Author Topic: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)  (Read 378 times)

Ilkka Nissilä

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Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« on: March 17, 2021, 11:43:19 »
Hi everyone. I have been happy using my Gitzo two-way fluid head GHF2W with the 500 PF, 70-200/2.8 and 200 Micro, but I need something with a higher load capacity to support 3kg lenses and full-gripped cameras (total weight about 4.5kg). I don't want to go with a gimbal as I have gotten to really like the adjustable counterbalance on the fluid head and its ability to keep things steady.

I sent a query to a company in Finland which sells Sachtler and Cartoni tripods and heads, among with other video-related gear, but got no response. I wanted to know if the  Sachtlerin Ace XL or Cartoni Focus 8 (which are in the acceptable weight range for me, if a bit on the heavy side) could be used with my Gitzo 3- and 4-series systematic legs if I get this kind of a bowl adapter:

https://www.gitzo.com/global/75mm-half-bowl-video-adapter-systematic-series-2-4-gs3321v75/

I figured what better place to ask than nikongear. ;-) The lenses I am planning on using are the 200/2 and 300/2.8 (plus the above-mentioned lighter teles). Now, I have a lot of Arca-Swiss compatible plates and so I also want to ask what kind of an adapter should I get to make it easier to use A-S compatible QR plates with the fluid head? I would like it to be easily rotated by 90 degrees so that I can mount my camera as well, if needed.

Now that I think of it I should probably also consider Gitzo's larger fluid heads:

https://www.gitzo.com/global/fluid-head-series-2-g2380/
https://www.gitzo.com/global/2-way-head-series-2-gh2720qr/

but these don't seem to be A-S compatible, either. They have 5 and 6 kg maximum payloads, respectively. The QR seems to be very light weight at 0.7 kg. The Gitzo heads I assume would fit directly on my 3- and 4-series without a bowl adapter but then I have to fiddle with the leveling (which is okay, I have a leveling adapter from Manfrotto that was modified to fit the Gitzo legs).

Any recommendations? I am now starting to think about the GH2720QR as the least heavy option with sufficient payload. Is this a good choice? Thanks.

I noticed that neither of these Gitzo heads appear to have an adjustable counterbalance system like the GHF2W, if this is the case, it would be a definite drawback.

Jakov Minić

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2021, 12:02:12 »
Hi Ilkkka,

I think you already know what you will hear over here :)
https://www.sachtler.com/en/sachtler/fsb-6/c-26/p-1332

However, this is the only fluid head that i have ever used.

Regards and take care, Jakov

EDIT: given that FSB6 seems to be out of stock, i continued browsing and immediately got attracted to the Aktiv fluid-heads : https://www.sachtler.com/en/aktiv/
EDIT2: i continued browsing, ditch all your Gitzos and buy yourself a Flowtech https://www.sachtler.com/en/flowtech/

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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2021, 12:57:40 »
Thanks for the suggestions, but those are heavier than I would like. I unfortunately have some back problems which limit the kind of tripod that I can carry.

Akira

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2021, 18:22:26 »
Gitzo itself makes a Gitzo to A-S adapter.

https://www.gitzo-shop.ch/contents/de-ch/p18271.html

That said, I would doubt if any "Series 2" stuff would suit your needs...
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2021, 19:45:17 »
Gitzo itself makes a Gitzo to A-S adapter.

https://www.gitzo-shop.ch/contents/de-ch/p18271.html

That said, I would doubt if any "Series 2" stuff would suit your needs...

You may be right.

Thanks for the tip on the adapter; I didn't know they made one.

Kim Pilegaard

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2021, 22:38:41 »
I have recently bought a Berlebach 2-way head model 553:
https://www.berlebach.de/en/?bereich=details&id=528
It is a very nice head, although not a real fluid head. It has a maximum load of 6 kg and has a "load pick-up spring", that can be switched on for loads over 3 kg.
It works very smoothly as well for my heavy gear, full-frame SLR + 500mm f.4, as for lighter gear.
Kim

David H. Hartman

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #6 on: March 17, 2021, 22:43:05 »
Now, I have a lot of Arca-Swiss compatible plates and so I also want to ask what kind of an adapter should I get to make it easier to use A-S compatible QR plates with the fluid head?

I may be misunderstanding the question so please forgive me it this is irrelevant. I use a Wimberly C-30 clamp with a fluid head. The C-30 is beautifully made of 6061-T6 aluminum. I use an improvised cross plate to mount a camera on its RRS L-plate. Some years ago Wimberley announced they were discontinuing this product. I emailed them and asked them to reconsider explaining I use these plates as macro slider and that it works very well for this purpose do to its 100mm length.

I own 2 or 3 of these clamps...

https://www.tripodhead.com/products/instructions-c-30.pdf

https://www.tripodhead.com/products/C30-specs.cfm


The instructions say the C-30 was discontinued in 2005 but it's listed on the Wimberley website and also at B&H Photo NY and Adorama NY as I type.

I should have bought one of these long ago...

https://www.tripodhead.com/products/instructions-m-8.pdf

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/303253-REG/Wimberley_M_8_Module_8_M_8_Perpendicular.html


Maybe this helps...

Dave





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Bob Foster

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2021, 00:29:26 »
How the manufacturers of photo and cine support equipment arrive at load ratings for tripods and heads is a mystery: as far as I know there is not
an accepted standard.

For loads of the approximate mass and center of gravity above the fluid head plate that you've indicated I have found the Sachtler DV 10 SB wholly
adequate in moderate conditions. (This head has been replaced by the FSB 10 T or FSB 10 in side load configuration.) These heads fit 100mm bowls.
Often, I use this head on a Sachtler CF 100M tripod.

When the wind is close to calm I'll sometimes use a FSB 8 (a 75mm bowl head) with good results. Here, I use a Sachtler Speedlock 75.

But when the wind becomes a factor I'll use a Video 20 S1 atop an ENG2 CF HD 100 and do my best to shield the setup with a large umbrella. Today, with
the wind speed at 40+ km/hr and frequent gusts to 65km/hr I did not try anything outside despite good light. In the "wrong" place any wind can be a
real challange.

As far as Arca Swiss compatable clamps go I (permanently) affix Henjar clamps to the Sachtler plates. There is no issue with a standard long clamping
knob when the clamp is used this way with a lens foot. By request, Henjar will provide an not cataloged extra long clamping knob that works nicely when
the plate is oriented perpendicular to the tilt axis of the head. If clamps made in the U.S. are a problem for you (due to customs, excise taxes,
postage or shipping etc.) I can provide dimensional data and photos.

Bob

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2021, 13:56:34 »
https://www.tripodhead.com/products/instructions-c-30.pdf

I have a Burzynski QR adapter that I could mount on the fluid head's QR plate to make it accept Arca-Swiss compatible lens and camera plates. This seems to be something similar to what you are using. It works but I am kind of concerned about potential added flex from stacking parts. I guess I'd like to have a single part that would fit the fluid head and accept the Arca-Swiss plate of the camera or lens rather than two parts. Gitzo's Adapter suggested by Akira seems quite reasonable solution as it would not increase the height of the rig or increase the chances of rotational slip. Bob, I'll look at those Heijnar clamps, US customs/shipping is not a problem for me I often find stuff comes faster from there than from within Europe, which is a strange curiosity of how the world works. ;-)

I actually went outside of my plans as I felt the fluid heads offered by Gitzo are a bit undersized and/or do not offer adjustable counterweight, and the Sacthler ones are significantly heavier, so I ordered the Acratech Long Lens Head from Adorama, this was suggested to me earlier in another thread. I figured this has the advantage that it allows the rotation of the QR system by 90 degrees so that the same head can be used to mount either camera or lens and thus reduce total weight required to carry. From what I have read this won't offer the same kind of resistance to vibrations as a fluid head does and it doesn't feature built-in counterbalancing and the friction may be harder to control but it should handle the weight of my setups just fine and minimize the amount of gear that I need to carry. So I'll add that to the toolkit.

Thanks for the tip on the Berlebach as well. It seems a good size and weight.

I will go and test some of the Sachtlers in a store once the current pandemic wave fades.  Currently there is too much virus in town for me to go fiddling with products in stores.


Bob Foster

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2021, 23:37:14 »
Quote
I am kind of concerned about potential added flex from stacking parts.

I second this concern. By (permanently) affix I mean TIG weld the parts together. To make a
first class job of this some preparation of the parts  (preferably by a machine shop) is needed.

The engineering literature does contain some guidelines for developing vibration dampening
and/or flexure minimization between two mechanical elements employing various elastomers.
However, I've never seen any suggestion that there is a "one size fits all solution." Should
the mass of the load, or the relation between say the plate/clamp/camera/lens assembly and
the center of gravity of the head change it is indeed possible that simply screwing the plate
onto the clamp with its' (probably) buna rubber strips could cause problems.

For what it's worth, if I recall correctly, some years ago someone in Austria actually made a
number of replacement top plates (not the camera plate) for Sachtler heads that incorporated
an Arca Swiss style clamp. I no longer have this link and cannot find the source.

There is nothing wrong with the Wimberly C-30 clamp if it is used on a FSB 8. The knob on this
clamp will interfere with the top plate of the larger series heads (DV 12 and larger plus the old
DV 10.) I can't speak to the FSB 10 or 10 T as I do not own either of these.

Bob

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Fluid head for fast tele (3kg + body)
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2021, 18:30:26 »
I got the Acratech head and tested it a bit with the 300mm. The horizontal panning axis seems to be either tight or loose. The vertical axis has a tension knob. The head is really small and lightweight. I will test it in the field this weekend. I suspect that it is a good option when trying to travel with minimal weight, but it is not the same as either a gimbal or a fluid head.