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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

My Igus slider should e delivered in within a day or two. I'll be using it primarily with a Canon 5D mk II, but also possibly with a Canon XH-A1. Most of the slider's I've seen utilize a fluid head of some sort on the slider's carriage.

Any suggestions on a good fluid head? I've seen a lot of people talk about the Manfrotto 501HDV, but I've also seen people complain that it's not very smooth when starting and stopping pans/tilts, or very good at diagonals. Do the benefits outweigh these shortcomings?
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:47 AM   #2
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

I use the Manfrotto 701 HDV with excellent results with a Canon HFS100.
I've been happy with pans, tilts and diagonals - and that's with the slider in motion...
One thing though, with heavier cameras, you can forget too much tilting motion - the slider will tend to sieze up.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 01:23 AM   #3
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

I'm using a Pro Video Camera Fluid Drag Tripod Head EI-717AH (you can find it on eBay and CowboyStudio). I haven't used it enough times to give a fair assessment. It's no Vinten or Sachtler, but for the money is a reasonable option. Unfortunately, if you're using a Bogen monopod or other tripod, you can't easily swap from slider to tripod, as the base plates differ.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 07:12 AM   #4
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

In my search, I've not found a good solution. Good heads with adjustable drag are typically bowl mount and you need a flat bottom mount. In my testing with the same slider, I found it impossible to keep the subject on target during a slide using an EX1r and the head from a Matthews TH-M20 (has fixed drag). YMMV

Someone here posted that the Sachtlers have removable bowls but I picked up an FSB-4 and that turns out to not be the case (at least for that model).

There are adapters for bowl heads but they raise the COG pretty high. I would like to hear if anyone has been successful using one. Olof of Westside AV is a regular poster here and and well experienced. They sell both the slider and the 701 so that's a good clue that combination workable.

For now I'm sticking to shots that just slide but if I invest in another head, it might be the 701.
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Old May 3rd, 2011, 12:33 PM   #5
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

The 701 is a decent head and a very good match for Igus sliders and a 5DmkII. It is light and low with 3/8" threads.

I find that I can pan very nicely with it using "body mechanics". Lets say you start with the camera on the right side of the track and angled about 45 degrees right. Put the arm of the head down so it rests against your forearm as you grip the head in your right hand (right above the carriage is best down low) now as you move the carriage left the head will pan automatically and very smoothly. This can make a slow 16" move look like a 20' dolly move.

Tilts are much harder and I mostly avoid them. Keep your moves simple and slow. As I said above always hold the head right above the carriage, never use the arm to try to pan or slide the camera, this works well on sticks as well, your pans will be much smoother in most situations this way.

I do use a ball head as well often, this makes it possible to do up or down hill moves, I even do vertical moves with Igus track by setting up a counter weight system. Photo of that below.
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Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?-igusvertical.jpg  
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Old May 7th, 2011, 07:48 PM   #6
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

I have been using a older version of this head...
Manfrotto 128LP Micro Fluid Head
Manfrotto 128LP Micro Fluid Head 128LP B&H Photo Video

For me it works well no fancy adjustments just a basic fuild head.
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Old May 9th, 2011, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Getting a Slider, What About a Fluid Head?

I've decided to forego the fluid head for my slider... at least for the time being. Instead, I've ordered a simple ball mount (Manfrotto 494) and quick release adapter (Manfrotto 577).

Thanks for all the help.
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