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Old August 31st, 2007, 09:06 AM   #1
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grip action ball head, mini-ball, bowl

What do they all mean? What are the advantages to the different head types? Or adapters, or whatever they are. 75mm bowls...what does that mean? How does a ball head make leveling easy?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:06 AM   #2
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you level the head itself, not the legs. so you don't have to fuss with adjusting the leg locks to level, only for height. and you can have your legs crookedly adjusted (which is common in outdoor shooting, where you may be setting up on a boulder, and also event shooting shooting where conditions are fast and fine-tuning sometimes is impossible if you need to get the shot). it's a lot more efficient to level the head instead of leveling 3 legs....
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Old August 31st, 2007, 10:22 AM   #3
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so which one is that? The pictures make them all look different. Are you talking about a ball or bowl?

Also with a ball head on it...do you put another head on that? I`m looking at getting a Bogen 503 HDV head...but if theres a ball head with the legs where would that go?

This looks appealing because of height and such
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...lack_with.html

But where would i put the 503?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:41 AM   #4
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Ball heads fit certain tripod legs. Not all tripod legs use a ball head.

For example the Bogen 3246 does not use a ball head you simply mount the tripod head to the center column. The Bogen 515 legs DO use a ball head. you mount the ball head to the legs (there's a bowl for the half ball to fit into) then you mount the tripod head to the ball. In either case you tighten small screws on the bottom of the mounting plate of the centr column or the ball to keep the tripod head from moving around.
As stated in the other post, ball heads are great because you can level off the camera without having to play around with trying to level the legs and since I have just about never seen a perfectly level floor you can set the legs to the height you want and then level the camera by adjusting the ball where as without the ball you need to adjust by the length of the legs. Not hard to do but the ball head is a lot easier.
BTW the size of the ball depends on the size of the bowl of the legs. Some use a 100mm ball some use a 75mm ball. The description of the legs will tell you which ball head it uses. Also the ball head is a seperate item from the legs. Bogens are about $50 maybe a bit less depending on the size of the ball.
The particular tripod you linked to does not use a ball head as it's a center column type tripod.
HTHs
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Old August 31st, 2007, 01:37 PM   #5
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but the ball head can be attached without a problem as shown in the image correct?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 02:32 PM   #6
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No it can't be. That set of legs is a center column type and a ball head will not fit nor would it work as it's supposed to even if it could be mounted.

The bottom of a ball head has a stud on it not the mounting hole. Take a look at a ball head as shown on the B&H catalouge and I believe it will clear things up for you.

If you really want to use a ball head then you need to look at other legs such as the Bogen 515 or 525. There are others but those 2 come to mind right away.

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Old August 31st, 2007, 03:34 PM   #7
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I am confused. Why would they sell them together, show a picture of the ball head on the legs...if it can`t be mounted on those legs. Or so you mean the 503 HDV can`t mount on the ball head?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 05:48 PM   #8
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There are 2 different terms going on here. Ball heads are lightweight heads which are used with photo cameras, and are not suitable for anything but pointing a lightweight video camera at something and locking it. What you linked to is a Photo tripod, with a ball head.

The term you're looking for is a tripod with a leveling ball or bowl. Most of the prosumer heads, like the 503, have what's called a flat base, which is to say that they have a flat base, not a "male" bowl on the bottom of them, and they have a 3/8"x16 threaded hole to attach to the legs. But, if you like the rapid leveling of the bowl, or you like a specific tripod with a bowl mount on it, you can add on one of these: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...Half_Ball.html

Then, you've got a "male" portion of a bowl on your head. Then, just get a tripod which has a 75mm bowl receiver, and the two will be able to fit together and level properly. Here's an example of a bowl-equipped tripod: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...eo_Tripod.html

So there you go. Also, make sure that your tripod and your bowl adapter for the head have the same size. 100mm is bigger, sturdier, but more expensive, and 75mm should do for most setups.
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:19 PM   #9
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Ah thanks tom. So if i follo you properly, I can buy legs, an adapter, and stick the 503 hdv head onto the adapter correct?
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Old August 31st, 2007, 06:29 PM   #10
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Yes, assuming you get legs and a Manfrotto adapter that are the same bowl size, and obviously, the sticks have to have the half bowl receptacle in them.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 12:42 PM   #11
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Great post guys!!! I however have a question, I just purchased a Bogen 505 Fluid Head (75mm bowl) for my Canon XH-A1 and was wondering what is the "best Suited" tripod for this setup? I am an outdoor videographer and spend ALOT of time on uneven ground, in timbers, in marsh's, on prarie's and so on...
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Old December 15th, 2007, 12:52 PM   #12
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can't say "the best" because that's different things to different people but I use the 515MVB legs with a 75mm bowl and have used a 516 head on it with great results. The legs are fairly light to carry and have enough height for me and with the bowl leveling the camera is no problem but it comes with a floor spreader and I would recommend taking that off and using a center spreader. It snaps right into place and has adjustments for width so you can really spread the tripod open wide and still make use of the spreader to hold the legs steady while not having to worry about the spreader being on the ground possibly getting caught up on something. I have also used the legs in some situations without the spreader and simply plant the feet (they have a point on them) into the ground. This allows the legs to be opened to varying amounts depending on the ground. Again this is where a bowl leveler is of utmost importance to level the camera.
Don't get lost in the woods ;-)
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Old December 15th, 2007, 12:55 PM   #13
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Don, thanks... Is there a way to convert the 505 75mm bowl to adapt to the 2/3" lug on a 3221 Manfrotto set of legs?
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Old December 15th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #14
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Hi Jeff..........

Er, what's a Bogen 505?

I know about 501, 503, 516, 519 and even the 526, but a 505 has eluded me.

All the studs on column type tripods I've seen are 3/8", as is the stud on the 3221's.

I wouldn't use a set of those for HD video unless you really have no choice. They're really designed for still photography, not video. No spreaders at all, and with that raisable column I reckon it would have more "wind up" and "backlash" than a stock whip, even more so with a "cheap" stiction prone video head on top.

You've also lost the leveling feature a "half ball" head gives you.

In short, the HD videographers support system from hell.


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Old December 15th, 2007, 03:27 PM   #15
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http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MEWN:IT&ih=003 here is the bogen 505...
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