Manfrotto 503 HDV needs legs to specs at DVinfo.net

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Old September 7th, 2007, 12:24 PM   #1
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Manfrotto 503 HDV needs legs to specs

I am looking for a set of legs for the 503 HDV head. My boss has a 501 head with 3021N legs which seems fine, but the chat help at B&H told me the legs are too small for the 503 hdv? I want legs that can go about 70" max height as well as no spreader. Anyone have any suggestions that will work with the 503 HDV? I'm hoping the combined weight will be about 10 lbs or so, the head is 4.4 lbs
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:37 PM   #2
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Depends on how sturdy you want it to be. If you want something really sturdy without a 1/2 ball leveler than you might look at the 3246. That will definately go to your height requirement. If you want something lighte without a center column but are willing to use a 1/2 ball leveler then the 515 or 525 legs will work.
If sturdiness isn't a real issue then I don't see anything wrong with the 3221 legs. As long as it has a 3/8" stud on top to mount the head to.
Oh yeah, neither of those 2 legs will be under 10 pounds with the head. :-(

Don

Last edited by Don Bloom; September 7th, 2007 at 04:38 PM. Reason: added info
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Hi Nathan....

The only legs that spring to mind that will go to 70" and have no spreader (now there's a rare combination) are the Miller Solo's. They might be just the ticket.


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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:27 PM   #4
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OOOPS, missed the NO SPREADER part. Sorry. The old eyes aren't what they used to be.

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Old September 8th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #5
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Hi Don.......

The 'ol "Senior Moments" creeping up on you there Don. Hey, they lept out at me years ago and are now a veritable plague.......


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Old September 8th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #6
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What is your definition of sturdy though? I ask this because I am using the much heavier canon H1 on the 501/3021 leg combo and don't have any issues with waving in the wind etc.
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Old September 8th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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Well now..............

MY definition of sturdy is "attached to a 2 ton block of concrete with 6 inch stainless steel bolts".

It is, however, more than a trifle inconvenient for "run n' gun" video work.

If you tell me what your definition of "sturdy" is, I'll know what to suggest.

The Miller(s) I mentioned are the only sticks I am aware of that have both the height and no spreader (two of your prime requirements). Sturdy is singularly missing from the spec list.

However, I am assured (by a senior Sales Manager @ Miller) that both versions are "pretty good" (a definition I'm still trying to evaluate in real world terms) but hey, @ 70" with "No Spreader" you can't exactly expect Mt Rushmore.

Would they be suitable for an H1? I can't say, as it depends on what you are prepared to accept as "acceptable".

I, personally, am extremely particular about my camera going exactly where I want it to go and staying there with no, zero, nada movement of any sort whatsoever till I decide it's going to move again. For that reason I gave the Miller's the flick and went for a Vinten FibreTech to match my Vinten Vision 3 head. "Pretty Good" just wasn't good enough.

However, would most people notice the difference? Ah, now there's a question!

I suppose the question you need to ask yourself Nathan is: "Just what is it worth to me?"

The Millers are, from all accounts, good. There are others better. Better invariably means "heaps more expensive". What can you afford?

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Old September 9th, 2007, 10:31 AM   #8
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Its odd, at work we use the 501 with the 3021 legs with the H1. I have brought it out with my personal A1 (for which I am currently shopping for the tripod for). It worked 'fine' as you say, though it does have the stiction issue, but no problem at 70 inches panning aside the stitction. However, i went to a shop here in Taiwan tonight and tried the 501 HDV (they don't have the 503 HDV) and it couldn't stay pointed down without being locked. I'm not sure why? The guy told me to just lock it....but what if i want to start looking down and pan up??? The continuous drag adjustment also didn't seem to do anything where as it makes a difference on the 501. Does the 501 HDV just suck? Also, the shop keeper told me no need to get the 503 HDV because its weight class is too high, its too big for an A1, and its too heavy...yet it weighs a mere 4 pounds and is 4+ inches tall...i'm so confused. One reason I want to stick with the manfrotto head is the continuous drag...I like the way it works and handles....i just figured I'd like on ebetter than the old 501. I need to keep the tripod under $1000, and know the 3021 legs work with the 501 head...so what makes them not work with the 503 HDV with a 5 pound camera?
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Old September 9th, 2007, 04:13 PM   #9
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Er, think we're talking at cross purposes here.....

OK, Nathan, I'll take it from the top.

First, the head.

I can't give you chapter and verse on the 501HDV or 503HDV as I haven't seen either. The A1, despite it's weight, has a particularly low centre of gravity, which means that it requires way less counterbalance spring than one would normally assume for that weight of camera. The reason the 501HDV you tested was not staying tilted down is that the counterbalance spring tension is too high for the weight/ COG of the camera.

Anybody that tells you to "lock off the head" in order to keep it from moving due to incorrect counterbalance should, quite frankly, be shot (several times).

I cannot tell you if either the 501HDV or 503HDV can be set correctly for a A1, perhaps someone on the forum here can enlighten us. The bottom line here is this: Correct counterbalance is when the head/ camera will go where you want and stay there for ever untill you decide to move it WITH NO DRAG SET WHATSOEVER! If it won't do that, it is not counterbalanced correctly.

Now, assuming you can get past the counterbalance issue, the legs. If the legs you mentioned work fine with an H1 then they'll work fine with an A1. It is impossible to have legs "too strong" for a camera. So, if you're cool with the legs, go for them.

I would recommend giving the Manfrotto heads the flick entirely and going for a Vinten V3 head, if it wasn't for the incompatability between Vinten heads and Monfrotto sticks (as noted elsewhere on this forum). If you are determined to stick with Manfrotto, perhaps a 519 would be a better choice.

If you are determined to go for either a 501HDV or 503HDV, you may find you'll only get correct counterbalance by adding some weight "up top" of the camera (shotgun mic, wireless receiver etc). However, don't be suprised if you cannot ever get it exactly right.

Hope this helps.


CS
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