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Old November 4th, 2002, 08:35 PM   #1
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cold weather tripod head

I'm wondering what heads you'd suggest for cold weather shooting (below freezing, at times significantly so). Are there any that use a special fluid that has particularly good cold weather characteristics? I'll be shooting with XL1s and smaller. Weight is a consideration as I'll be packing it a lot. Anyone use the Bogen 501 in sub-freezing conditions with good success?
Thanks for your help,
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Old November 4th, 2002, 09:25 PM   #2
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Nearly any of the professional/ENG brands of heads will hold-up fine in very cold conditions. (Miller, Sachtler, O'Connor, Vinten, That level of engineering reliability is part of what makes this gear much more expensive than consumer/prosumer gear. I'm just not sure I'd trust a Manfrotto/Bogen being exposed to sub-zero weather for many hours, but that's just my suspicion rather than personal experience.
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Old November 4th, 2002, 10:32 PM   #3
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Call the manufacturer and ask. I'm quite sure this problem has come up before. Call one of the Canadian pro dealers like (phone # on web site)and ask for their recomendations. They know cold weather and they're fine people , always willing to help..
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Old December 8th, 2002, 04:52 PM   #4
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I am in the process of testing out a new tripod, as my old Manfrotto finally gave up to old age: @ 25 years, of beat up.

The new system that i have been using since the end of September, is a Bogen/Manfrotto ART tripod, with a 516 head. I am also using the head with a 357PLONG plate, for use with a 100 - 400 mm Lens, on my XL-1s. I chose this head, in anticipation of a heavier camera being used in the future.

I do most of my shooting out doors.

The results so far, are quite satisfactory. The lowest temp that I have used it in for a lengthy time, is @ 5 degrees F.

But, the big test will come within the next few days. Temps are going down to minus 10 to minus 20, over a period of some days, this week. I will be out and about, from early morning, to late day.

The best that I can say at this point, is that a very expensive piece of equipment, is performing admirably.

Stay tuned. It will be about a week before I can add a comment to this e-mail, if there is an interest.
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Old December 8th, 2002, 08:47 PM   #5
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The Miller heads are often used for sub zero shooting, in fact, they were designed for this. Not that I'm pushing Miller, I'm sure some other fluid heads will work well too. The Manfrottos are not as good for sub zero weather. Bryan's suggestion is the way to go, to be sure before you decide on anything.
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Old December 9th, 2002, 06:28 AM   #6
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The new series of Bogen tripods may be OK. I've been forced to use (client used his equipment) some of the older Bogen heads and they gave out around 20F. Everything slowed down and pans were sticky. On the other hand, I used a Sachtler in Montana and Wyoming during winter. I was shooting some scenes around Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park (with the Sachtler) and it was at least -40F. We don't know how cold because all the thermometers stopped at -40F. The Sachtler performed flawlessly.

I would put Miller, O'Conner and Vinten in the same class as Sachtler. I currently use a Vinten and it performs much the same as the Sachtlers.

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