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Old May 9th, 2002, 04:18 AM   #76
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I've seen a 501 head based rig for around 500. . .and a 503 head based rig for around 800. What's the real difference between these two? Why do I not feel at one with my tripod?
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Old May 9th, 2002, 05:04 AM   #77
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You don't want to know how much I paid for my tripod. It was almost as much as the XL1. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

3283 legs
Sachtler DV8 head
Floor spreaders
Mid level spreaders

With the extra weight of the mini35 system it's a damn good set up. But you need the extra weight to really use this set up.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 08:48 AM   #78
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Justin did it the right way. Of course, you'd *want* an expensive set of sticks under that rig of his. I think $2,000 would be a good budget for an XL1 tripod. I couldn't afford that, however. My Bogen 503 head and 3251 sticks came to... I think... between $500 and $600 or so. I'd have to dig out the receipt. It's only a temporary thing... I'd rather have a $2,000 Miller.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 10:17 AM   #79
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My Miller DS-10 ran around $1,600.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 10:29 AM   #80
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I got the 3283's for cheap, Chris. I couldn't beat the deal. ;)

They haven't failed me and the head does most of the work anyway.

I went with the Sachtler DV8 over the Miller DS-10 because I like Sachtler's 5 drag settings and their overall system.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 10:41 AM   #81
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Justin,
I, too, looked at the Sachtler DV8 as well as a Vinten Vision. I really wasn't thrilled with the Vision, which I thought would be in the lead. The DV8, however, was a very nice rig indeed. In the end, however, I decided that the fine drag settings of the DV8 would be a bit of overkill for my consistent load and general needs. The Miller's drag adjustments work just fine for my purposes.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 12:02 PM   #82
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You are some crazy rich bastards. I just want a rig that feels comfortable in my hand (yes, I know what you're thinking). The main problem I have with my current one is that to pan and tilt with any smoothness, I have to loosen it to its maximum looseness (I'm sure there's a better way to say that), and then when I try to pan or tilt into a shot and hold it still, it of course shakes because it's super loose and I'm hunched over looking in the viewfinder. Now tell me, do I need to learn tripod xen, or is it really the rig?

I'm 23, working part time as a master controller, and don't see myself side by side with Lucas or Spielberg (or even Smithee) any time soon.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 01:36 PM   #83
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The Manfrotto 501 or 503 will certainly be much better than what you have and will probably meet your needs just fine. Of course, a little Zen never hurts, either. Go for it!
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Old May 9th, 2002, 06:28 PM   #84
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Okay, what I'm now trying to find out is, is the 501 or 503 head compatible ith my sticks? I have the 3001n sticks, if anyone knows what they are (I promise they're real). It would be much cheaper to just buy a new head (150 or so for the 501, 250 for the 503. Someone help me!
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Old May 9th, 2002, 07:38 PM   #85
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Well, the 3001 sticks are pretty small actually... you can put a 501 head on them and it'll work, but it'll look kinda funny.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 07:53 PM   #86
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Well if I cared how things looked, then I wouldn't go to my gigs in a pink thong with white fringe. Now, do those sticks support the head sufficiently? I don't mind spending more, I just don't want to do anything unnecessary.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 08:06 PM   #87
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Also, I've been holding the pan arm on my tripod with one hand, while holding the other on the zoom rocker, making me hunch over to look into the viewfinder. I guess what you guys were saying is that it's better to set up two pan handles and an external monitor to make the setup emulate a studio camera. Perhaps this is why I don't feel at one with my tripod.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 08:41 PM   #88
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More importantly, you need a lens controller to clamp onto your tripod pan handle. When you can run zoom and focus etc. this way, it's much better than hunching over the camera. I prefer a VariZoom but any controller is better than none at all.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 08:56 PM   #89
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If the setup you are using is "ENG style" and the two-handled setup "Studio style", here's another alternative which you could call "EFP style": using a rear zoom control only (Chris recommends the VariZoom); this will allow you to use your left hand to work focus as needed. Since your body is still bracing the camera to a certain degree and your leverage is on both the front and back of the camera, this may help smooth out more stickiness present in the head than in the two-handled setup.

I will also echo the sentiment that you get what you pay for in a head. A solid performer of a head should allow you to move the camera with graceful, fluid strokes, gently letting you glide your moves to a stop and start up again without any bumps and sticking. Given enough skill, many inadequacies in a head can be minimized but the last thing you want to put your energy into is having to fight your shooting platform.

Lest you think the heads listed here are highway robbery--being an O'Connor fan, I have the 1060 which costs about the same as an XL1 but is worth every penny to me, and compatible with the quick release plate on my 2575 which goes out with me on film jobs.Now THAT particular head with its accessories cost in the five figures (zounds!)--but it is pretty much the last word in fluid heads! With either head, 0% of my mental energy goes into dealing with the head once the pan, tilt and counterweight is dialed in. And thus, grasshopper, you truly become one with the camera.
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Old May 9th, 2002, 09:06 PM   #90
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Thank you, Charles. Looks like Justin and I are now relieved of our informal titles of "...some crazy rich bastards" <g>. You now da man!
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