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Old April 15th, 2002, 02:01 AM   #46
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The main reason for me going with the 501 instead of the 503, other than price, was because the tilt lock is located on the right hand side on the 503. Maybe it's another one of those "what you're comfortable with" situations, but in my experience with professional heads and it's what I am comfortable with, having the tilt lock at my left hand is far more user friendly, especially in the middle of recording say after you've zoomed in with a slight pan and you want to lock the head down. Seems it would be awkward with the lock on the other side, out of sight.

Would love to hear if my assumption, and we all know about that word (lol), is accurate.
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Old April 15th, 2002, 02:54 AM   #47
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I think your assumption is correct if you tend to pan tilt with your right. On my Sachtler all the controls are on the left (except the sled lock) and it's the most comfortable situation.
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Old April 16th, 2002, 10:29 PM   #48
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I use a Libec 50 on T57 sticks - it is a wonderful video tripod by Japan's leading camera mount company. ZotZ sells them for $750 - which is a great - Libec is one of the best!
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Old April 19th, 2002, 06:29 PM   #49
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Anyone know what the Manfrotto 055pro tripod is like. Sales guy recommend I get that (Entry level DV tripod) and it looked pretty cool with the rearrangable tripod stem.
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Old April 19th, 2002, 07:41 PM   #50
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Hello,

Bogen 3221 legs
" 501 head
and
most important Bogen compact leveling head #3502

The leveling head between the 3221 and 501 makes all the difference.

Bruce
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Old April 20th, 2002, 12:36 AM   #51
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Hi Aaron,

<Anyone know what the Manfrotto 055pro tripod is like.>

I've checked my catalogues and can't find anything like a 055. All tripods and heads have an Art. No. in the 3000 range. I don't know if that's just for us here in the States or not. Yes, I know there are exceptions like the 501, etc, but if you know the 3000 number then I could give you my opinion.
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Old April 20th, 2002, 02:18 AM   #52
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Hi Aaron,

those of us non-US based tend to operate with different numbers, the 055Pro = 3021Pro.

My setup and how I got there (most my work is wildlife).

When I bought I had no idea of what I needed in a tripod. The only advice I got was "make sure you get a fluid head and that you can level it". That exactly what I bought. It was a package deal (shop demo unit, sticks and head at a great price).

132X = 3061 Sticks. Weigh in at a hefty 6,9kg.

In use I have found that I like the infinitely variable leg positions which are obtained by the use of the chains. These leg positions allows one to compensate for the camcorder height in the absence of the wind up centre post. When the legs are splayed to give a lower camera height the stability rises incredably. Secondly when shooting in nature the terrain is often uneven, the leg positions cope with that well. The tripod has a built in "leveling ball" to me essential. I have a VW bus which I use in the Kruger, with the first bench seat removed the tripod fits in perfectly, the legs allow me to positon the camcorder exactly at the open winow where I need it. The "levelling ball" allows me to compensate for the changing slopes in the roads. I could not operate without the levelling facility. Weight is not an issue as I rarely need to carrry the sticks far. For me it is GREAT. I was lucky, I knew from nothing but the sticks turned out to be one of the best buys in my video kit.

The only mod I will be doing to my sticks will be to Teflon coat the Aluminium "socket" into which the ball fits to give more freedom of movement. Then I am going to extend the knob that tightens the levelling ball and make this a long shaft. To the bottom of the shaft I will be attaching counterweights. This will in effect become a "steadipod" so no matter the slope the vehicle encounters the camcorder will always be parallel to the ground. One turn of the shaft and it's locked.

136 = 3061 Head. As mentioned it was a package deal. In hindsight would not buy this head, the one feature I still do like is the little spirit level that allows one to ensure the head is level and will pan correctly in the horizontal. Nothing stops one adding a spirit level. It is not a terrible head but I think I could have done better and will probably upgrade to a 503. There a fluid heads and then there are fluid heads.

Guess what I am telling you is that your requirement like the rest of us will be personal and specific. Understand the conditions under which you will be using the tripod and head then make sure your selection fits that requirement.


Good luck mate
Andrew

PS: I can't remember if you mentioned what type of videography you will be doing but perhaps that could narrow the choices.
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Old April 20th, 2002, 05:45 AM   #53
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Guy Pringle wrote:

"The main reason for me going with the 501 instead of the 503, other than price, was because the tilt lock is located on the right hand side on the 503"

This bothered me at first as well, but then I realised that the tension control is on the left - where it should be. When shooting, I release the tilt lock, and use the tension nob to lock or unlock the tilt, which is apparantly how it should be done.

I have just bought an XL1S (to add to my XL1) and purchased the bogen 3182 with a 505 head. Whith the correct springs loaded, this combo feels like heaven. (about $1100 for the kit with bag and mid-level spreader)
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Old April 20th, 2002, 05:09 PM   #54
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Hi Andrew, thanks for the advice. I thought the 055pro did have infinately variable leg positions...In fact I'd have thought all tripods would have...guess not. I'll look into it a bit more but since I will be doing outside shooting as well I will definately want a tripod where I can adjust the leges idependently so I can get the tripod level and a levelling bubble.

What is this "ball" I hear people talking about with regard to tripods? I think I might have seen one on another tripod in a shop, it was a mounting plate with a ball attached to the head. I assume this is so you can get an extra 2 degrees of freedom with the camera right? (Roll?)
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Old April 20th, 2002, 09:02 PM   #55
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Hi,

There are two types of balls referred to with tripods. Ball heads, are a type of type of 35mm camera head that is used in place the more traditional 3 way heads. The top of the ball head usually has a quick release adapter that allows for the mounting of the camera and lens combination.

The type of ball referred to with video or cine tripods is a ball mount. The bottom of the camera head is a sort of half dome or ball. This fits into a cup or socketon the top of the tripod legs. This arrangement works like a ball and socket joint. The ball fastens to the tripod with a large screw and threaded fastner arrangement. These are some sites to better explain it. I guess a picture is worth a 1000 words about now.

http://www.vinten.com/intro.asp
http://www.bogenphoto.com/
http://www.sachtler.com/

The long and short of it is that the ball allows you to quickly level your fluid head for pans.

Jeff
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Old May 4th, 2002, 11:27 AM   #56
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smooth tripod action

I'm an amateur at the videography thing, and I have trouble with smooth panning and tilting and such. I can smoothly pan or tilt while moving, but when going to or from a still position, the transition is usually kinda jerky. The only way I can make it smooth is to loosen the pan and tilt friction as loose as it'll go, which makes it hard to keep the tripod completely steady when it's still. Any advice? I'm using a Canon XL1s and a cheap tripod rig. . .bogen 3160 head and some kind of light body. . .don't remember the model number. I realize this might be part of the problem, as the whole thing is so light. Still, any advice?
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Old May 4th, 2002, 04:59 PM   #57
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I had a Bogen 3126 head, and had similar problems. It is advertised as "fluid", but is really just some grease. After moving up to a 503, my troubles disappeared. Some like the 501, as well. Unless you are willing to spend the big bucks for the Millers, etc., the 503 is priced competitively and works well.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 12:03 AM   #58
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Jerky starts and stops are the hallmarks of inexpensive heads or heads not designed for video or for your camera's mass. As Vic noted, the Bogen/Manfrotto 503 head is highly regarded by many XL1 owners and is moderately priced. The 503, in particular, was designed with the XL1's load in mind, although it will take smaller loads.

My personal favorite is the Miller DS-10.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 12:21 AM   #59
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above

Really? I'm pretty sure it's me and not the head. . .I mean, are you saying that with a better head I'd be able to keep steady, even when the tilt and pan locks are at their loosest? That's pretty much the problem. . .or finding someway to unlock them without the camera jittering.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 12:57 AM   #60
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Well, Slash, I certainly can't say that anyone wouldn't benefit from practice <g>. But, indeed, top-notch fluid heads matched with appropriate load masses will make pans and tilts silky smooth and consistent even when subjected to a wide range of temperatures. Of no small significance for XL1/s shooters (due to it's eccentric center of gravity and variable mass) is a good quality head's quick-release sled (or bottom plate) which enables you to perfectly balance the camera's mass on the head and adjust the balance as you change the load characteristics (i.e. change lenses, add lcd monitor, connect xlr cables, et.al.).

When I first embarked on video I was skeptical of the value of a first-rate tripod and head. How, I wondered, could such a rig really be worth $1,500-$2,000+? It seemed absurd until I did some research and, most importantly, tried some high-end rigs. There's more engineering involved in a good head than meets the eye.

Certainly, I don't advocate that anyone spend more on a mount than they can afford or justify for their practical needs. But I -do- recommend that you consider (a) that buying 1 very good rig is probably going to be less expensive than buying a succession of replacements over time, and (b) a good rig will most likely long outlive your current camera.

Happy hunting.
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