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

B&H # MAMVH502AH Mfr # MVH502AH
You Pay: $185.89
Mail-in Rebate: -$50.00 (see details)
Offer Ends: JUN 30 '14
Price after Rebate: $135.89
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 226 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (131)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (81)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (7)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (5)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (2)

    94%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (178)
    • Large range of motion (159)
    • Attaches firmly (153)
    • Strong clamp (105)
    • Smooth (8)

    Cons

    • Heavy (37)
    • Complicated controls (13)

    Best Uses

    • Video (173)
    • Weddings (71)
    • Landscape/scenery (65)
    • Sports/action (62)
    • Night shots (46)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro photographer (99), Semi-pro photographer (65), Photo enthusiast (24), Casual photographer (6), Photography student (6)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (201), 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 226 customers

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    5.0

    Great head

    By The works

    from NYC

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

    A great tripod head, the capacity is a little conservative which is a good thing. Carries a nice load, is light weight & has great controls.

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great head

    By Moses Tyler

    from Farmington, New Mexico

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

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

      This is a great looking and feeling head. It is used primarily on a DSLR setup with a Canon70D and the Tascam DR-60d with along with a Rode Stereo video mic mounted on top, so it is not too heavy. This head is intended mostly for slightly heavier setups, which is obvious if you only setup a light camera and try to use it that way; the 8 lb counter spring will cause the camera to come back on you slightly if you don't lock it down. This is only a minor issue to me since I will use it on heavier cameras/camcorders as well.
      The feel of the fluid movement is smooth in any direction. Overall, I am very happy with this head and would consider buying another if I needed it.
      My only problem with this is since I am using this to mount a DSLR, I cannot easily tighten down the quick release base plate since my camera is much wider than a standard camcorder. I have found a way to work around this, so it is not to big of a deal to me, plus it doesn't lower the overall experience I have with this setup. I am still very pleased with the product.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Good low-cost option

      By DSPMPLS

      from Minneapolis

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Good Stability

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Smooth Action On A Budget

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

        I bought this to place on top of an Edelkrone slider. I use it with both a DSLR and an AVCHD video camera. The movement is quite easy and smooth. The controls are easy to reach and adjust, thought the pan lock is best reached from the front, and it can be an awkward reach.

        With the flat base there's obviously no built-in leveling, but that's the case with all similar heads. It's light weight, and packs easily. All in all a good budget option

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Better than the 501

        By v1u

        from Austin, TX

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Sports/Action
            • Travel
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events

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

            I have a 501 and 515 Manfrotto heads. Both do a very nice job. I like the new 502 over the 501 and my other camera ops say the same thing.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            4.0

            Very nice

            By Brandon

            from Stuart fl

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

            I really like this tripod head. I was looking for something that was fluid had a good price. It comes a little stiff out-of-the-box. But I hope that it will loosen up over time.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Like it

            By Marius

            from Los Angeles, CA

            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
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife

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

              Feels good in hands. Strong construction.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              bigger than it looks

              By jlau

              from Houston, TX

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

              my first thought when I received the package was why is the box so big? There seems to be a lot of wasted packaging in the bottom of the box, but the head is still pretty large. It dwarfs the 055xprob legs it's on. With that said, it still seems to pan and tilt very smoothly without torquing the legs much. Still need to try it out on an actual shoot, but first impressions are good. I especially like that the pan tension can be adjusted easily on the fly.

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Great head for cost

              By Patty rach

              from Nyc, ny

              About Me Semi-pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Stability

              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):

                I enjoy this fluid head. It is reliable and a much better price than the sachtler.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Excellent

                By Alexander

                from Cuenca, Ecuador.

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Night Shots
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Video
                  • Weddings/Events

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

                  I loved this head, I work in video and had never held a head like this, it is very stable, the movement is really fluid, and the best is adjustable, I can make smooth or fast panning, is the best investment I've made, I I use it with my Canon 7D and my Blacmagic 2.5k

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Great for the money.

                  By Jim

                  from Elmhurst, IL

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Product For The
                  • Good Stability

                  Cons

                  • None so far

                  Best Uses

                  • Video

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

                  I did some on-line researh for the best video head for lower cost. I'm just starting shooting video with the Nikon D800 and did not want to spend big bucks. Its smooth pan & tilt action and so far no backlash (when coming to a stop panning the head does not move) So far its a good product for the costs.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Very smooth

                  By Alex Olsen Design Solutions

                  from New York, NY

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                  • Heavy

                  Best Uses

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

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

                  I have only used it twice since buying it but the head is amazingly smooth, easily locked in place, and very sturdy.

                  This thing has way more than I actually need for a DSLR setup (Nikon d800 and attachments).

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Beyond Expectations for the Price

                  By J.H.Reed

                  from Green Bay, WI

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

                  From the first day, I have so impressed with te construction, fluidity for the price, and the bargain this head is. A must for a second or third setup.

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Manfrotto what can you say?

                  By Pcbrown

                  from Michigan

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • 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):

                    I have not had the chance to use this head outside the studio but from the limited time with it I can honestly say that it's just another great product that does not break the bank. This is my 3rd head from Manfrotto and probably wont be my last. I just love their products.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Excelente Video Head

                    By Alexander

                    from Cuenca, Ecuador

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Night Shots
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Trabajo
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events

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

                      Me encanto el tamaño y su diseño, tiene un movimiento perfecto, y se puede ajustar la fuerza del movimiento, tanto de paneo horizontal como vertical, es grande y tiene buen peso, simplemente me encanto para mi BMCC

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      4.0

                      Smooth floating movement

                      By Greg

                      from Chicago

                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Heavy

                      Best Uses

                      • Sports/Action
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events

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

                      Videography of stationary events & speaker engagements.
                      It was easy to install and remove from tripods.
                      The floating movement with easy tension.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Very good for the price

                      By fotoalex

                      from NY NY

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Attaches Firmly
                      • 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):

                        Bought a bunch of manfrotto video heads for my tripods, monopos and sliders. They are very reliable and I love the fact that I can switch cameras faster than lenses thanks to the quick mounts. I would ecstatic it if the 502HD had a counter-balance...

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Pro Head

                        By Weldn

                        from USA

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Large Range of Motion

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

                            Smooth, reliable functionality, as you would expect from Manfrotto. Pans are smooth with adjustable friction gear. Big and heavy, so make sure you use appropriate legs.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            Pretty good head

                            By Nick Hayes

                            from Naperville, IL

                            Verified Buyer

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

                            The problem with Manfrotto's products is the quality assurance is all over the place. A lot of the products are risky to buy because maybe you get one put poorly together. This head however, for me, has been perfectly fine. Smooth and a good overall fluid head for my slider which is what I have it mounted to.

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            Great Head for DSLR's

                            By willyb311

                            from Quinlan, TX

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Interviews
                              • Video
                              • Weddings/Events

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

                              I retired my old cheap head and bout this Manfrotto. I have been impressed by Manfrotto products in the past and this one did not let me down. Its rigid and sturdy and very easy to use. I might change some of the locations of the lockdown screws, but it really is a great head. I've used a couple of DSLR's on it as well as a BMPCC with various lenses and accessories and this head moves easily and fluidly, even under a decent load. For the price, this is the best head to get!

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this review

                               
                              4.0

                              A nice change

                              By Skul

                              from SE Texas

                              About Me Photo Enthusiast

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Every Thing

                              Cons

                              • None

                              Best Uses

                              • What Ever You Want

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

                              After years of using ball heads, I decided to use a pan/tilt for my DSLR and long tele lenses.I wish I had done this a long time ago. Movement is smooth and easily adjusted. Only complaint would be the lack of shorter mounting plates. The 504PLong can be over-kill in some applications. I love this thing.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              Quick Release Plates

                              Show more >
                              Manfrotto -  504PLONG Long Quick-Release Mounting Plate
                              • Price: $64.99
                               

                              Handles & Accessories

                              Manfrotto -  502HLV Pan Bar for Select Video Heads
                              • Price: $25.95
                              Back-ordered ? 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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