Pan and tilt head for mini tripod

Discussion in 'Video' started by philip freedman, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. Having started to take video with my D810, and being keen on steadiness but reluctant to carry around a full size tripod, I have been
    using a small but sturdy Manfrotto mini tripod with built in ball and socket, which I place on a suitable low wall or table where possible. I
    am pleased wth the rock steady results and would now like to get a suitable fluid pan and tilt head to put on top of the ball head (which I
    will use just for levelling). It needs to be sturdy and smooth but not too big or heavy. Any ideas appreciated. Thanks Philip.
  2. It's been awhile since I checked but even 20 years ago Bogen/Manfrotto and Slik had very capable entry level video heads with fluid motion for panning and tilts. The B/M version came with a 3001 leg set, which wasn't a very good leg set - the thumbscrew locks were a hassle.
    However I found a Slik 504QF-II legset/video head in a pawn shop for $25 and it was really good for the money. The leg set was the same used in the 300DX still photography tripod. While it also used thumbscrew locks, it was literally much slicker and better than the Bogen/Manfrotto entry level leg set. I kept the leg set and replaced the video head with a Velbon magnesium ball head. Unfortunately I misplaced the video head years ago. Besides being a good value in an entry level video head it was also useful for tracking birds in flight near water level on the lake where I lived, as long as I needed only landscape/horizontal orientation for my camera.
    So one of those heads with a tripod of your choice should do.
    I would avoid the tilt/pan head that comes with the Slik U212 Deluxe. While the head is advertised as suitable for video, it's not very good. The panning and tilt depend on crunchy plastic-against-plastic for damping, it's difficult to level properly, and it's a very crude feel compared with the Slik 504QF-II video head.

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