Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads
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Old 06-12-2006   #1
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Default Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

I recently bought a couple of Dynatran Tripods with Ball Heads from the ebay seller Amvona. The Tripods I bought were a pair of AT-858B aluminum leg sets, one with a ATH-H93 Aluminum Ball-head, and one with an ATH-H96 Magnesium Alloy ball-head.

The AT-858B leg sets are basically a copy of the Manfrotto 3021N leg set, which can be bought from Amvona on ebay new for a fraction of the price of the Manfrotto legs. Typically, the Manfrotto 3021N leg set sells for $200 or so at retail, and around $125-140 online including shipping. The almost identical Amvona Dynatran AT-858B leg set tends to sell on ebay for around $50 including shipping. (I paid $28 and $29 for the two sets I won, plus $18 each shipping). For this price of under $50 shipped, these are great deals.

They also make a range of Pan/tilt heads, Ball heads, and fluid heads as well for these tripods

The heads I bought were a pair of Ball heads, one was their ATH-H93 Aluminum ball head, and the other was their ATH-H96 Magnesium alloy ball head. The Magnesium Head tends to sell for around $40 + $10 shipping on ebay, while the Aluminum head tends to sell for $10-15 plus $10 shipping. Both of these are what I would call medium duty, rated for 8.8 pound loads (The specs listed on the Amvona site for the ATH-H93 are wrong, they are the specs for a much lighter duty model).

These ball heads are also excellent values, especially the Aluminum one which I paid under $17 for including shipping. IMHO, the Aluminum head is the equal of anything else out there that sells in the $50-75 range, and the Magnesium one is the equal of anything else out there in the $100-125 range. They are certainly NOT the equal of a $300 -$500 Arca Swiss, Kirk, or Really Right Stuff heads, but they are as good as anything else in the price ranges I mentioned before.

Both of the heads are smooth operating, and robustly constructed. Neither has a separate tensioning control, which the several hundred dollar heads I mentioned above do. But, pretty much nothing in the $100 range which these are more comparable to does either. They each have a separate pan lock and ball lock/tension control. It's reasonably easy to set the lock/tension control so that motion of the ball is smooth. I used these heads with a heavy 300mm f2.8 lens and my Olympus E-1 body, which together weighs roughly the full 8.5-9 pounds that these heads are rated for, and they had no problem locking the setup down, nor with allowing smooth movement when the tension was backed off. Movements were smooth, not catchy, when the tension/lock knob was set at the right setting, but having separate tension and lock controls would certainly be an advantage - however, as I said, these were $20 and $50 heads, not $400 heads, so that was a very reasonable compromise.

Each of these heads has quick release plates, but unfortunately, they are proprietary and not compatible with Arca Swiss, Kirk, etc., and as far as I know, the only way to get additional plates is to phone Amvona and order them directly. They charge $20, including shipping, for an additional plate, and $15 for each additional plate ordered at the same time. So, Ironically, given the great deals on ebay for the heads, and the fact that the plates alone can't be bought on ebay, I would need to spend more for another plate for the ATH-H93 plate, than I spent for the whole head, including a plate, on ebay. Although, frankly, $20 is less than any of the name brand (Kirk, RRS, Arca Swiss) plates sell for, it would still be nice if plates were as good value as the tripods and heads themselves were. My only real complaint is that the plates are not even interchangeable across models within this manufacturer's products, not to mention with industry standards. So the H93 uses a different plate design from the H96, H92, etc. I can't tell for sure, but the H95 and H96 Magnesium heads MIGHT use the same plate, they look the same, but nobody on the Amvona site could give me a straight answer.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with the value of these Amvona Dynatran products. They are good quality, almost as well finished as the Manfrotto gear that they are copies of, and they seem to be equivalent in functionality to the Manfrottos at 1/3 the price.

IMHO, the AT-858B Aluminum leg set, with the ATH-H93 head, together cost something like $65-70 including shipping, and there is no other complete tripod that can be bought new for less than $150-200 that can match the capability. The comparable Manfrotto legs + Ball head will cost at least $200 online, and closer to $300 or more bought retail.

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Old 06-12-2006   #2
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

I'm glad to hear that. I just picked up the tripod, the monopod, and two ballheads from Amvona. Wonder if the studio lights are of the same quality.
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Old 06-12-2006   #3
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

Which tripod/heads did you buy?
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Old 06-13-2006   #4
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

I purchased the carbon fiber monopod with ball head (ATMCF 901) and the tripod kit with ball grip head (AT85. Several others I know have them and rave about them. I hope they're better than Manfrotto. I bought a Manfrotto monopod last fall to shoot football, and it has literally fallen apart.
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Old 06-13-2006   #5
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza
I purchased the carbon fiber monopod with ball head (ATMCF 901) and the tripod kit with ball grip head (AT85. Several others I know have them and rave about them. I hope they're better than Manfrotto. I bought a Manfrotto monopod last fall to shoot football, and it has literally fallen apart.
I'm afraid that they are not better than Manfrottos. They are nearly identical copies of Manfrotto equipment. But I haven't heard of Manfrotto gear falling apart, unless it was abused beyond it's intended use.
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Old 06-13-2006   #6
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

I have an Amvona AT12-T that I purchased about a year ago. It is really heavy. I wouldn't like to shlepp it along on a long hike but it is very sturdy, adaptable, easily adjustable and won't budge in a strong wind. Seems very well made. On delivery some of the hex head screws in the leg clamps were a bit loose. I reseated them with a drop of Lok-Tite. So far no problems.

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Old 06-14-2006   #7
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

I ALSO WON THE 858B FROM AMVONA A FEW MONTHS BACK LOVE IT WAS TOLD IT WAS A KNOCKOFF OF THE BOGEN BUT FOR THE PRICE IT WORKS GREAT IT MIGHT BE A FEW LBS MORE BUT THAT WON'T MATTER BUILT SOLID EASY TO OPERATE
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Old 06-14-2006   #8
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by YACOB
I ALSO WON THE 858B FROM AMVONA A FEW MONTHS BACK LOVE IT* *WAS TOLD IT WAS A KNOCKOFF OF THE BOGEN BUT FOR THE PRICE IT WORKS GREAT IT MIGHT BE A FEW LBS MORE BUT THAT WON'T MATTER BUILT SOLID* EASY TO OPERATE
Yacob:

It is considered poor form to shout. In case you aren't familiar with the term it means to type the entire message in CAPS.

Welcome to PhotoCamel.

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Old 06-14-2006   #9
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by YACOB
I ALSO WON THE 858B FROM AMVONA A FEW MONTHS BACK LOVE IT WAS TOLD IT WAS A KNOCKOFF OF THE BOGEN BUT FOR THE PRICE IT WORKS GREAT IT MIGHT BE A FEW LBS MORE BUT THAT WON'T MATTER BUILT SOLID EASY TO OPERATE
It's NOT a few pounds more. It's only a few ounces more. The Manfrotto 3021N leg set weighs 5.1 pounds, and the Amvona AT-858 leg set weighs 5.5 pounds. This can be made up by putting the Amvona H96 magnesium ball head on it, which weighs four ounces less than similar aluminum ball heads from Manfrotto and Amvona.
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Old 07-08-2006   #10
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Default Re: Amvona Dynatran Tripod and Ball Heads

Sorry about the shouting not to quick at the typing I did mean to say afew ounces more but all in all it's a solid tripod for the money P.S great site


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