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Old September 10th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #1
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Head for use with JVC HM-100?

I have an JVC HM100. I bought some Manfrotto 055XPROB legs, self-levelling centre column and a 501HDV head.

i like the legs/column but I'm not sure about the 501 head. First, the level is inaccurate. I can see that the top of the head is not level when the built-in level indicates it should be. Second, there is a gritty feeling when I pan. I have the 3 locking screws tight but something does not feel smooth when I very gently push the arm with my fingers and rotate around. Funnily I checked a head out in shop today and it felt the same when panning. I not sure I have the confidence in the build of this unit.

So, I may decide send the 501 head back and get something else if there is anything in the same price range out there. Can anyone suggest an alternative fluid head for my model camera, please? I know the manfrotto 701HDV is an option but I'd like ideas about another manufacturer, too.

Thank-you
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Old September 11th, 2011, 02:31 AM   #2
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Re: Head for use with JVC HM-100?

Sigh..............

How much did that HM - 100 set you back, Simon?

Parking it on a Manfrotto 501 is a little bit like using a Rolls Royce to haul coal, quite frankly.

If you want anything in the head department that is, is any way, shape or form, going to give you performance comensurate with the camera parked on it, you'll have to up your game substantially.

As a minimum:

Libec RH 25 - $633 US at B&H

Sachtler FSB - 4 - $680 US at B&H

Vinten Vision Blue - $ 697 US at B&H

To put that in context, the Manfrotto 501HDV is a staggering $195 at B&H, might as well make your own quite frankly, probably work better.

Anything less than the three listed above is simply a waste of time and money, which you WILL regret down the track.

There's no getting around the simple fact - you get what you pay for, and cheap camera support is RUBBISH!


CS
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Old September 11th, 2011, 03:50 AM   #3
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Re: Head for use with JVC HM-100?

Simon,

To be perfectly honest, if you're looking for something in the same price range as a 501HDV... well, it's going to be another 501HDV, there's no hidden gem that has 5x the performance for the same cost.

Having said that... my 501HDV level bubble is level, and it doesn't feel like a bag of sand when I try to pan, so maybe it could be worth getting a like-for-like replacement if it is new-ish, or contact Manfrotto for repair advice if it's older?

Or maybe hold out for a month or two and consider the new Sachtler Ace tripod, it looks like a very good offering for smaller cameras, retailing around $600 for both head and legs.

Some people swear by the Weifang/E-image type tripods, all to be had for under $200. Maybe the Safari tripod would be an option: SAFARITRIPOD.COM

One thing to bear in mind is that this is a tiny, light camera, and maybe carrying a Vinten tripod defeats the purpose of having a lightweight, small camera! It's about the same weight and size as my Sony NX70. For important work, I use a hefty Vinten Vision Blue, and for lightweight/travel, I carry my 501HDV and lightweigth legs (and grin and bear it when something goes wrong with a pan!).
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Old September 11th, 2011, 05:38 AM   #4
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Re: Head for use with JVC HM-100?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Sigh..............

How much did that HM - 100 set you back, Simon?

Parking it on a Manfrotto 501 is a little bit like using a Rolls Royce to haul coal, quite frankly.


Anything less than the three listed above is simply a waste of time and money, which you WILL regret down the track.

There's no getting around the simple fact - you get what you pay for, and cheap camera support is RUBBISH!


CS
Chris,
Thank-you. I know that this is sage advice and now remembering having seen similar advice – I think in this forum – I should have expanded on the context of my usage before asking.

I understand that ideally one should not underspend on a tripod+head but I think it might depend on the way I use the camera.

I have been using a PD100 before the HM100 and then I used it on a huge Vinten Pozi-loc which I borrow from work. We would haul this around the streets of London shooting and disappearing fast in guerrilla style. The tripod is superb but it's hard work and attracts a lot of attention. When not doing that kind of work I am set up in one or other make-shift home studio shooting small video set-ups – not something I often need a Vinten for.

The HM100 camera is very light at 1.4kg max, and the 055 with 501 feels quite rigid and solid for this kind of work. I even wonder whether the head is too heavy but I like the mass.

My only real worry was the panning on the 501 head and wanted to see if there is something I had overlooked that maybe be in the same ballpark price bracket as the better heads seemed to be a huge leap in price.
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Old September 11th, 2011, 05:55 AM   #5
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Re: Head for use with JVC HM-100?

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Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Simon,

To be perfectly honest, if you're looking for something in the same price range as a 501HDV... well, it's going to be another 501HDV, there's no hidden gem that has 5x the performance for the same cost.

Having said that... my 501HDV level bubble is level, and it doesn't feel like a bag of sand when I try to pan, so maybe it could be worth getting a like-for-like replacement if it is new-ish, or contact Manfrotto for repair advice if it's older?

Or maybe hold out for a month or two and consider the new Sachtler Ace tripod, it looks like a very good offering for smaller cameras, retailing around $600 for both head and legs.

Some people swear by the Weifang/E-image type tripods, all to be had for under $200. Maybe the Safari tripod would be an option: SAFARITRIPOD.COM

One thing to bear in mind is that this is a tiny, light camera, and maybe carrying a Vinten tripod defeats the purpose of having a lightweight, small camera! It's about the same weight and size as my Sony NX70. For important work, I use a hefty Vinten Vision Blue, and for lightweight/travel, I carry my 501HDV and lightweigth legs (and grin and bear it when something goes wrong with a pan!).
Mike,

The Sachtler Ace looks very good. I had avoided even looking at Sachtler as I thought they were way out of my price range.

But your experience of the 501 makes it sound like I should pursue getting it replaced. It's still in the 30 day period.

Thank-you

Simon
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Old September 12th, 2011, 02:09 AM   #6
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Re: Head for use with JVC HM-100?

Hi, Simon..............

Appologies if what I said before came across as a lecture, it was not intended.

If your 501 is playing up, do get it seen to under warranty, though with the welter of problems people have outlined here on DVinfo with Manfrotto's HDV range of heads, one has got to wonder just where their (Manfotto's) heads are with quality control!

I have never seen such a wealth of angst over a tripod head range in all the time I've been doing this stuff.

The Sachtler ACE does look like it might be the answer to a maidens prayer for you small camera guys, definately designed for a lower range than the VB, though the sticks don't sound all that exciting.

The three heads I mentioned earlier are vastly more expensive, but for a reason.

The ACE will, undoubtedly, perform as every Sachtler does, flawlessly, if you can live with stepped everything (must be a Teutonic thing, I guess).

See how you get on with getting the 501 sorted and take it from there, is probably the way to go.

In answer to the question in your original post however, the only thing that comes within a bulls roar of fitting the bill is the new ACE, no question.

That may change in the nearish future, but, for now, that's it.


CS
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