Improved my 503 HDV head for pennies. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 1st, 2009, 10:22 AM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
Improved my 503 HDV head for pennies.

I was fed up with the tilt drag on my 503hdv head, the pan is ok but the tilt drag is non existant, even when wound fully on.
So i fixed it with some blu tack, before you laugh, read on.

I took the tripod apart, it's a toy, not true fluid at all, at least not on the tilt, it's just some viscous fluid between two sets of rings, as the friction damping is wound up these sets of rings come together, and start to stick together courtesy of some sticky fluid, not much fluid in there and too thin in my opinion.
So i cleaned the fluid off and spread some blu-tack over the rings and then reassembled the tripod, and what a difference.
With the drag on slightly i can feel the drag, with the drag fully on it's now too much drag, so now i can have anything between not enough and too much, perfect.
There's no wind back, i checked with the camera on full telephoto with about half of my new drag.

So here's the procedure, left and right as if you're stood behind the tripod, ie shooting with it

> wind the drag all the way off
> remove the pan handle, it stops the right hand side falling of in a minute.
> remove the four allen bolts on top of the head, watch that the spring under the red
release button doesn't spring away, also watch that the other side of the head doesn't fall
off, take it off before it falls off.
> remove the rubber from around the drag knob, just pull the rubber off
> undo the tiny allen grub screw in the side of the drag knob the undo the drag knob.
> with a pair of pin nose pliers undo the nut with the four grooves
> undo the lock knob, (left hand thread)
> remove the bearing
> pull the side of the tripod off, now you can see the rings
> clean the rings and make sure they're both dry
> stuff some blu-tack around both sets of rings
> press the left hand plate back on
> put the right hand side on
> put the four allen bolts back in whilst holding your finger under the red button
> put the bearing back on
> put the lock knob back on, remember the left hand thread, do it all the way up till it locks
> put the grooved nut on, when it's almost done up check that you can still unlock the
lock knob, if not undo the groove nut a bit
> put the drag knob back on
> tighten small allen grub screw

Now try the drag.
I've attached an exploded pdf of a 503 hdv head

I'll try and sort out a video tutorial soon.

Paul
Attached Thumbnails
Improved my 503 HDV head for pennies.-dscf2527.jpg  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 503HDV_20070209.pdf (184.3 KB, 1073 views)
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2009, 11:13 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Gwaelod-y-garth, Cardiff, CYMRU/WALES
Posts: 1,215
Paul, sounds interesting.
You're right about the awful tilt drag on the 503 - but how long do you reckon before the blu-tack works it's way out from between the rings?
Robin Davies-Rollinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 1st, 2009, 11:27 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
I can't see how the blu-tack can work it's way out, it's stuffed between the rings on each side with the other set of rings up against it, blu-tak won't run out like fluid, even the original "fluid" didn't run out.
If the blu-tack does come out then it's a 5 min job to put some more in.
Rest assured, if you lay one of these 503 tripods on it's side fluid won't run out because there isn't any, these tripods are a mickey mouse toy.
I'm gonna get a decent tripod this year, probably a sachtler or maybe one of the new vintens, i only tried this mod on my manfrotto besause it seemed like i had nothing to loose.

Paul.
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 4th, 2009, 08:57 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
503 hdv exploded diagram.

I thought this may come in handy for someone.
blu tak ( see above post ) still working a treat.

Paul.
Attached Thumbnails
Improved my 503 HDV head for pennies.-503-hdv.jpg  
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.

Last edited by Paul Kellett; June 4th, 2009 at 08:58 AM. Reason: .
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2009, 03:12 AM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: SF & LA
Posts: 195
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kellett View Post
I thought this may come in handy for someone.
blu tak ( see above post ) still working a treat.

Paul.
Interesting. Thanks for the tip!
Tim Kay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2009, 04:16 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
The all new Manfrotto PK503

Hi Paul,

as a one time scientist I just love seeing other inquisitive minds at work. Too bad you've disclosed your invention and so blown the patent rights. Maybe as a compromise we should all call this the "PK503". I don't even own a 503 - but have read many comments about this particular "fault" so well done for being inventive enough to find a potential solution! Cyber beers all round!

BTW, I assume this modification voids the Manfrotto warranty? - joke ;-)
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 01:07 PM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Bristol, CT (Home of EPSN)
Posts: 1,182
Thanks Paul. I think I'm going to not buy anything Manfrotto.
__________________
Paul Cascio
www.pictureframingschool.com
Paul Cascio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Posts: 152
A quick Question

I am going to try this. Is blu-tack made by bostik?
Amazon.com: Blu-Tack Re-usable Adhesive: Everything Else

Did you stuff the blu-tack between all of the metal rings or just some of them?

Thanks.
Andy Urtusuastegui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 14th, 2009, 04:12 AM   #9
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
Hi Andy.

Yes that's the Blu-Tak.
It goes between the friction rings so you'll have to take the tripod head apart, it's not to difficult, the head is a toy.
The Blu-Tak method does make an improvement but i still wasn't completely happy with the head, so i've bought myself a Vinten Vision 3AS, the difference is huge, there's no way i'd go back to the manfrotto now, no way.
The Vision 3AS head fits fine on the manfrotto 525 legs.

Paul.
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2009, 02:00 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Posts: 152
My biggest complaint is when I pan at full telephoto and get bounce back from the 503.
I turn off OIS on the camera of course. I have tried every setting to reduce the bounce back. Even very slow pans I get bounce back. I also use 1.7 telephoto lens adapters which makes the bounce back even more noticeable.

So does the Vinten Vision 3AS really have no bounce back on pans at full zoom. No vibration when panning?

Thanks.
Andy Urtusuastegui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 16th, 2009, 03:39 AM   #11
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Bristol UK
Posts: 1,271
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Urtusuastegui View Post
So does the Vinten Vision 3AS really have no bounce back on pans at full zoom. No vibration when panning?

Thanks.
Yes it's awsome, i know it's hard to believe, i was the same, thinking can a head really be that much better, but i'll tell you it's the Vinten is way better than the manfrotto.
The manfrotto head is in my garage in a box, were it'll probably stay unless i pick up a cheap set of legs, then i'll use that tripod just for lock offs with 2nd camera's.
The manfrotto legs are good enough , just make sure that they're kept adjusted tightly, if the leg lock levers are easy to push in then adjust them a bit, unlock the lever and tighten the little allen bolt on the inside of the leg, then reclose the lever, it should be a bit tighter then.

Paul.
__________________
Round 2
Panasonic HC-X1, Vinten PB, Sennheiser G3 bits. Vegas pro 14 on i7,AMD Radeon RX480 8GB.
Paul Kellett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2009, 01:19 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Posts: 152
I did it

Paul, I did the paning assembly tonight with Blu-Tack.

What did you use to clean the great out of the rings? I had trouble getting it out, so I used WD40, paper towels, then I used electric cleaner to get the WD40 out.

Then I pulled and stretched pieces of BluTack on the one side of the rings and placed then pushed the other piece of rings together. Rotated a bunch to smooth it out.

So far, it seems about the same, maybe a little better.
Andy Urtusuastegui is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2009, 06:42 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Oxfordshire, UK
Posts: 416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Urtusuastegui View Post
My biggest complaint is when I pan at full telephoto and get bounce back from the 503.
I turn off OIS on the camera of course. I have tried every setting to reduce the bounce back. Even very slow pans I get bounce back. I also use 1.7 telephoto lens adapters which makes the bounce back even more noticeable....
Sounds more like wind-up of the legs?
__________________
Martin at HeadSpin HD on Blu-ray
Martin Mayer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2009, 07:02 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,125
Considering this head and the earlier one is sold by at least three manufacturers under different names, it's no surprise it's so popular, but I think most people, once they've tried a proper head simply hate these things. I've still got a couple of them laying around somewhere, but probably covered in cobwebs and going rusty. They were a pretty basic design, that as it was bundled with a fairly decent set of legs or a tripod, was sensible money, and not, as many cheap ones are - a toy!

They're also not as strong as they appear to be - over tightening the pan friction snapped the stud inside on one of mine - probably a defect in the metal, rather than a design fault I suspect.

Nice looking, but feeble. I'm surprised Vinten put their name on one version.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 18th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Posts: 152
I agree with the idea of windup on the legs. I am going to try some different legs.
I am using the Manfrotto 755xb legs, (flat head with 50mm leveling ball)
Andy Urtusuastegui is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Tripod Sticks & Heads

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:12 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network