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Old August 10th, 2003, 09:21 PM   #1
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Bogen 503 Head problem

I recently purchased this tripod head from B&H. I'm a novice and this is my first fairly expensive tripod setup. I notice a bit of slop in the head during pans. If I go from left to right the handle moves about 1/2 inch before the valveing kicks in. This jars the picture a bit. Sometimes I can start a pan(one direction) and it seems normal and halfway through the pan the slop is taken up with the same result. I try not to pan much but sometimes it is necessary and if I am not thinking about it the slop will mess up the shot. I'm just wondering if this is normal for a 503 head or is something wrong with the valveing in this particular head unit. Thanks for the help.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 10:00 AM   #2
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In my experience that is about average for that head. Make sure it is fasten properly. Screws on the bottom may not be fasten securely. If you have a local dealer try and do a comparison.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 10:10 AM   #3
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Any chance you have the optical stabilazer engaged on your
camera? That might mess things up as well
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Old August 11th, 2003, 11:44 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help.
I'm really just talking about the free play in the head when panning left to right, right to left. There is a space before the friction kicks in.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 12:51 PM   #5
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Check the locking pins and maybe the tripod legs too.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 01:19 PM   #6
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I've been using my 503 for a year or so now and have not had any of the problems you are describing. I'd recommend doing a head-to-head (pardon the pun) test with another. I've been really impressed using mine with the GL2 (and associated mounted mics, lights, wireless ....). Good balance and smooth pans and tilts.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 02:52 PM   #7
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Would anyone kindly offer an explanation for why an optical stabilizer would mess up rather than smooth out pans?
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Old August 11th, 2003, 02:56 PM   #8
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Gints,

Basic explanation: When you first start the pan, the VS thinks it's unintentional and trys to correct for it. Once you have continued the pan long enough for the VS to realize you really want to pan, it has to catch up so it appears as if you have a very rough start to the pan. Once it's caught up, the pan is smooth.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 03:18 PM   #9
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Most consumer and prosumer cameras use only first generation OIS. It tries to correct pans, as Rob points out. Second generation OIS will not be effected by pans or tilts. Second generation is used in the latest Canon EOS EF super telephotos (300mm and longer). I've used some of these lenses and it works flawlessly.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 08:08 PM   #10
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Jeff,
You diagnosed the problem perfectly. I checked this evening and the set screws had loosened enough to cause the play. Thanks again
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