The Manfrotto Video Head Range

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We review the Manfrotto video head range.  The basic technical specifications are the what, you need the why and how.  Here it is…

PrintMVH400AUS aka BeFree Video Head is one of the newest, small, light weight and light duty heads that Manfrotto makes. As you can see it weighs less than a pound and can support 10 times its body weight.  8.8lbs is really a DSLR camera with a large lens, like a 70-200 f2.8.  More than that and this head is over weighted.

PrintThe MVH500A and its twin the MVH500AH are both medium duty heads.  These are are REAL Fluid head that use the fluid disk for silky smooth movements.  The A version is for video tripods that use the bowl; the AH version has a flat bottom and can fit on any standard flat top tripod with a 3/8 attachment screw.  Both of these heads are discontinued and basically replaced by the MVH502A and MVH502AH heads.  The newer heads can support a heavier payload of up to 15lbs. The quick release plate is

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New parts for the Video Heads 509HD, 516, 519 and 526

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We are now stocking a wider selection of parts for the following video heads: 509HD, 516, 519 and 526 fluid video heads. Click below to find the most commonly broken parts on these video heads.

Click here for 509HD Parts
Click here for 516 Parts
Click here for 519 Parts
Click here for 526 Parts

We increased the items we are carrying to include the most commonly lost or damaged parts and in some cases parts that we see frequently fail.  These frequently failed parts are usually the result from the tripod tipping over and the head taking the brunt of the damage.  We are not finding a lot of replacements due to wear, mostly impact and rough handling.

If you are having problems, or just need a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

 

 

 

If you are having problems determining what parts you need, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

 

 

Should I Change the Fluid in my Fluid Head?

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Fluid video heads that use a fluid filled cartridge are not like cars.  The fluids do not need to be replaced unless they are broken.

fluid disk

Disassembled fluid disks

First, the fluid disc is a series of concentric circles that trap the fluid in them and slow the movement down by providing resistance.  The discs are generally inert and the fluid stays in place.  You don’t need to replace the fluid in the cartridge unless one of several things occur.

If the head has been stored in an excessively hot place for a long time, then there is a good change that the “fluid” has thinned because of the heat and settled, leaving half of the disc

fluiddisk2

Damaged fluid disk assembly

empty.  The discs are no longer parallel, the fluid, if it is still in the disc, and the fluid is all at one side.  This will greatly impair the smoothness and the feel of the head.  The heat can often make the fluid thin enough to escape the disc and run out.  If you’ve ever experienced the thick, sticky, gooey, almost impossible to clean off fluid then you will know what I am talking about.  In this case the fluid can be cleaned off and the discs refilled.

If the head was dropped and the fluid discs have been damaged then they should be replaced.  The little prongs sticking out of both sides can be sheared off if the head falls over or is impacted with enough force.

The discs are specific to different video heads, so it is best to start here for current heads, or here for other heads and getting the parts specific to it.

If you are having problems determining what parts you need, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

 

 

 

Change your Center Column Change your Life

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055lc center columnUpgrade your Manfrotto tripod from still camera use to video camera use by simply changing the center column.

This is easily accomplished on the newest Manfrotto MT190 series and previous 190X series tripods using the 190LC Leveling Center Column; and on the newest Manfrotto MT055 series or 055X series tripods using the 055LC Leveling Center Column.

If your Manfrotto tripod is for sure not MT or X series, but an 055PRO or 055N or any  755B, 755CXPRO3, 755XB tripods then use the 555B Center Column.

If you have a 190PRO series or 756B, 756CX3, 756MF, 756XB tripods then use the 556B Center Column.

So, great headline, but not much info on how these center columns are going to change my life!  So how will one of these center columns change my life?

The leveler column operates like a standard center column.  Your head attaches normally, it goes up and down.  But the real value is the speed and ease of  leveling the head in just a few seconds.  The knob on the bottom of the column releases the ball on the top of the column.   This knob allows you to quickly loosen, tight lock the top ball or apply a little bit of tension so the ball can move easily with caring amount s of tension.  The bubble level on the top plate will let you level the head in seconds.  This is great for videos, panoramic photos or just quick set ups for portraits, fashion and other still photography.

Why YOU Shouldn’t Repair Your Manfrotto Head.

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Why would you let somebody that works on tripod and heads everyday touch your gear, when you can do it yourself?  Why would you let a technician with greater experience and knowledge part you from your money?  Why would you blindly take a part a tripod or a head without understanding the intriquacies?  Why indeed!

We work on tripods, head and monopods everyday.  We clean and check the functions of even our simplest repairs.  We pride ourselves on doing this job at least as good or BETTER than the manufacturers representatives.  We have far more experience than you, and if you don’t have a decent working knowledge, then you are bound to get lost.

Get lost on what?  Video, ball heads, Neotech; these are the hardest to repair if you have no experience.  Plus, these types of products often have hidden springs that can and do shoot out under pressure.  Replace a knob or a lever? Yes you can.  Replace the tension rods in a a ball head.  No.

If you are having problems, or need a tune up; or a repair, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.

I Cleaned Out my Video Head And Now It’s Not Panning Smooth – What Do I Do?

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It all depends upon where you cleaned.  It is common for dirt and grime to accumulate in the cracks and grooves. This by itself is often the problem, especially if the dirt is gritty like sand. If you disassembled the head and cleaned out the grease from the bearings, then they will need to be relubed.  The picture is of the 128RC video head.  The bearing stack is a common feature in many of the older video heads.  Make sure the bearings are clean and lubed with a bit (not too much) on silicon or lithium grease.

Damaged fluid disk assembly

Damaged fluid disk assembly

If you went even farther and cleaned out the fluid disks then you will need to relube those as well.  Normally the disks are filled with a type of grease that provides the smooth movements in this head.  If the disks are separated (as below) or the grease is removed (also as below) then they are mostly worthless.  You can purchase a jar of the grease here, or the discs are available with each head that takes them.

Disassembled fluid disks

Disassembled fluid disks

The disks are not interchangeable between models. So be careful when you are working with these.  Also the grease is unlike any grease you’ve probably ever come in contact with.  It is sticky and gooey and not something that is easily cleaned up.  We never recommend taking these disks apart.

If you have problems,  click here to return the parts to us for reassembly.

If you are having problems, or for a tune up or for repairs, send your name, address, daytime phone and email address along with your tripod to:

ManfrottoTripodParts.com Repairs
c/o SpartanPhotoCenter
108 Garner Road
Spartanburg, SC 29303

Once we have it, we will evaluate it and contact you. Please send us your daytime phone so we can reach you during business hours.

Lastly, if we are repairing your Manfrotto Product; we are recycling all broken parts and scrap articles. Almost nothing goes into the trash if we can help it.