Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 13th, 2012, 10:25 PM   #1
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Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

I just got a used Manfrotto 509HD head but I'm not sure if some of the weird symptoms I'm experiencing are flaws or normal.

1) Panning is kind of noisy. Definitely audible in a quiet room for medium speed pans, much louder than my 501HD head. Is this normal? It's not SUPER loud, but kind of annoying.

2) With all the locks and levers disengaged and my counterbalance set to "off" (0 setting), my 509HD drastically tips forward or backwards. It can't seem to sit relaxed at a leveled plane parallel to the floor. Counterbalance setting 2 and 3 help to make it more level, but still slightly off the parallel plane. This is with nothing attached to the head other than the pan handle. If I take the pan handle off, it's better. But I noticed I could keep the pan handle on for my 501HD head, and it still would keep parallel to the floor. Maybe the 509HD is just more sensitive?

3) A few parts came missing such as the ABR (advanced balancing recorder) battery cover plate on the underside of the head. Where can I buy a replacement part?
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Old January 13th, 2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

OMG, they're making more?

Read this and weep, friend:

Review: Manfrotto 504HD/ 546GBK Video Support System at DVInfo.net

The reason you got a good deal second hand is that even new it was a complete dog.

That they have released an entire new line based on the same flawed design doesn't really suprise me, the fact that people who've bought them haven't demanded their money back, does.

Your symptoms 1 & 2 are covered in my review, and have obviously not been addressed, no suprise there.

You need parts, Google your nearest Manfrotto agent and order from them, no problem.

If you would like some advice, get shot of that head and get something decent - Gitzo, Libec, Vinten or Sachtler, take your pick, anything but a Manfrotto, of any description.

Bottom line, you have just bought a complete dog of a head (IMHO), others will disagree.

Your choice.


CS
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Old January 14th, 2012, 12:53 AM   #3
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

I've read that review before many times actually, but I'm just surprised that the 501HD didn't seem to do the weird tilting issue with counterbalance off nor did it make audible noise whereas the 509HD does. I didn't notice these issues on the 504HD I played with in the store btw. I only notice them on my 509HD. None of these issues are deal breakers. This is by far the smoothest head I've used...a complete advancement compared to the 501HD and normal 501 heads.

The reason I stick with Manfrotto is because of the quick release system. I need everything to be compatible from my Manfrotto monopod (love it) to my slider to my Blackbird and to my other Manfrotto tripods. Quick exchange is crucial for the work I do - weddings. I don't want to get a tripod that can only be used for one specific rig. But honestly, I'm quite pleased with the 509HD overall - feels super smooth to me. Of course I haven't played with Sachtler, Cartoni, Libec, etc. but even if they were better, I can't justify losing the quick plate exchanges in my fast-paced event work environment.

Also I've Googled Manfrotto replacement parts, but I can't find the specific battery cover plate I need. Thanks!
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Old January 14th, 2012, 02:34 AM   #4
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

Glad you're happy with your 509.

Parts list of the 509, in case you didn't find it:

http://mediacdn.shopatron.com/media/...pdf?1303837609

In case you didn't know, this is one way to beat your Manfrotto addiction:

Quick Release Adapter With Sliding Plate - Plate Adapters | Manfrotto


CS
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Old January 14th, 2012, 08:03 AM   #5
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhong Cheung View Post
Of course I haven't played with Sachtler, Cartoni, Libec, etc. but even if they were better, I can't justify losing the quick plate exchanges in my fast-paced event work environment.
I use manfrotto 501 plates with my Sachtler FSB6 and that head is way better than 504HD....haven't tried the 509...
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Old January 14th, 2012, 03:50 PM   #6
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

Thanks. I have four of those quick release adaptor sets...but you're saying put the Manfrotto adaptor on the Sachtler (or whatever) quick release plate? Doesn't that add an extra level of instability? I do this on the bottom of my other smaller Manfrotto tripod with the 701 head because I need to be able to pop that 701 head on/off the magfiber legs and my slider quickly. However, this definitely makes the tripod feel less stable.

Thanks for the link, Chris! Very helpful. I can't tell if its part 39 or 41 I need though...I seem to have most of 39, but some of the shapes...I can't identify. It's supposed to just be the battery cover for the ABR.
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Old January 14th, 2012, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

I use the Manfrotto quick release plate on top of my Vinten Vision Blue holding a Canon XF300 with no loss of stability. I use a number of camera supports and they all use the Manfrotto plate - for quick changes, this is a most elegant and practical solution!
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Old February 11th, 2012, 08:52 PM   #8
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

Not quite sure why there's such hate here! My 504 works great, and your review of the 504 does NOT apply to the 509 HD.

I've been a Sachtler guy for 20 years, with a 25 and an 18... about $30,000 in heads and carbon fiber stix. With the advent of lighter HD cameras (and several more systems I now own), I've switched to Manfrotto for most of my shooting. The 509HD really is incredible-- lightweight, terrific features, smooth as glass pan and tilt, positive lock, great counterbalance, and for around $900! Unbeatable.

I am fairly rough on my gear, traveling worldwide, in jungles, deserts, war zones... I have been amazed at what Manfrotto has done lately.

Take a look at the 509 HD.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 09:57 PM   #9
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Re: Is Manfrotto 509HD Supposed to Tip Forward/Backward w Counterbalance Off?

Jody.................

Hate? Not a bit.

Utter disbelief, tinged with considerable sadness, that Manfrottos engineers, designers and system testers let a product like the 504 actually see the light of day on an unsuspecting public, ooh yes!

Look, it IS entirely possible that the review system I had was not representative of the product in general, but I can only review what I have, not what I think it might be if I had another one.

I've seen a number of comments with regard to the 504, similar to yours, from experienced people in the business, and have not been able to reconcile them to the unit I tested, but then, you didn't actually say you disagreed with my review, just that it didn't carry forward to the 509, maybe Manfrotto learnt something, I don't know.

If Manfrotto were to carry forward the design "concepts" as displayed by the 504 I tested, into yet more heads, all I can say is, God help them.

Should Manfrotto wish to remove the stain of that 504 review, they are quite at liberty to send me a 509 or any other head in the new range that has similar design and I'll give it the works, as always.

Being in the rather luxurious position whereby I can, and do, refuse all payment for my reviewing services, I am free to say what I believe is true about all and any product I review, no favours to anyone, whatsoever.

I really hoped, when I recieved the 504 system for review, that I could, at long last, say something really nice about a Manfrotto video support system, I couldn't on that occasion. Believe it or not, I cut my teeth on Manfrotto.

Anyway, I'll stop slagging off the 509 and any of the other new models (that decision made some time ago, BTW) till I have proof, one way or another.

Thanks for your comments.


CS

Last edited by Chris Soucy; February 12th, 2012 at 09:25 PM.
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