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Old January 8th, 2002, 12:39 PM   #31
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Any recommended dealers for Bogen/Manfrotto products?
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Old January 8th, 2002, 01:52 PM   #32
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I've purchased my Bogen/Manfrotto gear from B&H (bhphoto.com). They seem to have the widest selection and reasonable prices.
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Old January 8th, 2002, 03:09 PM   #33
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Hi Jerry,

I initially ordered the PortaBrace Hiker-2 case with my camera but was a little worried with the fact that the lens was in constant contact with the top of the case. I couldn't find a way to position the camera without the top placing pressure on the lens when it was zipped closed. Otherwise, I thought it was a great piece. I finally exchanged it for the Traveler model. This one doesn't have quite as much storage for extra stuff and it doesn't have the straps for backpacking or a tripod, but I do feel a little bit better about the security of the camer lens.

Ed Frazier
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Old January 8th, 2002, 11:40 PM   #34
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Has anyone tried the LowePro series of professional backpacks. I took a gander at the PortaBrace link above, but the HP-2 didn't seem to have an adequate shoulder harness and it didn't seem to have much of a waist harness.

I've done a lot of backpacking and fine those two features, especially the waist harness (belt), invaluable.

Please check out the following link and let me know what you think about this particular Lowe Pro back pack. (The extra soft-sided case tethered to the back of the backpack is not part of the pack).

http://www.lowepro.com/images/PPages/Bag_pack/lrgclr/Road%20Runner%20on%20back.jpg

Would be happy for those of you who have packed your gear into the outback to weigh in.

Thanks.

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Old January 9th, 2002, 06:39 AM   #35
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Hi Alan,

<<I took a gander at the PortaBrace link above, but the HP-2 didn't seem to have an adequate shoulder harness and it didn't seem to have much of a waist harness. >>

I'm not sure which PortaBrace model you are referring to. They have a model HK-2 (designed for larger ENG cameras) which does have a waist belt and also the HKP-2 (the one I ordered and the one designated for the XL1), which does not have any waist belt at all. There is also the HKP-3 which is a little longer than the HKP-2 but otherwise the same as far as I know.

I took a look at the LowePro model in your link and while the dimensions seem more than adequate for the XL1, there could be a problem with the depth. It is only 9", the almost exact width of the XL1 with mic and VF attached. There could be a problem unless the VF is removed each time you pack the camera. Also, did you notice the weight? 15lbs 12oz.! That seems like a LOT for an empty pack. Must be caused by the internal frame and wheels.

Just some things to consider.

Ed Frazier
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Old January 9th, 2002, 07:06 AM   #36
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To transport my XL1 when hiking I use a modified Lowe Pro Photo Trekker Classic. The modifications are only for essiential backountry rescue gear like avalanche probe, shovel etc.

My XL1, EOS 3, 70-200, 28-70 and 17-35mm lenses, battries, all fit, al be it very snuggly inside the pack. It took some playing with the dividers but they do fit. Filters, blank tapes and films go into the 70-200 case strapped onto one side of the pack. My tripod gets strapped to the other side and then my snowboard goes onto the front (back?) of the pack. It gets pretty heavy so I use hiking poles with extra large baskets when in deep snow.

As for shooting, I use a circular polarizer only. I had a rain jacket for it but it was just made of cheap clear plastic and only lasted half a season. I'm getting a Porta Brace one this month.

The main thing to remember when shooting in the snow is to set your exposure compensation dial +1.5 - 2 stops. This is because the light meter tries to compensate for the refelected light off the snow and shuts down the iris somewhat and you end up with grey snow. So for that OMO whiteness overexpose 1.5 - 2 stops and Bob's your uncle.
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Old January 9th, 2002, 07:06 PM   #37
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OK, my 2 cents worth here...
I have found my Porta Brace CTC2 the perfect item.

It is just the right size to carry aboard a plane (allow plenty of time for airport security to scrutinize the hell out of your XL1 and the rest of the bag's contents), and in it I keep spare tapes and batteries, charger, 2 kinds of wireless mics and a plug-in mike, clapper board, instruction manual, remote control, a roll of gaffers tape, a set of full-size headphones, assorted patch cables, etc. Oh yes, plus the camera, on an MA-100 with a Frezzi folded down on top plus the 12 volt battery pack for the Frezzi. Plus when not traveling by air I hang stuff on the outside with the velcro piggin' strings! My Bogen sticks and fluid head go in the checked suitcase with my clothes and other gear.

And I know the Porta Brace bag will last forever. I have some old PB bags that have been really kicked around that I use for other accessories. The stuff is indestructible! (and creatively designed for people who actually use video equipment for a living) I'll be getting a PB raincoat as soon as it is clear to me that I am going to have to do foul-weather/outdoor shooting.
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Old April 12th, 2002, 01:59 PM   #38
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I was told by all, that Manfrotto was the only way to go. So, after I got my new Canon XL1s and GL1, I bought a Manfrotto tripod and fluid pan/tilt head for about $250.00. Having actually used it now, I think that the $39.00 Vivitar that Walmart sells would have been better.

The Manfrotto is anything but fluid in movement, and the front heavy XL1s causes the head to slowly tilt down.

Some people will say, " You bought the cheap model. You needed the expensive model." I say. $250.00 ain't cheap, and if they can't make anything with quality for less than $500.00, there is serious problem. I'll spend my hard earned dollars on something that works for those dollars, not just a fancy name.
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Old April 13th, 2002, 04:50 AM   #39
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Hi,

Bogen (Manfrotto in the rest of the world) makes very high quality products. However, the use of the term fluid is used very loosely in the video business. Most of the lower end, price wise, Bogen tripods are better suited for consumer use or when the camera will be locked down. the weight of the XL1 and accessories mandate a tripod/head combination of the next order. i would expect to pay no less than $1000 for a decent tripod. For true broadcast, repeatable moves and such I would look at Sachtler or Vinten. Check out ebay for deals on used ones and research the models to find one that fits the XL1.

I remember buying my first Bogen video tripod in the 80's and spending about what you did. I got similar results and had similar feelings. Then I bought a used O'Connor for $2000 and spent $400 to have the head rebuilt. Better but not perfect. Then in the early 90's I bought a Sachtler 16. I thought I had found heaven, but I was $6500 poorer.

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Old April 13th, 2002, 10:01 PM   #40
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for ed frazier

ED:

Just a note you were looking where to get a Bogen Combo cheap....I think they screwed up but just got my 3283b bogen with a 501 head and bag from Samy's Camera in Santa Barbara, CA. I went home for a week, and at that price could not pass it up. (btw if nobody has done the drive thru the hwy 1 in Big Sur and shot it do it for your own pleasure) I paid $392 which included shipping to my address in Atlanta..

Michel
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Old April 13th, 2002, 10:39 PM   #41
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Hi Michel,

Thanks for the info, but I bought the 3251/503 combination based on the recommendation from Chris H. several months ago. I don't remember the exact price but seems the two were around $500 from B&H. More money will get a better head, but for what I'm doing, the 503 works fine.
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Old April 14th, 2002, 12:16 AM   #42
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AAAARGH!!

Man Michael, you just stuffed up my week-end. On Friday I just ordered the 8283B/501 kit from B&H for $528! I also bought the 3141 SPRB mid-level spreader for $20 and shipping to Texas was a wopping $29 for a total of $577!
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Old April 14th, 2002, 10:06 AM   #43
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Can anyone tell me the differences between the 501 and 503 heads? I have a 501 and don't like the pans and tilts I get. Of course operator error may have a lot to do with it, but I still need to get good shots.

Will anyone do the old compare and constrast thing like we used to do in school?

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Old April 14th, 2002, 10:12 AM   #44
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I dont own any so I cant go into much detail, but Chris said in another thread not so long ago that the 503 was a big improvement over the 501.

I'm sure he'll comment here when he's "recovered from NAB", or you could just search for the topic (sorry I can't remember what it was called).
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Old April 15th, 2002, 12:32 AM   #45
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I put my VariZoom on one of the legs. With it on firm footing, it's alright. A two handed affair, but works fine. The balance trick sounds good, but I think the fitting didn't like the width of my original "grip." I shoot pretty long telephoto and sometimes pushing the buttons caused a bit of shake when on the handle.
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