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Old June 10th, 2009, 06:24 PM   #1
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How to control a 503 head?

I have two of these Manfrotto's and I can't get them to start their movement without a slight jerk. It doesn't seem to matter how much drag or less I put on smooth it is not.
Is there any other solution than dumping these Manfrotto's?
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Old June 10th, 2009, 09:53 PM   #2
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Hi Greg.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Clark View Post
Is there any other solution than dumping these Manfrotto's?
Nope, 'fraid not.

Try Sachtler, Vinten (REAL Vinten, not ProTouch), Miller or O'Conner instead.


CS
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Old June 16th, 2009, 09:35 AM   #3
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WOW are they expensive

I have been searching and those that own the more moderately priced Libec 38 give it praise for the price.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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To be fair to Manfrotto, if you approach the maximum rating for the 5xx series heads, they perform BETTER (still not Sachtler quality...). I use 501 heads for my JVC HD200 cameras with broadcast quick release plate and they are quite serviceable. My old PD150 on the 501 head though was fraught with the same problem you are seeing.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #5
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Greg,

If you can't afford a higher end Sachtler/Vinten/etc., the Libec 38 is very acceptable. I owned the LS-37, the very similar predecessor.

Of all the "budget" tripods, it really is pretty good. The drawback for me was:
- the counterbalance rating was overkill for my small camcorders and made tilting difficult
- there is only one level of drag, so you are using the same drag whether you are doing whip-pans at wide angle or tracking a snail at 20x zoom.

Leaving that aside, it's a well made piece of kit, and I'd choose it over a similarly priced Manfrotto/Bogen any day.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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........And I now actually own Mike's old Libec LS-37!!!! (use it for my Sony EX3 with a Manfrotto quick release plate).

The newer LS-38 is essentially similar but has a sliding release plate on the head and 3 part legs (LS-37 has only 2 part legs so won't go as low or pack as short). It's well rated as a very good cost effective tripod with pretty decent performance at it's price range, but "lacks" (in some peoples minds) a pro name. I think Nigel Cooper has a good, factual, review of the LS-38 on his website (link below) which will be of interest.

http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=150

One day I'll have an expensive tripod I'm sure (you mostly get what you pay for with tripods it seems) but that day is not yet as Mike's old LS-37 is 90% of what I need right now. I have one other Libec (TH-650 for my HC1), again well made and decent for the price, and can also vouch for their excellent after sales service/parts etc. by personal experience.

So if cost is a big consideration, look at reviews of Libec's on here and elsewhere and try one and see what you think.
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Old June 16th, 2009, 05:47 PM   #7
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Greg, you haven't indicated what you are shooting. In some panning for nature shots, I have used a rubber band on my 503 handle to exert gradual pressure to get camera moving. If you are following an actor or a play in a game, that isn't very practical, but for scenery panning, the rubber band trick might help. I used the rubber band trick in this macro work, and it came out alright. See if it would be acceptable for you. You need to download the material here because the Vimeo encode itself seems to have dropped frames.

http://www.vimeo.com/4841218
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Old June 16th, 2009, 06:54 PM   #8
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I'm finding my 503 has loosened up a bit with use. I still want a Sachler, but I get decent work out of the 503. I've found it a little better since adding some weight to the A1 with the WA and mic (total around 7.5 pounds?).
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