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Old December 29th, 2010, 09:15 PM   #1
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Trouble with 501HDVs

I bought three Manfrotto 501HDVs to replace my 700RC2s. I had read some specs that said my 700RC2s were not enough to support my Panny HMC150s. The heads were sticking, so I made the leap.

I cannot loosen up the 501HDVs enough. They have too much resistance, and when I try to make a subtle pan, it goes there, but then comes back a little bit when I let go. Is it just because they're new?
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Old December 29th, 2010, 09:33 PM   #2
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No, Dana...........

It's because they're parc, or is that prac or could it be pcar or even rapc.

No matter how you put it together, it isn't good.

Match 'em to a similarly underwhelming support (tripod) and they are truly revolting (and I don't mean as in "the peasants are revolting", either).

Just my HO, of course.


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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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Only thing i will use my 501hdv for is a static wide shot.
503hdv is marginally better but not adequate for real camera moves.
Ive learned my lesson (twice) and now own a Sachtler!
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Old December 30th, 2010, 01:41 AM   #4
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Wow. Interesting responses. I'm considering getting rid of them and buying new 700RC2s because I realized that my math is wrong -- the camera is actually not too heavy for the 700RC2. I'm assuming they were sticking because they were old and beat up. Other than that I loved them kind of like the cheap guitar you love despite the nicer stuff out there. A Sachtler sounds very nice.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #5
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I have to agree with the bloke from Down Under-er.

A 501HDV is no match for a camera as spiffingly good sa the HMC150. I'm currently suffering from one of those under my HMC40, and it is painful - the drift-back at the ends of pans is only the start of my problems. Getting smooth pans/tilts is a pan in the backside.

Aside from the performance issues, build quality of these units isn't very good. The pan bar is almost impossible to tighten enough to stop if flailing round when I apply pressure, and the bumps and jolts during the pans are painful.

Coming from a Sachtler, it was a hell of a shock. On the last UWOL contest I took part in, there's a butter-smooth 20 second slow pan in there, that I just can't do any more. The only good thing about the 501HDV, and the reason why I bought it, was that it is very light and easy to carry on an all-day hike or up a mountain. Sometimes you have to sacrifice performance when you don't have a gang of Sherpas to help carry your gear.

Roll on Mr Courier with my new Vinten, that's all I say...
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Old December 30th, 2010, 03:24 AM   #6
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You What!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
. I'm considering getting rid of them and buying new 700RC2s .
Heading says it all.


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Old December 30th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #7
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Is there nothing between the $1200 Sachtler and the 700RC2? I have to buy three heads so that we can swap cameras on the fly.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 10:02 AM   #8
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Dana,

Some questions:-
- Is the goal to have all three tripods manned, or will you have (say) two unmanned, locked off?
- Are you doing mainly telephoto or mainly wide angle with each of them?
- Do you find the 501s physically difficult to pan (where it is too tight), or is it just the drift-back problem?
- What legs are you using?

Leaving aside my desire to gold-plate everything, you shouldn't have that much bother trying to pan the 501HDV without noticeable drift-back at wide angles at least (telephoto is quite another matter). Mine can be made quite fluid just by loosing off the drag knob on the centre of the head, underneath the camera plate.

I used the 501HDV quite successfully on a couple of filming trips recently, and was able to pull off some decent moves, although a top of the range head would have made life a lot easier for me and involved a whole lot less swearing. I daren't let go of the pan bar at the end of a shot, or it will creep back though.

If I was on a budget and had to have (say) one main camera and two locked-off or wide-angles, I would use a 503HDV on the main one and 501HDVs for the backups. Also, having decent legs is equally as important as having good heads.

If you can't justify buying three Vintens or Sachtlers, then there's no point in the tripod nuts telling you how great they are!
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #9
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I have a 501 lying here under my desk. I bought it used - and what a mistake. This head use at teflon disc for friction and any dust that gets inside the head will damage the performance. Furthermore there is no counterballance adjustment. I had to ditch it as the performance with the Panny was really bad.

The 503 and now the 504 is better, and is in fact usable. The HMC-150 is so light that you will have jitter at the end of pan if you have the camera on full tele.

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Old February 24th, 2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Re: Trouble with 501HDVs

Libec are a good alternative to manfrotto's that to be quite blunt are dreadful, B&H also do the Acebil range that seem to be clones of the older Libec's.

Oh and I have two H50 heads with Libec sticks for use with my HPX301 full size ENG cameras.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 05:52 AM   #11
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Re: No, Dana...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
It's because they're parc, or is that prac or could it be pcar or even rapc.
CS
I think you are off the mark here Chris. Not everyone has the cash to fork out on expensive legs, even though they may be the bees knees.

Manfrotto does supply good kit at an affordable price and to say they are "prac,pcar or rapc" is not very professional. Manfrotto kit is designed to satisfy a market at an affordable price and there are many satisfied customers, amateur and professionals using the gear on a regular basis.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 09:26 AM   #12
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Re: Trouble with 501HDVs

I agree with Vincent. I have used the very best of tripods over the years, I now use a Manfrotto 503 with my EX1. I dont need utter perfection (at an enormous price), for the work I now do. When I was filming rapid action sports,ie rugby and football for TV I needed the very best, continous camera movement dictated that. Now I shoot corporate video and weddings. All I require of a tripod is, a steady platform, and smooth movement as and when needed. Manfrotto give me exactly what I require, as would many cheaper tripods. and most impotantly, at a reasonable price.
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Old June 17th, 2011, 11:17 AM   #13
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Re: Trouble with 501HDVs

It depends on what you mean by "enormous price".

The Vinten Vision Blue is around £750. The equivalent Manfrotto, the 504HD is around £600 - both prices include VAT. The difference is £150 or so. Now, there's Vintens and Sachtlers (and others) costing £1000s, but the VB is designed for the event-type people and a really good price.

And yes, I own a Vision Blue. I also own a 501HDV, and they are both used regularly for different purposes. They both fulfil a need at a given price point and functionality range.

I wouldn't agree that Manfrotto are sub-standard in any way. You get what you pay for... but only pay for what you need!
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Old June 19th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #14
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Re: Trouble with 501HDVs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dana Salsbury View Post
I cannot loosen up the 501HDVs enough. They have too much resistance, and when I try to make a subtle pan, it goes there, but then comes back a little bit when I let go. Is it just because they're new?
I recently bought a 501 as my budget does not allow an expensive head.
I use a long elastic band attached to the bar to make smooth pans in tele.
Instead of pushing the bar I pull the elastic band.
At the end of the pan I do not let go of the band until the shot is done.
The same goes for the beginning of the shot.
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