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Old April 5th, 2002, 11:54 PM   #1
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Manfrotto question

Hi all,

before I was aware of the advice available on these forums I bought a "shop demo" Manfrotto outfit.

I bought

Model #132 Sticks, the ones where you can level the head
Model #136 Head, looks identical to the one in Mr Pappas' article

Is this combo O.K. or should I be looking to upgrade.

Regards
Andrew
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Old April 6th, 2002, 12:08 AM   #2
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Hello Andrew,

To some degree the answer would depend on what type of work you're doing or plan to do.

Since your tagline indicates that you're just doing video for fun, however, I'd be inclined to advise you to make the best of the rig you have (as long as it's solid and stable) and channel your resources toward other areas that will have greater incremental impact on the quality of your final products.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 08:30 AM   #3
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For fun its okay.

I never tried the 136 (3063). I am using the 503 (3460) which I can highly recommend.

If it is doing the pans and stuff you want to do, stick with it. Do not over spend.

One other item to look at is the 438 (Bogen 3502) Ball Camera Leveller. It makes leveling the cam a snap. The are usually available for about $80.

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Old April 7th, 2002, 09:41 AM   #4
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Andrew,

I recently bought the 503 Manfrotto head for my 55 sticks, and found it to be inadequate, compared to the miller heads and I am buying another Miller instead. There is no comparison, even with the standard lens. When I put the 100-400L lens on, the Miller DS20 head holds it at all angles, although with the standard plate and things a bit unbalanced you have to lock head.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 10:20 AM   #5
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Rick is completely correct in saying you'll find the Manfrotto inadequate when compared to a good old piece of Australian gear like a Miller. The 503/55 combo costs about US$400-500, The Miller costs about US$2500.

The Manfrotto 501/503 are adequate heads for what they cost. Quite a few crew hwere are using them. The 055 legs are also good for what they cost, I've got a set, sure there are better but they were all I could afford at the time.

If you're shooting in pretty extreme situations like Rick, you'll definately need something of the quality of a Miller DS10/20. If your shooting on a budget, then get the most stable tripod and the best head your cash flow allows like a Manfrotto/Bogen.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 10:51 AM   #6
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Adrian,

The price of a Miller system 20 here in Aussie is only about $1500 Australian. $2500 US must be for a bigger system, or are we getting a special local deal!
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Old April 7th, 2002, 11:14 AM   #7
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Sorry bout that Rick, I must have gotten mixed up somewhere. But hey, that's good news. Maybe I'll have to make a trip home to get one. Probably cost a fortune if I bought it here in Japan.

Actually I'll probably have to get 2 as John will want one if I show up with it.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 01:34 PM   #8
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I certainly agree with the assessment of the Miller gear; I have a Miller DS-10 rig and think it's excellent.

But, realistically, at US$1,200-1,600 this is a pretty expensive purchase for Andrew since he's just doing video for fun. Since he already has the Mafrotto rig my reasoning (knowing nothing else about his gear or goals) would be for him to re-visit other departments (i.e. audio and lighting) before re-allocating $ towards a tripod upgrade. Presumably his current Mafrotto will at least support the camera in a locked-down condition, although it will not give him very smooth motion.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 02:05 PM   #9
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Thanks to all for the advice,

from the Manfrotto site my search of video sticks tells me that mine handle the greatest mass in their video range 30kg (model 3063). And that the head is one below the 501 and can handle 5kg. I should be safe from a load point of view. I have noticed a degree of "sticktion" when overcoming the initial inertia required to move the head, probably the reason for the suggestions of upgrading the head. I am sure the sticks should be fine, in fact they are probably an overkill.

I am with Ken here $1000 is too rich for me...I don't generate any cash from my hobby I take footage in our National Parks for self gratification.

I have just ordered a Frezzi Mini Dimmer Fill and would probably do better by getting a parabolic mic for the bush or a radio mic for general stuff.

Thanks again
Andrew
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Old April 7th, 2002, 02:29 PM   #10
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Andrew,

If you do get a parabolic mic start a new thread in the "Audio" section and let us know what you got and how you like it. I know that there are quite a few folks here that shoot wildlife and have struggled with getting good audio.
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Old April 7th, 2002, 02:38 PM   #11
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Will do so Ken

Cheers
Andrew
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