Announcing the Bigger and Beefier Nitrotech: the Manfrotto Nitrotech N12


If you thought the Nitrotech N8 was cool, the brand-new Nitrotech N12 video tripod head is sure to impress. Both fluid head models share the same unique nitrogen-filled piston mechanism for generating counterbalance force. The exposed piston design makes for a cool industrial aesthetic that gives the Nitrotech series its distinctive look. My colleague, Mary Latvis, covered the mechanism’s smooth operation in her hands-on review of the N8. Also like its little brother, the N12’s drag and counterbalance controls feature the same easy-to-operate knobs and the 504PL quick-release plate is of the side-lock variety for quick and easy lock-down.

As for the differences between the two models, the N12 is the larger model, able to support payloads ranging from 8.8 pounds up to 26.5 pounds (12 kilograms, hence the N12 model name) up from the 17.6-pound maximum payload of the N8. Practically speaking, the N12 can handle medium and large DSLR/mirrorless camera rigs, as well as smaller cinema cameras with rigging. It makes a great companion to the N8 if you’re operating in an A/B camera scenario, with the larger “A” camera on the N12 and the smaller “B” camera on the N8.

The N12 will be available in kits with the 536 tripod, a lightweight carbon fiber option with tube legs, or the 545B and 545GB tripods, which employ a double-braced design and a mid-level or ground-level spreader, respectively. For those who already own a set of tripod sticks that they enjoy using, or just need a utility head for sliders or other grip equipment, the N12 head is available by itself. The head utilizes a flat base to keep a low profile on grip equipment, although, if you wish to use it on ball-base tripods or grip equipment, compatible half-ball bases are available separately.

Manfrotto Nitrotech N12 & 536 Single Leg

For more technical information and availability updates on the N12 head and kits, head over the B&H SuperStore website.