501 or 503 head - strictly for use w/gl2 at DVinfo.net

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Old July 1st, 2003, 02:04 AM   #1
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501 or 503 head - strictly for use w/gl2

i've read several threads in which people tend to lean towards the 503 head. i've been under the impression theses are xl1 and vx1000 users. for those who have the gl2, is there much of a difference in these heads with the weight distribution of this camera (2lbs). apart from the c/balance springs in the 503 is the pan/tilt movement the same (smoothness) in these two heads?

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Old July 1st, 2003, 07:02 AM   #2
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The 503 would be the better choice with the lighter camera as the counter balance spring helps to smooth things out a little more.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 12:32 PM   #3
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do you think it's worth $170 more? thanx for your input.

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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:18 PM   #4
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Best thing to do would be to try it out for yourself. It all comes down to what feels best in your hands.
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Old July 1st, 2003, 09:47 PM   #5
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I have the 501, and think it is over rated. With the XL1, it tends to dip. With the GL1, it isn't bad, but it also isn't the smoothest. I would have been better off with a $100 tripod, instead of spending the $200-$300 on the Bogen setup. I haven't tried the 503, so I can't say how it compares.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 05:33 PM   #6
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Since I've never actually used the 501, I can't say for sure but I recall reading that it's "fluid" dampening is not the same system used for the 503 (hence the price difference). As stated previously, trying them both out would be the best bet. I will say that having a good quality fluid head makes a WORLD of difference and would not be worth saving a few bucks on.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 11:11 PM   #7
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It's worth the difference if you have paying clients. It is difficult to get smooth pans out of the 501.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 11:23 PM   #8
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Although I haven't used the 503, if it's a choice between that and the 501 give the 503 a go. I forked out for the 501 a couple of months ago and while it is better than the crappy velbon I had, I wouldn't say it's NZ$300 better than it. It's easier to adjust and setup than my velbon so that's good but the pans aren't perfect. Hopefully with more practice they will get better.
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Old July 2nd, 2003, 11:27 PM   #9
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I'm a newbie that just switch from an $80 Good Guys starter tripod to a Manfrotto 3046 + Bogen 501 Head. Although the controls on the bulkier Manfrotto tripod are overall much better,
I really didn't find that I was getting smoother pans. It seems to require far more work to keep up with the fast moving sports footage I'm taping. For the starter tripod, I would weigh it down with two 10 lb bags of steel shot. Honestly, I don't feel much of
a difference. I'll be sure to try out 503 or a better head before I plunk down money on a higher end fluid head. The 501 felt great in the store, but I didn't notice much of a performance improvement. So, I don't think my money was well spent.
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