Manfrotto 501 vs 503HDV at DVinfo.net

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Old April 25th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #1
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Manfrotto 501 vs 503HDV

I've been using a 501 for the past 2 years. I decided to upgrade out other tripod with the 503HDV head. I've noticed that the tilt is a lot stiffer on the 503 than the 501 and I'm not sure if I like this. I'm a wedding videographer and I like the looseness of the 501 when the bride is walking down the aisle.
Am I doing something wrong or are these two different heads?

Thanks,

Chad
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Old April 25th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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Chad,

You've probably tried this, but have you loosened the tilt friction knob on the left hand side? If I do this with my Vinten Pro-6 (just a re-badged 503HDV) it's very loose indeed, similarly with the pan friction knob as well.

Also, the counterbalance setting might affect this - the 501 doesn't have that, as far as I know. Mine's a bit clunky, you have to change the dial on the right hand side of the head up or down then tilt the head right back or forward until you hear a clunk.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 06:56 AM   #3
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I've looked at some pictures online this morning, and it looks liek the 501 head just has a single lever on the left hand side for tilt adjustment. The 503HDV has two - a combined lock lever with an outer knob for friction adjustment. This might explain the difference.
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Old April 26th, 2008, 06:56 PM   #4
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Like Mike said, the 503HDV has a counterbalance spring while the 501 does not. If this counterbalance is not set correctly for the camera you're using, you'll feel stiffness in the tilt axis. Another thing Mike mentioned is that the 503HDV has the tilt drag control knob and the tilt lock lever concentric to each other on the left side. So check to see if you haven't inadvertently engaged the tilt lock.

The counterbalance on the 503HDV is the 4 position knob on the right. According to Manfrotto, those 4 positions corresponds to camera weights of 0 kg, 1.3 kg, 2.6 kg and 3.9 kg (of course they don't specify a CG height like they're suppose to, but assume this is for handycam type cameras).
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Old April 29th, 2008, 11:04 AM   #5
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Hello everybody.

I was about to post a thread about 501HDV vs. 503HDV, not the same subject as this thread, but it fits well.

I bought the 501HDV to use with Sony FX7 thinking it was a true fluid head. But on the first tests I started experiencing some jerkiness. I went to Manfrotto website and there It says the 501HDV feature "teflon-coated discs" so It works based on friction, hence the subtle (not so on telephoto) jerkiness when panning.

Is the 503HDV a true fluid head? My budget won't go that high till the Sachtlers, so I can live with backlashes or whatever entry level fluid heads still have.

My question is: Will I be able to have a jerky-free pan with the 503HDV or should I just save money and get a Sachtler FSB-6 system in future?

Thanks in advance.
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