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-   -   Bogen 516 tilt too tight! (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/tripod-sticks-heads/53832-bogen-516-tilt-too-tight.html)

Vence Vida November 4th, 2005 02:28 PM

Bogen 516 tilt too tight!
Hello all!

I just purchased a used 516 head and 515MVB legs for use with my XL2

The legs are amazing. I'm looking forward to using them. The head, however, has me wondering if I made a mistake.

The pan is silky smooth and adjustable from "just breath on it and it pans" all the way to "let's work on those triceps while we rotate."

The tilt is a different story, altogether: The tilt drag adjustment doesn't seem to make much of a difference to the tension - it's always tight. I feel like I have to use two hands to tilt the camera. I definitely have to have the pan handle fully extended to get enough leverage to move it smoothly, and even then, I'm really fighting and even lifting the tripod off the ground much of them time. No one-finger tilts.

Is this head just too tight for a camera as light as the XL or is there an adjustment I can make that I don't know about, or do I just have a bad head?


Tim Brown November 4th, 2005 02:48 PM


Didn't know the 516 had a fixed spring.

Don Bloom November 4th, 2005 06:14 PM

There could be a problem with the head. I use a 516 on my 515 legs for both a jcv5000 and pd150s and all I hace to do it make a slight adjustment for the lighter cams (tighten the pan) when its set for the 5000. Its a couple of turns of the wheel and its set to go.
I wonder if somehow the pan adjustment wheel came loose inside the head?
Possible I guess OR perhaps you might need to loosen it somemore. Maybe whoever owned it before had a decked out rig that had lots of weight and it was tightened totally.
Sorry I can't help more.

OOOPS, I meant to say "tighten the tilt"

Quoc Peyrot November 4th, 2005 08:02 PM

Yeah this serie of heads are amazing, I have the 503 and an XL2 and the tilt definitely works really great. The exact same behavior that you are getting from the pan.

You might have a problem with your head, you should double check to be sure you cannot loose it more further. Or maybe the xl2 alone is too light for the 516. I don't know if people use the 516 for an xl2 alone, usually they are using it with an 35mm adapter, mate box, AB battery and so on, which add a lot of weight.


Vence Vida November 5th, 2005 09:25 AM

Another thing I've noticed is that when I do crank the tilt adjust all the way to loose, the head gets wobbly, but the drag doesn't seem any less. (And, before anyone asks, yes, I have confirmed the tilt lock is off. I've checked so many times, it's practically screwed the lock handle right off the side of the head.)

I will add that I have a 501 that I have used with my GL2s for a couple of years. It was fine for those, but once I bought the XL and tried it on the 501, I knew I was in trouble. Tilt it slightly forward, and it just keeps on goin'. Plus, it was never that great of a head to begin with.

I've been looking forward to investing in a "real" tripod, plus I wanted a beefier head that would control the XL. Perhaps the 503 is what I really need. I wish I lived near a dealer where I could try various heads, but, unfortunately, I do not.

I'm not opposed to spending more for a Vinton or Miller, or such, but I figured if the 516 would do the job, I could invest the extra money elsewhere for awhile. Gathering gear on a budget is a process, and I'm trying to figure out the most efficient path.

I just want to make sure, before I sell this head, and try another, that I understand how the 516 should perform. I don't know if it's working properly. Can anyone attest to the tilt performance of the 516 with a naked XL?

Don Bloom November 5th, 2005 09:41 AM

IIRC the 516 head is rated for 33 pounds and its possible that a lighter rig just doesn't work well on the head. The 150s I use (loaded up with all the goodies) weight in at substanially less but for whatever reason by adjusting the tilt drag it seems to work OK-when I load on the JVC5000 with all the toys (shotgun, AB light, Dionic90 battery and 2 wireless receivers) it works great. The head just might be too much for the lighter cams. If I know I'm using the 150s and not the full size cam, I bring a different set of legs with a 503 head instead and that works just great with the 150.
With the 516 the camera will stay in 1 position without dropping either front or back IF I have the tilt drag adjusted right. The other thing is the QR plate needs to be centered in the mechanism. If its slightly back or front of center it will of course change the center of gravity of the head. With the 150s I use just the plate with the 5000 I use the cameras tripod plate on the heads QR plate and just make sure its centered. I really don't understand why your head isn't tilting right UNLESS theres something going on inside the head. If you open it up BE CAREFUL! There stuff in there that needs to stay in there. :-o
All I can say is in the time I've been using mine (about 1 1/2 years) its worked flawlessly.
Good Luck with it

Meryem Ersoz November 5th, 2005 12:51 PM

just chiming in to say that i have a 516 with my XL2 and the tilt works perfectly. it's very smooth and easy to adjust the amount of spring based on the weight of whichever lens i use. it is a fabulous head. maybe yours is flawed somehow, because i think this is the best head for the money out there for an XL2. especially if you use longer lenses, the long release plate is nice.

Vence Vida November 5th, 2005 01:54 PM


With just the XL and its standard 20x, can you adjust the tilt so that it moves easily - like with one finger, if that is what you wanted? I know you said it's smooth, but can it also be effortless and move with very little force applied?

Thanks for everyone's comments!

Don Bloom November 5th, 2005 04:04 PM

I just remembered that under the little disc that covers the tilt adjustment and the pan adjustment there is a 1/4-20 cap nut. If you pull the plastic disc off (its just in with a bit of adhesive around the edge) you'll see the nut. Its POSSIBLE that somewhere along the way the nut got tightened up way too much. You should be able to see that the nut is even with the threads. At least it is on mine. You might want to check that just to be sure. Otherwise it sounds like something went haywire inside the head.

Meryem Ersoz November 5th, 2005 06:43 PM

vence, to answer your question, yes, you can. or at least i can with mine....don's idea sounds worth checking out.....

Ian E. Pearson November 7th, 2005 09:34 PM

Mine Also!
I have never had a tripod like this before so It might be user error, but I have the exact same issue with mine. I also hear air bubbles in the fluid like a sticky kind of popping sound sometimes. and in the pan motion there is a spot with more friction than the rest of the motion. Do you know what I mean? Is this normal? Like I said, I have never owned a fluid head or any kind of pro tripod before so I dont know.

Don Bloom November 7th, 2005 09:51 PM

Loosen the locking knob on the opposite side of the drag adjustment. You should be able to keep both the pan and tilt locking knobs 100% loose IF the head is properly adjusted for the camera on it. If you tighten the locker on the tilt and don't loosen it all the way when you tilt the head you will hear a noise and if you do it long enoung and hard enough you COULD damage the inner workings.

Robert J. Wolff November 8th, 2005 05:24 AM

Unless you mounted your head improperly to your tp, you probably have a bummer. I have been using my 516 on my ARTS tp for 3 years. I have never had a problem. I am also using the PLONG plate, with a 100-400 mm. lens; and, I can one finger the whole rig, in any direction. The 516 is one of the best heads that I have used (at these price levels).

I suggest that you replace it.

Lorinda Norton November 8th, 2005 10:11 AM

Some of them must just be better than others. I bought a 516 new a couple years ago and the tilt has always been really tight. I kept it because the only reason I got it and such sturdy legs was to support a little crane anyway. With the crane I'm dealing with enough weight that the stiff tilt isn't a factor. I wouldn't buy another one, I'll tell ya that much.

About the sticky popping noises, Ian, mine did that too. But after using it a while it seems to have gone away.

Ash Greyson November 8th, 2005 01:52 PM

Same set up as the original poster and never had any issues at all...

ash =o)

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