Manfrotto VS Libec tripod systems for SONY Z5 at DVinfo.net

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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:58 PM   #1
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Manfrotto VS Libec tripod systems for SONY Z5

Hi, I am having the hard time choosing between this two systems for SONY Z5:

Manfrotto 504HD Head w/546B 2-Stage Aluminum 504HD,546BK - B&H

Libec LS-38M(2A)N Professional 2-Stage Aluminum LS-38M(2A)N -

I've heard good feedback about Libec LS-38M head but the tripod hight - 61' (155cm) makes me think Manfrotto way.

Ideally I would like to have something around 190cm, but my budget for the new system is $700.00
Manfrotto 546B is taller (15cm) than Libec, but is it better in action too?

Thinking about going to B&H to check them out and compare.

Will appreciate any feedback from those who use this system with similar camera set-up.

My camera in it's heaviest load do not exceed 7 lb.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Well Alex I have been using the Libec for two years now and can only describe the action as buttery smooth. I have no regrets.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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I've owned the Libec for the last year, as well as the Z5, and I love it. Brilliant tripod and head, probably the best value for money out of any tripod. I have tried using that Manfrotto and I didnt enjoy using it as much as the Libec. I found the Libec much smoother.

I've also used the Vinten Pro6HDV and I prefer the Libec to that too.

I think the LS38 is under talked about on the web, theres hardly any reviews or info on it but it is a great tripod and I highly recommend it, especially for the Z5.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 07:30 AM   #4
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Counterbalance, counterbalance, counterbalance...

There is no adjustable counterbalance on the LS-38. A lot of people don't seem to realise the importance of this to a good tripod. Adjustable drag is very useful too. Want a real slow, graceful pan? Dial up the drag setting and it's easy. The LS-38 has no adjustable counterbalance.

LS-38 is rated for 4kg+. Way too strong a counterbalance for cameras of this size.

My advice is to try more than just the 504HD and the LS-38. Try the smaller Sachtlers like the FSB-4 (rated to 8.8lbs) for around $700-800. If you try the LS-38 and love it, then no worries - a lot of people get by with it.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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I was able to put both this systems next to each other and compare.
Libec LS-38 is strong and simple, smoothness is great for the price. Manfrotto 504HD was pretty good too. I had a chance to pan and tilt with full camera setups in B&H pro camera sections. It does have counterbalance and wider top plate area.
Both legs are fine for price, but manfrotto is taller.
Mike, I've just checked out online the Sachtlers FSB-4, very interesting, but those 10 cm for me may become critical at some point and I do not see any taller decent legs in that price range other than Manfrotto.
I think I have made my decision. Thank you so much for replies.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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Mike has a point about the lack of drag adjustment. However I have found that the amount of drag the Libec provides is fine for my purposes, and too much drag can negate the smoothness of the start and stop of the pan. As regards counterbalance: I use an EX-1 and a XLH1a with this tripod and have no problem balancing the head. There is plenty of fore and aft movement of the plate.
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