I am considering buying the Pole Series 2 as I would like to be able to create 360 VT's at height but also take stills. I have looked at stronger aluminium masts but love the idea of a truly portable solution that will pack down and fit in my car. Hence the Series 2 pole!
I am planning on using my Canon 7D, ball head and a variety of lenses for stills work. I will be using the Sigma 8mm for VT's and purchase the R1 to do this.
I have several questions, I will try and be to the point but apologies if I ramble on....
1. How strong is the Series 2 Pole and can it be used at full height in any kind of outside wind conditions? How much does it sway when being used with 2kg on top which might not have the weight exactly in the centre? i.e. if I am using a larger lens tilted to a certain angle then the weight distribution might be one sided? How do you know when to use it and when not to use it if it's windy?
2. Has anyone used the Series 2 Pole with a Bescor Pan / Tilt head or similar? This again would add to the weight and take it to nearly 3kg but would save me having to pull the pole up and down each time I wanted a different angle.
3. Speaking of setting up the pole, how difficult is it with 2kg on top? Is it a tiresome job? I plan on doing this several times per shoot to get a variety of angles and shots for events etc. I'm a youngish relatively fit guy but am I expecting too much from the pole in terms of flexibility?
4. Also, can this be used with just the footplate or is it advised to be used with the tripod clamps when using the maximum 2kg load at full height?
5. Lastly, when using a tripod am I able to extend the tripod legs out to add on an extra 1.5m in total height? I have a Giottos Professional MTL3261B - aluminium tripod very strong.
I would really appreciate any experience of people using the Series 2 Pole at max height with serious load or for stills work as it's quite a considerable investment I am making and I want it to be the right choice.
Thanks in advance! I have searched the forums and not seen any posts answering these questions so I hope this will help others in my position in the future.
Answering your questions is difficult, most answers depends on your skills with poles and fysical strength.
Am I right that you don't have any skills in using a pole system ?
If so I advice you not to start with a full Series 2 pole but instead to start with a shorter pole, f.e. only the top part of Series 2 pole or a Series 1 pole, and a footplate with pole rotator.
Using a pole in windy conditions requires a lot of skills, by starting with a shorter pole you can gain this experience and you will find out the limits of the pole and your own limits.
Later when you feel secure you can buy the base part of Series 2 pole, both the top part of Series 2 pole and Series 1 pole can be used with the base part of Series 2 pole so if you decide to start with a shorter pole your previous investment is safe.
All poles can handle 2+ kg when fully extended and handheld without any problem as long as you use the poles as they are designed for.
Using a tripod adapter with a ridged tripod and fully extended tripod legs is no problem at all, it all depends on the strength of the tripod and the conditions of the shoot.
I agree with your advice about starting with just one pole, getting used to it, and then investing in the second half but as I am really looking for a solution to deliver 5m+ height my options are either to go with the series 2 pole or with an aluminium mast. I don't really want to have to buy both! Therefore if I bought just one section of series 2, got used to it, then bought the 2nd section and found that at 5m+ and my rig of 2kg is making the pole sway too much to be able to get a steady shot then it's too late to go back and buy an aluminium mast.
I really want to make the right decision from the start. Although I will definitely take on board your advice and when I do buy a pole, I will practice at lower heights before moving up to 5m+.
Have you used the pole with 2kg on top in light wind conditions? Do you find that the pole sways / bends? Is it a problem getting a steady shot?
Thanks again for your help, it's really appreciated!
Using the Series 2 pole and 2 kg on top --handheld-- in light windy conditions is possible without any doubt, there is always some swing of the top of the pole due to the flex of the pole but as soon as you have some experience you will find out that most of the swing is caused by yourself, the more skills you have the better you can hold the pole steady.
When using a --tripod adapter and a sturdy tripod-- in light windy conditions the swing will be less then handheld.
If the swing is acceptable or not depends on the distance to close by objects, if there are no close by objects the small swing is no issue at all.
In case you want maximum stability the soon expected guy wire system for Fanotec poles will reduce the swing even more.
The guy wire system is used with a tripod adapter and tripod.
I think that the stability of a Series 2 pole with tripod adapter, a sturdy tripod and a guy wire system can compete with any aluminium mast system.
You could start with the full Series 2 pole, a tripod adapter, a footplate, and a pole rotator.
Learn how to use the pole, the tripod adapter and buy the guy wire system later when available.
Thanks again Wim for your input. A guy wire system coming soon... sounds fantastic!
Just out of interest, if you had the Series 2 pole attached to a tripod and extended the tripod legs to add more height, would an average 6 foot person be able to still extend the Series 2 pole without the need for a step ladder? i.e. what is the maximum height required from the ground to fully extend the series 2 pole?
There are a couple of reasons not to extend the tripod legs to the full lenght when using the pole with tripod adapter and tripod:
-When the height of the tripod is over 1.5 m it will be almost impossible to handle the pole without a step ladder. I defenitely not recommend the use of a step ladder to avoid the risk that you will loose control when setting up and using the pole system,
- The guy wires are attached to the end of the tripod legs so when the tripod legs are fully expanded there is a risk that the tripod will be damaged by the larger bending forces on the legs,
- The difference in view and perspective between a 6m pole and a 7+ m pole is very small,
- It is not handy to carry a step ladder in the field.
I think you now have enough information to make a decision.