Manfrotto 525 vs. 755B sticks at DVinfo.net

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Old May 18th, 2003, 01:00 AM   #1
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Manfrotto 525 vs. 755B sticks

Have decided on a Bogen 503 head, but can't decide on a tripod to go with it. Will be using the rig with my DVX-100 (about 4.4. lbs sans any add-on accessories like wide angle adaptors or matte boxes).

The 525 is a tandem leg, two-stage design, while the 755B is one of Manfrotto's three new "MDeVe" tripods, three single legs, no spreader, click stops to adjust the leg angles independently, if needed, and a center column with a built in leveler.

The 755 is appealing to me because it's about $300 cheaper than the 525, and would probably offer more versatile and easier adjustment and positioning, plus it's a couple of pounds lighter, which will make it easier tote around.

Still, I've always been wary of single-leg, center column designs for use with video gear; they never seem quite as stable as the traditional tandem-leg style. Of course, with a light camera like the DVX-100, the 755 might work well. Have tried the two rigs in-store and both seem sturdy, but of course, it's hard to make a good determination of any given equipment without actual field use.

Haven't really considered pricier options like Sachtler, Miller, etc.; don't want to go above $700-750 for the kit (the 525/503 runs $750, the 755/503 goes for $488).

Anyone out there using either the 525 or 755 legs? Any opinions (not just on those specific tripods, but general comments about single leg vs. tandem leg designs)? I'm planning to buy in a few days for an iminent doc project, and use later for fictional narrative stuff.

Thanks for any info!
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:20 AM   #2
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Stas,

I am in the same boat as you. I too am looking for a pod and a head for my DVX100. I've search high and low, reading at all the forum from here to 2pop and dv.

I would like to get the Gitzo G1380 for about $350 from Henry's. But would need to buy the spring from Bogen for another $50. This would go over my budget. I was also going to get either the 475B or 3246. But decided not to get a pod with a center column.

I'm now looking at the same setup, 525MVB and 503.

I'm just debating whether I am making the right decision and the right combo. I found a pretty good price from Adorama for $657, http://shop.store.yahoo.com/ador/bg525mvb503.html. It is a kit. Comes with a 75mm ball leveler and a padded bag. I've dealt with them a few times and had no problem, even with returns.

Let us know what you decide on.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 03:51 AM   #3
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Ray,

thanks for your post. Why did you decide against a center column design?

I've read opinions that the center column, when extended, isn't as stable as one would like in a video tripod (hence center-columns being more popular with still photographers), but I wonder if it would be a problem with a light-weight cam like the DVX?

If I go with the 525/503 kit, I'll probably spring for the mid-level spreader as well, since the ground-level one included in the kit wouldn't be much use on uneven terrain.

Still undecided...
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Old May 18th, 2003, 08:27 AM   #4
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Center columns are problematic, at best, on tripods used for video. When extended, you've basically done away with your tripod and turned it into a monopod (one leg). Even light weight cameras lose stability when the center column is elevated.

They also introduce whip lash into your system when you pan (column tends to twist). Then when the pan stops, the whip lash continues and your pan is not smooth.

The center column requires a locking mechanisms to secure the column. The locking mechanism is used to stabilize the column when it is not extended (thus preventing whip lash). The locking mechanism frequently loosens during transportation and many a fine shot has been lost to the wobbly center column.

My advice is to avoid tripods with center columns if at all possible. Certainly budgetary considerations must be taken into account. However, also take into account that center columns induce the very problems that a tripod tries to eliminate.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 11:32 AM   #5
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Stas,

I decided against it. Because I figure I wouldn't need to go beyond 6ft. Plus I have read post from Jeff and others regarding stability of center columns using video cam. But this doesn't mean I won't get one in the future.

I wonder if Adorama will exchange the ground spreader for a mid spreader? Since they are selling it separately for the same price.

I'm also thinking of getting the Bogen 3502 leveling head. Which other users recommend. But I don't know if I would need it for this setup, 525/503.
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Old May 18th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #6
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Ray,

I believe that the 503/525 kit comes with the 3284 "half ball" leveler, so you wouldn't need to purchase the 3502.
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