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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: $171.80

Mail-In Rebate: -$45.00

Offer ends: DEC 31 '14
Price after rebate: $126.80
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 289 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (172)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (96)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (11)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (6)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (4)

    93%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Stable (218)
    • Large range of motion (195)
    • Attaches firmly (184)
    • Strong clamp (125)
    • Smooth (9)

    Cons

    • Heavy (49)
    • Complicated controls (17)
    • Unstable (3)
    • Weak clamp (3)

    Best Uses

    • Video (212)
    • Weddings (90)
    • Landscape/scenery (77)
    • Sports/action (73)
    • Night shots (56)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro photographer (123), Semi-pro photographer (76), Photo enthusiast (32), Photography student (8), Casual photographer (6)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (249), 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 289 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    5.0

    Great all around head

    By James

    from New Hyde Park Road

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

    Great for any type of camera for video and photo. Will get the job done.

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    Great head for the price

    By wanderborn

    from Huntington Beach, CA

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Attaches Firmly
    • Good Stability
    • Large Range of Motion
    • Smooth Movement

    Cons

    • Bothersome Knobs

    Best Uses

    • Home
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Video
    • Weddings/Events

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

    I needed a solid video head that would pan smoothly for my Nikon D810 and reviews I'd see on this head were solid. Overall the head is very well made and extremely smooth. I'd recommend it with a few disclosures:1) the QR plate locking knob sits right under the camera body which extends out to that side and can be difficult to tighten/loosen without repeatedly pulling it back and re-positioning it on the nut. I did finally find the right position so that with 1/2 a turn I can loosen/tighten it sufficiently without needing to re-adjust but it's still a little hard to handle beneath the camera. Clumsy but doesn't effect performance.2) The pan lock knob which sits between the "bridge" legs can come completely unscrewed and fall off if left loose while transporting the tripod. As long as you know this and remember to keep it snug, it's not a problem but I'm sure Manfrotto could have found a way to keep it from unscrewing completely.Overall, great unit, just a few little things that could have been thought through a little better in my opinion. Great tripod otherwise, solid construction and smooth movement.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Good Video Head

    By Shawn Hughes

    from Lubbock Texas

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

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

          This is a great head for the mid-size camera. The new pan tension adjustment on the base is a great addition. I've used the 501, and 503, and this is better than both.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          5.0

          Good gear

          By Starshine

          from Gilroy

          About Me Photography Student

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

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

              I use it on my slider and my tripod and it worked really smooth on both of them. My original tripod is for shooting a still picture. Apparently, that kind of tripod doesn't have a smooth pan or tilt. However, by putting this fluid head on my tripod, it just works terrific.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Wonderful!

              By Justin Kunimoto

              from Baltimore, MD

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

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

              Cons

              • Heavy

              Best Uses

              • Night Shots
              • Portraits
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

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

              I mainly got it to use it with a slider. It works perfectly and I have no issues at all. Ease of use. Peace of mind. It's heavy, but it feels secure and durable.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Great for what I paid

              By Jake

              from Florida

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

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

                    I got mine $ dollars off so for that price new it is a steal deal. The pan friction goes from free spinning to unmovable which is fantastic. The tilt friction doesn't have near the same rang however, but it's still butter smooth. Locks are good, very sturdy and well built.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    502hd

                    By Whatever

                    from Ny

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

                    Great fluid head huge step up from the 701hdv

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Awesome value!

                    By Ben

                    from Boulder, CO

                    About Me Photography Student

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

                          Not only was I stoked on the price, but am in awe of how amazingly smooth sturdy this fluid head is. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Excellent Low-Cost Video Head

                          By KCRollerDerbyFan

                          from Kansas City, MO

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Attaches Firmly
                          • Good Stability
                          • Large Range of Motion

                          Cons

                          • Narrow Base Plate

                          Best Uses

                          • Sports/Action
                          • Video

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

                          The swivel and pivot glide smoothly, and the pivot auto-levels to center. Even though this head was made for more robust video recording devices, with a small tripod head attached to this one, it handled our DSLR with relative ease.The only con we found was securing the flat base when using a DSLR. This head appears to be made specifically for the thin base of a video recorder. The DSLR body was too wide to attach directly to the base plate and still use the side screw to secure the plate. If you intend on using a wider-base DSLR camera, be sure to get a stand-off or a simple tripod head to ensure clearance of the knob.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Manfrotto 502HD Fluid Head

                          By CabinFolk

                          from New Bridgeville, PA

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

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

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Wildlife

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

                            This head works great for filming whitetail hunts!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                             
                            5.0

                            Superb Video Head

                            By ISO Hungry

                            from Sacramento

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

                            Not only is the motion on both axes super smooth and customizable with individual tightening, the head is also incredibly durable. It survived being blown over by a Blackhawk's rotor wash with just a bit of a scratch! No loss in smoothness or ability to tighten!

                            The only downside to it is the lack of a second level to absolutely ensure flat horizon likes through panning when on uneven ground with your tripod.

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            Nice fluid head, but could be better.

                            By Jess

                            from California Bay Area

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

                            Overall a good buy, nice fluid head, great for tracking shots on my slider. I bought the 502 so that I can inter change the tripod plate with my 509 HD head. I just wish that manfrotto could have put the tilt lock adjustment on the left side, like the 509 HD.

                            Share this review

                             
                            4.0

                            Nice fluid head, but could be better.

                            By Jess

                            from Silicon valley California

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

                            Overall a good buy, nice fluid head, great for tracking shots on my slider. I bought the 502 so that I can inter change the tripod plate with my 509 HD head. I just wish that manfrotto could have put the tilt lock adjustment on the left side, like the 509 HD.

                            Share this review

                            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Smooth pan and tilt

                            By MAS Productions

                            from Iowa

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Good Fluid Movement
                            • Good Stability
                            • Large Range of Motion

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Good Inexpensive Head

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

                              First let me say that I am a Sachtler, O'Connor Vinten loyalist. I use Sachtler (4's, 6's, 12's, 15's, 18's, 20's,7x7's,and 9x9's) for 90% of my independent video/film work. I use O'Connor 2575's for heavy film style camera rigs. And I use Vinten 75 and 750 heads for long lens sports work. My opinion about Bogen/Manfrotto heads was less than positive based on past use. But. . . I needed an inexpensive flat based head to install on an inexpensive 4' slider. I must say I was impressed with the functionality of this head! The pan and tilt drag frictions work very well. The handle has all the adjustability I could want, and the balance plate not only has a great deal of adjustability but also locks solidly so there isn't any wiggle. Also the pan and tilt locks are rock solid. It's fluid motion is very good. As good as a Sachtler? No. But very workable. The preset counter balance spring is a bit annoying, but for the price, I didn't expect to get an adjustable counter balance spring. The spring is set to around 5lbs and this is a nice compromise. A little too heavy for light cameras however. A 3lb spring would be about right. I use this head to support a Canon T5I DSLR, a JVC GY-HM150U, and a Panasonic AG-HPX250 when I want a little extra movement in my shots. This is not my primary working head at all, but for the price it works well enough on my slider that I'm very happy. The head is well built, and rugged. It would be a great head for somebody looking to step up their game a bit, but who didn't want to spend too much. For the people that said this is too complicated and heavy, they must not work with real pro gear that often. The controls on this head are similar to those found on high end heads.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              3.0

                              For the money… not bad.

                              By Yakman

                              from Wash DC.

                              About Me Pro Photographer

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Attaches Firmly
                              • Good Stability
                              • Large Range of Motion

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Landscape/Scenery
                                • Portraits
                                • Travel
                                • Video

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

                                I use it with my DSLR slider ( C300, 5DmarkIII )

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                1.0

                                Don't Like it

                                By Mr. FAMA

                                from Miami, Fl

                                About Me Pro Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                  Cons

                                  • Complicated Controls
                                  • Heavy
                                  • Unstable

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Video

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

                                  I purchase this head to use a backup. The problem is that it is not a soft smooth head, all the movements are hard. It don't stay in one position.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Perfect!

                                  By Kiril

                                  from Flagstaff, AZ

                                  About Me Pro Photographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

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

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                    • Sports/Action
                                    • Travel
                                    • Video
                                    • Wildlife

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

                                    Using this head on my Manfrotto carbon fiber tripod is very easy and smooth. It fits into my CineBag, and it is not heavy at all. All the controls are made easy to operate with, especially in the field.

                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                    • No

                                    Share this review

                                     
                                    3.0

                                    Good, not great

                                    By Samuel

                                    from Mission, Tx

                                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Large Range of Motion

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Home

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

                                      The fact that you can control the amount of drag is awesome. However, the load capacity is too small for this massive thing. With this size I would expect a higher load capacity.Controls are awkwardly placed.If only the 500AH had the drag control and I would be a happy camper. Apparently, you cannot have everything in life now, can you?

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

                                      Share this review

                                       
                                      4.0

                                      Smooth as silk

                                      By mikmak

                                      from Emeryville, CA

                                      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                      • Durable
                                      • Good Stability
                                      • Smooth Pan and Tilt

                                      Cons

                                      • Accessibility Of Pan Lock
                                      • Heavy
                                      • Spirit Level Visibility
                                      • Visibility Of Spirit Leve
                                      • Weak Clamp

                                      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):

                                      Not an O'Connor, but a cost-effective fluid video head for the budding videographer. Smooth panning and tilting with a flat base that can easily convert to a ball base with a separate adapter. The flat base is also useful for connecting to a slider. Infinite levels of drag are perfect for people like me who love having more than 3-4 choices of resistance. I dropped the base plate the first day (figures, clumsy me) but it was unscathed. There is a minute amount of jiggle in the handle that you can cancel out by lining up the teeth right and tightening the screw that holds the handle in place. The football-shaped pan lock may be difficult to access under the bridge if you have big hands. The spirit level is also under the bridge and can be difficult to see if the head is tilted up.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      5.0

                                      Works great. MUCH larger than i expected

                                      By Aleksey

                                      from Sacramento, CA

                                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                      Verified Buyer

                                      Pros

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Video

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

                                          Works great. MUCH larger than I expected. Solid quality construction.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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                                          Quick Release Plates

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                                          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
                                           

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                                          • You Pay: $489.95
                                           
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