Well I've finally wittled my tripod options down to a final three, all three have a weight-range of up to 12kg/26lbs:
- Sachtler DV8-SB (75mm bowl) with Sachtler 75 ENG sticks - $2000
- Cartoni Focus HD (100mm bowl) with Miller Solo VJ CF sticks - $2000
- Miller Compass 20 (75mm bowl) with*Miller Solo DV CF sticks - $2400
From what I've read so far, all three heads are supremely smooth, so my main concerns lie with the versatility of a 75mm bowl vs. 100mm, ease of counterbalancing, and build quality/reliability.
I've heard mixed reviews on the build quality of the old Cartoni Focus (the non-'HD' version), and was wondering if it had improved with the updated version?
I've also heard less than flattering reports on the Sachtler 75 ENG sticks with their 2:1:1 arrangement, can anyone comment on whether they genuinely pose an issue?
My only real concern with the Compass 20 is forking out the extra $400 for a 75mm bowl tripod, though it may not pose a real issue, I'm also concerned about only having 4 counterbalance settings (versus the Sachtler's 12 and the Cartoni's 'infinite' option).
Any thoughts, suggestions or preferences (that might help me finally make a bloody decision and move on with my life) would be greatly appreciated.