Bogen Legs: 3181, 3190, 3191 at DVinfo.net

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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:31 AM   #1
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Bogen Legs: 3061, 3181, 3190, 3191

I'm looking for a tripod to replace one I recently tried that was totally unacceptble: the top-of-the-line Sony with built in Lanc
controller. The plastic on that one probably weighed more than the metal. The center column was plastic. Even some of the threaded sockets--where metal bolts were tightened into--were plastic. When I panned with the least amount of head drag set, with no camera mounted and the tripod standing on a linoleum floor, the legs started turning with the head, the rubber feet moving over the flooring!
Anyways, I've been looking at the 3061, 3181, 3190, and 3191. Anyone have experience with these? They all have the same max height and capacity. The 3181 weighs 8 pounds and the other two are 11 pounds. The 3181 has a 75mm bowl while the other two are 100mm. What difference would bowl size make? The only difference I can tell between the 3190 and the 3191 is that the latter has retractable spiked feet. The 3190 has dual-spiked feet but no rubber feet. The 3061 has a chain between the legs. Am I right that the spiked feet would not stay in place on a hard smooth floor such as linoleum or cement?
Any thoughts on which might be the best way to go?
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Old November 24th, 2003, 09:32 AM   #2
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I use a pair of 3181 legs in conjunction with the 3433 for my GL2. I love the sturdiness of the setup and have found no twisting whatsoever when panning with the heaviest drag setting on the 3433 making it a great choice for me and my prosumer needs. They aren't the lightest sticks, but with the 75mm bowl and the 44lb rating, I'm afforded many upgrade options with my camera as well as my head. The 3181s also come with spiked feet and rubber shoes that cover the spikes for use on smooth hard surfaces. I would assume the 3190 and 91 would be the same.

As for taking a stab at your second question, I believe the 75mm bowl supports heads that are rated between 2 and 25lbs and the 100mm format supporting 25lbs and up, but I could be wrong.

Hope this helps,

Tim
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Old November 24th, 2003, 09:57 AM   #3
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How are the leg lock levers on that 3181? I heard that some of the other Bogens, such as the 3021, are way oversprung.
Glad to hear the shoes are included--I thought they might be an optional accessory.
Are the legs locked in any way or is it just their gripping onto the floor which keeps them from spreading all the way out?
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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:56 PM   #4
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The locking mechanism has a smooth fluid motion that lock into place. I have not seen the 3021s, and if I am to assume that these are spring loaded levers, then the 3181s do not have them. Also, I believe that most Bogens/Manfrottos come with variable angle adjustment knobs at the top of the legs like the 3181s to keep them in place, or you could just opt for the mid-level spreader for about $40 bucks.

-Tim
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Old November 24th, 2003, 03:32 PM   #5
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Are there various leg angles available with the 3181, such as detents? And what method is used to lock them in place?
One reason I started considering the 3061 is that the legs are chained together. Do I have any reason to worry that the 3181 legs may splay apart on a slippery floor and crash the cam?
The locking method is not explained on the Bogen site.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 03:44 PM   #6
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They do have an adjustable metal tab or detent at the top of each set of legs that keeps them from overextending and it also supports multiple angles.

Hope this helps.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 06:12 PM   #7
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I have the same set as Tim. The 3182 (black) legs come standard with a 75mm ball that will mount to any head that will accept the 75mm ball. This is a pretty standard ball mount, which will allow the head and ball to mount on a Fisher dolly, for example, that has a 75mm bowl adapter. The 3061, however, uses a 90mm ball, which is a bit of an odd size. More common is the 100 mm ball adapter found on the 3190 and 3191 legs (sticks). The only difference between these two sticks are the feet; the 3190 have the spike feet with rubber slip ons, and the 3191 have the retractable spikes. I have lost one of my little rubber feet, which is mildly annoying. Replacements are available. Anyone else lost one or two that wants to go in on a set? Man, am I cheap.

The leg angle adjustment provides to pre-set angles (15 & 25 degree) and one free position to allow the legs to be set by the user at any angle, which is handy for uneven terrain situations. The pre-set positions are very sturdy and eliminate the need for the optional mid-level spreaders. No problem on a slick floor

The quick flip lever leg locks (say it three times fast) work great. And when they loosen an allen key is provided to re-tighten. An excellent system.

The 501 pan head that is sold with the sticks as a set ($366 B&H) is OK, not great. Especially vulnerable for starting slow, long lens pans. But it is an excellent buy for that price.

Accessories include the mid-level spreaders and dolly wheels. Also a carrying strap and tote bag.

Have we left anything out, guys?

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old November 24th, 2003, 06:26 PM   #8
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What does it matter: 75mm, 90mm, 100mm? The 501/503 fits on all equally well, right?
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Old November 24th, 2003, 07:02 PM   #9
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Well, yes and no, Dave. The 501 head is meant for a 75mm ball (the male part). You can use this combination of head and ball with a 100mm bowl (the female part), if you have a 75 to 100mm adapter. That will run you about another thirty dollars.

W.
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Old November 25th, 2003, 05:58 AM   #10
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Any idea how I'd go about hooking up the 503 head with the 90mm of the 3061?
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Old November 25th, 2003, 10:43 AM   #11
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Hmmm. Dunno. I can't imagine why you would want to do this, but it is usually possible to "kluge" something together in these situations. There does not seem to be a bowl adapter to go from the normal 75mm ball to a 90mm bowl, as there is going to a 100mm bowl (US part #3426). As I said, 90mm is a rather odd duck. I don't know that I have ever used a 90mm ball/bowl in my career. As for using a 90mm bowl directly to the 501/503 head, it would probably be a kluge. You can scrowl through the Manfrotto site, but I don't think they manufacture anything to go this way. Frankly, I don't know why you would want to do this, Dave. You can buy the standard 75mm ball for the 501/503 head, and with the 3426 adapter use the head with the 100mm bowl. Is there something I am missing here?

Wayne
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Old November 25th, 2003, 11:09 AM   #12
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I'm probably the one missing something here, Wayne. I've never
worked with this type of tripod before.
Am I correct in my thinking that I can use the 503 with the 3061 legs with no problem? No adapter required, correct?
And the legs come included with the ball and bowl, correct?

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Old November 25th, 2003, 12:37 PM   #13
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I don't think so, Dave. The larger bowls/balls are meant for larger pan heads, such as the 316, which will support cameras up to 35lbs. The smaller bowls/balls go with the smaller heads, 501/503 and others, for smaller cameras. Duh. The Manfrotto site does not show a ball connector included with the 3061 tripod. Just the bare sticks with that odd 90mm bowl. You would definitely be taking a chance trying to mate the 3061 with the 503 head. I advise against this.

W.
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