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Old September 4th, 2005, 01:29 PM   #1
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Best way to mount head onto table, door, whatever?

I want to get the Manfrotto 503 head for the XL2.

But I won't be mounting it on a tripod. Instead, I want to mount it on a variety of things, everyday objects like desks and chairs and rails, etc. It'd be great if I could quickly mount and dismount the head from one object to another.

I understand there's a 3/8" hole at the base of the 503. Using an adapter I can connect a Bogen Superclamp to it as illustrated here (using adapter to socket):

http://www.jimdoty.com/Tips/Equipmen...per_clamp.html
and here (using adapter to thread)
http://www.web-nat.com/bic/ont/tips43.html

Fine and dandy, but with the XL2 I am a little worried about the connection between clamp and head loosening as I do a pan or tilt, and also about the strength of the superclamp's grip, even though it is rated 33lbs max load.

For instance, will it hang on if I superclamped the 503/XL2 onto a moving bicycle? Or would I be safer off drilling holes into where I want to mount and bolting on the head more-or-less permanently with a wrench?

Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old September 4th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #2
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A big camera like the XL2 clamped to a bike? risky!

I'd say that, provided you have it nice and tight, the head on teh soperclamp will hold the camera fine in any situtation where you'd want to put the camera. - so not on a bike (in my oppion) ..for that i'd use somethign much smaller [that didn't make me cry if the bike hit the dirt]

- Mikko.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 01:05 AM   #3
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Yes, you're right about the bike. How about a tricycle? If I do mount it on a bike I'd just be walking it around. I'd be crazy to ride it - at least not without some modifications to the bike first, like putting on training wheels :)
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Old September 5th, 2005, 03:23 AM   #4
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What sort of a shot are you trying to achive?

Are you using the bike as a dolly?

..At slow speed it should be ok, but at higher speeds i'd actually be worried about the stresses that you might be putting on teh mount, and the mounting hole in the camera.. hitting any bumps at speed coulg rip your camera appart.

- Mikko.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 12:52 PM   #5
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Actually, I don't know what sort of shot I'm looking for.

I'm just experimenting, ie. clueless.

I ride the bicycle everywhere and want to somehow
fit the XL2 into that activity. I've been doing this for months with a palm-size sony handycam, this is the next step.

Before the super clamp idea I'd closely examined the threaded hole that would have to support the weight of the XL2 in all the crazy positions I'd put it in - hanging upside down for instance, and it was obvious to me, as to you, that the threaded mount would be chewed up very quickly if I relied on that. Using the thread was no problem with the sony. The weight of the palmsize camera was easily carried by a RAM MOUNT, but when I used the heaviest duty RAM mount on the XL2 it looked like it would snap off like a pencil if I gave it a light tap.

So plan B was to cradle the XL2 in a large cinesaddle bean bag sitting on top of a rectangular platform about the size of a cafeteria tray, but made of steel, not plastic. There'd be permanent straps on the platform to hold it all down.

The platform would be bolted onto an steel L bracket 7 cm wide and 6 mm thick.

The steel bracket (positioned like this " 7 ") would hook onto the top tube of the bicycle. U-bolts would secure the bracket to bike frame, but the top tube would bear most of the weight not the u-bolts.

It's more of a bike accessory than a camera mount. Essentially a baby seat with seatbelts for the camera.

I will still get the super clamp, but like you said : not for the bike. Too many weak links. Thanks, Mikko :)
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Old September 6th, 2005, 02:36 AM   #6
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Hi Roger,

I would recommend looking at Manfrotto's Magic Arm for what you are doing.

http://www.adaptivation.com/magicarm.htm

I have had good results with bike mounts using the Magic Arm with two super clamps connected to it. One mounted to the bike frame and the other holding the XL-1 by it's top grip. You just have to make sure that you don't tighten the the super clamp on the grip too tight or you will crush it. Also use safety cords to tie the camera (loosely) to the bike frame so that if anything slips, the camera won't fall on the ground.

I hope that this is a help.
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Daniel Kohl

Frankenstein meets XL1
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Old September 6th, 2005, 12:36 PM   #7
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I hope so too because I just ordered it!

Holding it by the xl2's arm is much safer than using the thread, but I'm still not sure about these clamps. And the magic arm has a max load that barely covers the weight of the xl2. I don't know what will happen if I go over a bump. I'll see how it goes. If it works it'll save me having to drill holes through that steel bracket and cutting a few inches off it (I hate cutting steel, the sparks) to fit my bike frame.

Even if the magic arm (and rest of the bogen stuff I ordered) doesn't work for my bike I'll still be able to use it everywhere else - so thanks for showing me that widget. Now I will have a bunch of Ram Mount widgets for my small sony (about the size of the shoulder pad on the xl2) and a bunch of heavy duty Bogen widgets for my canon. Nice!
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Old September 6th, 2005, 02:21 PM   #8
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You won't be dissapointed by the Magic Arm ... those things rock!
--Though i agree that again, using the XL2 might be pushing it a little.

- Mikko
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