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Manfrotto 503 head

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John Nelson
Manfrotto 503 head
on May 21, 2012 at 8:10:21 pm

Not sure if this is the right forum but thought I'd ask here anyway and get bumped to the right one.

Recently noticed a slight 'backlash' while panning. In other words I pan left and stop but the head moves back just slightly to the right. Ditto on right pans. Tilts, no problem. Repeated test with drags on and off. Took the head off and saw four small screws along with the nut. Tightened the screws a little bit but didn't have a wrench for the nut. Put it back together and no change. Is there any adjustment to eliminate this? Also, did I mess anything up by tightening the screws? Thanks.

http://www.omproductions.net


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Steve Eisen
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 21, 2012 at 8:19:08 pm

Not much you can do with the 503 head. The 504HD and 502HD have the new Bridging Technology with a lot more control over the tilt, drag and counterbalance. Similar, but in no way close to a Sachtler. The 503HDV was a slight improvement over the 503.

You did not cause any damage to your head.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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John Nelson
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 21, 2012 at 8:49:37 pm

Thanks Steve for the quick reply. So other than holding the handle for deer life, which can be for a long time, is the only solution??? Thoughts on what causes it, other than cheap construction?

http://www.omproductions.net


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Steve Eisen
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 21, 2012 at 9:20:04 pm

I would'nt say cheap construction. It's a basic video head. The weight of the camera and other accessories on the camera contribute to the problem. Make sure the tripod is evenly leveled to the ground and the camera weight is distributed evenly on the head. Sometimes the 501 Long plate helps.

Steve Eisen
Eisen Video Productions
Vice President
Chicago Final Cut Pro Users Group


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Phillip Todd
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 22, 2012 at 12:52:42 pm

I had this once happen to me with a rental 501 or 503 (not sure anymore) using Manfrotto bowl legs (75mm or 100mm, can't remember).

If you have a 2nd pair of legs, mount the head and repeat the test. If it's different, check the legs, where the leg meets the bowl (or nut mounting plate in this case).

Often the retaining nuts on the legs can work their way loose and the spring back effect is due to too much pan drag and loose leg nuts. The leg nuts should be loose enough to allow the legs to move without much resistance, but, be tight enough to hold the head and the camera firmly, regardless of your panning and tilting.

I own an even older Manfrotto head which was an expensive compromise back when I was a student. I never trusted their new and improved stuff was that much better. I got lucky and found a used Sachtler at a good price on bblist.co.uk and have never looked back.

Hope this helps,

Phillip Todd
Cinematographer
Philadelphia - NYC - Zurich

http://vimeo.com/philliptodd


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Greg Leslie
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 22, 2012 at 6:12:46 pm

John, one thing you might check is the stabilization setting on your camera. I've noticed if it's on, when I do a tripod pan I get a similar whiplash effect as the camera tries to compensate for the lateral motion.

good luck,
Greg Leslie
Tulsa


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John Nelson
Re: Manfrotto 503 head
on May 22, 2012 at 9:23:08 pm

After I noticed it I looked very closely at the ball and head to see if there was movement with the pan locked. That's when I found it was moving between the ball and head somehow. I thought I could adjust it out but guess not. Still haven't had time to put a wrench on that large nut to see if that helps. Thanks for all the suggestions. Don't have another set of leg other than the wobbly ones holding me up.

http://www.omproductions.net


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