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Old July 13th, 2004, 08:04 AM   #1
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503 Fluid motion

I bought a Bogen 503, being new to all this, I was looking for
some general operational principles. To acheive the most
fluid like motion are the lock downs opened all the way up
and the amount of movement controlled solely by the drag
or do you use the lock downs to increase drag? I seem to
be messing around with all combinations but I'm sure there
are some no-no's and general rules of thumb for fluid operation.

Thanks for your advice.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 12:01 PM   #2
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Locks are for locking only in most cases. Drag is what you set up and leave once you get it right. Then you can lock or unlock without disturbing the drag setting.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 12:23 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying Mike. It just seemed that full drag
was not enough in some situations.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #4
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Michael, drag adjustments are entirely personal and it often takes a lot of shooting time to figure out what works for you under all circumstances. For long lenses with little movement (such as shooting a speaker from the back of an auditorium), a lot of drag makes things easy, as does having a "studio" style setup with rear zoom control so you can operate with your body away from the camera.

I have done films with another operator in particular who likes to open the head all the way up with very little drag, a short viewfinder and drape his body over the camera, controlling everything by "muscling" it. I'm admittedly more dainty, preferring to use a long viewfinder and as light a touch as possible (may be my Steadicam background at play). We used to drive each other crazy when we would have to switch heads for whatever reason, dialing out each other's settings.
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Old July 14th, 2004, 04:36 PM   #5
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503 Fluid MotionÉÉ

Might I suggest that you check your instruction manual. On my 516 head, the vertical/horizontal "drag" adjustment can be adjusted by loosening a small screw on the drag lever/knob, allowing you to move the lever in a counter clock wise direction. This will cause the drag lever/knob, to grip the head sooner, and, give you some what more play. Small adjustments are strongly reccomended by me.

As to your locks: NEVER, EVER, use your locks for drags. They are designed to LOCK! the head in place. You can damage the head using them as drags. Your drags apply fluid pressure to the head, to apply small measures of presure gently to the head. Not so the locks. They do just that. They place strong presure instantly on the head, bringing it to a complete halt.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:15 AM   #6
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After working with it it just seems that at full drag it's not that
'slow' so to speak, I was expecting a little more restriction on the
movement, I'm new to this so I'm sure it's just my lack of
experience but I just thought that full drag would have more
range.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 02:02 PM   #7
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Michael.

It seems strange to me, that the head friction is not sufficient.

Were you able to adjust the small "set" screws as I suggested previously? If you have, you may have to do it several times, to get the drag that you need. Take BIG Bites (moving the lever a good distance) when you adjust it.

If you cannot get proper adjustment, I would contact the company that sold it to you.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 02:20 PM   #8
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I am so glad you brought that up, no, I completely forgot about the set screw, I'm anxious to get home and try that. Thanks
so much for your time.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 07:13 PM   #9
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Hmm...can't find any set screw, I wonder if the 503 doesn't have
one like the 516?
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:25 PM   #10
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Mike.

I can't say for sure whether the 503 has them. The screws on my head are very small, located at the apex of the drag knob (may be a Lever on your head). They are hard to see; and, frankly, not very evident. I have to use a very small hex wrench to open them.

Take a small hand mirror if practical, and try to look at the back of the drag.

Try the Bogen company's web site for service/maintainance.

If you find the time, let me know how you work the problem out.
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Old July 26th, 2004, 08:47 PM   #11
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Robert, regardless, sincere thanks...
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