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Thread: Tripod & Fluid Head, What's best for budget

  1. #1
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    Default Tripod & Fluid Head, What's best for budget

    Hi all,

    I have a Sony V1E with a 35mm Film adapter added with a flip unit making the total weight about 14lbs. I have a cheap Tripod and head which just does not cut it for smooth pans.
    I am thinking of the Manfrotto 503HDV head and suitable tripod. Can anyone tell me if I am going to get really smooth action from this setup. I do not want any jumps or rattles in my pans or tilts, has anyone used this on a HD camera and has been happy with the action of zoomed in close ups.

    Many Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
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    I am sure that will be a great head - very respected brand. I have a cheaper manfrotto heand with a heavier full size cam and in spite of years of abuse it is still smooth.

    This applies to DV, HDV, HD, Cine alta, 16mm, 35mm, arri cameras, sonys, canons, Hi8 ect ect...

    I hope we see some stuff you shoot on that v1 plus 35mm adaptor - sounds cool!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your response, I was only concerned as I heard all sorts of stories about the 501 head so I was not sure if the 503HDV would be any better. I was toying with the Vinten Vision 3 but I don't know if the extra expense will be noticeable.
    I am not a professional I am just a very keen amateur so keeping the cost down where possible is important to me. Thanks for your comments.
    Steve

  4. #4
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    There's a bit of a "kudos" problem with tripods and heads with a lot of semi-pros looking down on Manfrotto and praising Vinten. In fact they're both part of the same company, use interchangeable parts and the smaller Vinten heads are made by Manfrotto then badged as Vinten!

    I've had a 501 head for years and have no problem with it. It's on the top of a set of carbon legs and I used it for grab and run documentary stuff where I didn't want to carry a heavy tripod kit. I've never had a problem with it and used it with a full-sized broadcast camera. So, in my opinion, you can ignore anyone who says it's not up to professional spec, but it needs to be used carefully.
    It's not as robust as a Sachtler or Vinten but, if it's your own kit, you tend to be a bit careful with it anyway.

    Please be gentle,
    it's not a "rental".

    Just my opinion.

  5. #5
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    Guru,

    Thanks for that, I hate acting on speculation and its always best to take advise from people like yourself. Much appreciated. Wow interesting what you say about the two makes.

    I will probably go for the 503HDV head and lightweight Tripod combo in that case, as the price is very reasonable, probably at around the price you originally paid for the 501.

    Great. Thanks again.
    Steve

  6. #6
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    My head is a vinten pro 5 - very well used and abised and prob not as good as the one you cite - I think it is the cheapest real head you can get and it works a dream inspite of me chucking it about.

    Vinten / manfrotto are cool too - i have broken a bit on it a few times and the spares have always been free - only a little locking screw but that is still great c services.

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