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Old October 13th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #1
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Small True Fluid Head.

Hi all, at the moment I use a Manfrotto 501 head. But since changing to a smaller lightweight camcorder I find the current head to big and bulky. So I am looking for a small true fluid head, Can anyone reccomened one.................Pete.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

Hi Pete,

There's only so small you can go and get true fluid. I'm not even sure the 501HDV is true fluid (and I have one of them). The 501HDV is bulky, I agree.

However, there are some heads that may suffice. From Manfrotto, I believe the 701HDV head is smaller, and performance is OK, and should fit the same mount as yout 501HDV flat base tripod. Or you could investigate something really small and light, like the Safari Tripod: SAFARITRIPOD.COM.

"Proper" fluid heads do tend to be heavy and bulky, so compromise may be needed, there is no real "tiny yet perfect" tripod head that I am aware of.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

701hdv is pretty nice for the size and price. Use mine primarily for slider work with my 7D.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

If your budget stretches to it, it may also be worthwhile looking at the Sachtler ACE, around 500 or so:

Sachtler ACE M MS System includes Ace Fluid Head, Ace Tripod with mid-level spreader and bag (p/n 1001)

It is fairly compact, but seems to only come as part of a system.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #5
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Hi Pete,

There's only so small you can go and get true fluid. I'm not even sure the 501HDV is true fluid (and I have one of them). The 501HDV is bulky, I agree.

However, there are some heads that may suffice. From Manfrotto, I believe the 701HDV head is smaller, and performance is OK, and should fit the same mount as yout 501HDV flat base tripod. Or you could investigate something really small and light, like the Safari Tripod: SAFARITRIPOD.COM.
The 701 is not fluid, and is also significantly lighter than the head on the Safari, I have both. The Safari is very nice, strong carbon fiber but the leveling bowl is only 55mm. It's my most used tripod on wildlife hikes/shoots.

I use a 232RC quick release attached to the QR plate on the Safari, so that I can use my Manfrotto QR plates instead.
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Old October 13th, 2011, 08:52 PM   #6
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
If your budget stretches to it, it may also be worthwhile looking at the Sachtler ACE, around 500 or so:

Sachtler ACE M MS System includes Ace Fluid Head, Ace Tripod with mid-level spreader and bag (p/n 1001)

It is fairly compact, but seems to only come as part of a system.
IMO that Sachtler rig should be a huge seller, Peter, at that price I'd definately be considering that.

Cheers.
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Old October 14th, 2011, 05:17 AM   #7
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Re: Small True Fluid Head.

Below is a picture of a small fluid head. Had I doubled all the important dimensions it would have had 10-20 times more drag, i.e. there is a heavy penalty on drag for reducing size.

To keep it simple it is a nodal type head, that is to say the tilt axis aligns with the centre of gravity of the camera so no balancing mechanism is required. The microphone is also aligned with the centre of gravity for the same reason.

There is a benefit in having low drag as there a corresponding reduction in torque applied to the tripod during panning and tilting so that a lighter tripod can be used.

An advantage of the nodal type of head is that it can be inverted and so permit use very close to the ground.

To compensate for the very low drag this head is fitted with a very flexible handle that goes a long way to reducing hand borne vibrations - a sort of permanent rubber band. At the end of the handle there is an even more flexible stainless steel spring fitted with a sliding Teflon roller. For a quick pan the plastic handle is used and for a slow pan with a long focal length lens a point somewhere along the stainless steel spring is used. It is obviously not the sort of handle to fit a control unit to, instead I use the IR remote with or without an IR remote extender.

The camera shown is the TM900 that has a ridiculously long electronic zoom only useful for testing tripod heads. It is possible to achieve reasonable pans at 30x and possibly 40x i.e. beyond the useful range of the lens.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/images/a...1&d=1318587265
Attached Thumbnails
Small True Fluid Head.-_dsc7812.jpg   Small True Fluid Head.-_dsc7813.jpg  

Small True Fluid Head.-_dsc7814.jpg   Small True Fluid Head.-_dsc7819.jpg  

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