Arrow 55 Sprinter II provides perfect support to Red Epic cameras
The Austrian Alps are absolutely incredible! I was recently contracted by the Nike corporate offices to travel to Switzerland, then onward to the Austrian Alps, as part of a crew for a three-week production documenting the incredible on-mountain exploits of several world-class snowboarders – including multiple Olympic medalists. First we shot an amazing weeklong event named Nike Chosen, featuring a stunning array of custom-created snow park terrain – half pipe, ramps, rails, etc. Later we concentrated on more freestyle stuff at scores of locations in the Alps.
Though Nike also brought in for this project multiple other brands of camera systems and other shooters, they specifically wanted me to shoot with one of my Red Epic cameras. Miller makes my tripod systems of choice for all my production work. The Miller heads my crew and I use are the Arrow 55 and Compass 25, which are both 100mm bowl heads. My Miller legs are Sprinter II CF 2-stage, mid-spreader and Solo 1505 CF spreader-less. I simply analyze each production, or portion thereof, then mix/match up the head and legs I feel will be the most appropriate.
Since the shooting in the Alps would be fast-paced, involving a wide variety of head loads, setups, and terrain I selected my Arrow 55 head, matched up with my Sprinter II legs. Flying and on-location transfer and mobile use of the tripod was made way easy by using the Arrow Shell Case with wheels. The outside measurements of the case allowed me to check it in for the flights as one of my regular bags – not as oversized luggage. In airports and even in the packed snow, I was able to wheel the case easily wherever I went or worked.
The Arrow 55/Sprinter II CF combo easily supported my various Red Epic setups, from light, to medium, to heavy. In snow I simply removed the rubber feet on each leg and planted the spike feet firmly into the snow at various angles. When I was on pavement of hard surface I just quickly put the rubber feet back onto each leg.
The dual locks (Sprint-Loks) on the Sprinter II legs allow me to quickly change the height of the camera via an easy to use lever for each leg stage. This feature helps make the Sprinter II an ideal legs setup for mobile work, whether it be EFP style, Hybrid style, or mobile cine style. When you have to do a lot of setups and take downs each day, being able to simply open the stage’s locks, change the tripod height, and get on with your shooting is a hugely important plus!
For around ten years now I’ve been using various incarnations of Miller 55 heads almost exclusively with all my camera systems. This latest version of the Arrow 55 is an excellent head – well designed and fabricated, lightweight, widely adjustable for both pan and tilt, dependable, and it supports a wide range of head loads. The Arrow 55, in tandem with the Sprinter II CF legs, performed amazingly well in the difficult conditions of mobile shooting high in the Alps. I found myself way happy with my choice of that combination throughout the trip!
The Red Epic camera is able to shoot in multiple resolutions (2k, 3k, 4k, 5k) in a wide range of frame rates (1 to 300 frames per second). The bulk of the tripod shooting I did in the Alps was high frame rate for slow motion playback – requiring fast, smooth pans and tilts. The combination of the Arrow 55 head/Sprinter II CF legs was perfect for that – smooth, stable, and solid. I couldn’t have been happier with the choice and its performance!
About the Author
Steve Gibby is a multiple Emmy Award winning producer, director, DP and cinematographer who has contributed to several hundred international television productions which aired on 18 different broadcast and cable network channels. He is an annual invited guest judge for multiple Emmy Award competitions – Sports, News & Documentary, Daytime. Of the genres of production he works in, the mobile outdoor genres are his favorite – adventure travel, alternative sports, tourism, nature, cultures, and wildlife.
(1028) Arrow 55 Fluid Head
The Heavy duty performer for ENG/EFP
The Arrow 55 fluid head with 100mm sliding camera platform provides higher load capacity to suit documentary, lifestyle, HD productions and is particularly suited to long-lens applications or Studio/EFP configurations. Coupled with widest range of pan and tilt drag, ideal for slow, heavy pans; the Arrow 55 is the heavy duty performer.