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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:28 PM   #1
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using the XL2 on a tripod

I find it really ackward to use the XL2 on a tripod, I am using the Manfrotto 501 head with the handle on the left side while looking at the head from behind the camera. Would a Lanc controller fitted with the handle on the right be any handier or how do you all use your cameras on a tripod?

I ask as the lanc controllers from Manfrotto aren't the cheapest and could I put my money to better things for my video work?

Thanks
Paul
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Old August 21st, 2006, 02:40 PM   #2
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I used the XL1s on a 501 head, but with the handle on the right side, and didn't have any trouble

are you left handed?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 03:00 PM   #3
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No i'm right handed, do you zoom in and out manually, I always use my right hand to zoom in and out?
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:07 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Gallagher
No i'm right handed, do you zoom in and out manually, I always use my right hand to zoom in and out?
I think you'll find the ergonomic works better if you put the pan bar on the right side ? Invest in a remote zoom servo to keep your right hand working the zoom.

Using the zoom rocker effectively is always going to be difficult in a tripod set up. Rockers are only useful in a hand-held or shoulder mounted mode, IMHO.
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:11 PM   #5
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Well, I usually control the pan and tilt of the camera with my shoulder, my right arm wrapped around the camera controlling the zoom, and my left had controlling focus (I have the 16x manual lens)

So far I haven't had any problems, and it's pretty comfortable. I unly really use the bar for long pans or tilts where I don't need to adjust focus or zoom, and if I need to adjust zoom and not focus, I'll control the bar with my right hand, and reach above the lens with my left hand to use the zoom rocker
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:18 PM   #6
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Paul, I have the 503 head, and use the Manfrotto remote control arm on the right side to control zooming. It's not that cheap but it's very convenient.

Richard
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Old August 21st, 2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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Paul,
I use the XL-2 on a Manfrotto 516 head. I mounted the pan arm pointing forward which eliminted the awkwardness of constantly hitting it with my shoulder. You have to reach around, but I don't get so much scene jostling this way. Might be worth a try.

Steve
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 03:22 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your help and I will try out all your tips.
Paul
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Old August 22nd, 2006, 03:55 AM   #9
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Me too. A Manfrotto 503 head with a handle on the right side. A manfrotto remote with variable zoom control. I also use the Canon remote which has a variant of set speeds so you can dial up your zoom speed. With the dial up remote you get a constant zoom speed regardless of the pressure applied to the rocker.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 11:34 AM   #10
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Owen and Richard,
I have been looking at the 503 and planning to get. However, I was wondering what are the pros' and cons of the Manfrotto vs Canon LANC remotes excluding the cost.

Also how do you like your 503 head? I do alot of sports with alot of panning and would like to hear your input.
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Old March 13th, 2008, 02:13 PM   #11
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Wow, this is an old thread resurrected!

I've haven't tried the Canon remote so not able to compare them. I use the Manfrotto remote arm for start/stop and zoom, I never touch the other functions.

My Manfrotto is about 7 years old now, and I've had a couple of problems with it. The first is that the surface became very sticky after a few years, probably something biodegradable affected by the high humidity in Singapore.
I fixed this by stripping down the unit and sanding away the outermost skin. What is left is matte finish but shows no sign of deteriorating so it should last a few years more at least. The second problem is that there is a ring that locks to the built-in arm, and this ring is the anchor for the zoom rocker spring. Well the material of the ring has also biodegraded and has split, and can no longer lock to the arm. This means the return of the zoom rocker to default centre position is unreliable (that is putting it mildly). Anyway I have ordered a replacement ring from my local Manfrotto dealer so should be able to repair this in the next couple of weeks. I suppose the fact that I can still get spare parts for this remote arm is a big plus point.

My 503 head is OK, but not fantastic. However I have tried out a few of these heads and can tell you the quality is very variable. My friend has 3 of them, one (the oldest one he has) is really nice and smooth, (better than mine), one is so-so (not as good as mine) and the third (the newest of the bunch) is really sticky and makes a grating sound and is not very useful in my opinion. My feeling is that the manufacturing quality has gone down over the years (they don't build them like they used to ha ha) but I admit my sample size is quite small and inconclusive.

If I could justify the expense I would buy a Sachtler head, but my 503 is actually OK most of the time. It just catches me out sometimes when I am zoomed in and need to do a slow pan or tilt.

Richard
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Old March 13th, 2008, 04:35 PM   #12
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I do have three of the Manfrotto LANC (521, 522 and 523) and have been very pleased with them all. They allows you to have a consistent zoom speed.

I've bought the 523 four years ago and this is the one I like the most as it allows to control the zoom speed you would like to use while filming.

I've bought most of my cameras on eBay and this where I was able to get the two other LANC.

All of them works well on GL2, XL1s and XL2 Canon cameras.

I have to pan from left to right very often and any of the Manfrotto LANC really help me doing a better job when zooming in and out.

I do have two 501 heads and one 503. I feel the 503 more fluid and gives me better result when filming sports events (hockey, figure skating...) where panning on subject happends very often. Lately, I've been using my 525MVB Manfrotto tripod along with the 503 head and what I've like the most about it is when comes time make sure the camera is at level.

If I was to do something different today I would probably look for a LANC which allow me to adjust the iris. Not sure but beleive the Varyzoom, I know it does with Panasonic model not sure about Canon.

Good luck!
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Old March 17th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Hunter View Post
Wow, this is an old thread resurrected!
Blame me for that. It is either a resurection project or get called out for not searching for surrent thread already discussing the same subject. I am not familiar with the Sachtler head at all. I will look it up and go from there.

All I know....Is when possible, I want the best otherwise after using the other I see what I was missing.
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