501 vs. 503 vs. 510? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 16th, 2002, 01:14 PM   #1
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501 vs. 503 vs. 510?

Is there a comparison anywhere of these different tripod heads?

I currently use the 501 but can't get a very smooth pan or tilt with my XL-1 and this head. It it probably operator error to some extent, but if a 503 or 510 would help out, I can afford to upgrade.

Thanks for putting up with another tripod head question.

Greg Matty
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Old May 16th, 2002, 05:10 PM   #2
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i have a 501 and it works good with a GL .. when i've used a XL i have to practice a bit more to get a smooth pan ... you might look at the 503 which does have improvements.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 05:14 PM   #3
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I didn't like the 501 and sold it, replaced with a 503 which is great, especially if you have to settle for a Bogen/Manfrotto like me because you can't afford a Miller or similarly good sticks. The 510 is overkill for an XL1S in my opinion.
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Old May 16th, 2002, 05:46 PM   #4
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Chris,

Any idea if I can send my tripod in and have the 503 head installed? For that matter, is it fairly straightforward to install the new head myself? I am pretty good mechanically.

Lastly, someone once mentioned having some sort of "compact ball leveling device" between the legs and head. I don't have a clue what this is or if I remember the wording or not. If there are any other accessories I can add to make panning and tilting easier I will consider them.

I currently use the 3046 legs, any comment, anyone, on those? I dragged this contraption around Central America for seven weeks and wouldn't mind something a little bit lighter in weight and easier to square.

Greg Matty
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Old May 16th, 2002, 06:00 PM   #5
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Greg,

I suggest you check out the Cartoni "Action Pro" model as well.

I bought the sticks and head a year ago for around $650 and have been very happy since.

They're solid enough for the XL1, but light enough to carry around all day. The head is easy to level and provides for nice fluid movements (you might have to work with the adjustments a while to get them set right).

The Cartoni even comes with a carrying case.

The only complaint I have is that the legs are two stage instead of three. That might prevent you from getting as high as you want without setting the sticks up on something.

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better set up for the money.

Mike Avery
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Old May 16th, 2002, 06:16 PM   #6
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Greg, you can easily install the head yourself. Instructions come with it stating the process. Very simple, three screws under the bottom side hold it on. Takes about a minute to swap 'em out.

The 3046 is perhaps adequate for the XL1S but they are not my favorite by a long shot. I like my own "auto" tripod 3251 much better although it is quite heavy. Look into the 3033, 3036, and 3068. See also a previous massive thread on this subject in the General DV Discussion forum that covered this topic in great detail.
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Old May 18th, 2002, 01:16 PM   #7
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Could I get in on this action? How bout some price quotes on some of the gear mentioned above? I usually do all my price comparisons online, and couldn't find any listings when I searched for those items.
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Old May 18th, 2002, 10:08 PM   #8
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That's what my sponsors are for. They are the best dealers in the business. Go to my site at www.dvinfo.net and click on Sponsors. You can go to those sites for pricing and availability.

Out of respect to these dealers who support this message board, I won't permit any threads talking about "best deals and lowest prices across the web." A lot of those places are rip-off artists anyway. When it comes to the best dealers and realistic prices from suppliers you can trust, I've already found them for you and that's why the sponsor links are there. And be advised that the "lowest price" is usually *not* the best deal by a long shot. This is covered in the "where to buy" notice at the top of the forum though.

Forum sponsors Zotz Digital and Pro-Tape carry these Bogen tripods and they will give you pricing info for the asking.

I have no problem if you want to go through e-mail to each other about other dealers, but on my boards here, the only dealers we discuss are the ones who go out of their way to make this place possible. Hope this helps,
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Old May 19th, 2002, 10:36 AM   #9
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Chris,

Fair enough. Do any of your dealers sell the Cartoni tripod? It does look appealing.

Greg Matty
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Old May 19th, 2002, 05:30 PM   #10
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Hmm, Cartoni, yes I think ZGC does. I need to expand my Sponsors page with a complete listing of the various product lines each one of them offers.
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Old May 20th, 2002, 08:28 AM   #11
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Instruction Would be the one thing I wish the 503 had.

One thing that did disappoint me about the 503 was the lack of operating instructions. It did not have suggested method of operating the system.

Later,
Nathan Gifford
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