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Old November 2nd, 2012, 02:34 AM   #31
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

I actually bought it before I got on this forum Chris... I'm just a student, but the first chance I get, I'll upgrade to something much better.
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Old November 3rd, 2012, 11:01 PM   #32
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

This should satisfy everyone
Sachtler Ace Fluid Head with 2-Stage Aluminum Tripod & 1002
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Old December 20th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #33
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

I finally bought another head so now I want to take apart the 501 and change the grease. I bought Dow Corning Silicone High Vacuum Grease.

Dow Corning Silicone High Vacuum Grease | eBay

Saw a post where someone used it and it worked very well on the 501 head. Said he used Lacquer Thinner to clean it first. That is where my question lies.

The posts on this subject say clean it with a "suitable solvent" or just "clean it first".

Does anyone think lacquer thinner is best or is there another solvent that you think would be better?

Thanks,

John
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 12:39 PM   #34
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Rocol Kilopoise. Designed for the job.
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Old December 23rd, 2013, 08:07 PM   #35
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Thanks for the reply Alister. I don't know of anywhere to buy that grease in the states, but I think I would like to try the Dow Corning High Vacuum Grease I bought.

It's just the solvent I am not sure about. I plan to use Lacquer Thinner unless someone knows of a better solvent. Any ideas?

Thanks,

John
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Old December 18th, 2014, 06:21 PM   #36
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
Rocol Kilopoise. Designed for the job.
That is what I used when I overhauled my Manfrotto 116 head a while back . That head uses a very similar arrangement to the 501 ; I also have the smaller 136 head which only has a single central tilt disc with fluid friction surfaces on each side . The Kilopoise fluid worked well in each of them .

I was looking at some of the newer Manfrotto heads recently and they now feel more like 'proper' fluid heads , with very free near frictionless movement when the drag is dialled to zero ; the adjustments work in 'clicks' much like the Sachtler heads I've used but can't afford myself . I'd like to get a better head ( and something lighter than the 116 ) to use on my Manfrotto 351 legs , and was considering a 504 after the brief play I had with one at the trade show , and bearing in mind they can be had for around £250-£280 these days .

Aren't Vintens and Bogens just badge engineered Manfrottos anyway ? It looks that way to me at least ?
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Old December 19th, 2014, 02:53 PM   #37
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Heeps View Post

Aren't Vintens and Bogens just badge engineered Manfrottos anyway ?

Er, no.

Vinten, Sachtler, OConnor, Bogen/ Manfrotto and Gitzo (to name just some) are all separate camera support companies within the Vitec Group.

Bogen & Manfrotto are exactly the same company - Bogen USA as was, Manfrotto rest of world.

As such, there is a fair bit of mix 'n match of components and sub assemblies between them. A case in point is the Manfrotto 501PL QR plate which has the same operational characteristics and dimensions as the Sachtler FSB QR plate (not Touch and Go).

Back in the dark ages of Standard Definition, Vinten took the bare bones of a Manfrotto 501/ 503 (don't quote me) head, re-engineered it quite substantially and sold it with a set of Manfrotto 520 sticks as the rock bottom of their camera support range, under the ProTouch banner.

It bore all the hallmarks of a Vinten just like I bear a striking resemblance to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (not!).

Like many cheap support systems it fell victim to the mass extinction caused by High Definition.

If you're thinking of spending your hard earned on a Manfrotto 504HD, you may wish to have a peruse of my review here: Review: Manfrotto 504HD/ 546GBK Video Support System

If you check the Articles section here on DVinfo you'll also (eventually) find my reviews of the Vinten Vision blue and the Libec RS250 for comparison.


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Old December 19th, 2014, 08:09 PM   #38
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Hi Chris ,

the only two Vinten tripods I have personal experience of are one Pro Touch 5 we have at work , and , at a previous employer , we had larger Vinten tripods on which the heads were clones of the Manfrotto 116 .

Thanks for the pointers to the reviews , I will have a read .

while I have used a few Sachtlers , and recognise them to be superior in every way to the Manfrottos I have used up to now , they do cost a lot more .

While I used to have larger cameras ( Sony DXC-M3A , JVC GY-DV500 ) , for which my Manfrotto 116/350 combo was fine , these days I shoot with a Sony V1e ( mainly just for family stuff and the odd 'homer' ; I just do the odd paying job every now and again to fund new gear for my hobby ) , but want something capable of supporting a slightly bigger camera in case I upgrade to something like a Z7 later on . I feel the 350 legs I have are fine , but the 116 head is too big and heavy for what I am doing now , and things have moved on in the 20 odd years I have had it . All the same , I can't justify a grand or more for some of the better heads , but wouldn't mind spending the £250 or so the 504 costs as long as I will see a decent improvement over what I already have . While I played with a couple of the newer red & black Manfrottos at a trade show a few months back , I'm not sure which ones they were , but they did feel more like 'proper' fluid heads than Manfrottos of old .

Anyway , thanks again and I'll go read your reviews now .

Kind regards ,

Derek .

Last edited by Derek Heeps; December 20th, 2014 at 06:47 AM.
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Old December 19th, 2014, 11:00 PM   #39
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Having read the various reviews with interest , and also some of the manufacturers websites , I reckon that if going with Manfrotto I might as well save some money and go for the cheaper MN502 rather than the 504 ; the 502 will still support my current camera and any other I am likely to get , as well as being a bit lighter to tote around . I was put off this range of heads by the pictures showing how the plate can fall down the gap in the top , and also the mention of warping .

If I wanted to spend a bit more , then ether the Vinten Vision Blue or the Sachtler FSB4 would be the two contenders ( I suspect I'd lean towards the Sachtler , but would need to think further about it/try them out ) . The £500 or so each of these would cost would be about my upper limit .

I was also looking at various secondhand lists and saw a Manfrotto 505 going for a reasonable price - this one looks like a clone of the Vinten Pro 130 head ( hence my earlier comment - the Vision Blue also looks like it shares somewhat with some of the Manfrotto heads ) and at the asking price of £180 might be a good buy . I could also get a 501 head for a mere £69 , which looks very similar to the head on the Pro Touch 5 at work - to be fair it is nothing fantastic .

Decisions , decisions .

Edit - I think I ought to start a fresh thread rather than hijack this one :)

Last edited by Derek Heeps; December 20th, 2014 at 07:15 AM.
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Old December 19th, 2018, 08:25 AM   #40
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Peterson View Post
Thanks for the reply Alister. I don't know of anywhere to buy that grease in the states, but I think I would like to try the Dow Corning High Vacuum Grease I bought.

It's just the solvent I am not sure about. I plan to use Lacquer Thinner unless someone knows of a better solvent. Any ideas?

Thanks,

John
Just thought I would follow up on this. Two months ago I finally got around to this and I would like to inform you that it works perfectly. Disassembled the 501. Cleaned off most of the grease with acetone. Packed the rings with Dow Corning High Vacuum Grease (bought it on eBay) much like one would hand pack an automotive wheel bearing.

No more "stiction" after the tripod has been sitting in a fixed position when I try to tilt. It is smooth. I might add that given the lack of a counter balance, it is important that you manually balance the position of the camera so that tilting up or down requires the SAME effort. I use a PL-Long plate so there is a lot of distance to work with. If I am in the balcony area of a theater and I am balancing with the camera pointing down it is slid pretty far back to equalize the tilting effort. That makes a big difference in terms of the "stiction" issue. I have never had a "stiction" issue with panning, only with tilting.

Hope that helps for anyone who still has the original 501.
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Old December 20th, 2018, 06:59 PM   #41
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Wow so this rebuild took almost a decade to complete. Ironically I have a 501 for depositions where it stays in one position 99% of the time unless the witness substantially moves forward or leans backwards forcing me to tilt like today and I’m always annoyed by the behavior you describe when starting the tilt you have to apply a lot of pressure to break the internal suction and you get that jerk, then the tilt becomes smooth.

So what’s the cost of the grease, where do you buy it and how difficult is the disassembly and reassembly? I’m curious if it’s such a simple fix why wouldn’t Manfrotto use the right grease? Or is this just matter of time and it will reoccur again?
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Old December 27th, 2018, 02:49 PM   #42
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Dow Corning High Vacuum Grease

https://www.amazon.com/Dow-Corning-V...MNW0/din02c-20

https://www.ebay.com/itm/DOW-CORNING...oOY:rk:13:pf:0

The disassembly is pretty easy. Check the first post:
Inside a Bogen 501

Pack it by hand like you pack a wheel bearing. Long term - not sure, but for now it works really well.

John
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Old December 29th, 2018, 07:51 PM   #43
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Thatís some expensive grease. Thanks for the link John. I did look back at the first post, I didnít see how to dissesmble only photos of the internals. I need to understand the process before embarking on a repair
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Old December 30th, 2018, 11:29 PM   #44
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

Take a look at this page. It has the schematic and all the replacement parts currently available for the Bogen 501.

https://www.manfrottospares.com/501-parts.html

There aren't many parts to disassemble. I don't think you will have much trouble. Try a practice disassembly and then order the grease so it doesn't cost you anything at first. The only thing a little confusing is reassembling the quick release button. Make a diagram when you disassemble it or take a photo.

John

Also, the 501PLONG plate helps so that you can move the camera further forward or backward to act as a counterbalance (which the head does not have) easing the tilting effort depending upon whether you are shooting straight ahead or down (from a balcony, etc). They make a longer one which is almost $100. Double check to make sure some of these fit the original 501 though.
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Old December 31st, 2018, 05:17 AM   #45
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Re: Inside a Bogen 501

The problem with these kinds of heads is that the design is simply aimed at making starting and stopping movement gentle. When you get used to using better products, the real killer is not the fluid style starting and stopping, it's forgetting that when you take your hand off the pan handle there's a good change that it won't be there when you try to go back! Within a few degrees off horizontal they work fine, but the design simply cannot cope with centres of gravity that are above the plate - which most are. The show I'm currently working on has an EX3 sitting on a nice looking tripod and head on a rolling skid - but whenever I go near it, the lens is pointing fully up or down where it falls naturally. The people using it are actors, and they have no concept of smooth movement or pan/tilt locks, so it's permanently in floppy mode. An real head could be set to be very easily 'pointed', but would then stay there! I have two of the Manfrotto type heads and they're solid well made things, but with a heavy camera, they're simply horrible. The design is trying to hide the inherent jerkiness and imbalance, and it does it pretty well. That's not the same as a good head. My old favourite - an ancient ~Vinten cygnet post head can be set no virtually no friction, and with fingertip pressure will start to move and then stop perfectly smoothly. You can add friction if you want, but it's so much just a well designed bit off engineering.
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