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12-18-2009, 06:39 AM   #1
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Velbon Sherpa 803R

So I'm interested in the Velbon Sherpa 803R.. saw it when browsing Ted's Camera's website :

Velbon Sherpa 803R Tripod - Digital Cameras and Camera Accessories | Video Cameras | Teds Cameras Australia

Seems like a fairly good tripod for its price.

It is a bit on the heavy side - it's a bit heavier than my K20D + Battery Grip + 18-55 + 55-300.. but I don't really plan on carrying it around with me when i travel - i might get a monopod one day.. and before that, i'm thinking it would be enough to carry the center column with the clamp.

I don't know much about Velbon - since people often instantly think/say manfrotto/giotto's...

anyone else want to share their opinions on this?

12-18-2009, 07:09 AM   #2
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First of all, I use a Velbon SherpaPro 540, which is a CF tripod and am very(!) happy with it as a trvel tripod. I always recommeend that, when somebody looks for a lightweight but capable tripod. So, you are not alone...

Secondly, this particular modell, seems to be on the heavy side, considering the carry capacity. The classic Manfrotto 055 aluminium tripod is also 2.3 kgs, but has nearly double the carry capacity (o.k. you need to add the weight of a ball head for the 055).

Nevertheless, I find Velbon conservative with their advertising and I am pretty sure, the 803 will be able to fullfill its promises, which you cannot say from other, often much cheaper contenders. The nice things, seems to be the versatile center column, which you can use on its own. The drawback are the fixed angle legs, which make lower shooting positions more difficult to achive, wheras the 055 offers different angles.

Both tripods obviously have different strengthes. WIth the 055 you have freedom of choice concerning a head, with the Velbon you get the complete kit.

Ben
12-18-2009, 07:29 AM   #3
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I should mention that i want to keep things on the relatively cheap side (well, who doesnt)... That's why this Velbon has me particularly interested since everything's there...
12-18-2009, 08:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
I should mention that i want to keep things on the relatively cheap side (well, who doesnt)... That's why this Velbon has me particularly interested since everything's there...
There sure are other sellers with a wider choice, than the one you linked to. I don't know Australian prices, but the 055 shouldn't be that much more. Also the K20+grip +55-300 already is a demanding combination, which needs stable support. I cannot say, whether this particular Velbon delivers that stability, but I think, there are alternatives available and you have to make your mind up, which features you really need. In almost all cases there is a trade off between low price, stability and versatility. You cannot have all three at once.

Ben

12-18-2009, 08:20 AM   #5
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A quick search and the cheapest 055 is the Manfrotto 055XDB with a head @ $275... Which is pretty steep in comparison to the Velbon =/
12-19-2009, 03:20 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
So I'm interested in the Velbon Sherpa 803R.. saw it when browsing Ted's Camera's website :

Velbon Sherpa 803R Tripod - Digital Cameras and Camera Accessories | Video Cameras | Teds Cameras Australia

Seems like a fairly good tripod for its price.

It is a bit on the heavy side - it's a bit heavier than my K20D + Battery Grip + 18-55 + 55-300.. but I don't really plan on carrying it around with me when i travel - i might get a monopod one day.. and before that, i'm thinking it would be enough to carry the center column with the clamp.

I don't know much about Velbon - since people often instantly think/say manfrotto/giotto's...

anyone else want to share their opinions on this?


Most people don't give Velbon the time of day but considering we are all shooting Pentax and that is by consideration of the mainstream "weird and unusual" why not have a look at the "weird and unusual" as far as tripods go.

I have the Velbon Sherpa 803R with the QHD-62Q Mag ball head with Quick Release plate.



Tamron 70-200mm F2.8 attached to a Pentax K200D.


Specs:

Extension Height: 1700mm
Minimum Height: 580mm
Folded Height: 630mm
Weight: 2300g
Leg Diameter: 26mm
Section: 3
Max Load: 4kg+


Stability:


This tripod is extremely strong and stable, and Iím not joking, Iíve sat down on this tripod (with all legs collapsed) and it has supported my weight quite fine. Extended to it's maximum this tripod shows no movement or vibrations in the Viewfinder or on images



it's Leg locking mechanism is a tabbed clamp one, although it is not like the adjustable screw types you will find on Carbon fibre ones it still has an extremely strong hold and I have never had a leg slip.

Construction:


The Tripod is a aluminium with rubber grommets on the end to reduce vibrations and increase grip.
The leg joints are housed in a pressed aluminium casting with stainless steel bolts

The tripod has 2 foam grips attached, which help transporting it by allowing you to lug it over and onto your shoulder with the camera and lens attached. so this tripod is friendly to your shoulders in that respect.

The Top of the leg assembly there is a rubber ring that acts as a dampener for/ when the centre column is retracted.



Centre column locking screw and rubber padding

The Centre Colum is slightly wider in diameter than the legs adding to stability, if you remove the head, leaving the tripod centre column bare Iím sure it would double as a handy baton to help you get through the bad neighbourhoods.

You can also pull the centre column out and inset it upside down from the bottom allowing you to get close to the ground for macros or for copy work.


Top of centre column without head



Tripod head:

QHD-62Q




This badboy is made out of mag-alloy ball and socket, same thing used is hip replacement operations. It's Locking is done by a knob that has adjustable tension this is achieved by pulling the knob outwards and adjusting its position/tension then pushing back in to leave it.

Ball Heads are great for quick movements and adjustments, but horrible for fine movements.

It supports some decent weight for a ball joint, able to hold a K20D+Grip with a 70-200mm f2.8 and a Metz 48 flashgun on obscure angles without any slip or play.


The ball head give you 2 sprit levels although on mine you get only 1, I kinda dropped my tripod onto a concrete floor.

The Quick release plate must of been co-designed with the folk at Pentax because when the plate is attached to the K20D or K10D (without grip) it fits perfectly onto the body but still allowing you to access the battery door.


It's not a small plate....I hate small plates, dinner plates included. It's about 47mm by 83mm by 11mm thick.

To attach the plate to a camera or lens mount you simply screw it in but this is one of those plates that have an slot-head on it, so either a coin or using the supplied screwer-iner will do the job, luckily the screwer-iner thingy clips onto the bottom of the plate for storage,




Velbon HC-28/28 (table clamp)


I love this gizmo, at first I though I would have no or little use for it but it is a fantastic feature, it allows you to clamp it to a table/beams/polls ect and then you can insert the tripod centre column.



I've had this tripod for nearly a year and it's a fantastic investment, sure it's a heavy beast, large and slightly cumbersome but it's Stable, and sturdy and that what I want in a tripod. Because it's not a Carbon fibre tripod it's absorbs a lot of vibrations coming from the ground and shutter. Carbon fibre although having a high tensile strength allows for vibrations to be passed through it easier, plus they have cruddy compression strength.

So in sum-up


I love this tripod, considering it's was a barging for $100AUD at Ted's it's just out-performed it's price range and ones a lot higher up. Having used this thing extensively in the past year in place like the beach with salt spray and sand, Having the legs put into a creek, lugging it around the blue mountains, dirty and greasy car parks to indoor work it has never let me down (get it...down...o well)
when you buy it you get a nice shiny box and a carry bag for the tripod.

SO for $100 you get a insanely sturdy tripod, a awesome mag-alloy ball head, QR plate, table clamp and carry bag....i think it's a Sensational deal. Cannot emphasize how much i adore this tripod.

9.5/10

why 9.5? Could be lighter and a nicer carry bag, but no real deal breakers for me

That is my review on the Velbon Sherpa 803R and QHD-63Q Ball Head.

have a good one!

Ps: hope this helps Vylen
12-19-2009, 03:44 AM   #7
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This helps a lot! This is pretty comprehensive with details (and awesome photos) on everything on the tripod.. I didn't know about the easy screw plate, that's pretty awesome

Also seeing the ballhead support your camera is great.. i had some slight concerns given what Ben_Edict said, but with the 55-300mm i have being compact for what it is, i have no more concerns..

I'll probably head over to Ted's on Monday and get it - and pray that there's some in stock before then..

QuoteQuote:
I’m sure it would double as a handy baton to help you get through the bad neighbourhoods.
that line had me almost spit on my monitor as it caught me off guard and i laughed half-way through a swallow...
12-19-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
This helps a lot! This is pretty comprehensive with details (and awesome photos) on everything on the tripod.. I didn't know about the easy screw plate, that's pretty awesome

Also seeing the ballhead support your camera is great.. i had some slight concerns given what Ben_Edict said, but with the 55-300mm i have being compact for what it is, i have no more concerns..

I'll probably head over to Ted's on Monday and get it - and pray that there's some in stock before then..
I'm sure the ball head will support something up to a 300mm f2.8 (providing it's well ballanced ) anything more than that you should look at a PHD-61Q. it uses the same QR plate as the one on the ball head (63Q). This is pretty good for Studio and landscape work or a gimbal for your super teles

Hope you get it iff not call Maxwell (02) 8756 6400 and get onto a person called Rebecca, she should answer the phone and they can give you an eta on how long it would take to get the tripod in. furthermore if you find anything you like on Velbon Tripods let maxwell know and thell will ship it to a store where you can pick it up (got my eye on the mag-slider)

I should mention aswell that with the table clamp i normally hook my camera bag on it for stabilitly,so thats around 10+kilos on the tripod.

QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
that line had me almost spit on my monitor as it caught me off guard and i laughed half-way through a swallow...
Bahahah, good to see that my attempt to kill you had some affect :P hehe glad you liked it :P

have a good one!!
Ben

12-19-2009, 08:11 AM   #9
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hah, just noticed on the Velbon page on the list of tripods, it says

QuoteQuote:
When clamp is attached to one of the tripod legs, the center column can be used horizontally, especially suitable for macro or product photography.
I had a total "duh" moment cause i had never thought about doing that...
12-20-2009, 08:26 PM   #10
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Went out today and bought it... had to lug it around the city a bit since i still had some shopping to do... Not a bad test to see if it is carryable, but i was carrying it in the box... weight wasnt an issue, the damn cumbersome box was

Already liking it.. The tension adjusting isnt bad, i certainly like it... I also like how the knobs dont require so much force or twisting to tighten or untighten....

For now it seems like a very straightforward tripod with good features and easy to prop up and use
12-20-2009, 08:47 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
Went out today and bought it... had to lug it around the city a bit since i still had some shopping to do... Not a bad test to see if it is carryable, but i was carrying it in the box... weight wasnt an issue, the damn cumbersome box was

Already liking it.. The tension adjusting isnt bad, i certainly like it... I also like how the knobs dont require so much force or twisting to tighten or untighten....

For now it seems like a very straightforward tripod with good features and easy to prop up and use
Yea that box is a pain in the lower colon, would be nice if it had a carry handle or something ay? I just lugged it around like a bazooka, ontop of my shoulder....at least that way people get out of your way :P hehe

glad you like it. best of luck with it, hope it serves you well

ben
12-20-2009, 09:39 PM   #12
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I've a Velbon DV2000 with PH-368Q fluid-effect head for video and also a Velbon Sherpa 450R with PH-157Q head (stills) and PH-368Q head (video - I do multi-cam video shots).

Once, the morning after a video shot, I did a action stills shoot (U7 soccer) and I did not have the 450R in the car, so I used the DV2000. The drag from the fluid-effect head of the PH-368Q head made it difficult to pan quick enough to keep up with the action. I won't do that again.

Also the DV2000 is heavier & sturdier than the 450R, which itself is no lightweight, and is uncomfortable to lug on top of your shoulder for long distances.

And the PH-368Q can not be turned 90 degrees for portrait-orientation shots, while the PH-157Q can.

The Sherpa 450R came with a shoulder carry case which I find handy.

I can't say I've found the lack of either a ball-head or the ability to get flat on the floor a big hindrance for my shooting - I don't do macro.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 12-20-2009 at 10:48 PM.
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