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Old April 9th, 2013, 11:20 PM   #1
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My attempt to balance gear.

Hi. I've got a MPH power pan and tilt head from Hague in the UK. I'm using a Z1U and think the point of balance is a bit far ahead of where I'd like it to be. It seems to be forward of the attaching position, even with a 970 battery attached. I used a rather basic method to attempt to determine the P,O.B. (a ball point pen).

Is there a fore and aft adjustable sliding plate available that would allow me to position the camera further back on the tripod? Something that could be attached to the power head by means of a 1/4" screw? And can it be purchased as a separate item? I propose to use a Fancier CF-270a tripod as my present tripods are for cameras, and considered too light for the Z1U.

The mounting position on the power head is rectangular and flat.

Many thanks.
John
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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:01 AM   #2
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Dear John...............(no, you haven't just been dumped!)

One of those, oh dear, first time poster posts.

OK, first, give everyone links to the gear you're talking about, because no one's going to be fagged to go find them themselves, gives your entire thread some legs.

Second, well, how about some disambiguation here, let's try this gem:

Quote:
I propose to use a Fancier CF-270a tripod as my present tripods are for cameras
Um, as far as I know the Z1U is a camera, so what does this actually profess to say?

What, in the name of God, is a Fancier CF - 270a tripod? Never seen one, have no idea what it's capable of, and a whole heap more.

Give us the data, we can churn it, but we are not omnipotent, and certainly don't have God's infinite patience.


CS
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Old April 10th, 2013, 02:48 AM   #3
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Hey Chris, caught you in an off moment? Still, can't believe you haven't seen a Fancier CF270a - they're one of the most popular budget tripods, basically the same as a Libec RT 30 (which I guess you haven't heard of either) but at 1/3 the price. MPH power heads are also common. There'd be a lot of people on this forum familiar with both. Not sure I'd put that and a Z1U on a Fancier. Then there's also lot of people who distinguish (still) cameras from camcorders.
So John, don't worry about it; most of us are here to help. You said enough and I think a Manfrotto Sliding Plate Adapter might be what you're after (worked for my XL2 back in the day - Google for suppliers).
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Old April 10th, 2013, 03:06 AM   #4
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

A picture would speak a thousand words, would help to visualize the problem.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 03:21 AM   #5
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

John,

Two Manfrotto adapters spring to mind:

MN577: Quick Release Adapter With Sliding Plate 577 - Plate Adapters | Manfrotto
MN357: Rapid Connect Adapter With Sliding Mounting Plate 357Pl 357 - Plate Adapters | Manfrotto

The 357 is a longer sliding plate and may provide more adjustment range. Note that the plates are not compatible between the two adapters, i.e. you can't use the 501 plate in the 577 on the 357 adapter.

These plates both mount to the bottom of the camera using the usual screws, and provide threaded holes on the bottom to mount to a tripod or similar screw mount.

The plate on the 357 is also quite long, and may be awkward if you have to quickly go to hand-holding the camera.

And I share Noa's enthusiasm for pictures!
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Old April 10th, 2013, 04:28 AM   #6
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Thanks guys, for your replies. I've just had another look at the ad on ebay for the Fancier 270a. It seems I might not need Mike's suggestion. I did not look at that ad enough. I was more interested in the weight it will support, which is listed as 6kg. As yet I'm still waiting delivery, but will know more in a few days/weeks.

Mike. I don't intend to go hand held, quickly or otherwise. I'm hoping to be able to connect my Z1U to my a laptop via firewire and control the tilt and pan mechanism while seated as I'm not good on my feet. My first and only handheld attempt was yesterday when I got caught unawares by my subject of interest. It went well enough but don't intend to repeat the episode. The adjustment I think i need is somewhere about 1/4" to 3/8".

Chris, I don't know how others think, but to me there is a difference between a still camera and a camcorder. And, yes, I am "first time poster". Yet to reach 5 posts and know very little about videography.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 04:49 AM   #7
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

John,

If you only need to adjust back and forth by an inch, then maybe the MN577 would suffice. You can find non-Manfrotto examples of the same device that cost less if you go onto eBay or elsewhere.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:40 AM   #8
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Thanks Mike. I'll have a look at the MN577. Unless I'm mistaken, the ad for the Fancier showed it had a plate similar to what I was seeking as part of the ad. I just missed it as I was concentrating on another aspect of the ad. Many thanks.
John
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #9
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Hi John,

Have I got this right?
You want to mount your Z1U on an MPH motorized head and then mount this combination on the head of a Fancier 270 A tripod? Normally you would just mount this type of motorized on a flat surface and forget using the head of the Fancier as in this case. No doubt your idea of using the Fancier head would work – all you would have to do is level the camera mounting plate and then lock it off. In this way you would achieve a horizontal mounting surface for the MPH. As the Fancier head will be locked off - balance will not be an issue. Overbalance would only be a problem if the MPH is incapable of providing the necessary tilt torque.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 08:01 PM   #10
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Hi Alaster. Yes, the idea at present is to do just that. I can't see any other way right now of mounting the MPH directly onto the legs without using the head, but as yet I don't know if that is feasible until I see the Fancier.
I am assuming the whole thing will work even if I have to use the head, but I think I can get it working, either way. The MPH will tilt 15 deg and am planning on using the slider plate to remove any tendency to overbalance. Then too, is the possibility of adding extra weight to the lower part of the tripod, to lower the centre of gravity.
I assembled the whole thing on a light tripod I have for still cam work and ran the MPH through its range while being sure I would be able to stop it falling over. The whole episode made me very nervous as I don't think I would like to see the Z1U belly up, so to speak. The setup looks ungainly with the camcorder mounted well above the height one would expect. The pan handle can be mounted for either right of left handed use but in my case, once the cam is in place, I am thinking the handle can be removed. I have yet to make any inquiries as to the availability of something like a "blank" plate that could take the place of the standard pan and tilt head, but will leave that until the tripod arrives.
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Old April 10th, 2013, 10:15 PM   #11
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Hi John,

As I see it the Wiefeng/Fancier tripods and heads represent very good value for money. Mine is remarkably free from ‘windup’ problems which is more than I can say for another model (at ~ 8x the price) frequently promoted on this site.
I have put a weaker counterbalance spring in mine so that it will balance a lighter camera. However the design of the bowl could be improved, the radial slots in the bowl look like a source of weakness and as the bowl is rather shallow the clamp mechanism has to be tightened more severely than I like. As you will be relying on the bowl clamp more than most people this could be something to watch closely.
It would be a simple matter to add a flat plate to mount the MPH. I modified my tripod for a different head and could provide details if required.
I am puzzled by your reluctance to mount your Z1U on this tripod.

Below is an interesting viewpoint on the Wiefeng/Fancier tripods. Some say Wiefeng/Fancier is the world’s largest tripod company.


Wifeng WF717 Tripod. Cheap, but not nasty tripod. | XDCAM-USER.COM
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Old April 11th, 2013, 01:12 AM   #12
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Thanks for your offer, Alastair and I would welcome the details of your modification.

My reason for not mounting the Z1U directly on the legs is my inability to move around freely. The MPH will give me the ability to pan and tilt smoothly, eventually, and by connecting the cam to my laptop I will be able to see what is happening. I won't be using the MPH all the time. Events such as fireworks displays may need manual control.

I am not familiar with the design of the Fancier, but it's possible those slots in the bowl are there to increase it's overall strength in a similar way that holes in aircraft struts and frames reduce the incidence of cracking, but I'm just guessing.

I would think a flat plate wide enough to cover the 60mm bowl, with a beveled edge to fit into the bowl as a locator and a bolt long enough to protrude below the bowl itself may be good enough. That idea may need some more thought but that's part of the fun.

Last edited by John Mahoney; April 11th, 2013 at 01:21 AM. Reason: Development of an idea.
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Old May 3rd, 2013, 11:57 PM   #13
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

I'm having a few problems with the tripod I received about a week or more ago. The Fancier legs came with an FC-02H head which will support only 2 kg. The one ordered has the FC-270A head which supports 6kg. The supplier wants me to accept the tripod as sent, but I'm wondering if that leaves me without an answer if the tripod lets go with the bigger load. I have lodged replies with the sender and ebay, so it's an ongoing thing at the moment. Meantime I don't have a tripod I can use with any confidence.
My latest reply is to the effect that the supplier provide the item ordered or provide a refund.
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Old May 9th, 2013, 02:33 AM   #14
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alastair Traill View Post
Hi John,

As I see it the Wiefeng/Fancier tripods and heads represent very good value for money. Mine is remarkably free from ‘windup’ problems which is more than I can say for another model (at ~ 8x the price) frequently promoted on this site.
I have put a weaker counterbalance spring in mine so that it will balance a lighter camera. However the design of the bowl could be improved, the radial slots in the bowl look like a source of weakness and as the bowl is rather shallow the clamp mechanism has to be tightened more severely than I like. As you will be relying on the bowl clamp more than most people this could be something to watch closely.
It would be a simple matter to add a flat plate to mount the MPH. I modified my tripod for a different head and could provide details if required.
I am puzzled by your reluctance to mount your Z1U on this tripod.

Below is an interesting viewpoint on the Wiefeng/Fancier tripods. Some say Wiefeng/Fancier is the world’s largest tripod company.


Wifeng WF717 Tripod. Cheap, but not nasty tripod. | XDCAM-USER.COM
Alastair, I wonder if my tripod is different from yours. Mine has no radial slots in the bowl, which is 75mm dia.

During my research of tripods I came across a few that were almost identical to the FC-270A and made me wonder if they all came out of different doors of the same factory.

I would appreciate you sending me details of the mods of which you spoke.

It seems my "case" with ebay has been concluded after an offer was received from the suppliers of my tripod. I didn't accept that offer. but saw a message on my ebay account that the case had been terminated after that offer was sent and before I made a counter offer. Although I am not satisfied with that, there is not much I can do now.

However I decided after all that to take the field with the tripod and see how I got on. That turned out OK, but I am of a mind to use your modification so as to be able to mount the MPH directly onto the legs.

Prior to that, I was still seeking an FC-270A head from other sources. I received a reply from one source to the effect that the head specs had been upgraded and is now rated at 6kg (or so). It seems the source took it on himself to contact my supplier and offered the updated info as a service to me. That is a fine example of "going the other mile".
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Old May 9th, 2013, 07:19 PM   #15
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Re: My attempt to balance gear.

Hi John,
I have a lot of trouble sorting out the various models and names that come out the Weifeng factory. I am aware of the Weifeng and the Fancier. The Mantona looks as though it might come out of one of the doors also It is interesting that yours does not have the radial slots in the bowl.

Making up a flat plate kit should be pretty straightforward. Do you plan to do it yourself and do you have access to a lathe? You will need a top plate preferably with a machined step that fits neatly into the open end of the bowl to both centre the plate and prevent sliding. You will also need a bottom plate. In my case I was worried about stressing the bowl excessively and I made a plate with a peripheral rim. It is fitted with the rim uppermost and the rim has sufficient diameter and is tall enough to fit in the groove around the lower surface of the bowl. This means that there is no stress on the bowl when the upper and lower plates are bolted together. If your bowl does not have the radial slots you might not need to go to such trouble and just use the clamp knob provided (mine is 8mm x 1.25 mm pitch).

Incidentally I passed your comment that the cutouts used in aircraft frames increase strength and reduce cracking on to an aircraft engineer. I was assured the reason was to save weight.
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