Manfrotto 501 Problems - It has a mind of its own... at DVinfo.net

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Old January 26th, 2007, 11:27 PM   #1
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Manfrotto 501 Problems - It has a mind of its own...

My 501 head has been doing something strange and I cannot fix it.

Whenever I tilt the camera, at the end of my movement, the tripod moves back a few degrees - enough to clearly notice it.

So say I tilt up 45 degrees and stop and let go, it points back down a few degrees.

And it's REALLY ANNOYING ME!!

I have fiddled with all the knobs, loosened the resistance, tightened the resistance, but cannot stop it.

Has anyone else had this happen? And what did you do to fix it?

Thanks a million,
-- John.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #2
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John, do you have the image stabilization engaged on your camera? This is sometimes the culprit.
The optical stabilizer will compensate for when a pan or tilt ends and move back slightly. Just turn it off and see if that solves the problem. Hope this helps.

-Chris
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Old January 27th, 2007, 12:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Stearns
John, do you have the image stabilization engaged on your camera? This is sometimes the culprit.
-Chris
That's interesting - yes I did. You mean it isn't actually the tripod that is moving, just the Image Stabilization 'countering' the movement?


EDIT: Well done! That's exactly the trouble. I went back and turnd it off and everything's fine. I don't understand how that can happen.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:55 PM   #4
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That's great news John! Nothing better than a cheap fix.

-Chris
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Old February 6th, 2007, 10:52 AM   #5
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It might cause the same problems for me. But I still have the feeling that the Bogen 503 head which I am using simply isn't the right one for the Canon XL-H1. It feels front-heavy and is hard to move smoothly.

To be sure: if I want fluid motion panning/tracking do I go to the + or - side of the fluid drag and do I lock both vertical and horizontal movement tightly or loosely? I am really not sure which way works best.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Floris van Eck
It might cause the same problems for me. But I still have the feeling that the Bogen 503 head which I am using simply isn't the right one for the Canon XL-H1. It feels front-heavy and is hard to move smoothly.

To be sure: if I want fluid motion panning/tracking do I go to the + or - side of the fluid drag and do I lock both vertical and horizontal movement tightly or loosely? I am really not sure which way works best.
Your right, the 503 is marginal at best for a camera of that price level. You will need to move the camera back as far as possible to get it balanced. Do this by trial and error testing. The front heavyness is not a fault of the tripod head, it is a matter of the camera being very front heavy with a heavy lens.

To get the best or smoothest movement you do not want the lock down knob on at all on the direction you intend to move. Then, you want the friction control knob the loosest you can get and not have the camera move on its own. This will keep the head from inducing twist or torque into the tripod.

Mike
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Old February 6th, 2007, 12:47 PM   #7
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Thanks Mike. I will have a look at that. I am also using the Canon quick release plate, which is way bigger then the 503 head. Maybe that also causes some of the problems I am having. The Canon plate is like 2 times the size of the 503 plate and I screw them on top of each other. But like I said, I am interested to find out which tripod (or head) works better with the XL-H1. I paid so much for the camera and I do not want a tripod that does not match. I already had the tripod and therefore decided to try it out first.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 02:46 PM   #8
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Yup, the Canon adapter actually makes it harder to balance it out. It causes the camera to be mounted way too far forward. I thought I had it on backwards at first, but checked again with the instructions and it was right. I mounted the Bogen plate so far forward on the adapter that it is not in any holes, just used two screws to make sure it did not turn. I'll attach the pictures. In the locaton I have it now, it is balanced out.

Nows if you put a lot of stuff on the back of the camera, like in a studio situation, it would not be nearly so bad.

Good luck--Mike
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Last edited by Mike Teutsch; April 20th, 2007 at 02:22 PM.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #9
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Ok thansk for the pictures. I will try it out but I think I will be selling the tripod. I have a buyer for a good price and I am also not satisfied with the legs. Your fingers get stuck and they just do not feel that sturdy. I read a review of the Libec LS-38 which sounds very appealing to me. The balancing system on the 503 does not work so the lack of one on the LS-38 is not a problem. Nigel Cooper's review is very clear and he definately knows what he is talking about.

But I also consider the 519 head or the Libec LS-60 (1100 EURO compared to 600 EURO for the LS-38). Will the Canon plate cause the same problems on the Libec tripod (related to 75mm bowl maybe?).
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #10
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NO the plate wont cause the problem on the libec. I use the LS-38 model.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #11
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Mark, are you using it with the Canon XL-H1? The camera is front-heavy so the tripod must be able to cope with that. Also, what exactly does a balancing system do and why will I or will I not miss it (purposes for it?). Thanks.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mark Bournes
NO the plate wont cause the problem on the libec. I use the LS-38 model.
How is the forward weight bias of the XLH1 counteracted by the Libec? If I'm not mistaken, I believe both use about 5 lb counter balance springs.

Thanks--Mike
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Old February 6th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #13
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Mike, you can slide the plate back and forth to balance the camera. I believe it goes 44mm in each direction. The LS-38 has this feature, I think the smaller version (22 ?) doesn't have this feature. I specifically bought the 38 for this very reason.
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Old February 6th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mark Bournes
Mike, you can slide the plate back and forth to balance the camera. I believe it goes 44mm in each direction. The LS-38 has this feature, I think the smaller version (22 ?) doesn't have this feature. I specifically bought the 38 for this very reason.
The bogans slide forward and back also. Do you have an XL camera, and understand how bad the front weight bias is? It is really bad if you have not used one.

Thanks----Mike
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Old February 6th, 2007, 05:46 PM   #15
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