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Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection)

B&H # MAMVH502AH Mfr # MVH502AH
In Stock
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You Pay: $190.95

Mail-In Rebate available : -$ 40.00

Offer ends: AUG 31 '14
Price after rebate: $150.95
Product Highlights
  • 12.2 lb Weight Capacity
  • Counterbalance Supports 8.8 lb
  • Bridging Technology
  • Spring-Loaded Counter Balance
  • Continuously Adjustable Pan/Tilt Drag
  • Pan Bar & Sliding Plate Included

The Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection) is an affordable yet remarkably full-featured professional head that represents an advance over the popular 501HDV, with sturdier construction and featuring Manfrotto's patented bridging technology (inherited from the 509HD and 504HD heads). This head is designed for executing cinematic moves with compact camcorders and DSLR video cameras. The 502HD comes in two versions -- the "AH" flat-base version, which this one is, and the "A" ball-base version, which is separately available.

Weight capacity is 12.2 lb and counterbalance supports 8.8 lb. It can support 13 lb as a static weight. The balance plate's 3.27" range allows you to correct for uneven payloads that might be due to matte boxes or exotic DSLR rig configurations.

The bridging technology ensures that the pan friction control is intuitive and easy to set, but also protected against knocks. There are of course independent locks for pan and tilt, and drag for both is selectable in a continuous range from zero to the max level. This allows you to operate the head in a confident, smooth manner using the included pan bar.

Pan drag and tilt drag are continuously adjustable from 0 (no drag) to the maximum level
Sliding quick-release place secured by secondary safety system
Load Capacity 12.2 lb static (5.5 kg)
Counterbalance supports 8.8 lb (4 kg)
Head to Tripod Mounting Thread 3/8"-16 thread
Counter Balance System Spring-loaded
Counter Balance Range One fixed spring for 8.8 lb (4 kg) camera weight
Center of Gravity Not specified by manufacturer
Quick Release/Wedge Plate 504PLONG plate with 1/4"-20 & 3/8"-16 screws
Balance Plate 504PLONG plate slides 3.27" (83.0 mm)
Tilt Drag Continuously adjustable from 0 to max level
Tilt Range -80° to +90° tilt range front to back
Tilt Lock Yes
Spring Loaded Counter Balance Yes
Pan Drag Continuously adjustable from 0 to max level
Pan Range 360°
Pan Lock Yes
Pan Bar 1 included
2 possible positions
Leveling Bubble/Illuminated Yes/not specified by manufacturer
Material Aluminum
Color Black
Temperature Range -4 to 104 °F (-20 to 40 °C)
Height 5.12 in (13.0 cm)
Weight 3.53 lb (1.6 kg)
Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection)
  • Pan Bar
  • 504PLONG Long Quick-Release Mounting Plate
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty + 3 Year Extension upon Online Registration
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Manfrotto502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection)
     
    4.5

    (based on 256 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (151)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (87)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (9)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (3)

    93%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (203)
    • Large range of motion (181)
    • Attaches firmly (171)
    • Strong clamp (118)
    • Smooth (9)

    Cons

    • Heavy (44)
    • Complicated controls (15)

    Best Uses

    • Video (197)
    • Weddings (82)
    • Landscape/scenery (71)
    • Sports/action (68)
    • Night shots (52)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro photographer (115), Semi-pro photographer (71), Photo enthusiast (27), Casual photographer (6), Photography student (6)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (226), Yes (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Bridging Technology gets better!

    The 502HD Head is a great addition to Manfrotto's Bridging Technology, improving upon some of the standards they set with the 504 & 509 Heads. The 502 is perfect for lightweight video cameras...Read complete review

    The 502HD Head is a great addition to Manfrotto's Bridging Technology, improving upon some of the standards they set with the 504 & 509 Heads. The 502 is perfect for lightweight video cameras and DSLRs, I mounted my 600D with Canon 70-200f/2.8L and it handled it great. Aslo for those who plan to mount this head to sliders or other devices, the pan lock is contained inside the head and won't interfere with mounting.

    I've had plenty of experience with the 504HD, and the 502HD performs on par with its heavy weight counterpart. The Fluid Drag System (FDS) on the 502HD is outstanding, and one of the best I've worked with. Manfrotto improved the Pan FDS adjustment with an ergonomic 360 degree ring near the base of the head. This makes the pan FDS accessible no matter which way the camera is pointed, and even adjustable while panning.

    Pros:
    -Outstanding Fluid Drag System.
    -Two Pan Bar mounting locations.
    -Two 3/8 "Easy Link" with steel inserts.
    -Quick Release - on rear facing operator.
    -Leveling Bubble built in.
    -504PLONG plate.
    -Improved Pan Bar grip.

    Cons:
    -Non-illuminated leveling bubble.
    -Pan Bar - no telescoping length adjustment.
    -No step adjustments to counter balance.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Good but not great

    I loved how sturdy it was and how smooth the fluid motion was but I ultimately returned it for two reasons. 1. The tilt lock is on the right side! As a righty,...Read complete review

    I loved how sturdy it was and how smooth the fluid motion was but I ultimately returned it for two reasons. 1. The tilt lock is on the right side! As a righty, I am panning and titling using the handle in my right hand and when I want to lock off the shot or release the motion, I want to be able to do so immediately with my hand still on the handle which I could not do easily with this tripod. 2. The top of the head is too large and you have to slide the camera so far forward to release the plate from the tripod. Ultimately, I went with the 501HDV fluid head which more compact and user-friendly but just as good in terms of fluid motion.

    Reviewed by 256 customers

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    5.0

    Best fluid head for the buck

    By Jason

    from Washington DC

    Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

    Built like a tank. Perfect use with my slider. No complaints. It was easy to set up and use. AMAZING PRODUCT! Adds a lot of value to my filming.

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Great for the price

    By JWard

    from Amherst, MA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Video
      • Weddings/Events

      Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

      This is a solid tripod head that I currently have set up on a slider. For the price the head has great weight capacity and fluid motion.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Incredible value and quality

      By PM

      from Fort Worth, Texas

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Attaches Firmly
      • Good Stability
      • Large Range of Motion

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Video

        Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

        Used for video on HDSLRs, mostly with long Canon telephoto lenses. For the money, this head is a incredible value and great quality, easy to set up and use, simple to fine tune drag on all movements. Locks down quickly and securely. One of the best things about Manfrotto is parts and accessory availability, so I know that as things get used, lost or worn out I will be able to kept the head going. Have had zero problems or nit picks so far. I'd buy another in a second!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Incredibly Smooth Pan & Tilts

        By Luke

        from Charlotte, NC

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Stability
        • Large Range of Motion
        • Smooth

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

          Let me start by saying this is the best head I've ever gotten. This thing is so smooth, and feels great. If you have a $30 plastic @ tripod, do yourself a favor and get this. Right now. And get some legs to go with it. You won't regret it!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Wonderfully smooth!

          By Pro Phil

          from Arlington TX

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Good Stability

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

              I'll be using this video head for both video and still camera pictures. It is large and wonderfully smooth!

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great Head for Price

              By Adam

              from Chicago

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion

              Cons

              • Complicated Controls

              Best Uses

              • Video

              Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

              This is a great head for DSLR video as well as professional camcorders of the smaller variety (C100, Scarlet, etc.)

              Pros:
              The head is smooth, and the adjustable drag controls for both pans and tilts make the head easy to balance for whatever rig you are using.

              GREAT value for the price, you will not find a better tripod head for less than $300

              Cons:
              The pan lock is located underneath the quick release area, which can make locking the tripod in place difficult at times.

              The knob used to secure the quick release in place can be difficult to manage considering that most cameras restrict its use when they are on the head. It will take some time to learn how to position the knob so that it can lock the quick release in place.

              This is a quality, durable, smooth head. You will definitely be happy with this product.

              Share this review

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              1.0

              Very Big

              By Mastiboy

              from Brampton, Canada

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

                Cons

                • Heavy

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                  I am in film industry since 2002 and i know what i am saying here. I have 10 501HDV head suddenly i saw manfrotto change 501 to 502. I ordered one but it was really big and heavy. I want Manfrotto please bring 501 head back :(

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  3.0

                  Good For Budget, Not Perfect

                  By VideoEditorNJ

                  from New Jersey

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                  • Does Make Noise
                  • Not Silent Operation

                  Best Uses

                  • Video

                  Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                  This is a good head. It's smooth, it holds a decent sized DSLR rig or video camera and balances well.

                  One thing I don't understand is all of the 5-STAR glowing reviews of this head. It's good, but it's not 5-STAR good.

                  I had initially purchased a used version from B&H and it was defective - made noises and the pan handle was flat out broken...

                  This brand new version works, but it's not noise free. The adjustment knobs can and DO make noise when adjusting. There is a "popping" style sound that can emit from the left side when adjusting the tilt drag on either the farthest + or - side. If you're not going to be adjusting this DURING a shot, then it's not a big deal - it's really not loud enough to be an issue, even in a quiet room. But if you're the type of person that likes to adjust your drag during your shots and you're recording audio, then you likely want to look at a different head.

                  The tilt and pan drag is smooth for my usage. Some people complain that it is not, but they may be using very light setups or setups too heavy for this weight range. Pay attention to that and buy accordingly.

                  In terms of design, I personally do not have an issue with the pan bar on the right and the tilt lock on the right as well - but MANY people have an issue with this. I'm fine having the drag adjustment on the opposite side and I actually find that works fine for me.

                  This is a bigger head and works much better for my usage than the MVH500A/MVH500AH. The plates from that head do work on this one.

                  Would buy this one over the ball head version and just add a ball adapter - makes it more versatile for other usage if/when needed. That was part of the reason I upgraded from the MVH500 series.

                  Doesn't fit well with many pre-packaged Manfrotto tripod bags, so consider getting a better one.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Manfrotto - There IS no substitute!

                  By Matt

                  from Atlanta, GA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion
                  • Strong Clamp

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home
                    • Night Shots
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Video
                    • Wildlife

                    Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                    Manfottto is the best. Had another $ head before this that I had to return. This thing has about 4 diff ways to create tension. I have not even fully explored yet but it IS Awesome.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Like water.

                    By Phototbob

                    from Greenbrier WV

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Smooth As Water
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Video

                      Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                      I use this with a 5D Mark II and several heavy lenses and all with the
                      smoothness you would expect form a highly crafted Fluid Head. My Videos couldn't be any smoother. Excellent Quality.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Nice fluid head

                      By Land Ops

                      from Garden Grove, CA

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion

                      Cons

                      • None Really

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Travel
                      • Video

                      Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                      This is my first fluid head. I've used this already now on my tripod stand as well as on my slider. It adjusts well and feels very smooth.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      502HD Pro Video Head

                      By David

                      from Fl

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Video
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                        This is an extremely good pan head for the money.The best available for under $[$]. It's not perfect, but the I like it,the fluidity, smoothness,well built, tilt arm adjusts nicely, the entire thing looks well made.

                        Share this review

                        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Great functionality but heavy

                        By Photographer chic

                        from Washington, DC

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                              I really liked the functionality of this tripod head, but it's huge and too heavy for my proposes. I thought it would be lighter and smaller when I ordered it, so I've had to send it back and get something smaller and lighter.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Smooth, light weight, works great

                              By Evan

                              from Washington, DC

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Travel
                                • Video
                                • Wildlife

                                Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                I loved the smoothness of everything and its fat top makes it great for different rigs.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                very good , strong , durable

                                By hfb

                                from santa rosa

                                About Me Pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attaches Firmly
                                • Good Stability
                                • Large Range of Motion
                                • Strong Clamp

                                Cons

                                • Heavy

                                Best Uses

                                • Night Shots
                                • Video
                                • Weddings/Events

                                Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                very good , strong , durable . I bought the little brother, the 500ah, but it wasn't able to hold some of my heavier product so i bought this one . It's much stronger .

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                 
                                5.0

                                Great Head for video

                                By jakechris

                                from San Antonio, TX

                                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Attaches Firmly
                                • Good Stability
                                • Large Range of Motion

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Video

                                  Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                  It's big, but it's a beast and a solid all around head. Would highly recommend this for video if you want a total solution.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Video head

                                  By 3rdear11

                                  from Charlotte, NC

                                  About Me Pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Attaches Firmly
                                  • Good Stability
                                  • Large Range of Motion
                                  • Strong Clamp

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Home
                                    • Landscape/Scenery
                                    • Night Shots
                                    • Portraits
                                    • Sports/Action
                                    • Travel
                                    • Video
                                    • Weddings/Events
                                    • Wildlife

                                    Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                    It's a big head. Fluid motion like it's supposed to have. I'll add that I'm left handed. And I've installed the arm to the left side. Due to the placement of the controls I think it might have been designed by another lefty. I don't adjust the tension amount much at all. I've found the level I like and have left it in place. But I do find myself locking the X and Y levers quite a lot. They are in a position for left handed folks like me. Finally an accidental left handed camera tool. Only other lefties will appreciate this. :)

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    Great Head!!!

                                    By PhotoSniper

                                    from Bowling Green, Ky

                                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Attaches Firmly
                                    • Good Stability
                                    • Large Range of Motion
                                    • Strong Clamp
                                    • Very Simple To Use

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Landscape/Scenery
                                      • Night Shots
                                      • Portraits
                                      • Video
                                      • Weddings/Events
                                      • Wildlife

                                      Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                      Very stable with very smooth action! I have been very pleased shooting video & stills with both my 7D & 5D on this head. It has very smooth movement, or locks down easily & firmly for great stability.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      5.0

                                      I would buy this product again and again

                                      By P Studio

                                      from Marlboro, NJ

                                      About Me Pro Photographer

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Attaches Firmly
                                      • Good Stability
                                      • Large Range of Motion
                                      • Strong Clamp

                                      Cons

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Video
                                        • Weddings/Events

                                        Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                        Very good

                                        Share this review

                                         
                                        4.0

                                        Solid enough for photojournalism

                                        By South Carolina Redneck

                                        from Myrtle Beach / Florence, SC

                                        About Me Pro Photographer

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Attaches Firmly
                                        • Good Stability
                                        • Large Range of Motion

                                        Cons

                                        • Heavy

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Video

                                        Comments about Manfrotto 502HD Pro Video Head with Flat Base (3/8"-16 Connection):

                                        I am a photojournalist and gear gets tossed around a lot. If it doesn't break when you drop it, then it's good.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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                                        Quick Release Plates

                                        Show more >
                                        Manfrotto -  504PLONG Long Quick-Release Mounting Plate
                                        • You Pay: $29.99
                                         

                                        Handles & Accessories

                                        Manfrotto -  502HLV Pan Bar for Select Video Heads
                                        • You Pay: $25.95
                                        Back-ordered i This item is backordered by the manufacturer. Order now and we'll deliver when available. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item
                                         

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