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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:00 AM   #61
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With my 503, I can let go of the camera and it stays put. When I start a pan, it's smooth. You can keep the friction fairly snug--there is no need to operate with everything too loose. That's what you get with the better heads, and especially when you jump into the big boys like the Miller and some others. The Manfrotto 503 is a good compromise.

(After posting, I noticed Ken had also responded to your last -- I agree with all that he says--he also uses bigger words than I do!)

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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:27 AM   #62
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Well, I bow before before you all with my hands together in deference. I shall research this "503 head" you speak of.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:35 AM   #63
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Well, it seems the head you've suggested is listed at 243 dollars online. That sounds okay. Now, the question is, should I buy another body as well? I still don't know the name of mine. It's very light, has no spreader (or way of attaching one), and I think the guy told me it's the cheapest one you can change the head on. It says 3001n on the side. . .if that means anything. A manfrotto/bogen body. I saw an 800 dollar body head combo with a ball on it. A lady I know, however, got a nice one (in my opinion for 500 with ball, level bubble thingy, spreader, and a solid head (maybe 503)
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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:56 AM   #64
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To avoid confusion while you're shopping or asking questions, the tripod is generally called the "legs" or, err, the "tripod"<g> not a "body".
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Old May 5th, 2002, 12:06 PM   #65
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But "level bubble thingy" is the correct technical term, I believe. No problems there. ;)
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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:07 PM   #66
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Very well, I'll study upon on my video gear terms, since that seems to be the most important part of being in the business. Now, is the 503 head compatible with the "legs" that I have. . .or do I need a whole new rig?
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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:08 PM   #67
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...usually called out as an LBT in manufacturers' literature.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 01:35 PM   #68
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"LBT"...LOL

I thought you're supposed to use big words, Ken...not acronyms.

Slash...it's hard to say without knowing exactly what model you have now. When you say "lightweight", you might be referring to the same legs I use. You can get by with some of the inexpensive lightweight Bogen/Manfrotto legs...I know because I do. But...I definitely have my eyes on a Miller for a future purchase.

My advice is make your purchase match your budget...and go to a dealer and test several models out to see which feels more stable, which has a spreader and what type of spreader...etc. You won't find a lower end tripod that feels as good as a pricey Miller or other high-end models...so just get whatever feels most comfortable that's within your price range.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:18 PM   #69
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Hi Slash,

I was looking through my Manfrotto catalogue and the only tripod that came close to your 3001n was the 3001, the 3001s which is the short version and the 3001lc which has a slightly longer centre column. These are suggested for 35mm (still) camera usage. The 3160 head looks a little on the lightweight side.

As the other boffins have mentioned, an upgrade to a Bogen video kit would make a lot of difference. If you can afford a Miller or Vinten or Sachtler or the likes, definetly go for it.

I got the Bogen 3283B-501 kit because price was an issue and I preferred the pan lock to be on the left hand side. Having worked for many years with top end sticks and heads, I'm not blown away by the 501, but for the price it still gives a solid ride. I wouldn't settle for anything less than the 501, obviously if you can afford better models, go for it.

You should definetly get a bowl system, easy, fast and accurate leveling. You don't need to muck around with the legs to get level.

As for tripods, I prefer the two stage, three sectioned, spiked feet style such as the 3283 as appossed to the tubular style.

As an added thought, I've also heard you should make sure the Image stabilizer switch on your lens should be switched off when operating from a tripod. I've done a little preliminary test with it, but haven't seen the bad effect yet. Just something to consider.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:40 PM   #70
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There is definitely a 3001n set of legsj, according to yahooshopping. Looks like what I have. Anyway as for budget, I work part time as a master controller, so you figure it out. My microphone case is a wahwah pedal bag lined with stapled-in egg crate.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:40 PM   #71
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"Boffin"...I like that! ;)

Slash, just to give you a bit more of a point in the right direction. My tripod is a Manfrotto 501 head with 455 legs (one of the 3000 series in the U.S.). I've gotten by just fine with it, although it has been a bit sticky at times. And I did have trouble with it slipping out of a locked position once when I had to point my XL-1 down at a steep angle. It just couldn't hold the weight. But I do like it because it's compact and lightweight.

But before making a decision, I'd search the threads here to find some past threads about the importance of spreaders (Ken and Chris mention them, I know) and also have mentioned their preferences between ground and mid-point spreaders.

Chris also has advocated having two handles (you can add a second handle to most any model)...search for those messages. I'd have to agree. I know I'd have more stability with another handle...just haven't been able to scrounge one up in Korea. Maybe I'll have better luck in Japan.

One more thing, I remember Chris mentioning a particular set of legs that open easily... and if memory serves me correctly, he's referring to a Bogen setup.

See if you can find those posts...they'll give you a bit more insight.

Incidentally, sounds like Africats and I have similar pods...but I tend to like the tubular legs. Easy on the shoulder.

Good luck.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:50 PM   #72
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I have the Bogen automatic tripod, the model is 3251. The cool thing about it are these levers under the head that extend and retract the legs (using gravity). It makes for fast set-ups and break-downs. It's a big, heavy son of a gun and I wouldn't want to have to carry it very far, but it is quite stable. I have a 503 head with two pan handles on it. It comes with a mid-level spreader. Heavy and a little clunky but as I said it's pretty stable.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:56 PM   #73
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And how much, pray tell, did you good people pay for your rigs? Me, I got away for $150 or so, head and legs.
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Old May 5th, 2002, 02:58 PM   #74
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You beat me...by about half.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 03:57 AM   #75
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I paid $520 from B&H, that includes 3283B tripod, 501 head, 75mm ball leveler, ground spreader, bag and an extra mid-level spreader and includes S&H. I've read elsewhere that others have paid less for the same set-up.
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