Initial Sticky Pan on Bogen model 501 Head - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old February 19th, 2004, 09:03 AM   #16
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I had this problem with my 501 head, and happened to be at B&H several months ago when a Manfrotto rep was there. The rep said that sometimes a set screw that attaches the head to the legs may interfere with the movement of the head. When I got home, I removed the head and saw that this was the case. It's just a matter of attaching the head carefully. The problem went away.
The rep also said that if this didn't work, I could call Manfrotto support and get a repair estimate. Of course, I didn't need to do this.
Hope this info is helpful to someone.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 06:55 PM   #17
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tried a 2nd 501 Head

More info -- Even though I'm in possession of the 503 head I upgraded to, from B&H, I opted to check out a 501 head one more time.

A nearby retailer had a 501 in stock. We set it up on a tripod head, and I let it sit for 5-6 minutes.

>>> It had "stiction" on pan; tilt was OK. Similar to the 1st 501 I tried.

Judging from the box condition, I suspect this 2nd 501 was older stock. Tavis Shaver had reported the stiction "may" be solved on newer 501's. But my 1st 501 from B&H "looked" fairly recent, I suspect their inventory turns over quite rapidly.

So I will remain with the 503 head from B&H, it's smooth.

As Tavis also commented, the counterbalance spring in the 503 nearly overpowers light cameras. I can maintain neutral horizontal w/ my TRV900 cam, but yes, if I want to maintain a tilt of more than 10-20 or so, I need to lock it down. I guess I'd rather do this, then fight the panning stiction in a 501.

For many people, much of the time, it's possible the stiction may be acceptable. But I find that for some of my shooting (eg, at music recitals), I may leave the stationary camera shooting for 15 minutes at a time to capture raw footage, followed by a pan if the pianist gets up & starts moving around. I don't always have a chance to "wiggle" the head, before starting a pan. Or at least, I don't want to have to think about it.
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Old February 20th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #18
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>Tilt is always smooth and doesn't stick.

Tom, I don't have any trouble with pan stickiness, but I have a similar problem when it comes to tilt. I've tried just about all of
the settings on the tilt adjustment, but no go. I suppose I'll just have to extend the handle . Bummer.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #19
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I've only gotten light use out of my 503 head (too busy at my "real" job!), my previous comments still hold true about the 503.

Probably will never truly know whether I got lucky on the 503, or very unlucky with the 501.

But definitely, one should not use the 503 head on a camera lighter than a TRV900 category.
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Old March 27th, 2004, 12:48 AM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Tom Herman :
But definitely, one should not use the 503 head on a camera lighter than a TRV900 category. -->>>

I have a Sony TRV38 and am looking for a quality head. Been thinking about a 503 until I saw your message here, Tom. Are you saying that the head would not stay tilted to a set angle due to the camera's light weight? And if so, what would you suggest as a head for this camera?

Thanks,
Allen
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Old March 27th, 2004, 10:56 AM   #21
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Allen,

the 503 has a built-in spring for the tilt, whose function is to restore tilt back to a (more-or-less) neutral horizontal position.

I've noticed with no camera installed, and with the handle pointing in a typical rear position, the unloaded head tends to tilt up, by maybe 10-20 degrees.

When I install the TRV900, I have to slide the quick-release plate all the way forward, so that the weight of camera counterbalances the force of spring & handle. Then, the camera/head assembly rests in a neutral horizontal position, and tilts/pans from this position are natural and smooth.

With a lighter camera, the head is going to naturally tend toward an upward tilt. Therefore, the tilt movement would have to be locked in place, for the camera to point horizontal.

That's fine as long as you always stay statically pointing horizontal. But if you tried to tape/video an intentional smooth tilt motion, the moment you unlocked the tilt it would tend to jerk upward. In principle, you could hold the handle firmly to prevent the upward jerk, but in practice it's very tricky to prevent the slight jerk.

alternatively, if you had planned a tilt motion in the scene, and if the tape stopped rolling before the tilt, you could begin the scene shoot with tilt unlocked and use the handle to control the tilt throughout the scene. But clearly that's inconvenient and annoying.

Otherwise the pan/tilt movements are smooth even with a light camera (or no camera at all!). it's just that the head won't automatically rest in a level horizontal..

Unfortunately I don't have any other specific recommendations based on first hand experience. Prior to deciding on the 503 head, I considered evaluating the Gitzo G2380 head ( also distributed by Bogen, http://www.bogenimaging.us/ ).

But since no nearby retailers stocked the Gitzo, I had gotten tired of the back and forth shipping (and freight charges) to BH photo, so I went with the 503, which had several favorable writeups.

I love my Gitzo ball-head for 35mm SLR, it's very smooth and well engineered, so I'd be very interested in how well the G2380 video head works ...
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Old April 12th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #22
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I'm on a limited budget, but am looking for a good tripod system for my GL2. Originally I was going to buy the bogen 3001/501 combo at B&H for $222, but from what i hear it may be worth the extra cash to buy the 503.

I will be using this tripod for weddings, nature video, and sports/marching band video. Will the 3001/501 combo be good enough for all of this? Is the 503 necessary?

Also, with either the 501 or the 503, will the 3001 tripod legs be a decent buy? I know there are more sturdy options but I also wanted one that is somewhat lightweight so i can carry it around easily.

Any thoughts are welcome. I'll also consider a different brand of tripod/head if someone has a good suggestion.

Thanks for the help!
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Old April 12th, 2004, 07:32 PM   #23
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I purchased my 501 head and 3221 legs from B&H about 3 months ago. At first there was some head sticking. Now it works fine. It might have neededjust to be broken in. For the price difference between the 501 and 503 the 501 met my budget and current needs. One day I will probably graduate up to a better head and carbon fiber legs but hey... you got to start somewhere.

Regards,

Mark
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Old April 12th, 2004, 07:46 PM   #24
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Thanks Mark

at B&H, the 3221 legs you mentioned were listed as a "wilderness tripod". Is that you what you bought?

The site says it is for nature shoots, but i cant see why it wouldnt work for anything else also? What is so different about these tripods, or am I looking at the wrong item?

thanks!
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Old April 12th, 2004, 09:48 PM   #25
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Chris,

Yes, I got the wilderness tripod. I believe it was $273 at B&H. This is a center column tripod. The first thing I did was remove the column and insert the included tripod head plug which the 501 attaches to. This allows me to get really low to the ground for certain shots. Also, if you get this tripod, I recommend you get the ball leveling head accessory (don't recall the exact model number but B&H has it. It's about $64.00.. you will then be able to level up at an amazing speed. Expensive yes, but well worth it.

Good shooting....

Mark
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Old April 12th, 2004, 10:27 PM   #26
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http://www.adorama.com/BG3221WN501.html

that link is to the bogen wilderness tripod at Adorama. Its a little less expensive (not much) than B&H, but also includes a bag.

I think I will buy this first, and maybe add the ball leveling accessory later, because at the moment I cant spend much more than $274 plus shipping.

Also, regarding the center column... is it easy to add/remove it? I would be needing it occasionally for high shots, but would also like to take it out for occasional low-ground shots.

thanks again for your help...
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Old April 13th, 2004, 06:49 AM   #27
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Yep. Take about 3 seconds to remove it. The little plug I was telling you about is stored at the bottom of the column and just snaps out.

I hope you enjoy it.

Mark
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Old April 25th, 2004, 12:19 PM   #28
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Thanks for all your help. I came into some extra money and decided to spend a little more and get a nicer setup. I bought the Bogen 3181 (actaully 3182, the black version) and the 501 head. The 3182 legs come with a 75mm half ball and they seem to be very sturdy with my GL2.

I have noticed the "stiction" on the 501 head, and havent been able to fix it by playing around with the head screws like someone here mentioned, but i'm still trying. If anyone else has other suggestions on a fix for this, please let me know. Otherwise I'll deal with it until I can afford to upgrade to the 503 (which I understand does not have the stiction problem, correct?).
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Old May 25th, 2011, 09:52 AM   #29
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Re: Initial Sticky Pan on Bogen model 501 Head

I know this thread is old, but the "stiction" problem doesn't go away on it's own with these heads.

I greatly reduced this problem in the following way:

1. Unscrew tension knob on right side.
2. Remove handle.
3. Remove four Allen head bolts from top of 501.
4. Lift off top of head. Watch out for small spring holding the red release button on the left side and the metal cam under the right side.
4. Pry off right hand section of head.
5. Use a Q-tip and 97% Isopropyl alcohol to remove the sticky grease from the two mating outer white Delrin rings. If it went over the outer edge remove it there as well.
6. Don't apply any oil or grease. Leave those two mating rings free from grease or oil and reassemble.
7. No need to bother with the left side of the head.

Worked for me. No more tilting stiction.

John
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Old May 25th, 2011, 12:54 PM   #30
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Re: Initial Sticky Pan on Bogen model 501 Head

But... the original poster had problems with sticky pans, not tilts...
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