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Bogen 503hdv vs Libec LS38(2a)

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Eriq Wities
Bogen 503hdv vs Libec LS38(2a)
on Apr 3, 2008 at 11:36:04 pm


I'm in the market for a tripod system to use with my HVX200. Right now I don't have adapters, firestores, or rigs to use with it. I may in the future, but I don't anticipate adding accessories soon. I'm really looking to buy a set of sticks that will do the job that I need now, within my budget (~$600 USD). If I need a 2k tripod in the future, I'm happy to buy it when I actually need it and can justify that expense.

90% of the jobs I'll be shooting this setup with are guerilla style ultra low budget shoots. Either web spots, indy films, music videos, etc.... It's very important that I can move around quickly and freely. Pick up the camera/tripod and move frequently and easily.

When I'm shooting TV, or Bigger jobs, with bigger budgets, the production tends to rent bigger cameras and tripod setups, so I don't need to own the biggest and heaviest duty tripod now.

That being said, I have worked with Manfrottos 501's and 503's mostly and always appreciated their ease of use, quick setup times, ability to move around set quickly. I'm not in love with their precision of movements, but I'm not dissapointed or specifically frustrated. I mostly don't know any different, but have always been happy.

At this point I'm between two systems, The Bogen/Manfrotto 503hdv

and the Libec LS38(2a)

I've read a handful of negativity about manfrotto's stiction, but I've also heard good reviews about the Vinten Pro 6-HDV. And I'm under the impression that the head from the Vinten is effectively the same as the 503HDV head. Here's and article below, starts on page 6. And has great things to say about the Vinten, which is the same head as the Bogen. So is the negativity of Bogen's moreso referring to the 503 series, not the 503HDV?

I've heard great things about the Libec too. But I'm concerned that it will be heavier and more cumbersome than the Bogen. Obviously I would like the head that gives me the smoothest camera moves and sticks that are the sturdiest, but for my budget $500 - $700 USD, I'm willing to sacrifice perfect fluidity, for ease of use. A fluid head won't do me any good, if I leave it at home. Having something that is easy to move around is a top priority for me.

I'm also concerned about the drag on this head not being adjustable at all. Seems like it might be great for the times when you want it, and a nightmare when you don't want it.

Do these sticks need the spreaders? Do they lock without them? I've always gotten away without spreaders when working with lighter cameras with Bogen's. I was planning on using the mid level spreaders, but would like to know if I have the option to take the off if needed.

I haven't been able to find the Libec to actually test and play with. Anyone out there work with it and can offer some advice or comparisons? How does it compare in shape and size to the bogen?

I've read as many threads as I can find about these tripods. Please don't recommend another system that is more than $700. I don't have the funds. I'm really looking for advice between these two. Thanks so much!

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Steve Wargo
Re: Bogen 503hdv vs Libec LS38(2a)
on Apr 13, 2008 at 8:27:27 pm

that 503 is a very sweet head for the money. What you actually need is a 516 though. When you load the camera with a large battery and a light and wireless mic, it starts to add up. In the future, if you'll ever use a lens convertor, a prompter or something else, you might push the 503 to it's weight limit.

Good luck

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .

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Gil Baxton
Re: Bogen 503hdv vs Libec LS38(2a)
on Oct 22, 2010 at 4:56:41 pm

How about this?

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