Cartoni Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate & APTP Tripod (75mm)

Cartoni Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate & APTP Tripod (75mm)

Cartoni Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate & APTP Tripod (75mm)

B&H # CAKF081AM MFR # KF08-1AM
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Product Highlights

  • Focus 8 Fluid Head (75mm), 127 Parts
  • Sachtler Ace/Manfrotto Plate System
  • 0 - 17.7 lb Capacity
  • Action Pro Single-Stage Aluminum Tripod
  • Mid-Spreader; Rubber Feet; Carry Case
  • Perfect Balance Along +/-90° Tilt
  • Labyrinth Modular "True" Fluid Drag
  • Continuous Counterbalance and Drag
  • 30.5" Min Height / 53" Max Height
  • Made and Hand-Assembled in Italy
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Cartoni KF08-1AM overview

  • 1Description

Featuring the lightweight 75mm Focus 8 Fluid Head with a Sliding Plate System, this Cartoni Kit is designed for entry-level users who shoot with up to 17.7 lb of load. The Focus 8 provides perfect balance along its entire +/-90° tilt range, and features continuous counterbalance adjustment.

The kit also includes the APTP Aluminum Single-Stage Tripod Legs, which feature 30.5 - 53" height adjustment and non-slip flip clamps; a mid-level spreader; rubber tripod feet; and a soft carry case with a foam interior, leather handles, shoulder strap, and exterior pockets. Everything is designed, manufactured, and assembled at the Cartoni factory in Rome, Italy. The Focus 8 Fluid Head comes with the peace-of-mind of a five-year warranty, and all the other items retain their standard one-year warranty.

The Focus 8 consists of 127 parts, machined or cast to micrometric precision and hand-assembled and adjusted to precision by one engineer at a time. A follow-up to the Cartoni Focus HD head and an evolution of the original Focus head, this Focus 8 incorporates the same quick release plate system as on the Sachtler Ace and Manfrotto video heads, and integrates a new composite material in many parts that allows for a solid build while keeping the weight down. Of course, it also features Cartoni's renowned counterbalance and very smooth, "true" fluid drag. The Focus 8 uses the same patented spring-loaded counterbalance system used in the original Focus head.

The new composite material that's used is a sophisticated non-metal that's much stronger than aluminum, and yet lighter. It is used in the tilt fluid knobs, pan fluid gears, and other parts throughout the body. This composite is also highly resistant to the stress of weight, bending, rubbing, and extreme temperatures, so where it's used in the mechanisms of the head it actually provides for more stress endurance, in addition to saving weight. This composite is the result of a collaboration between Cartoni and the Department of Physics and Engineering at Sapienza University of Rome.

The Focus 8 features a Cartoni-patented labyrinth modular fluid drag system, which consists of individual pan and tilt modules. Each module contains two main sections that have thin concentric rings inside them. The rings in one section interact with the rings in the other, with aerospace industry silicon paste fluid between them that provides resistance. The two sections are never fully disengaged from one another, so movement is always smooth and with no play. With there being separate pan and tilt modules, pan drag and tilt drag are accordingly independent, yet work together to allow smooth, uninterrupted motion in any direction. Cartoni performs a laser-assisted, diagonal movement test on every head to ensure that there isn't even the slightest digression from a straight-line movement.

The pan drag control is a large ring in the center of the head that's easy to use even without looking. This and all other controls are designed with ergonomic grips that will feel secure between your fingers. A pan bar is included that can be attached to a rosette adapter on either side of the head, and additional pan bars are available and sold separately.

Kit Contents
  • Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate System (75mm)
  • APTP Aluminum Single-Stage Tripod Legs
  • Mid-level spreader
  • Rubber tripod feet
  • Soft carry case
Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate
  • 75mm Ball base
  • Supports loads between 0 and 17.7 lb
  • Perfect balance along entire +/-90° tilt range
  • Quick release sliding plate system compatible with Sachtler Ace and Manfrotto video heads
  • Incorporates a sophisticated lightweight, extremely hard, and highly stress-resistant new composite material
  • Labyrinth modular "true" fluid drag system
  • Independent pan and tilt drag, with no play
  • Continuous counterbalance and drag
  • 127 Parts designed, manufactured, and hand-assembled at the Cartoni factory in Italy
  • Five-year warranty
  • Large pan drag ring in the center
  • Ergonomic grips on all controls
  • Includes a pan bar attachable on either side
APTP Tripod Legs
  • Aluminum single-stage tripod legs
  • 88 lb Load capacity
  • 30.5" Minimum height
  • 53" Maximum height
  • 32.5" Folded length
  • Non-slip flip clamps with safety locks
In the Box
Cartoni Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate & APTP Tripod (75mm)
  • Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate System
  • Long Slide-In Camera Plate for Focus 8 Fluid Heads with Pin and 1/4" Screw
  • APTP Action-Pro Single-Stage Tripod Legs (75mm Bowl)
  • S708 Quick Release Mid-Level Spreader
  • B458 Rubber Feet (Set of 3)
  • B410 Soft Carrying Case
  • Limited 5-Year Warranty for the Focus 8 Fluid Head
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty for the Other Kit Contents
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Cartoni KF08-1AM specs

    Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate System
    Ball Diameter 75 mm
    Load Capacity 0 - 17.7 lb (0 - 8 kg)
    Pan Range 360°
    Tilt Range +/- 90°
    Counterbalance Continuous
    Fluid Drag Continuous
    Camera Attachment Quick release plate system compatible with Sachtler Ace and Manfrotto video heads
    Long-style sliding plate included, 4" (10.2 cm) sliding range
    Material Magnesium and lightweight composite
    Temperature Range -40 to 140°F (-40 to 60°C)
    Weight 4 lb (1.8 kg)
    Action Pro Single-Stage Aluminum Tripod
    Material Aluminum
    Bowl Diameter 75 mm
    Load Capacity 88 lb (40 kg)
    Minimum Height 30.5" (78 cm)
    Maximum Height 53" (135 cm)
    Leg Stages 1
    Leg Sections 2
    Leg Lock Type Non-slip flip locks with safety locks
    Spiked/Retractable Feet Spiked
    Folded/Transport Length 32.5" (83 cm)
    Weight 4 lb (1.8 kg)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 14.9 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 43.0 x 8.8 x 8.25"

    Cartoni KF08-1AM reviews

    Focus 8 Fluid Head with Sliding Plate & APTP Tripod (75mm) is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 3.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Most Durable Fluid Head The Cartoni Focus 8 is my second favorite fluid head after the heavier duty Cartoni Gamma Head which I have owned since 1998. The Gamma is for larger cameras and the Focus 8 covers the smaller cameras used today. It has continuously variable drag settings on both pan and tilt unlike the limited stepped settings of it's competitors. It also has a balance setting for tilt that is easy to setup. I also like the 5 year warranty which most likely may never get used since my Cartoni Gamma is still working well after 19 years without any major issues.
    Date published: 2017-03-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Professional tripods Cartoon is the old and famous brand of tripods in the world
    Date published: 2017-05-13
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't live up to promises I was looking to add another 75mm fluid head for lightweight cameras and was swayed by the Focus 8 claims for 0-17.7 continuous counterbalance, the Cartoni reputation, and the low price. I ended up returning the unit as the counterbalance was defective and there were other reasons it didn't meet my needs - here's why: 1) The single-stage tripod is nice, quick release locks for the legs are positive & fast, but maximum height is limited and resistance to torsional force is mediocre, e.g. not up to a Manfrotto 535 at similar height. Suggestion to Cartoni - increase the size & length of the aluminum tubing even if it means more weight - it can't cost you much more. 2) The pan arm is MUCH too heavy for the very low end of the weight scale for which the Focus 8 should be optimized. It is the same part used on the Focus 12 etc. This is mainly due to the telescoping section, which is aluminum and a larger diameter than the spindly tripod legs! It can be pulled off entirely, which helps alot since the front part of the arm is a composite material and is long enough. Problem now is the lack of a grip and the ugliness of it! Cartoni should simply add a grip to this piece and forget about the heavy telescoping arm for this size tripod! 3) The QR plate is okay, but being made of the composite material it has a very textured surface which doesn't slide smoothly like plates from Manfrotto, Sachtler, Gitzo, etc. The video pin / 1/4 screw assembly is well designed to minimize rotational play within the plate, but the bottom of the screw is recessed underneath in such a way to not allow tightening by hand - requiring a coin or tool even just to start the process. 4) The small size of the platform limits the range of motion of the plate and may make balancing certain equipment difficult. In fact, I found certain reasonable equipment combinations which would not balance. 5) Critically, and one of the reasons I am returning the unit, is that the counterbalance at a particular setting is inconsistent over a modest range of angles. With the plate assembly perfectly balanced and the counterbalance at a compromise setting, at 40 degrees tilt forward the spring would let the camera fall forward, but at 10 degrees tilt forward the spring would bring the camera back to a level position. This could be overcome by increasing the drag but obviates the claimed advantage of a perfect balance. 6) The operation of the continuous balance adjustment turned out to be less desirable than preset counterbalances for fast operation, as it is difficult to get back to a predetermined position. It takes almost 20 rotations to adjust from minimum to maximum counterbalance, or vice versa,which translates into easily 50 if not 80 turns of the wrist, enough to feel your wrist even just for one direction of travel! Similarly, although the number of turns is more limited, the lack of drag settings also translates into slower and less repeatable operation. Gone is my envy of continuous adjustment! 7) The other critical, show-stopper issue was also related to counterbalance. In the case of a very light camera (a mirrorless with a fast prime moderate telephoto lens) the heavy end of the pan arm completely overwhelms the range of balance available on the small platform and it was not possible to balance the plate. With the extra segment of the pan arm removed (as described above), it was possible to balance the camera assembly, BUT the head showed an entirely asymmetric counterbalance. With the counterbalance all the way down (which is NOT the claimed 0 pounds!) the spring would catch the fall of the camera forward at perhaps 50 degrees, but not at all a fall backwards. This asymmetric spring behavior coupled with the other counterbalance anomaly could drive any operator aiming to get perfect balance crazy and in any case waste time and distract from the business of shooting. 8) Insertion of the QR plate was inconsistent, sometimes requiring me to press the release button with one hand during this sensitive task. I finally figured out this would happen when the release knob was only moderately loosened - enough to allow the plate to slide out freely but tending to catch the safety stopper when inserting. Twisting the plate slightly when inserting circumvents this effect, but this technique cannot possibly be good for the mechanism in the long term. This is just one example of the kind of quirky and unrefined behavior which in sum makes me feel that this Cartoni is a less than professional piece of equipment. 9) Maximum tilt drag is insufficient to prevent even modest size cameras from falling and I would have preferred a wider range of settings. 10) The overall finish and quality of materials is at best a medium grade, far better than Benro heads I've tried (so perfectly fine for all you Benro fans out there), but not up to the level of even the Ace series from Sachtler. If you enjoy fine equipment, you may not enjoy this head. In summary, this head failed to live up to its claims and failed to match the level of performance of a Sachtler Ace L, at least in my mind. Most likely my quest for another 75mm head will go back to Sachtler, and at this price point that would mean one of the Ace models.
    Date published: 2017-09-28
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