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Manfrotto 502 Video Head MVH502AH
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- Pan fluid drag system. Base Diameter: 75 mm, Working Height: 13 cm. Weight capacity is 15.4 lbs. and counterbalance supports 8.8 lbs. Accessory Compatibility: 502HLV, 509HLV, 520BALL, 520BALLSH
- Easy Link connectors for easy attachment of accessories
- Wider and longer top plate for extra stability
- Built in counterbalance system
- Ball-bearing drag for precise, smooth movements
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|Item Dimensions||8.5 x 15.7 x 8.5 in||5.8 x 5.8 x 14 in||4.57 x 13.58 x 5.16 in||7.48 x 8.46 x 30.31 in||5.5 x 27 x 5.2 in||6.5 x 31.1 x 6.6 in|
This head is the perfect synthesis between and innovative "Bridge Architecture" and manfrotto's Cutting edge engineering. A pan fluid drag system gives more ergonomic operation while a wider top plate and longer sliding plate offer extra stability and balance. This head offlbs @mmers an even more rigid structure for maximum precision and improved responsiveness. The built in easy link connectors offer extreme flexibility for accessory attachments. The counterbalance system and ball bearing drag sysem both offer precision and smoothness of operation. This head has been carefully constructed from lightweight modern materials for optimal balance of strength and size. Technical Specifications: Max Payload 13.2lbs; CSB 8.8lbs@55mm; FDS pan variable cartridge; FDS tilt variable cartridge; Tilt range +90° / -85°; Camera fixing quick release; Top plate 140mm 5.5 inches; Height 5.1in.; weight 3.5lbs.
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That said it's about 10 times better than the 701HDV head. I never could get a really smooth pan out of the 701. The 502 on the other hand is a smooth as silk and even has variable speed pans and tilts. I know the 701 kinda does that, but not very well. The 502 makes takes locks and separates them from the adjustments.
It works really well with small cranes (jibs) too. It's size and smoothness hold up to the weight of a crane very well.
Couple the 502 head with some Induro legs and you have an awesome setup for around $300-$350.
Things to note: the shorter Manfrotto plates slide in and lockdown just fine in the 502.
I ordered this video head after having a cheaper video head that worked for me for a long time. I can into some extra bones so I though why not splurge a bit and order this. It's the video head I wanted from the start when I ordered the mush cheaper third party head.
All I can say is Manfrotto really doesn't disappoint. The base is super wide, perfect for DSLR's or full-size video cameras.
The controls are extremely easy to manage so using it is a breeze. I have no complaints other than I wish I would have ordered it sooner.
Firstly, how I use it: For my Panasonic cinema camera (HMC150) and my Canon 7D.
It is a video head, but I'm also using it for photo, since the position can be locked. Right now, I have no reason to use any other head for photo or video.
The pan and the tilt fluid movement is adjustable and very good. It can shake a little at the start depending on the pressure selected, however. Maybe I need more practice. The removable quick disconnect plate is very well designed and has the install screw plus another notch to prevent the camera from moving laterally (to shear away from position). All has very good fit and finish. For just under 200 dollars, it is all I need (I considered the larger heads, but I'm satisfied with this one). It is more than enough to handle the weight of my Canon 7D and all my lenses (I have not tried it with the BIGMA, 18 to 500 sigma, but due to how it is mounted, I don't expect issues). The big advantage for me is the flat bottom which connects to my regular photo Vanguard tripod. I did not want a 100 mm 1/2 ball because I would have had to invest in a new tripod bringing my cost up.
The handle that comes with it helps me move the head smoothly the great great majority of the time. As with any mechanical device, you learn how to correct for little quirks if you find them.
In the end, I suggest if you're excited about the little I said above, try it. I do believe this is a well designed superior product that works at a reasonable price that suggests quality.
January 2018: Still great, still use it. I realize now that the ball bottom would have been better, but didn't want to have to buy the additional ball (female) that attaches to the tripod legs.
Don't regret it a bit, I just know how to manage it.
Recently I've been helping a friend with many of his video projects and I was in need of a real video head and not just my ball head. The company I work for has a Manfrotto MVK500AM that I borrowed from time to time, but I quickly realized that it was time to buy my own. Not wanting to drop that much cash this was the IDEAL solution. Granted, not having a bowl does have its limitations - thank goodness for the bubble level.
Pros: Ideal solution for those who don't always need a video tripod but have a nice set of sticks to drop this on.
Very well designed fluid drag system
Perfect for DSLR shooters (I currently shoot with a 60D)
Compact and solid!
Cons: not any that that you shouldn't already be aware of (i.e. no bowl)
I get a squeak from time to time if I don't loosen it enough, but that's just friction.