Pro Moviemaker November 2022 - Web


LIBEC HS-150M TRIPOD KIT £1105/$1009

When it comes to tripods, it’s not only how steady they hold the cameras, or how smoothly they pan and tilt that matters. For working filmmakers, set- up speed is vital. If you’re moving the tripod or resetting it dozens of times per shoot, a few seconds here and there makes a big difference. You have to get the legs to the right height, camera levelled and balanced, then the pan and tilt drag just right. This is often a fiddly process with dual drag adjusters, complicated balancing and, on most tripods, counterbalance that just doesn’t work for anything smaller than cinema cameras. Libec’s new HS tripod system brings a simple counterbalance down to earth for lighter machines. The HS-150M kit includes the HS-150 tripod, a traditional multi-tube leg set-up, and the new H15 head for even the lightest mirrorless cameras. Pleasingly, it’s all very simple to get up and running. Tripod legs include a mid-level spreader, so you simply unfasten the small bungee cord that keeps the legs from opening when taking the tripod out of the included bag. Spread the legs, open the leg locks and raise the tripod to your desired height before locking it off. Level it with the usual bowl-style adjuster and spirit level. The camera goes on the Manfrotto/ Sachtler-fit plate, then clicks onto the head smoothly. Back off the counterbalance to zero, slide it back and forward until it’s balanced and then lock it off. This is where most

SPECIFICATIONS Material: Aluminium Head fitting: 75mm bowl

Camera plate: Sliding balance plate, Manfrotto/Sachtler-style

Counterbalance: 0.8-2kg/1.7-4.4lb

Pan handle: 275mm/10.8in Drag control: Three-step pan and tilt with independent locks Tilt angle: +90°/-70° Maximum payload: 3kg/6.6lb Working height: 81-166cm/31.9-65.4in Legs: Three-section, two-stage, rotating lock lever

Spreader: Mid-level Weight: 5.9kg/13lb

smaller tripods stop as far as counterbalance goes, so if you tilt the camera up or down at an angle, it slowly creeps. The Libec, however, has an adjustable counterbalance knob that you tighten until the camera stays perfectly still, and there’s a dial to show you the setting you’ve used. It’s simplicity itself. This is also very handy when you zoom an extending lens, for example, or fit a filter. You can quickly rebalance from scratch or just crank up the counterbalance settings. The pan and tilt movements have three drag settings, free movement and an independent lock. It may not be the most adjustable system, but it works well – and quickly. You always know where you are, which is a bonus. In use, the tripod is fast, offers great control of pan and tilt and is very stable. There’s no discernible bounce- back at the tail end of movements – something that blights lesser tripods. While Libec also offers a range of larger tripods and heads for bigger cameras, the HS-150M works for a payload up to 3kg/6.6lb, so it’s burly enough for most compact cine

cameras loaded with accessories. The kit also comes with rubber feet covers to protect floors and spiked feet for outdoor deployment. Libec says one of its main targets for development was making the kit work flawlessly for a very long time. We only tested it for a short period, but it’s a well-made structure that should give service for years. PRO MOVIEMAKER RATING: 9/10 Full-size tripod that works for small and large cameras Pros: Amazing smooth-action head Cons: Not the lightest

MATCH FOR MIRRORLESS The Libec is a perfect partner for the lighter camera

BALANCING ACT A big dial on the rear sets balance (right), with a readout for recreating set-ups (left)

“The pan and tilt movements have three drag settings, free movement and an independent lock... it works well – and quickly”



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