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Old January 28th, 2014, 12:05 AM   #1
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Tripod Plates

I have a JVC GY HD111 which along with the V-lock battery and DR-HD100 is very back heavy. The overall weight of the camera is probably pushing the limits of my Manfrotto 128RC video head. With such a great degree of unbalance, I have to have the tilt adjustment on the head done up pretty tightly. This makes the tilt movement quite jerky.

I am considering the KA-551 or VCT-U14 tripod plate to move the weight of the camera forward. Do others use these plates, what has been your experience?

I have also looked at the Sachtler Ace M series heads and sticks with the counterbalance adjustments. How much leeway does this give? Would a tripod plate still be necessary with this tripod?
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Old January 28th, 2014, 02:46 AM   #2
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Re: Tripod Plates

I've always used the quick release plate but keep in mind that it increases the weight too. You can move the camera forwards so balance horizontally is better but tilt up and down and it puts more weight in the wrong place. I'd look for a proper counterbalancing head on eBay. Old vinten ones often come up.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Tripod Plates

Tim Lewis...IMHO, you have probably exceeded the 'working-range' of the fluid-head. Specs on your camera shows a 'stock' weight of 7.0 lbs (3.1kg). The 'Max' weight capacity of the Manfrotto 128RC is stated at 8.8 lbs. (4kg). In the 'stock' configuration you're at almost 80% of capacity adding a V-Loc style battery is just going to exacerbate the situation. I've been told when you get around 65% to 75% you begin to lose full range of motion with a fluid head. You're starting at 80% capacity and then adding additional kit. I think it might be time for a new, higher capacity fluid head.

JMHO, YMMV.

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J.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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Re: Tripod Plates

Whenever I've worked with any kind of full sized or compact full sized camera I always use the Sony QR plate. Sony and JVC are identical so it doesn't matter. AAMOF the QR plate I'm using now with my JVC is a Sony and works fine. OK now to the point. I'd be willing to bet you have exceeded the heads weight capability. I would do 2 things. First get a new tripod head that has a bigger load capability (make sure your legs can handle the new weight) and I would get the QR plate first because it's easier to put on and take off the tripod but also and more importantly, you have a number of positions that you can mount the plate to the head for balance purposes. You want the drag adjustments on the tripod head more for adjusting to personal taste instead of using it to hold the camera in place and keep it from tilting.
Properly adjusted the camera should just stay where you put it.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 07:37 PM   #5
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Re: Tripod Plates

@Paul Thanks for this advice. Unfortunately Ebay Australia seems to be a desert for good gear. The heavy weight of these components makes international purchases expensive.

@James Thank you for this appraisal of my situation. You have presented me with much new and valuable information. With the V-lock battery and DTE recorder, I dare say I am well over the limit, and I forgot to mention the video light.

@Don Thanks for confirming the compatibility issues as the Sony plates are much more available than the JVC. The legs I have are the Manfrotto 075 and are about 25 years old and plenty tough. But they are stills legs. They have a centre geared column for extra height, but am I better off with a bowl mounted head? I have seem the Sachtler Ace M which looks very interesting. In Australia it is $845, although I note that B&H sell it for $557 (AUD$620), or is the Ace L more suited to my weight range?

I have had a look around and it seems that the Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head might suit my new requirements nicely. As usual there is a dearth of supply in Australia, although B&H seem to have quite a good price on it. Let's hope they have the PAL version.
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Last edited by Tim Lewis; January 28th, 2014 at 10:03 PM.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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Re: Tripod Plates

Hi Tim

I changed to bowl heads a long time ago and they are a huge asset. Sure you lose the height that a geared column gives you but they are awesome to be able to level the camera quickly and easily. Gone are the days where I had to start adjusting leg heights to level the camera. I would go for a bowl every time!!

My cams clock in with gear at around 3kg and I have been using the bowl mount Weifeng tripods for over 5 years now and they are still going strong with no wear and tear and a fraction of the cost of the big brands!

Chris
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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:11 PM   #7
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Re: Tripod Plates

Where are you buying them from Chris?
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Old January 28th, 2014, 10:41 PM   #8
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Re: Tripod Plates

Tim, I use a bowl AND a center column Manfrotto 3246. If I'm shooting 2 cams then the center column is usually a lock down but those legs and column will reach 8 feet in the air and every once in a while I've needed that so it's up to the clouds I go. I actually pulled the geared crank from the column so it's a pretend O'Connor Hot Pod and I use the tightening knob to keep the column in place. Generally I run a lighter cam on it so it's not a big deal.
My #1 set of legs are Manfrotto 515 with a 504 head and it works well with my HM700. The way I outfit it the weight is about 12 or 13 pounds although I've had it up to 15 or 16. The 504 head works well but at 15 or so pounds its close to the limit. I prefer the 509 head but won't be changing any time soon.
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Old January 28th, 2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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Re: Tripod Plates

Hi Tim

I got mine from Protog in Melbourne Home Page

You can also get them on eBay
Fancier WF730 FC 730 FC 02H Fluid PAN Head Video Tripod FOR DV DSLR 1 8 Metres | eBay

Also called Fancier here but they are the Weifeng WF730 and are really good for the price..I have never had any issues at all!!

Chris
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Old January 29th, 2014, 01:27 AM   #10
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Re: Tripod Plates

Special price looks good too!
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Old February 1st, 2014, 12:13 AM   #11
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Re: Tripod Plates

Thanks for all the advice. That Fancier tripod looks like a great deal for the new low price, but I have found something else.

I managed to find a Manfrotto 117 set of legs (HUGE!) with a 116 Mk.3 head on them for sale locally (50km away) for a really good price. The 116 tripod plate has sufficient fore and aft adjustment to get the camera balanced really well. The head is rated to something like 10 kg and hardly feels the weight of my HD111.
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Old February 1st, 2014, 12:34 AM   #12
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Re: Tripod Plates

The tripod also came with a Camerz Photo Control mount. What I have been able to determine is that it is from a company that was based in Minneapolis and that no longer exists. The device seems more geared for still work although the company made cine cameras. Does anyone know anything more about it?

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...1-img-1297.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...2-img-1298.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...3-img-1299.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...4-img-1300.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...5-img-1301.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...6-img-1302.jpg
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/members/...7-img-1303.jpg

I have shown it with one of my D2x's mounted on it but this is a bit of a guess. The 1/4" Whitworth (actually probably UNC since it is US manufacture) bolt is probably about 8mm long which is too long for the base of my DSLR. It allows the camera to be rotated between horizontal and vertical framing. The two different height mounts probably reflect the choice for with or without a motor drive on the camera. This probably predates all those nice ring mounts on long lenses.
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