Manfrotto MVH502AH Pro Video Tripod Head with Flat Base, Fluid Pan, Drag System, Built-In Counterbalance and Calumet Quick Release Plate (Standard Packaging)
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- Variable Fluid Drag System on PAN and TILT movements
- Counterbalance system on TILT movement
- Sliding plate for the fastest camera connection and set up
- Flat base for multiple tripod connections
- Easy link for external accessories
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|Item Dimensions||—||—||5 x 5 x 5 in||5.12 x 5.12 x 14.96 in||—||1 x 1 x 1 in|
|Item Weight||—||—||1.68 lbs||2.51 lbs||—||6.39 lbs|
|Size||—||with Extra Plates||w/o Extra Plates||—||w/o Extra Plate||—|
Enjoy complete smoothness and control while shooting thanks to this Pro Video Head’s variable fluid mechanisms. It's ideal for camcorder and HDSLR cameras supplied with external accessories (4 kg max capacity).
It gives you a wide range of professional features such as high-performance variable fluidity and a counterbalance setting to match the weight of your camera.
This Pro Video Head comes with a sliding plate for very fast camera connection and system set up. Enabling you to spend more time taking video and less time on assembling you equipment.
The head’s Fluid Drag System) is based on variable fluid cartridges on both, TILT and PAN axes. Movement around the axes is smoothed by ball-bearing units which remove all unwanted vibration. All of this provides control and high video camera support, no matter what the situation, the shooting style or the equipment set-up.
It also has an easy link connector, so you can directly attach an external monitor or other accessory equipment such as lights, external monitor or a microphone. Suitable for bridging heads and Sympla Plates. Importantly, the head can be combined with all photo tripods, thanks to the 9.525 mm female thread.
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Nice smooth action once you get use to it's behavior. I say this since it can be a bit of a snug feel when panning even after you use it for awhile which is fine that it has stayed nice and snug so I know it won't "wear out" too soon. The vertical adjustments are really nice and the long adjustable handle makes this function with little effort.
I have listed below what I have used with this Tripod video head in two sections, from October 2012 which is some new gear and then prior to this update which is what I have used since I first bought the 701.
I am now using a Sony NX70U and full XLR mics (10/2012). I have also used this 701 unit over 500 hrs., closer to 600 hrs. and it still feels like new. I am not one to toss around my gear and yet it has traveled with me for 18-26 weeks straight, two (2) years in a row and no issues. It has also held up in winter conditions filming different dogs in the snow and some winter rec vehicles as well. I have not been keeping track of my personal use hours with this 701 unit.
This up coming 2013 spring/summer I am planning on testing this 701 unit while mounting a new Shape Spider shoulder rig (about 3lbs) and the Sony NX70U (about 3lbs with largest battery, mic and lens hood) and seeing how it all balances out and how the 701 holds up with about a total of 5-7lbs balanced out (including a wireless mic receiver pack). So with all things considered this unit has held strong for small to mid size cameras and it will remain with me even if I need to upgrade purely because of weight additions for my gear requirements. I wouldn't think twice to use this for a small A cam or a small B camera, anything from the Sony NX70U, Canon XF100 or any small Panny camera and XLR mic.
I have also used this with my D7000 and a 70-200 lens with no issues. Everyone who has used this when I pull it out tells me the same thing, what a great tripod head and even better once I mention how affordable it is for what it offers.
I will say that with more weight added the head moves smoother in the panning and if you are not use to panning, grab a huge thick rubber band and use that to help pan by pulling it from one side to the other as this absorbs drag or energy from moving and aids to a smoother pan for beginners. This unit still is very snug which is nice so for me the extra hours of break-in I thought would loosen the pan action up has not mattered and thus even though I do like it, I still give it a 4 stars in this area because it could be a bit looser per se.
Gear Used: (prior to October 2012) I have a Canon HF-S21, wide angle lens which adds a good amount of weight, sitting on top of this with a Rode VideoMic so by me stating "smaller" in the title you will be able to understand that the head works well with this size/weight of a camera.
Fit & Finish: Very good fit on my tripod. This head seems to be made nice and strong so I'm willing to say that it won't wear out in the near future. I've put well over 115 hours using it and it still feels and acts like new.
Cost Factor: I think this is well within the price being sold for and unless you need a head that will hold double the weight as this one can, save your money by buying the 701 and buy some extra flash cards, lights or other items needed.
Issues: Nice and snug can also be a bit much if your tripod is too light, which mine can be as this head would benefit by being mounted on a set of legs with a bit of weight on them so panning would not allow the tripod to crawl at times. Simple fix is just hold the side of the tripod until you move the head even the smallest bit, once you get going it's all good. I'm thinking that after a couple hundred hours it should move really well or some heavier legs will do the same. One can also use the old "weighted down" tripod method and save some cash while the head breaks in.
Over all I'd recommend this every time if you have a smaller camera, don't need a big budget head unit and want quality right from the start.
I found the solution to be a "tripod thread adapter," http://www.amazon.com/Promaster-Tripod-Thread-Adapter-Pack/dp/B002MXO47I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366833281&sr=8-1&keywords=tripod+thread+adapter available here on Amazon, but also available in camera stores. One screws the thread adapter into the bottom of the 701HDV. Viola, it can now be attached to your tripod having a 1/4" - 20 camera screw. Of course, if you own a tripod w/ a 3/8 - 16 screw, you are good to go sans adapter.
Sorry, no actual review of this fine product b/c I have yet to use it w/ my camcorder, but it sure does feel appreciably different and SMOOTHER than my tripod alone.
I have a Manfrotto tripod 055XB that was sitting in the closet, because its a heavy one, I use a Gitzo 2531 for field work, and love it. Didn't know what I was going to use Manfrotto, but this fluid head and the heavy 055XB work well for HD video, better stability.