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Old May 3rd, 2007, 02:53 AM   #1
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a question of weight

I'm yet another new XH-A1 user looking for the right tripod but I'm concerned about getting something that is rated for a heavier camera

Canon XH-A1 - 5lb with battery


Manfrotto 501 / 503 head - 13lb max

The Libec LS38 - 17lb max

The Libec TH-950 - 9lb max

I'm leaning toward the Libec, I can get them from Singapore at a reasonable price (the Aussie distributor doesn't know his arse from his elbow)

is the XH-A1 too light for the LS38? or the 503? - plenty of people on these forums seem to like these tripods - does that mean I can put a really light camera on a heavy tripod?

just trying to understand before I part with the last of the groups money...
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 05:53 PM   #2
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Hi Paul...........

Your post somehow flew under my radar. Better late than never!

Can't comment about the Libec gear as I know nothing about it, but the Manfrotto 503 and tripods in general I do and can.

The XH A1 racked out to 20X zoom in 50i mode has an amazing ability to show even the tiniest amount of flex in the tripod/head system. Push the "Push AF" button and if there's any flex, away it goes. Additionally, that long lens, big hood and slab sides make an excellent sail area in even the mildest breeze. Add to that anything but the gentlest of touches on the focus ring whilst recording and you have a "rotational force sensor" of quite staggering sensitivity.

Which means getting the gruntiest tripod/ head system you can under it (all things being equal, more grunt = less flex).

With the head, if you can afford the 503, don't bother with the 501. The 503 has a balance spring rated at about 2.5 kilos, almost perfect for an A1. For the money, it's a great head. Is it a great head put up against the +$1000 alternatives? No. In it's original incarnation (503) it's "fluid" system is decidedly hit and miss, with quite obvious stick, flow, stick characteristics. The "fluid" also has quite pronounced "get back here" tendencies which makes ending a pan smoothly a bit of an art form.

That said, you've got to spend a lot more dosh to get a lot more head. The new version of the 503 (503HDV) looks like a complete re - design from the ground up. Whether that has taken some of the rough edges off, maybe someone who has one can tell us (I sincerely hope it has, I'm thinking of getting one!).

As for the tripod, well, as I said earlier, more grunt = less flex (atbe) so, with one of the few things indicating a 'pods grunt factor being it's maximum designed load, the more it can hold, the better. I can't actually think of a circumstance when the camera would be "too light" for the tripod, lest it was an HV20 plonked onto something designed for an I - Max!

Hope this has shed some light.

Cheers,


Chris

Last edited by Chris Soucy; May 23rd, 2007 at 05:54 PM. Reason: Finger Trouble
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:02 PM   #3
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Paul, I bought the LS38 for my A1, based mostly upon the following review:

http://www.dvuser.co.uk/content.php?CID=150

It's held up quite nicely, so far, and seems amazingly engineered for the $. I bought the floor spreader, which works well for interiors, but a mid-level would be a better choice for outdoors.

HTH,
Brian Brown
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Old May 26th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #4
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I ended up getting the Libec LS-38 - feels great!

I got hold of a local supplier here is Aus but he wanted $1400 so I got it via singapore for $860 (aus dollars)
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Old May 28th, 2007, 06:12 PM   #5
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503 is a nice match for the A1 in it's most basic setup...ie: straight camera. It's spring has a bit to spare in this situation and you must tighten down the drag just a bit much to make sure the camera will not rebound up/down. With a bit more weight...ie mic and possibly matte box then it is a perfect match. Beyond that...ie: with a lens adapter, light, mattebox, filters etc...then the tripod still has a fair amount of ability to take it since the plate has a nice wide degree of movement to achieve a balance...the spring might start to be overwhelmed in the 10lb+ range.

Oh yeah...the 503 does have a little stiction and rebound...both are pretty easy to overcome with some learning of it's subtleties.
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