What's the best Tripod & Head I can get for around $400? at DVinfo.net

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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:06 PM   #1
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What's the best Tripod & Head I can get for around $400?

I think the title pretty much says it all. I need a tripod and head head for my XL2. I can't afford too much more than $400 right now. Toss some models at me if you can think of any. Unless you think I should wait until I can spare more loot. BTW... I'm not interested in a used one. I bought my last one used, and it aged too fast.

Thank you for your time,
Paul Picklesimer
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 01:32 PM   #2
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501

alright man,
i have the 501 manfrotto head and no problems -
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:01 PM   #3
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Nothing but great with a 501 with 3251 legs, $430 at bhphoto.com

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ughType=search

Very versatile as far as min/max height, not the lightest setup but get the shoulder strap and you'll be fine. We've hiked miles with it. Used for XL1s and now XL2. Bogen actually has extended the warranty to 3 years recently.

Kevin
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Janisch
Nothing but great with a 501 with 3251 legs, $430 at bhphoto.com
I like that combo for settings where I need to be able to shoot over people's heads, but the 3251 legs are heavy and a bit of a pain to work with. I also find myself wondering if there's anything a little smoother than the 501 head for about the same price, as it doesn't seem as silky as I was hoping it would be when I bought it. (But then I bought two more anyway.) For general-purpose use, the 501 head with a lighter set of legs is a good compromise, so long as you can keep people from walking in front of your shot.
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 04:46 PM   #5
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i have a 701rc2 head and a 516 for an XL2. the 701rc2 can't begin to compare to the 516, obviously. but it's cheap, it works if you're careful. it seems about as good as the 501 i tried, but built with a lot less bulk. i think saving up for a 503 or 516 makes more sense. the only reason i use the 701rc2 is because nothing else compares with it for weight and portability (if you have to carry an XL2 in the backcountry or the wilderness).
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 09:46 PM   #6
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I just purchased this Bogen system through B&H, its still being shipped so I have yet to play with it. Really excited though, seems like it will be an awesome setup. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation
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Old December 2nd, 2005, 10:12 PM   #7
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503 is a Minimum!

I would skimp on the legs some and get the 503 head at a minimum, $259.00 at B&H. It has spring counter balance for the tilt, and is a "true" fluid head. I just bought my second one. 501 will not handle the XL series' weight as well, and is not a true fluid head.

Please try before you buy.

Mike
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Old December 5th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the advice. I think now I'm leaning toward the 503. I have a set of bogen 3050 legs, but one of the legs doesn't want to stay open. If I can figure out how to fix it, I may go with the 503 and then upgrade the legs down the road.

Paul Picklesimer
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Old December 5th, 2005, 05:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Picklesimer
Thanks for all the advice. I think now I'm leaning toward the 503. I have a set of bogen 3050 legs, but one of the legs doesn't want to stay open. If I can figure out how to fix it, I may go with the 503 and then upgrade the legs down the road.

Paul Picklesimer
Good decision my son, and may the force be with you!

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Old January 3rd, 2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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get the 503 and legs from ebay!

get the 503 from B&H etc and legs from ebay! There's more than one ebay store that sells either aluminum (~$70) or carbon (~$100) legs for the Bogen line. You'll need the $46 half ball leveler (# 520BALLSH) from Bogen to attach it.
Just scroll through that section in ebay. Most tripod legs come from a single Chinese source and are rebranded, so don't spend too much on legs.

Actually, I just noticed that I left out the most important thing: DO NOT BUY ANYTHING EXCEPT A TRIPOD WHERE THE HEAD RESTS ON A BALL LEVELER.

Benefit: Adjust the leg lenght once without much fuss and then level just the head. Invaluable. You can even do it while the camera is running (with practice): hold the camera by the top handle, carefully losen the leveler, adjust, tighten screw.
Often, the true level as indicated by the bubble is not the one you need. There may be picture frame or a piece of furniture or door frame in the background that you must chose as your visual reference.

Center column tripods should be outlawed.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 08:58 PM   #11
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Search for this Bogen leveler on B&H:

BO3502

Just cut and paste that into the search box and it should be the only item that comes up.

It seems to perform the same function as the hi-hat adapter (520BALLSH) that you mentioned. Does the hi-hat adpater just screw onto the 3/8" threads at the top of the legs?

One or two advantages of the 3502 ball leveler is that it is shorter and has a leveling bubble.

Why would you ban center-column tripods?
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Old January 5th, 2006, 08:43 AM   #12
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http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...shs=Bogen+3502

I have one, and highly recommend it as an add on for a center post tripod. It allows 10 degrees of levelling. I actually bought it for leveling my crane when attached to its dolly. Having used it on the tripod, I wouldn't go back to levelling legs.

Btw, the 701RC2 is a full fluid head, as is the 501 and 503. The difference is how drag is applied...and the 503 is the first in the line to do this with fluid as opposed to friction.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 06:30 PM   #13
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timely

great timely thread folks, but the little nugget of info I need is'nt showing up yet:
can the Bogen 3502 leveller accessory be fitted to the 701RC2 head??? Everyone seems to be fitting this leveller to the bigger Bogen heads (501, 503 etc)-- will it work on the smaller ones???

Getting this gear for my students-- being able to go with the 701 head will mean more $$ for other stuff.
Thanks much,

MRP
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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
the 3251 legs are heavy and a bit of a pain to work with
Bwah-ha-ha-ha! Try my mighty 3192's!! Those are the mightiest thighs I ever have seen, I mean...!
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Old January 16th, 2006, 01:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Voelker
DO NOT BUY ANYTHING EXCEPT A TRIPOD WHERE THE HEAD RESTS ON A BALL LEVELER. Center column tripods should be outlawed.
Now, now, agreed, but let's let freedom ring. Yes. Just as you said, actually...
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