Bogen/Manfrotto price limit $650 ish at DVinfo.net

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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:55 PM   #1
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Bogen/Manfrotto price limit $650 ish

Well here's what I need:

-Bogen tripod
-Good tripod head (probably 501? Unless other suggestions...?)
-Something that won't budge in minor/medium gusts of wind on full 20x XL2 zoom


Basically that's it... I need a VERY sturdy tripod for my XL2 that won't be moving everywhere on full zoom.

Also if possible could you recommend some links and maybe your experiences with your tripods.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:34 PM   #2
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Oooh Scott........

Opened a can of worms with that one, and no mistake.

Where to start?

Ok, IMPO the 501 is a waste of time and money. The 503 ain't a heap better.

As for Bogen tripods, I can't praise/damn them as they are unknown to me.

I have a Manfrotto 520 (forrunner of the 525) which I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, quite frankly.

If you trawl the threads here in some depth as I have, the overall top scorer in the budget department seems to be a Gitzo system, tho' the numbers ellude me at this moment (there are a couple of very recent posts singing it's praises).

This seems to be followed by a Libec (LS38?) system in votes.

Things to look for in a head of any make:

Continuously variable counterbalance - this is vital to get your rig correctly counterbalanced so that it will hold position at any angle of tilt up/ down with ZERO drag appplied.

Continuously variable drag - this is to allow for getting that drag setting just right for the amount of zoom you are using (I tend to apply shed loads @ 20X).

Things to look for in a set of sticks:

Ensure the receiver (the bit the legs are attached to and the head sits in) is solid metal or Carbon Fibre (the latter not likely at this price level but you can live in hope).

Twin tube legs will almost always beat single tube legs.

2 Stage (2 extending legs apart from the mains) is infinately superior to Single stage (1 set of extensions apart from mains).

With testing before buying not really an option, go for the hunkiest set for the money. The more metal/ CF in 'em the more rigid they should be.


Good Luck


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; April 3rd, 2008 at 11:19 PM. Reason: Whoops!
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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Well I'll take exception to the Bogen knocking but always with a smile on my face.
First I've had as many as 3 sets of 3246 legs at 1 time as well as a set of 525 legs. I've had 501 and 516 heads on both. The 516 was as sweet a head as I've ever used in 25+ years of slinging video cameras. The 501 is definitatly not a smooth move fluid head (I still have a 501 and a 501HD on my legs) and while I prefer the 525 legs when I need to get up on high with a camera it's the 3246 and they are as solid as a rock.
None are the most expensive nor the cheapest but they do the job. I've had everything from a PD150 to a fully loaded JVC5000 with a Canon 19, Hytron 120 and 2 wireless receivers on it weighting in at about 22 or 23 pounds and both sets of legs have worked just fine (thats where the 516 head worked the best).
Now having defended Bogen remember that ANYTHING YOU BUY will have faults and deficencies. ANYTHING! However once you know whay the shortcomings of any piece of gear is and learn how to use the gear within those shortcomings you're set. No one piece of gear is the end all be all - there's something wrong with everything and a big price doesn't necessarily make it the right product for you.
Learn the gear BEFORE you put it into play get to know the shortcomings and what you need to do to work around them and then you don't need to think about the gear, you can think about what you need to think about. The shot.
BTW, I currently use a set of 3246 legs with a 501 head that I've had for about 7 years for a PD150 and a set of 525 legs with a 501HD head for my 170. Since I have given up running around with my full sized cameras I sold my 516 head. The 501 like any other piece of gear can run you ragged but I'll say that EVERYONE I know who has one and uses it regularly aand knows the limits can product excellant quality pans and tilts with the head. You just gotta work with it a bit that's all.

Anyway in the range you're looking at you have a lot of choices.
Don
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Old April 4th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #4
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Sorry Don........

You must have missed the bit about "can't comment on Bogen as have no knowledge" early on in the piece.

Manfrotto I CAN comment on. I have a set of 520's and a 503 head. Used them together for years with my XL1s. They were ok (starting out in video after many years stills, they were great) but not fantastic.

Then, about 16 months ago I traded up to HD and started watching the results on a 46" 1080 HD screen.

Their days were numbered almost from the first scene with a pan or tilt.

So, "having a go" I wasn't.

(It has to be remebered that it is only in the States where Bogen is almost completely synonimous with Manfrotto - the rest of the planet hardly knows Bogen exists).

I agree wholeheartedly with just about everything else you said, no matter what you buy, it has it's limitations and foibles. I'm currently running a Vinten Vision 3 head and a set of Vinten FiberTec sticks, a dream team for sure and very, very, far from cheap. Perfect? Get real! I can drive a bus through the failings of both even at that price level. But for HD, great.

We have another poster here (on DVinfo) who has come unstuck with a Manfrotto 525 sticks/ 519 head combination using an XL2 - tho' it does have to be said that he's got a lens on the front of the thing that can shoot bugs shaving on Mars, about 60X he reckons.

This is why I was so wary about actually recommending anything to Scott, with a lot of 20X shooting in windy conditions, what would YOU recommend for rock solid and smooth pans/ tilts (admitedly in SD, but bet that changes in the next couple of years, another reason for reticence. HD is a totally different ball game).

Especially given the modest budget?

So, hopefully, world peace restored, if still no concrete suggestions for Scott.


CS
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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:28 AM   #5
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hey Chris no worries, I was just giving you an elbow to the belly ;-)

To me Bogen and Manfrotto are interchangable if only because I hate saying Bogen/Manfrotto-so I just call it Bogen.

Ah whats the difference-some say Tomato some say Tomato!

No offense ever taken just poking the elbow!
OO
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Old April 4th, 2008, 06:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
If you trawl the threads here in some depth as I have, the overall top scorer in the budget department seems to be a Gitzo system, tho' the numbers ellude me at this moment (there are a couple of very recent posts singing it's praises).
You could be referring to the Gitzo 1380 head? Which I have, and love. Worlds better than the Manfrotto 501. But just the head costs more than his budget...
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Old April 4th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #7
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Can anyone tell me what bogen tripod for my price limit including the head that would do what I specified?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #8
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Hi Scott......

May I suggest you spend half an hour or so trawling through this lot:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/5...d_Systems.html

That at least will tell you what is available in your budget limit.

As for doing what you want it to do, ah, now that's another question entirely.

Don't think I'll go there with such a budget system - I'm almost prepared to wager good money that your expectations aren't going to be matched by reality. Then again, what do I know?


CS
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:32 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
May I suggest you spend half an hour or so trawling through this lot:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/shop/5...d_Systems.html

That at least will tell you what is available in your budget limit.

As for doing what you want it to do, ah, now that's another question entirely.

Don't think I'll go there with such a budget system - I'm almost prepared to wager good money that your expectations aren't going to be matched by reality. Then again, what do I know?


CS
I already looked through bh and found http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...od_System.html and was waiting for someone to actually answer my question and not laugh at my small budget. ;) Has anyone had experience with this type of tripod? I see everyone here isn't too fond of bogen though so I don't expect to hear much from you guys, but I'd still like to know about them. :)
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:38 PM   #10
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Er, Scott............

Try actually reading my posts, you might find them instructive.....


CS
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Old April 4th, 2008, 04:44 PM   #11
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Try actually reading my posts, you might find them instructive.....


CS
I did, but could the tripod link I provided be able to keep steady and what could I expect out of it, you reckon?
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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Hmm..............

Well, the answer to that is a very qualified "maybe" (if you're wondering why it's taking so long to respond it's because I want to make this as clear and unambiguous as possible).

OK, compared to whatever you're using now, they'll most probably be a revelation. Depending on your self critique level and experience they will range from "perfect" to "ok".

No matter where you start in this appreciation, with experience and growing confidence and expectations, the niggles will start. Maybe.

You'll start to notice the less than smooth starts, the less than smooth pans & tilts and the slight rebound at the end as the tripod and head "bounce back". Maybe.

You'll also notice the shakes in a breeze and that the slightest knock anywhere on the tripod/ head gives the picture the shivers. Maybe.

You'll also notice that making any adjustment to the camera whilst shooting also gives the picture the shivers/ shakes. Maybe.

These observations are not just leveled at this particular set up, no matter what you lash out for a system, it will have limitations, as Don pointed out earlier.

I think, personally, for the money, it's a hard system to beat. I started out in SD with a very similar rig, and it served me well for quite a while. I outgrew it as will you (maybe) with whatever you buy this time round.

In the end, you get what you pay for, and for the price, you're getting one heck of a package.

Now, has that answered your question?


CS
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Old April 4th, 2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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Actually that setup is pretty identical to what I use. The 525 legs are quite solid and don't bend in the wind. I have run 7 poundpd170s (with the works) up to 22 poundJVC5000Us (again with the works) on the legs and find then to be quite stabile. The head is where the problemsbegin. As I said earlier the 501/503 heads have their limits BUT If you work to learn the RIGHT way to use it to start pans (tilts work fine) and have the head set proprerly they will work for you.
Of course a lot depends on the exact conditions you might be in. If you're outside in a 30MPH wind and you're at the long end of the lens, there aren't many legs out there that won't show some shake.
B&H has about 26 different combos listed in the Bogen section from about $250 to just a bit over your listed budget. IMO the 525 501 would work. The 525/503 might work better and the 525/516 would work great but that would blow your budget.
Remember I've been using these legs and the 501 or 516 for a long time with various cameras but have never put an XL2 on them. YMMV!
Don
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Old April 5th, 2008, 12:02 AM   #14
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Hey Scott.............

Just re - reading your initial post and realised I had missed this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Delish View Post
Also if possible could you recommend some links and maybe your experiences with your tripods.
Most remiss of me.

So, about the best link I can provide is this one:

http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/camsupport/fibertec1.php

Probably explains better than anything else where I'm coming from.


CS

PS. Much to my utter astonishement, these are still on sale @ B&H. Just a tad over your budget limit tho'.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 08:01 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Just re - reading your initial post and realised I had missed this:



Most remiss of me.

So, about the best link I can provide is this one:

http://www.dvinfo.net/articles/camsupport/fibertec1.php

Probably explains better than anything else where I'm coming from.


CS

PS. Much to my utter astonishement, these are still on sale @ B&H. Just a tad over your budget limit tho'.


Dang, looks nice, but anything under $700?
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