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RichM63

Manfrotto 546GB + 501HDV

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Finally after a wait of about 3 years for the price to come down to where I am comfortable I found a well looked after example.

Manfrotto 546GB tripod rated to 20kg and 501HDV fluid type head.

I've wanted a serious heavy duty tripod for the long lens for ages as even though the Zomei can carry the rig no problem it does suffer in the wind.

First thoughts are this is a very rigid tripod, and head is a joy to pan/tilt with the internal balance set to absorb at around 5.5kg.

The 75mm bowl on the tripod makes it future proof should I ever wish to upgrade the head.

Here are a few pictures of the 'family'.

546GB+501HDV with Canon 7D and Tamron 150-600mm

Zomei Z818 + Gimbal Head with Canon 5D III and Tokina 2.8, 16-28 FX.

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I reckon that I'm going to enjoy using this rig.

Cheers, Rich

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Nice collection there Rich, I used to use my fluid head "video" tripod quite a lot with my scopes when I couldn't be bothered setting up an EQ3-2, held them quite well. The big lever is handy for getting precise positioning as well as just gliding around looking for stuff to snap.

Alan

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Ah Alan, glad you dropped by; question, under the head there are 3 small screws in the base plate 'almost collimation type jobs) they don't seem to be doing anything and are quite loose any ideas what they might be for, should I tighten them?

You can just about see that they are different depths in the bolt holes.

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Cheers, Rich

 

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Sorry Rich, cant help with this but my instinct would say they are limit screws of some kind so may be destined to be set loose.. The other option are that they make sure that the head remains perfectly level during panning in which case they need to be nipped up.

Alan

Edited by Alien 13
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OK, I agree with you. I reckon that they might be security bolts twixt mount plate, and head. Such that the mount plate can't become accidentally unattached when unscrewing the center column.

Right now they are doing nothing, and so will be nipped up!

Rich

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It certainly is sturdy with the DSLR rig. No noticable vibration at all when in windy conditions I panned onto the center of the Sun and was able to manual focus without any camera shake at all. :)

Hoping for some Lunar trials soon.

Anyhow in the interest of science, I dismantled the head to find out what those 3 screws are supposed to do.

Effectively they are 'grub' screws that screw down on to an undulating plate on the underside of the mount and would appear to prevent accidental rotation between the mount plate and mount head which may be caused by continuous panning actions. They should also thus act as a preventative lock for the center nut to avoid it either over tightening or unscrewing again with panning actions.

By pulling it to bits, I also now understand how the panning lock brake works.

I've nipped all 3 to equal 1/4 turn tightness so that they just 'bite'.

Unfortunately I have mowing chores on this fine sunny but windy morning, so will have to wait until this afternoon to try it out further.

Rich

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