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Old March 5th, 2016, 02:55 PM   #1
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Help: Looking for tips for smooth panning and tilting

I just bought the Manfrotto 502 AH, and it seems like a really good head and a great bargain. However, I seem to get a bit of stutter when starting a pan, also some recoil (reversing) when completing a pan.

I'm pretty sure the problem is me because I've read so many great things about the 502.AH.

I'm wondering, what's the right amount of drag?

What's the best technique for panning? Tilting?

Got any little tricks that might help me?

BTW, I'm using a Panasonic G7. I have a Tascam DR-70 also, but haven't mounted it yet.

Thanks for the help.
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Old March 6th, 2016, 06:21 AM   #2
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Location: Melbourne Australia
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Re: Help: Looking for tips for smooth panning and tilting

Hi Paul,
I use flexible handles on my tripod heads and mini-boom to make smooth action easier. The idea is a step-up from using a rubber band to drag the handle in the desired direction. The introduction of bit of elasticity makes it much harder to transmit any hand tremor to the head and tripod. It also makes it easier to apply a steady force to the tripod handle. The tapered grey handle shown in the pictures is made from PVC a terminal spring permits finer control if needed. I have forgotten the name of the white plastic handle used on my mini-boom.

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Old March 6th, 2016, 10:29 AM   #3
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Location: Montreal, Canada
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Re: Help: Looking for tips for smooth panning and tilting

I had a Manfrotto 501DH which was the predecessor to what you have . I found it sticky.

I bought a Libec 25R ($500 at the time, compared to $199 for the Manfrotto) and problem solved - one finger handles the pan, with no static friction at the start or at the end.

I guess you get what you pay for.

For live concert music recording where you have to track fast moving talent across a stage, the Libec is adequate for me.

Payload 6kg / 13.0lb
Counterbalance range: 1.8 to 5kg / 4.0 to 11.0lb
Counterbalance: Continuous
Drag mode: 2Step
Tilt angle +90 / -70
Temperature range -40C / -40F to +60C / +140F
Bubble level: Illuminated
Camera plate: Sliding plate
Sliding range +/-40mm / 1.6"
Plate attachment: 1/4" screw with video pin
Spare screw: 1/4" and 3/8" screws

I wish this particular head had one more step on the drag mode.

Rule #1 Never buy any head without trying it out with your camcorder/accessories - I have a Panasonic AG-AC160A with a Rode mic (reference sound). I plan to add a 7 in monitor and hope this will not upset the balance.
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