Can't open Bogen 540 ART legs. Now what? at DVinfo.net

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Old March 31st, 2005, 09:29 PM   #1
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Can't open Bogen 540 ART legs. Now what?

Ummmmmm. Ok. Goodbye Libec M20. I took the advice of the many experts here and jumped directly to head and legs that will outlive me and/or my XL1s. Found some Bogen 540 ART legs used at a good price. I would like to try them out when my Miller DS10 head arrives. I can't get them open in anything close to the 4 seconds touted by the Manufacturer. Managed to close them once without a total redo.

Has anyone documented the procedure? No manual was provided. Can't find one on the Bogen site.

Ernest (Embarrassed)
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Old April 5th, 2005, 08:38 AM   #2
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I believe there is a small lock in the form of a button on the telescpoing section of the spreader. You need to pull the legs out to their full extension befor eyou oppen them , and then press the button and spread...

it's abad design.
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Old April 5th, 2005, 11:50 PM   #3
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I have the 542. It is simpler that that. You hold the bottom and pull the top, then spread the legs.

The unit is held closed by some pins on the feet. And the leg expansion locks are otherwise unlocked when the legs are together. The pins both hold it closed and the legs together.

David
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Old April 6th, 2005, 06:02 AM   #4
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David,
Your description is inline with my experience. It felt ackward to wrap my feet around the tripod feet and pull the top. You have to snag all three feet somehow and keep yourself balanced all at the same time. So, I was curious of there were a better way.
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Old April 7th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #5
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Yup... buy a new tripod
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Old April 7th, 2005, 02:20 PM   #6
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Why would you want to buy a new tripod? At its price point the 540/542 (the 542 has a squid on the mid level spreader) is far and away the best in its class. IMHO.

It competes against the Vinten 3 and the Sachler DV2 and DV4. And I would probably say the Vinten and Sachler have better heads. The smoothness of the Sachler is amazing. And the Vinten has a speed-indepent force on pans (in a fast pan the resistance increases in most heads).

However, their kits have aluminum legs with a floor spreader. Diffcult to use. A mid-level spreader is typically a $600+ option.

The 542 has an adjustable midlevel spreader that allows for a very small, yet very stable footprint. It also gets very wide for a low shot. It comes with pegs and rubber foot covers. The clever quick deployment is an added benefit.

If you are spending $3500+ on your tripod, the 542 would not be my choice. However, for $1300-1800 depending on the head, it is far and away the best deal.

Does it have a weakness? Yes, of course. Most prominent is its capacity. It is rated for 33#. As with most tripods and heads, that overrated. I wouln't but anything over 20# on it.

This is not an issue for most prosumer cameras. Even with a matte box, filters, and accesories (I typically mount a wireless receiver) they are virtually never over 10#. However, it does preclude using it with a jib. So that is disappointing.

David

P.S.
I wasn't happy with any of my head choices (Bogen 503-too low end, 505-to high a minimum load for balance, Vinten and Sachler-to expensive at over $1000). I went with the 503 to allow for future options and because of the extendable pan arm. I have been pleasantly surprised. It seems perfectly balanced at the 6.2# weight of my setup and the extendable pan arm is a total joy. Smoothness is nice but balance is critical.

The extendable arm makes slow pans sooo much better. I will never buy a head with out an extendable pan arm.
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Old April 11th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #7
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FYI, I also tried and hated this tripod. I'm still looking...
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Old April 14th, 2005, 09:31 AM   #8
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Hi Ernest:

I've been off the boards for a while due to NAB so I am only getting to answer you now. There is no need to wrap your feet around the base of the 540/542 when opening. Two actions are needed to open the pod - a push and pull. Using the large handle at the top of the tripod, grab this and pull the tripod up towards you. With your other hand, use the ledge on one of the legs (where the grey leg adjustment button is located) and push down at the same time. This releases the pins at the base of the pod allowing you to open to any position - keeping in mind to keep the legs together when opening, which is done with your hands.

The ART tripod uses a completely new locking technology and takes some practice to learn, just like anything else. Once you get the moves down you'll be able to open and close the 540 in seconds.

If you'll be at NAB, please stop by the Bogen Imaging booth where I or any one of our staff would be happy to spend some time with you.

And while we're at it, we'll introduce you to our latest camera stabalizer which we're launching on Monday. If I have the materials ready, I'll post a link here tomorrow for the DVINFO community to see it first.

Marc Schotland
Manfrotto
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Old April 14th, 2005, 12:42 PM   #9
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Stabilizer? What stabilizer?
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Old April 14th, 2005, 08:07 PM   #10
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IT WORKS! Hah! I love this tripod. The ART design rocks. I'm definately within reach of 4 seconds. Thanks.
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