September 9, 2014 at 12:46PM

21

Best sub $1000 tripod fluid head?

Hey guys, I'm looking for a solid fluid head that is about $1000 or less that I can mount on a kessler crane and a dana dolly. I'm planning to use it with a C100, a Red Epic and some DSLR's.

Let me know any suggestions!
Thanks

6 Comments

Most people will probably recommend a used Sachtler but I don't think you'll be able to find one for the price that has a weight capacity for an Epic rig.

The Manfrotto 509HD is a little above your budget ($1,050), but it can definitely handle the weight and has a solid amount of functionality as a cine head. Obviously its a 100mm ball head, so you're going to need to find an adapter for your Kessler Crane, but it should work great with the Dana!

If you're not a big Manfrotto fan, I'd suggest possibly looking for used O'Connors or Sachtlers because they're built like tanks and buying them used shouldn't be an issue.

September 9, 2014 at 10:55PM

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Aidan Gray
Director of Photography Assistant Camera | Gaffer
1491

Manfrotto is probably the best bang for the buck at this price range. 509HD or 504HD, depending how locked to your budget you are.

September 11, 2014 at 12:44PM

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Chase Axton
Cinematographer
1176

For a new tripod I would check out the Libec RS-350RM tripod which has a very smooth fluid head that can handle the camera weight you are describing.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/861089-REG/Libec_RS_350RM_RS_350RM...

Otherwise, I would look for a used Sachtler tripod and head, as buying new would put you way over your budget.

I started out with Manfrotto tripods and video heads ( I went through 5 different models and hated all of them ), and finally ended up biting the bullet and buying a Sachtler FSB head and tripod, which is what I still use today. ( I also use a Libec 35RH head on Miller Solo legs when I'm shooting outside )

The Sachtler head has very smooth movement and it can properly counter-balance a camera package that weighs anywhere from 1-13 lbs with the FSB-6 head. You can go much higher if you want for a weight range of 1-26 lbs, but now you're into a $2K+ video head.

September 24, 2014 at 5:53PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30699

I just sold my Sachtler DV6SB head for $590 to a friend who got an Epic Dragon, depending on the rig, it's perfectly capable of the weight load. I'm using a new Manfrotto 504 because I use Manfrotto 536 sticks, and the 75mm Sachtler head wouldn't work with the Manfrottto 75mm bowl adapter. For the money, the 504HD is a really nice fluid head, IMPO. Not a Sachtler, but it's about $400. Most people (filmmakers) don't shoot long sweeping pans on a tripod that much anymore anyway, so I'd save the money on a high dollar head. Anything that will do really well on a rigged Epic will be overkill for a DSLR (unless it's a fully rigged kit as well). JM2Cs.

October 9, 2014 at 6:33PM

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Zan Shin
486

>>>Most people (filmmakers) don't shoot long sweeping pans on a tripod that much anymore anyway

...But we do have to track an actor getting up from a chair and walking across a room, so having a perfectly balanced camera makes it a LOT easier to pull off this type of shot or any other tracking shot where you might have to pan and tilt at different speeds and then suddenly stop at any point in the movement.

I can't go back to using a head that won't balance any camera I mount on it, or any combination camera gear.

Guy McLoughlin

November 26, 2014 at 2:06AM

>>>Most people (filmmakers) don't shoot long sweeping pans on a tripod that much anymore anyway

...But we often have to track actors who might walk across the room and they might climb up on something or sit down in a chair, so having a video head that can properly balance your camera package makes this type of movement MUCH easier to pull off.

I don't think I could ever go back to using a video head that can't properly balance whatever combination of camera gear I happen to be using for a shot. It's just too frustrating.

November 26, 2014 at 2:12AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30699

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