fluid video head for 500-600mm

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
aayjay Contributing Member • Posts: 647
Re: fluid video head for 500-600mm

Here's a couple of points to add here:
These cheaper "fluid heads" found for less than $500 are typically friction pan heads and not a true hydraulic fluid head. They probably use grease and call it fluid. Not the same as the true fluid head from Sachtler, Conner, etc.

A nature videographer in our area who works on projects for the BBC, PBS and others uses a Conner fluid head with his Red and adapted Canon 600 f/4 lens. I can't remember how much he said it cost but it was probably as expensive as his Red and 600mm lens!

I, on the other hand cannot afford such a fluid head but I'm currently trying out the SCG T8. It has nice smooth action and can balance out my Sony 200-600 with my A7SIII as well as my adapted Canon 600mm f/4. With that said, I'm not sure if I will keep it or not as I find the pan drag a bit underwhelming. In other words, there's just not enough drag to follow birds-in-flight. I have been adapting to it and not putting as much pressure on the video arm as I follow a bird-in-flight. That seems to work and when balanced properly the panning stops w/o any stutter. It seems smooth enough for what I do.

Prior to the T8, I have been using the Monfrotto 504HD. It works but I find that when I stop panning, it stops rather abruptly because it's not a true fluid head. (That's why I've been trying out the SCG T8 which is better.)

But I've never used a more expensive fluid head and wonder what I am missing. Do I dare spend over $1k for a better fluid head? That might be what it takes to get perfection.

 aayjay's gear list:aayjay's gear list
Sony a9 Sony a7S III Canon EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 600mm f/4.0L IS II USM Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm F4 ZA OSS +4 more
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