Tag Archives: video fluid head


Apparently this does happen, and it could happen to you. Right now, i've lost two of the locking knobs which fit the pan handle on the Manfrotto Video Heads 701HDV, and the one found on the 561BHDV-1 Video Monopod.

Manfrotto Knob Locking Pan Handle Video Head replacement Video Head Replacement knob for Manfrotto Video Head 701HDV 561BHDV

Luckily they do carry Manfrotto replacement knobs at B&H in case you happen to run into the same problem.

Manfrotto Replacement Pan Handle Locking Knob Video Fluid Head
find-price-button Replacement Pan Handle Locking Knob Manfrotto Video Head

If those little buggers are out of stock, you can always go for the entire Pan Handle part via Amazon (found here).

replacement pan handle manfrotto 701hdv
find-price-button Manfrotto Replacement Pan Handle for 701HDV Video Fluid Head


This dirt cheap fluid head for light weight cameras has been sold out for months after this video review and old article (here). It's actually still sold out on Amazon. Don't bother looking for this on eBay as they've marked these up past $60 dollars.

It's a great little fluid head for your small sliders, table skater dollies, or little DIY Jib / Crane projects. Thanks to @Chapmuzic over on Twitter for letting me know they are finally back in stock. Normally ran about $26 dollars but it seems with popularity they've added a $3 dollar mark up via B&H (click here).

find-price-button Velbon PH-368 Video Fluid Head

If it's sold out from B&H then check over at Adorama.com (click here)


When you need to support a bit of weight for a new 4ft Jib / Crane or Camera Slider, you'll need a solid base. As an inexpensive solution i've been suggesting the FT9901SLV. I have no issues with this tripod under my short 3 foot Konova slider or the latest 4ft. Glideshot crane, but under heavier loads (like my 8ft. crane), the 75mm bowl mount can slip.

Davis Sanford FM18 Head
(Above) Davis & Sanford FM18 Fluid Head

To carry the most amount of weight, you'll need to grab a set of sticks and a fluid head that isn't based on the bowl mount like this Davis & Sanford (Owned by Tiffen Company) ATPG18 w/ FM18 Fluid Head. Normally sold on Amazon and other spots for about $240, B&H has a decent price drop (Limited Quantity) on this beefy set of ATPG18 All Terrain legs with Geared Center Column, and heavy duty FM18 fluid head. Not a bead deal while they last...

Davis Sanford FM18 Fluid Head Tripod
find-price-button Davis & Sanford ATPG18 w/ FM18 Fluid Head


Here's my Panasonic GH2 with the Canon 85mm F/1.2L FD lens. Yeah I posted it for sale - didn't meet my reserve price so I didn't sell it. After just using it on the GH2 again, it's here to stay. This lens is just beautiful and focuses much smoother than those damn Panasonic lenses that need to rotate a million times. Sorry enough ranting....moving on.

Ok, just got my hands on the 700RC2 fluid head many have been asking about. It's one of the cheapest Video Fluid heads you can buy, but keep in mind it only supports just over 5 lbs. The head is using the RC2 plate system, so you can find many quick release adapters for this for your sliders, jibs, dollies, etc. It's a true fluid video head, not for photography since there's no vertical (portrait) flip available. The Pan and Tilt are very smooth for cameras under 6lbs. There's no real drag adjustment on here like the more expensive heads, it's either locked in place or loosened.

It's placed on Manfrotto's 190XDB 3 section aluminum tripod which looks very similar to my very expensive Carbon Fiber tripod, with the exception of quick release locks. This 190XDB is all aluminum so it's still pretty light weight. It's rated to support up to 11 lbs, so plenty for this type of camera. The legs can be adjusted to a FULL 90 degrees, so it can lay completely flat on the ground (with the exception of the neck). This is not just a 'video' tripod, as the neck can be flipped upside down normally used for very low Macro (flowers, bugs) type photography. You can also use this upside down feature for video and then just flip it in post.

Although you can purchase these items seperately, this is one of the cheapest special bundles over at B&HPhotoVideo.com

find-price-button Manfrotto 700RC2 + 190XDB Aluminum 3 Section Tripod


Client-Kata bags

Producing/filming/editing-Johnnie Behiri

Shot with the Nikon D90 (all but the Antarctica and wild life)
No CC, only a bit contrast corrections.
Lenses used: Nikkor 50mm 1.8, Nikkor 16-85mm, and Tamron 70-300.
Tripod: Manfroto 756XB and 700RC2 head
Voice-over recorded with Edirol F1-field recorder (hard disk video/audio recorder for dv/hdv/sound only purposes).
Editing on Adobe Premiere CS2 with Cineform Prospect 4k plug in.

The 717AH is a great fluid head, but what other options are there for inexpensive Micro video fluid heads? Well the Manfrotto 700RC2 Mini Fluid video head drops down a few bucks with B&H surprisingly coming in cheaper than anything over at eBay and slightly under Amazon. Keep in mind it's rated to support only 5.5lbs, something that might be good for the growing Panasonic GH2 audience. Don't expect this to support a camera slider, it's best for camera only.

Over at B&H Photo Video they also have a special kit thrown together combining it with the 190XDB Tripod if you're in need of that too. I've never used one, but there's quite a few videos via Vimeo that show some serious travelers using the fluid head for it's small size and light weight (such as the Kata video above by Vimeo member Johnnie Behiri).

find-price-button Manfrotto 190XDB Tripod Legs (Black) with 700RC2 Video Fluid Head



There she is. She's my Eleanor. That mystical Unicorn. The legendary beast that constantly eludes me from capturing her as my own. (Referencing 'Gone is 60 Seconds'). Anyways, that's the Manfrotto 504HD Fluid Video Head. It looks good and works awesome, but the fluid head alone will run you $399. Grab a set of legs with it and you're running yourself close to $900 dollars. Sure i'd love to have every single tripod in my stash to be the best, but the truth of the matter is, it wouldn't be practical. At least, not for what I do right now. For bigger projects where you think you'll need the best of the best, you can always rent. (Check out BorrowLenses.com)

Last minute, we decided to do a live shoot with different camera angles, and we wanted a shot that was done in one take all the way through. I needed a few more tripods to station cameras around the subject. In a small studio space I don't need to have every single tripod to be an expensive one. I'm finding that many times we set the camera in it's position, start the recording, and forget it. There may be some light rack focusing involved and slow pans, but we're not chasing fast moving athletes. So for the many stationary cameras, I decided to order a few of the FT-717 Tripods + Fluid Head combo kits. It's exactly the same as the WF-717 re-branded. This fluid head is almost the same as the 717AH I use for the DIY Slider, except that it is ball mounts. If you're not familiar with the ball mounts, it's basically a super fast simple way to get that final adjustment into leveling your camera.

find-price-button WF-717 Ball Mount Video Fluid Head + Three Stage Aluminum Tripod + Travel Bag

This is a three stage Tripod that has a very wide rail design common for Video tripods, and also has a center brace for extra sturdiness. Three stages of adjustments means that it can collapse shorter to make traveling easier. I've seen some monopods with 5 stages that allows it to collapse down to less than 16" for traveling and cheaper tripods may only come in 2 stages. Once the tripod is extended to your liking, leveling the camera is fast with a simple turn of the knob at the ball head. This particular design is also available in plastic if weight is a concern, but I opted for the metal version mainly for durability.

find-price-button WF-717 Ball Mount Video Fluid Head + Three Stage Aluminum Tripod + Travel Bag

I have several different tripods, and one is a beast which can extend to 7ft high. If this WF-717 / FT-717 would be your only tripod, there's some things to keep in mind. Getting the camera to eye level is important for some shots, and because this is a ball mount head, there's no adjustable center neck with this particular tripod. You'll lose about 1 ft compared to the other types of tripods. With the legs fully extended the base of the camera will sit at 53" inches. Bringing the legs close together and 'cheating' a bit, you'll gain maybe 2-3 inches of additional height. This type of tripod is perfect if you're elevated, shooting low shots, if you're at a distance from your subject, or if your subject is seated.

Panning horizontally was a bit stiff right out of the box, but performed very smoothly after working them in. I believe it's because there is just random fluid thrown into the head before shipping. Once you've worked it in, it's very very smooth, especially when adding the weight of your camera and lens. A few nice additions too. The WF-717 Ball Head + Tripod also has a built in retractable bungee hook used to wrap it up and keep the legs from opening up as you carry it. It also ships with a pretty nice travel bag that includes a sling strap for hands-free carry. It's no Eleanor, but I was able to grab three of these for about the price of a single Bogen 504HD Fluid head.

find-price-button WF-717 Ball Mount Video Fluid Head + Three Stage Aluminum Tripod + Travel Bag