digi Beta documentary maker Sprinter Single Stage Alloy
or 2-Stage Heavy Duty Carbon Fibre

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