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Old December 2nd, 2009, 02:30 PM   #1
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Head suggestion for Manfrotto 3046

Hi, I am in market for new tripod head to be used with manfrotto 3046 for my XH-A1s and wanted to see what would you guys recommand?
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 03:00 PM   #2
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75mm bowl? If so, the Sachtler FSB-6 head is a terrific choice. Since the legs are "cheap" compared to the heads (if bought as a package), you might consider just getting one of the Sachtler FSB-6 packages and selling your Manfrotto legs.

As others have noted, there is no comparison between the Sachtler heads and the Manfrotto heads.

The FSB-6 is what I use for an XH-A1s, and the FSB-2 is what I use for an HV40 (it costs more than the camcorder, but the results are what matters).
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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Richard, Thanks for your suggestion any good deals on FSB-6 packages that you know off? I'll do a search in google to see what comes up.
Sid
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Old December 2nd, 2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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Syed,

What do you intend to use it for? And what's your budget? This may affect any suggestions we can make.

Sachtler FSB heads are great, but you're talking $800-$1000 for an FSB-6 package with aluminum legs.

You may be able to get away with something a bit more basic if you're willing to spend that amount of cash, if you are prepared to make some compromises. I'm guessing the fact you are asking for a head for some Manfrotto legs means you haven't considered spending $1000 at this point!

For example, if following a distant bird or animal with no drift-back and really good drag is needed, then a Sachtler or equivalent is a must, unless your hand is a LOT steadier than mine. If you're dealing with closer subjects (events, weddings etc.) then you could get away with a Libec or Manfrotto head on there - these are cheaper, but you lose out on performance - such as better/more adjustable drag, smoother pans/tilts, adjustable counterbalance etc.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 02:30 PM   #5
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Mike,
I mainly shoot weddings and use shoulder mount for 60% of the time and rest on tripod. I wanted to upgrade the head on my current system. Don't have much budget to go out and spend $1000 on a new system. I was looking at 501hdv pro which fits in my current budget. I'll eventually upgrade or get the LC38m next year.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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Hi Syed..............

If you're (sob!) thinking of a Manfrotto 501 may I suggest you raise your sights just a tad and consider one of these?

Viten PRO-5Plus System

(The first bod who declares these are just re - badged Manfrotto's gets a swift kick in the whatsits, 'cos they ain't, they're completely re - engineered by Vinten).

I would have posted a link to the Vinten site but it appears to be having a "bad hair day".

Nope, they ain't Vision AS calibre, but they're infinately better than the Manfrotto offering and very competitively priced.

Check 'em out.


CS
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 03:26 PM   #7
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Sure it's just a rebadged Manf...

...oops!

The Vinten Protouch range have much better head mountings (side-load plates) than the Manfrotto equivalents, and I think Peter Harman said that all they share is the counterbalance and drag mechanism and not much else. And I have every reason to believe him, he should know!

Also, if you buy the full kit, at least with the Pro-6, you get some nice Vinten legs that are the Real McCoy, that you can keep when you upgrade heads later. I only ditched my Pro-6 due to weight (and then bought a heavier Sachtler - go figure!) and the fact that it wasn't good at long-lens wildlife. Neither of which are huge problems at most weddings, I imagine.

Can you buy those heads separately? I couldn't find them at B&H, CVP, ProAV etc. Might need a call to a Vinten dealer or Vinten themselves to sort that out.

And Syed - what is your current head? Might give us a clue if the 501HDV is much of an improvement.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 09:12 AM   #8
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Mike,
my current head setup manfrotto 3063. I just shot a ice skating show last night with this and it wasn't bad but I can use better head for more smooth panning especially for fast moving objects/sports.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 11:39 AM   #9
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Syed,

I struggled to find out mych about the #3063. It seems as if the 501HDV head is the replacement. It is a flat-bottomed head, like the 3063. A 501HDV (or preferably) a 503HDV will be a step up from this head I'm sure. Manfrotto re-engineered the heads from the original 501 and 503 models to (allegedly) improve ergonomics, drag and counterbalance.

From my point of view, I would never be happy with it. But everyone is different, and everyone has to start somewhere. The 501HDV and 503HDV may not be Vintens or Sachtlers, but they are usable, and in my opinion would suffice until you can aim higher.

You'll be able to pull off reasonably smooth pans (and maybe tilts) with practice, provided they're at wide angles and not zoomed in too far. One thing I like about my Sachtler is I can easily go diagonal, that is pan and tilt in one motion. I could never seem to manage that on the cheaper heads.

Please try before you buy if possible!
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