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Old May 19th, 2019, 01:17 PM   #1
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stepless counterbalanced tripod head

I' have been looking for an inexpensive continuosly adjustable counterbalanced video tripod head for a < 3 lbs camcorder.

Manfrotto has a new $450 nitrotech 608 head that seems to fit my need.

However, I just looked at a review video of an older nitrotech N8 on youtube

(start at 2:14)

and it looks like whenever the operator let go of the camcorder after a pan/tilt, the camcorder "bounced back" slightly.

Could someone confirm what I'm seeing? If the operator let go slowly, could the bounce back be avoided? Is this a common issue? Is there a continuously adjustable counter balanced video head that does not bounce back and doesn't cost much more?
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Old May 19th, 2019, 02:02 PM   #2
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Re: stepless counterbalanced tripod head

Half price now so looks like it's being withdrawn by Manfrotto
I understand from a friend who has one that the counterbalance needs to be set for each camera/lens combo and further adjusted if using a zoom lens without internal zoom, i.e. the lens changes length.
Okay once one is used to it I have been told.

Ron
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Old May 19th, 2019, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: stepless counterbalanced tripod head

I guess it could be controlled with more careful technique but I’d be leery if it’s being discounted. I’d recommend the Sachtler FSB 4.

Last edited by Pete Cofrancesco; May 19th, 2019 at 04:40 PM.
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Old May 20th, 2019, 12:28 AM   #4
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Re: stepless counterbalanced tripod head

Though the Nitrotech(s) come as flat base heads which reduces the amount of weight one carries if used with a levelling tripod which lightweight anyway.
I'm nowadays a Lumix GH5 man so I don't really need my Sachtler DVS6B or Vinten Vision 6 even with a long lens.
Flat based click stop pan/tilt would do me very well.

Ron
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Old May 20th, 2019, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: stepless counterbalanced tripod head

I purchased the N8 recently, and so far, it's been a solid head with very minimal bounceback when dialed in correctly. On a wider lens, you're not likely to notice it, but if you're shooting telephoto, then any minor movement will be magnified. At the long end of my 70-200 following a speaker on stage, you might see the slightest bit of self-adjustment, but you can often mitigate it by releasing slowly, and anticipating your subjects movements. I own about 6 heads, including the Sachtler FSB 8, which is super-smooth, but attached to shorter legs. You'll notice a difference when you step up to the premium priced heads, but whether it's worth the ten-fold price increase is up to you.

Keep in mind that the video you referenced has an operator making quick and crude adjustments for the sake of brevity. Every head will benefit from your familiarity with it, and operating it within it's 'sweet-spot' for weight and balance.

FWIW, I'm running an FS5 that might be stripped down with a short prime lens, or fully outfitted with rails, v-mount, matte box and zoom telephoto...so the length and weight varies tremendously. Having the N8 handle those extremes is a testament to how far these low-priced heads have improved.
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