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Old Saturday 4th March 2017, 23:06   #1
rka
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Manfrotto 3221WN Tripod legs with 501 (3433) Video Head ... Upgrade to what?

Hi Everyone,

About 14yrs ago I bought the 3221WN tripod / 501 Video head setup for use with my Swaro AT80HD Spotting Scope initially and then with various cameras/lenses after. At the time, many recommended the combination and it has served me well.

My biggest issue was the weight and bulk (~10 pounds and a bit cumbersome to move around when walking).

The 3221/501 combo is still in perfect condition but I will be moving to a much more portable Scope (MM4) and my camera setup will be MFT mirrorless with Panasonic 100-400 lens.

I'm hoping that someone can recommend a lighter and less bulky combination that will not compromise on general stability while retaining reasonable fluid head panning smoothness.

There are way too many advertised options out there and many of them are paid endorsements so difficult to figure out what is really good. Don't want to spend more than US$600 for legs/head if possible.

Another option is for me just to continue with what I have.

The Sirui W-1204 and W-2204 legs did look interesting and either with the Manfrotto MVH500AH would cut the weight and bulk considerably. Performance-wise ... I'm not sure.

Any advice/recommendations would be much appreciated.
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Old Sunday 5th March 2017, 21:59   #2
johnf3f
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I had to look those up, but that is quite a heavy setup!

I don't know where you would but from in your area - USA? So I have looked at USA prices for you.

I have been told that the Manfrotto 500 head is pretty good - but please note that I have not used one! I currently use the Manfrotto 701 HDV (which it replaces) for my spotting scope use. The 701 is pretty good so the 500 should be better:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...luid_head.html

As to tripods? I would always suggest Gitzo (probably why I have 4 of them!) but, if you are buying from the US, then they can be VERY pricey! Feisol do some very good tripods at more sensible prices, two friends of mine have their Tournament models 3342 and 3442 and they are pretty good + very light.:

http://www.feisol.net/tripods/tournament-tripods.html

The Tournament tripods will not give the ultimate stability but they are very good and even better if you add weight (hang your backpack/bag off them).

With the weight reduction of a Manfrotto 500 and a Feisol Tournament tripod (about HALF what you are using) then you may not need to move to a smaller scope? One thing to note is that these Feisol tripods do not have a center column (much better IMO) so check that they are tall enough for you! There is a very nice (and cheap) center column available - but like all (even Gitzo) center columns it compromises stability/rigidity a little.

Happy choosing!
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Old Tuesday 7th March 2017, 09:14   #3
rka
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Thanks for the feedback. Will take a look at the Feisol tripods.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnf3f View Post
I had to look those up, but that is quite a heavy setup!

I don't know where you would but from in your area - USA? So I have looked at USA prices for you.

I have been told that the Manfrotto 500 head is pretty good - but please note that I have not used one! I currently use the Manfrotto 701 HDV (which it replaces) for my spotting scope use. The 701 is pretty good so the 500 should be better:

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...luid_head.html

As to tripods? I would always suggest Gitzo (probably why I have 4 of them!) but, if you are buying from the US, then they can be VERY pricey! Feisol do some very good tripods at more sensible prices, two friends of mine have their Tournament models 3342 and 3442 and they are pretty good + very light.:

http://www.feisol.net/tripods/tournament-tripods.html

The Tournament tripods will not give the ultimate stability but they are very good and even better if you add weight (hang your backpack/bag off them).

With the weight reduction of a Manfrotto 500 and a Feisol Tournament tripod (about HALF what you are using) then you may not need to move to a smaller scope? One thing to note is that these Feisol tripods do not have a center column (much better IMO) so check that they are tall enough for you! There is a very nice (and cheap) center column available - but like all (even Gitzo) center columns it compromises stability/rigidity a little.

Happy choosing!
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