Thread: O'Connor Vintage Head - Pricing Advice

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  1. #1 O'Connor Vintage Head - Pricing Advice 
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    So I'm in the market for a solid fluid head. I've been getting by with budget options (Davis & Sanford, Manfrotto) but they simply can't handle the weight of mine and colleague's rigs stripped down and I have replaced them a few times already. It's time for the real deal.

    With that said, I have a dozen or so heads on my ebay watchlist and I'm having a hard time figuring out what a good deal is. Since most of the heads in my price range, weight allowance, and quality are vintage, it's very hard to look them up since newer models have replaced them.

    Currently I have my eyes on the tried-and-true O'Connor 50D and the Sachtler Video 18. I have read people say on various forums that a decent 50D should run a few hundred dollars. All the ebay listing in that range look pretty rough, honestly, but I came across this refurbished one for 1500+125 obo:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/OCONNOR-FLU...s/254150730284

    It seems pretty pricey. However, it does say it has been serviced and is in excellent condition. A refurbished O'Connor could potentially perform like new...I have no idea, and new O'Connor heads are in another category by a factor of 10!

    With that said it's also 50% more than the Sachtler V18's I'm watching...My budget can extend to the asking price IF it is a no-brainer in terms of unparalleled quality, but I'm not sure about that.

    Opinions on this particular listing? Or experience with this particular head? (50D) Camera systems that will potentially be on this support can easily reach 50lb fully rigged and will include Alexa XT, Dragon 6K, And the UMP.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2  
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    I'm not sure why you think the D&S can't handle the weight. I've been using my D&S 3-25 100mm fluid head for over 3 years now with the big URSA which weighs a ton and it still works like a charm. I've not even have to service it yet (knock on wood). Unless you're beating it up with a mallet, it should stand up with anything up to 25 pounds - give and take a few.
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by EYu View Post
    I'm not sure why you think the D&S can't handle the weight. I've been using my D&S 3-25 100mm fluid head for over 3 years now with the big URSA which weighs a ton and it still works like a charm. I've not even have to service it yet (knock on wood). Unless you're beating it up with a mallet, it should stand up with anything up to 25 pounds - give and take a few.
    I have the 7518B with V18 head. 75mm bowl budget tripod option. I also use the Manfrotto 504HD. They don't cut it. Smooth pans and tilts are a chore and they can't handle either of my rigs, they are barely good enough for my stripped BMMCC setup without wireless and any of our larger cameras require renting a larger support system. We usually rent an old Sachtler Video 18 for next to nothing but that connection has left Los Angeles. We have vintage and compact master primes but occasionally use massive cine zooms which the lens alone is heavier than the payload of most 75mm heads. It's time to invest in something scalable and a modern O'Connor is out of the budget for now.

    I did find a couple cheaper 50D systems but they don't have service history and it's worrying to order sight-unseen a fluid head that service became unavailable for in 2007. As for Miller and Vinten, the serviceability of those is even more restricted, so I'm shying away from those brands unless I can test the head.
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  4. #4  
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    Ended up ordering a 50D in pretty good shape. $400. If it needs rebuilding I have a shop lined up that has replacement parts in stock, if needed.

    I also watched a Sachtler 7+7 auction sell for $382. That's right. Insane. Some really great deals can be had right now for camera supports.
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  5. #5  
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    O'Connor 50D + Aluminum sticks came in today.

    This head is the smoothest support I've ever used. And it's almost 50 years old. Good God. Highly recommend.

    It's pretty dirty and has dust/grime in quite a few spots, despite all that it is still awe inspiring how smooth it is. I'm investing in a full refurbish, along with two O'Connor Model C heads I picked up in the meantime. No wonder it is the top of the industry.

    Again, highly recommend.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Taikonaut's Avatar
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  7. #7  
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    Considering I come from a stunt and action background, that photo is incredibly cool. My likeness to the 50D system just increased 10 fold! Thanks for sharing.
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  8. #8  
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    Last edited by GeranSimpson; 04-12-2019 at 12:56 PM.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Thekreative's Avatar
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    that eBay seller is pretty fishy. I just sold him a 515 for a fair price ($900) that needed a tilt lever . He has now painted it and selling for $2800.....which is fine. But I was just on a shoot and someone has a sachtler that was bought from him and it was a mess and not cheap at all. The paint job is a joke in person and the tripod had a drop before friction set in on pans and tilts so totally unusable except if locked off, so as good as a sand bag for $4000.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Thekreative's Avatar
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    Let me add I have never seen a shop repaint heads when servicing, I think its all part of his smoke and mirrors.
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