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Old June 18th, 2011, 06:47 AM   #1
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501 balance system

I recently bought a Manfrotto HDV 501 head.
There is this little button called Balance System
The manual is not clear on when to set it on or off, just how to set it on or off.
The camera is a Canon A1,
Can somebody enlighten me, please.
Ann Bens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 18th, 2011, 07:16 AM   #2
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Re: 501 balance system

Hi Ann!

You have to love those vague instructions!

I have one of those - the balance is off (lever pushed down until it clicks) for smaller cameras, and on (pulled up until it clicks) for larger cameras. Manfrotto says that the "on" setting is for approx. 2.5kg payloads.

If it works fine for you with the balance off, then there's no need to worry about it. If your camera is heavier and you find it difficult to tilt, or the camera falls forward or backward too easily when you tilt up or down, then you need to turn it on. You should ideally be able to let go of the pan handle at any angle of tilt, and your camera should stay where it is, without having to turn up the friction.

With my tiny Sony NX70, I leave the balance off and the friction of the head itself takes care of the camera. Your XHA1 is about 2.5kg, so you should probably have the counterbalance turned on. If you find yourself fighting against the spring, then turn the balance off.
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Old June 18th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: 501 balance system

Thanks Mike,
That was very informative.
Greetings Ann
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