Tripods are a basic tool that all videographers need to have in their tool kit. On that note it is one of the most common questions I get asked- What is the best all around tripod? or What Tripod should I buy?
“There is also no such thing as one tripod that will be perfect for every shoot.”
Check out this great post from Alister Chapman about a great all around tripod for a variety of different shoots.
Miller Solo Carbon Fiber Tripod
Here are some highlights:
– The most important thing to consider when choosing a tripod is the payload that it will need to carry
– You don’t want too big a tripod
– A big tripod is hard to lug around (note if you fly a lot will cost a lot in excess baggage fees)
– The Solo's (unlike most professional video tripods) legs are of the single tube, telescoping variety as opposed to the more traditional double tube variety.
– They are made from Carbon Fiber (they are very light, yet they can extend very heigh – over 6 feet with the legs alone)
What I like is his case study for his post. He spent 6-8 weeks throughout the south shooting mega storms as part of a storm chasing team. There was a lot of travel and he had to haul all his own equipment. If the equipment can hold up under these circumstances then who are we to argue?
Read the article and watch the 4K Supercell video where this tripod was used. Incredible.
The best all around tripod?
Via Alister Chapman:
I travel a lot, so I was looking for a lightweight tripod that could carry my PMW-F5 kit. The main use for this tripod was for my self funded storm chasing and natural extremes stock footage shoots as well as for the many film making workshops I run all over the world. A tripod I have had my eye on for a while is the Miller Solo – Compass 15 tripod package, so I decided to give one a try.
The Solo is unlike most professional video tripods as the legs are of the single tube, telescoping variety as opposed to the more traditional double tube variety.
They are constructed from Carbon Fiber, so they are very light, yet they can extend very high (1.87m for the legs alone), which is a great thing to have on news shoots or at an event or conference where you need to get the camera up above the heads of an audience. There is no mid level or floor spreader with this tripod, the spread of the legs is governed by latches at the tops of the legs that have 3 different positions, each one restricting the maximum leg spread by a different amount. At the same time as being able to go very tall by lifting a latch at the top of each tripod leg the legs extend outwards almost flat to the ground and this allows you to get very low down at a height similar to a Hi-Hat yet the tripod remains very stable and solid.
The Compass 15 head is a middle weight fluid head with a 75mm bowl for levelling. The drag for the pan and tilt is varied using click stop rings, each with 6 settings from zero to 5. The drag range is very good with position 5 giving considerable drag, something useful when you working with a long lens or trying to do very slow pans. For counterbalance there is another click stop ring, this time with 4 different counterbalance settings. The difference between the minimum and maximum counterbalance settings isn’t huge, but adequate provided you camera is within the heads payload range.
SUPERCELL 4K. Severe Storms and Tornadoes in 4K
Via Youtube Description:
This is a compilation of storm and tornado clips shot during May 2013. The name of the clip “Supercell” comes from the special type of severe thunderstorms that are responsible for the majority of major tornadoes. These Supercell storms spin and rotate and this helps them become stronger and last longer than normal thunderstorms. The tornadoes were in the town of Bennington, Kansas. The larger one was over half a mile across and rated EF4, a strong and violent tornado.
Continue reading Alister Chapman's article “Miller Solo Tripod and Compass 15 Head”
What's your opinion on the best all around tripod? Sound off below in the comments
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(cover photo credit: snap from Alister Chapman)