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    Lightweigt fluid head for hiking
    #1
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    Hi all,

    for an upcoming documentary I need to get a lightweight tripod head as my sachtler 18 is way to heavy to carry around the mountains.
    My camera will be around 3 to 4 kilos and I could use a flat or 75mm bowl head, as I want to use my Really Right Stuff legs with or without their levelling base.
    Was thinking maybe Sachtler ACE XL or maybe Miller Air or even as low as a Benro S7, anything below 2kg basically. Or even the Gitzo GHF2W.
    Anyone has experience with those heads or anything comparable?
    Reviews on all of them are not that great, but I guess it is compromise time...

    Thanks!
    Martin


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    #2
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    RRS make heads?


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    #3
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    Yes RRS make fluid heads as well, the FH350 is nice but on the heavy side...
    https://www.reallyrightstuff.com/FH-...=1&custcol13=1


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    #4
    Senior Member cpreston's Avatar
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    I have the XL's. I use them for light run and gun and cramped interview space. I use them on a flat base manfrotto tripod with center column. The head isn't any good for long lenses as it will transfer vibrations easily and the dampening isn't that high. But it is relatively smooth for the price range and it can balance a fairly heavy package. It is also quite small and light. It was made for the use you describe.


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    #5
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    I have a Benro S6, definitely do not go this low. It works, but it isn't stellar. S7 or S8 might be a good choice. If for some reason you decide to go low like an S6, get their aluminum legs to go with it, pretty light for the entire package and strong enough to handle most any camera you are going to carry on your back. I think you can get the same legs for the S7 and S8 packages too. I can look at the model number if you are at all interested.


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    #6
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    I haven't used the Miller Air, but I've used the Miller DS-10 which is only 3.4 lbs and it's quite nice, so I'd guess the Miller Air is smooth as well and a bit lighter (I can't find weight specs for it since it's packaged with legs). Benros are junk. I've used the Sachtler Ace and it's okay but nothing special; I'm really not a fan of any of the Sachtler's below the 18s. I have a Really Right Stuff FH-350 head. I like it; it's pretty smooth but not the smoothest in terms of tension and starts and stops, but the versatility of the ergonomic quick release flat base for switching to tripod, slider, jib, or monopod makes it an awesome head and it's definitely smoother than a Manfrotto or Benro.

    From the sounds of it I'd recommend the Miller Air unless a flat base like the RRS is of benefit to you.


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    #7
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    3.1 pounds - https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...luid_head.html

    I used to have it, it's great.

    (It dropped a lot in price...used to be more than twice what it currently is. At B&H it's a 'special order' for just the head though.)


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    #8
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    Have you considered a small 6K => 4K camera and a gimbal? E.g Fuji X-T3 and a good one-hand gimbal? Can be rock steady and also provide butter smooth pans and tilts. Motorized focus/zoom also possible at the same time.


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    #9
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    Thank you everyone for the suggestions so far.
    I used to have a FSB8 before I upgraded to the 18S1, the FSB8 was alright but not great, so I am hesitant towards the ACE.
    Gimbal won't happen, I will be away from power for days, so the less batteries I have to carry the better and mostly it is going to be locked off shots with the odd tilt or pan here and there. And I am a tripod kind of guy

    So I am undecided between the Miller Air (or DS-10) on my Really Right Stuff Versa 3 34L legs, coming in at 3.4 kg together and way cheaper or The Really Right Stuff FH350 on the Versa 2 24L legs at 3.9 kg...
    And 500gr less is a considerable difference.


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    #10
    Senior Member puredrifting's Avatar
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    I bought the Miller AIR Fluid Head and I used it with my Miller Solo DV Carbon legs to shoot a film in Brazil. Similar requirements, lots of walking all over the place, down beaches, through the jungle, etc. The head is good, surprisingly smooth for its modest price and it's pretty small and light. The handle, believe it or not, is one of the best features, it's thick and easy to grip to make smooth pans and tilts. The counterbalance only has two ranges and the max, I believe is about 11lbs, but that will vary with the balance and height of your camera rig, of course.

    The one thing I really dislike about the Miller AIR and its an obscure thing but it matters, is the tripod plate itself. I'm not sure if the plate is shared between other Miller heads or if it is unique to the AIR, but the screws in the plate seem to always bind up and want to get cross threaded, it can be very clunky and difficult mounting and unmounting the plate to various cameras and pieces of gear. I bought my AIR slightly used so perhaps the original owner forced it and messed up the plate but it's a nightmare to move from camera to camera, I've been meaning to hunt down a new plate to try. Other than that one quirk, it's a remarkably good head for the weight and modest cost. I've been using it this week to shoot with the BMD PCC6K and it works well.

    BMD PCC 6K 02.jpg
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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