Saturday, December 10, 2011

Mailbox: Manfrotto hybrid mono/tripod BHDV-1

Manfrotto BHDV-1 and 550D/T2i
I finally received my Manfrotto BHDV-1 today, a good 2 months after I ordered it. I guess these things have become sort of a collector's item, considering their short-supply and the fact that Calumet now charges €135,- more than the €250,- two months ago?! (a typo?)
Just unboxing this monopod was a delight because I immediately felt how light it was: this is really THE camera-support system if you want to move quick but can't -or don't to want to- work with a shouldersupport device.
I took it out to the park today with my Canon 550D/T2i with the Tamron 17-50 zoom lens and it works like a charm. Apart from obvious advantages like mobility and light weight, it is also more practical in setting up your system in tight places. I set up behind a tree or in the shrubs where I would not have been able to set up my tripod. I could do pans, tilts and follow focus very smoothly, even zoomed in. The ballhead at the base allows for pans and slight tilts while the small fluid head on top enables 'true' tilt action.

ballhead for smooth panning- and slight tilting
561 BHDV fluid head: simple and effective

I doubt I'll be using this tripod for camera's other than DSLR's and the fluid head performs as desired. Simple and effective with fixed drag. The 561BHDV head has a maximum load capacity of 4 kg so I could easily mount my Sony EX1-R videocamera onto it.
This monopod goes up to 200 centimeter and down to 76 cm so you can get all the height you want. Because it's so light, it's so much easier to get unusual angles like high shots above the crowd or extreme low (walking) shots by holding the monopod upside down, for instance.
The Manfrotto BHDV-1 is a true hybrid between a monopod and a tripod: I wish I had discovered this little gem earlier. You can buy the monopod without the fluidhead at €147,- and then mount a small, cheap head like the Fancier 717 (aka Weifeng), for instance. Considering that this option at Calumet Holland is €240 (!) cheaper than the BHDV-1, you should be able to buy a nice Chinese fluid head and have a similar setup at less than half the price of the Manfrotto BHDV-1. (If you want nothing but the BHDV-1, it's worth shopping around for this system. This store sells it for €100,- cheaper than Calumet)

NOT A GOOD IDEA!
WAITING FOR DISASTER...

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