Featuring the 100mm Focus 18 Fluid Head, this Cartoni Kit is intended for users who shoot with loads between 13.2 to 40 lb and who need a lightweight system. The Focus 18 provides perfect balance along its entire +/-90° tilt range, and features continuous counterbalance adjustment.
The kit also includes the H604 Heavy-Duty Carbon Fiber Dual-Stage Tripod Legs, which feature 19 - 60" height adjustment and non-slip flip clamps; a metal ground spreader; a second pan bar; and a soft carry case with a foam interior, leather handles, shoulder strap, and exterior pockets. (The first pan bar is included with the Focus 18 Fluid Head.) Everything is designed, manufactured, and assembled at the Cartoni factory in Rome, Italy. The Focus 18 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 18 consists of 127 parts, machined or cast to micro-metric 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, the Focus 18 incorporates the Sachtler Touch-and-Go 16 plate system, which is found on Sachtler's FSB and Video series 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 18 uses the same patented Delta silicon wedge counterbalance system used in Cartoni's successful Delta head. The Touch-and-Go 16 plate system will allow you to efficiently move your camera between compatible heads in a studio setting, and will also future-proof your head for such possible uses.
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 18 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. There is also an illuminated bubble level that will be very helpful in dark settings.