The 1.3 lb Gitzo 2-Way Fluid Head is ideal for bird photography, digiscoping, and video, and because of its built-in fluid cartridges, it provides a very smooth 360° pan and lateral tilt of -60°/+90°. The spring-loaded counter balance system maintains balance with a fixed drag, but tension can be dialed-in for more resistance. The head can support cameras and spotting scopes that weight up to 13.2 lb, and each axis locks down with its own independent locking knob. The 2.2" tall head is Arca-type compatible, and it includes a rubberized quick release plate with a standard 1/4"-20 male thread and a removable panning bar.
- Load Capacity: 13.2 lb
- Height: 2.2"
- Weight: 1.3 lb
- Arca-Type Compatible
Gitzo GH Series Video Head Overview
Gitzo GH Series Video Head Specs
|Camera Mounting Screw|
|Quick Release Plate Type|
13.2 lb / 6 kg
|Number of Bubble Levels|
|Independent Pan Lock|
-60° to +90°
2.4" / 6.10 cm
H: 2.2" / H: 5.6 cm
1.3 lb / 590 g
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)|
13.9 x 5.8 x 3.8"
Gitzo GH Series Video Head Reviews
Originally wanted a Manfrotto pan head to match my upgraded Manfrotto tripod for my 95mm Swarovski scope for birding. I put off ordering my items only to discover that the Manfrotto pan head was no longer available. I had initially spoken to a B& H specialist who tried to steer me to the Gitzo pan head instead of the Manfrotto- both were good but he like the Gitzo better- so even though I saw reviews of people complaining about the Gitzo not "staying put" when tightened , I gave it a shot. I am very happy with my purchase. You just turn the dials (2) and the scope stops! Whether panning left to right or moving up and down, I've had no issue. Just turn them enough until they are Tight! I also found it VERY easy to balance my scope. They explain how to do it so that it doesn't flop forward or backwards- how to find the sweet spot- I'm not very tech savvy- and I got it first try. My only regret is that I didn't buy my items when I first spoke to the B&H specialist- I waited like 6-7 months...I ended up paying ALOT more for my items. My fault completely !
At very low pan speeds, a bit jerky
I really wanted to like this product; it's very well built, seems sturdy and of high quality, it's pretty lightweight, and it fits without the connecting plate to my Swarovski scope. I also like the angle marker at the bottom. However, if I pan really slowly, which I do a lot when birdwatching, there is a slight jerk, so it moves not entirely smoothly but in small discrete increments. This makes it hard to follow birds flying. Panning vertically is much worse. I'm keeping it for now but if it doesn't get better I'll have to return it.
Yes the action is smooth, but getting the scope to lock down in place without its moving is difficult. You really have to twist the lock to get it to stay. To me, this is so unwieldy that it renders the head undesirable.
Gitzo 2-Way Fluid Head perfect for spotting scope
I recently purchased a Gitzo 2-Way Fluid Head for my spotting scope. It is well-made, fairly lightweight at 1.3 lbs, and works perfectly with my Manfrotto 190 carbon fiber tripod.
Gitzo 2-Way Fluid Head
I've been using this with the Gitzo Traveler Series 1. Light and I'm able to do smooth pans up to about 70mm. My video rig is less about 4 lbs.
Just like others have said - It doesn't lock!
It looks nice and is lightweight, but as others before me have said, it will not lock. I have throw-away fluid heads that will lock up without effort, but no matter how hard you tighten this up, there's no locking. For me, it was especially bad on the vertical axis.
Good for birding scope, not perfect for photo / video
This head works fine with heavy scopes like the Kowa 883 (I have one) -- contrary to the last review. When you mount the scope the first time you might have to move the plate a few millimeters forward or back to initially balance the setup -- this is standard for any head / device connection! Cons: - It doesn't truly lock fully solid, but is good enough for birding, and even long exposure photos, if you are able to not jerk the camera between aligning the shot and triggering it. - The pan and tilt is not that fluid, esp. for video. Example: when you pan from point 1 to point 2, you have to 'overpan' slightly and then the scope will 'bounce back' a degree or two (unless there is no tension on the pan, but isn't that the point of a fluid head?). This is acceptable for scoping but bad for video. A major pet peeve of my own: - Without an adapter, this head eventually unloosens itself from my pricey carbon fiber Gitzo traveler tripod because the the bottom plate of the head, top plate of the tripod, and the carbon fiber neck on which the top plate rests are not constructed/machined to maintain tension with one another. This is a horrible experience that should have been found during testing. I solved it through the addition of a quick release plate + arca adapter, but this pricy workaround should NOT have been necessary. It's certainly not necessary with my other non Gitzo tripod. Well, at least it makes the tripod head faster to remove. I still suspect it's the best birding scope head at this price point.
Use with larger spotting scope for birding
I bought several video and pan/tilt heads for use with the Kowa TSN-883 spotting scope for birding. This one had a few major issues that made it not practical for birding. The plus side is the quality was very high, so if using for video or a smaller spotting scope it might be a good option. But with the larger scope, it wasn't able to balance correctly so the scope wanted to tip backwards all the time, even if I slid the ARCA plate all the way forward. The tilt control feature was not enough to overcome the weight either. The other issue is that I thought there was supposed to be a single knob to lock pan and tilt at the same time, but it was two knobs located on the left side. The knobs were a good size though and easy to operate. I do think that the scope tended to drop a little though after I locked the tilt. I ended up going with the Sirui VA-5 instead, which eliminated all of the issues except it does still have separate lock knobs for pan and tilt. Other good options were the SmallRig lightweight video fluid head (smaller size but not as good quality as Sirui), and manfrotto 128RC (similar issues as Gitzo and no ARCA plate, but the knobs locked tighter).
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