Manfrotto 523 Pro zoom controller -- Excellent! at DVinfo.net

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Old April 2nd, 2005, 09:54 AM   #1
Fred Retread
 
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Manfrotto 523 Pro zoom controller -- Excellent!

I've only used it once so far, but I'm very impressed with this device. Excellent feature set, including a Push Autofocus button. Three zoom speed preset buttons, all of which are adjustable and any of which can be switched between constant and variable. Pressing and holding one for a few seconds restores factory defaults. The zoom control switch functions so smoothly with such sure control that I almost don't need the three preset ranges. I Just used the one set for full variable speed and could easily make it zoom at the lowest speed. Other buttons include record/pause, power, focus near, focus far. All buttons have a nice tactile switching feel.

Personally, I like it a lot better than the ZOE, which I had tried and returned. Worked fine, but I wasn't crazy about the feel and didn't think it was worth the money.
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 03:50 PM   #2
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Fred... if you don't mind... what camera are you using it with?
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 04:28 PM   #3
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I was thinking about buying the same 523C Manfrotto lanc control for one of the two arms of my MK2 head. I've also thought about the ZOOM COMMANDER II, or the original Canon ZR-1000.

I've been so used to using a large tripod ball-head that I've never needed an extra tripod arm control, but definitely need an extra control when I'm using the big MK2 pan & tilt head - which usually means I'm doing a lot of panning etc - with my right hand holding the pan arm, and my left hand on the lens continually adjusting manual focus - so no third hand for the on-camera controls!

Anybody tried all three of the above remote lanc controls fitted to a tripod-head pan arm?
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Old April 2nd, 2005, 10:05 PM   #4
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Matt, a GL2. This model is supposed to be compatable with Sony and Canon, both of whom adhere to the LANC standard, but not Panasonic. Also, I think I read somewhere that Sony's do not support the Push Autofocus function.

I taped two more shows with it today. It's a keeper.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 08:42 AM   #5
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Fred, I really wanted to get one of those... and at some point (close to a year ago) I tried to order one from B&H... but they were continuously sold out of 'em. I also considered a Zoe...

The only thing that kept me from getting one before now is the 3 level zoom control on top of the DVX has satisfied me somewhat... also it pisses me off that the newer DVXA can do a zoom that's TWICE as slow as my DVX. Crap.

So any A model guys should REALLY get one of these. I'll get one on the way as soon as I get my lighting choices figured out... Sheesh, I've wanted one for a year!

So how slow of a crawl can you do with it? It'll only go as slow as the lowest zoom of your cam, but still I'm wondering if you can do a "soap opera" crawl? Somebody told me that Varizoom controllers could give you more speed range then stock, but I think they were mistaken...

Also, did the controller do anything for abrupt starts and stops or is that just a problem with the camera servos... which can't be overcome?
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 11:55 AM   #6
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wait a minute!

Are you saying that if I bought this and a cable I could zoom and use the AF while the XL1s is on a crane?
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:06 PM   #7
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Matt, we're still left with the cam's limitations as you say. The slowest speed on the GL2 is slow enough to add dramatic effect, but by no means slow enough to make you do a mental double-take like the soap opera crawl. And regarding starts and stops I don't believe that any external contoller can add taper to the cam's control circuitry. They'd have to have direct access to the servo motor for that, and they don't. But that's not an issue for my work in taping stage shows, which tend to be kinetic enough to divert attention from the finess of the movement.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:14 PM   #8
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Re: wait a minute!

<<<-- Originally posted by Lorinda Norton : Are you saying that if I bought this and a cable I could zoom and use the AF while the XL1s is on a crane? -->>>
Well, you can leave the cam in manual focus mode and have manual focus control from the controller, plus you can also momentarily activate AF with a dedicated button. I'm not sure that constitutes a "yes" to your question, but I think so. And I'm assuming that since the GL2 supports the Push AF function, that the XL1s does too. Also, the Manfrotto is not the only controller out there with this feature. At least one of the others actually switches between MF and AF modes as I recall, and may in addtion have Push AF functionality from manual mode. Check the links for the reviews of the ZOE and the Varizoom at the top of this forum.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:24 PM   #9
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Many Lanc controllers can operate on different brands of cameras. Would a wired controller that fits onto the pan arm - such as the JVC RM-V20U wired remote controller - be able to control the functions on a Canon XL1s?
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:27 PM   #10
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Thank you, Fred. I'll check it out!

Man, where have I been??? It doesn't seem like that long ago (like a year?) that several of us on this forum were lamenting the fact that no such animal existed. Please, don't tell me these things have been around for years. : )
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:30 PM   #11
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Lorinda, for clarification you might want to reread my post. You might have read it before--as is my custom--I spent about 10 minutes editing it.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 12:34 PM   #12
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tony Davies-Patrick : Many Lanc controllers can operate on different brands of cameras. Would a wired controller that fits onto the pan arm - such as the JVC RM-V20U wired remote controller - be able to control the functions on a Canon XL1s? -->>>

LANC is a standard. Sony and Canon adhere to it, and from what you say it appears that JVC does also. Panasonic does not.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:24 PM   #13
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Fred, that may be good news...because I've just managed to buy a new one for 99p! If it doesn't work on my XL1s, then I've not wasted too much money...
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:27 PM   #14
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XL1s Lenses do not support remote AF

Having reread the reviews at the top of this forum, I sadly report to XL1s owners that the MF/AF switching and Push AF features of remote controllers are not supported by XL1s because MF/AF switching is on the lens.
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Old April 3rd, 2005, 01:35 PM   #15
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This is no problem for me, because all the lenses I use on the Canon XL1s are MF. The main remote controls I need are record, stop, zoom control and zoom speed, all supported remotely, either wired or wireless.
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