Tag Archives: hard panning


The 717AH or similar fluid head is a pretty beefy camera mount for it's price, but there's been some inconsistency in fluid panning. Most people are happy with the video head right out of the box, but if you've got stiff panning try the fix below. The solution to getting smoother (looser) pans are to disassemble the head, clean out the old lube, and add your own. If you've been experiencing such harsh movements you might want to try this yourself. I didn't have time to shoot a video so if anyone has one online, please share. For now you'll get to see a few images of what's inside (not much).

The fluid part of this head is not really a cartridge. It's two sections combined to be a machined bearing. The lube that is used adds more friction rather than more smoothness. It's some really really sticky stuff inside. Personally I find it's best to clean everything out and not leave any traces behind and then add in your own lube. A small dab of white grease from an auto parts store should do fine. You'll know more once you have it apart.

Tools you'll need are some Carb Cleaner. This will help break down the old grease. You'll need a 2.5 & 3 Metric hex tool. If you have everything accessible, you can get through this in less than 10 minutes.

Remove the three screws in the middle which removes the bottom cap.
Fluid-Head (1 of 5)

Remove the 6 hex screws under the cap (cap shown on the right)
Fluid-Head (2 of 5)

Take out the two piece metal machined Panning bearing and clean it out.
Fluid-Head (4 of 5)

Lube it with your white grease and put it all back together. (Make sure your Panning Brake is setup correctly before assembling.) Done, should feel super smooth and like a brand new Head.

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