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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ManfrottoMVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base
 
4.5

(based on 178 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (107)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (55)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (93)
  • Attaches firmly (79)
  • Large range of motion (72)
  • Strong clamp (48)
  • Easy to use (4)

Cons

  • Heavy (10)
  • Unstable (3)

Best Uses

  • Video (90)
  • Weddings (48)
  • Landscape/scenery (38)
  • Home (27)
  • Portraits (27)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Pro photographer (51), Semi-pro photographer (35), Photo enthusiast (22), Photography student (4), Casual photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (114)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Very smooth, but needed adjustment

This head, in general, is rather nice. Tilt action was butter smooth out of the box. Quick release plate and mechanism are nice and easy to use.
However, pan action was...Read complete review

This head, in general, is rather nice. Tilt action was butter smooth out of the box. Quick release plate and mechanism are nice and easy to use.
However, pan action was horrendously stiff. It would actually shift the whole tripod, or would loosen the attachment plate from column. I popped off the pan screw cover, loosened the bolt, then re-tightened it with less torque. It now pans easily and smoothly.
Another thing is I think the tilt balancing spring is too tight. Tilt it more than 20 degrees either way, even with a DSLR+70-200 f2.8, and you have to struggle to keep it there without tightening the knob. Though gotta say, with video, you rarely need large angle tilts. Still, I will try to find a way to loosen the spring.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good, but needs some improvement

This is a great head, but ... and I say but because I expect a little more attention to detail from Manfrotto. The head arrived way too tight on the pan, we...Read complete review

This is a great head, but ... and I say but because I expect a little more attention to detail from Manfrotto. The head arrived way too tight on the pan, we had to losen the center screw and that's kind of a cop out way of handling the issue. That did losten it up a little, but it may have backed off on the stability slightly also. I understand it is not "Adjustable drag" on pan, but really it shouldn't cause the tripod to come off it's legs to operate it. WAY too tight ... this should be shipped ready to use.

There is no head lock to the tripod base, there's a set screw in some of the bases but that's a PITA to get too and requires a tool. The head should have a pin you push down to prevent it from twisting on the tripod base. Especially if they are going to ship it so tight on the pan. It kept unscrewing.

That said, once I got it operationally smooth and tightened up the screw from the bottom of the tripod mount things got functional. It's smooth overall and easy to use. I like it and will continue to put hours on it in the field and in the studio.

Manfrotto just needs to pay a little more attention to quality control on this model and perhaps add that little head lock feature.

Reviewed by 178 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great Affordable Panning Head

By Daniel

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Very solid!

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

An excellent fluid head that is perfect for my requirements.

By Mark

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

This is an excellent, true, fluid head. First let me state I am a fine art nature photographer primarily making still images with DSLR cameras. I have used many very good ball heads but have never been quite satisfied with the smoothness of locking in camera placement for my compositions. The MVH500AH from Manfrotto has solved that issue for me. If you have had similar experiences, I highly recommend you check out this head. It is a very well balanced true fluid head allowing very smooth adjustments to both pan and tilt. The extra-long, quick release plate allows easily setting the balance point for any lens and camera combination. Once you have set that balance point this head does an excellent job of holding your set up in place while fine tuning pan and tilt. Once you lock either pan or tilt the positioning is not altered in the least. If you've ever positioned for your composition with a ball head only to have it change slightly when locking completely, you know the benefit this head brings to the table. Did I mention how smooth this head allows that to be done with precision?

I like to create my compositions fully within camera and am a bit of a perfectionist. This head facilitates doing so without constantly having to adjust leveling the horizon with every change in pan or tilt. Yes, that does mean you need to get your horizon level first but that has always been my starting point. So what this head does for me is set it and forget it, concentrating on the rest of the composition. I feel I have finally found the right head for my requirements. As always B&H made this purchase pleasant and it arrived a day early.

 
5.0

Good Fluid Video Head with Flat Base.

By Gary

from NM

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

It do's the job.

 
5.0

I goofed - but its alright!

By Johnnie

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Received the head but had ordered the wrong head for the tripod I have readily available. Loaned the appropriate tripod and waiting for its return, expect its return in a couple of weeks or so. I expect this head better for my purposes than the ball head I want to replace. The B&H service has been and is excellent. I expect to continue doing business with them for an extended period of time.

 
5.0

You just gotta try it!

By Ronald

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Love this head! Buy this head for your DSLR - still or video - and you'll never use a ball head again.

 
5.0

Not overkill

By Tam

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Right size right weight right price for a hobbies photographer, sturdy built, smooth panning and tilting. Easily handle with my Canon paired with 70-200mm F2.8 , not overkill.

 
5.0

Perfect Video Head

By Demetria

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Works perfectly! Does exactly what I need it to do during production. Very smooth pans and tilts.

 
5.0

Would buy again

By Aaron

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Works great

 
5.0

Good product for the price

By Diego

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

I'm using this head in my monopod for Wedding and I just love it, first I though was a little big for that use but it fits perfectly and it's very smooth. Amazing for the price.

 
5.0

Great Fluid Head for Video.

By Mason

from Raleigh

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Out of the box, the head is great for the price. I purchased it because of the ability pop the quick release plate in from the top versus sliding in horizontally. Haven't field tested this product yet, but the usability is great.

 
5.0

Very Good

By Israel David

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Very Good

 
5.0

Perfect for 5D and smaller

By John FL

from Saratoga, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

I have used this with a 5D MkIII, 70-200mm f2.8 and rail system, focus puller and LCD monitor. Well balanced but wouldn't go heavier. Also works with a lighter setup such as Sony A7Rii with 55mm although the leveling spring does start to make itself felt. Really well built - bullet proof construction.

 
1.0

very stiff bottom panning ing

By Babak

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

never buy this online. test the head in the store before buying it specially for a non manfrotto tri/monopod. when the bottom ring is too stiff, it will unscrew itself while spining counterclockwise

 
5.0

Great head

By Patrick

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Very sturdy, holds a lot of weight, and smooth pan/tilt.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Doesn't stay "exactly" level while panning.

By Bill

from Warrem, MI

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Don't know if I should give it 3 or 4 stars! My first fluid head and for most video situations this head should be just fine. As the headline states, I you dead center the bubble level, pan 90 degrees or more , it's no longer dead center level but touches the dark ring. In most cases being off level being off level this amount is no problem. Is my flawed or are they all like this? I made contact with B&H about this but so far no solid answers yet!

Another point is that the location of the level, you are viewing at an angle which causes parallax error. A bubble level should be viewed from directly above which one can't do but with the plate removed, you can peek through the slots on one side but your still on a angle but not as much. If you think that doesn't make a difference just try it to see.

I added two pictures, one center and the other at 90 degrees pan.

 
5.0

Compact and lightweight - perfect for a monopod.

By Perry

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Smooth and lightweight. What I needed to pair up with my Sirui monopod and camera track.

 
5.0

Well worth the money.

By David

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

About time to replace my current tri-pod head with one that doesn't stick. Very pleased with the smooth action as well as the quick release plate. No longer need to feel my way to attach my camera in the dark. Five stars considering the price. I also ordered a second handle for smoother action.

 
5.0

Excellent head. Well built. I would buy this again.

By Dominic

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Very rugged and well built. Solid, smooth movement. A great value.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

great head for budget video makers.

By Li

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

Great budget fluid head for video. pan and tilt is smooth, lockable but drag is not adjustable.The counterbalance is fixed at around 5-7lb, so you'll have quite some trouble if you are mounting a mirrorless camera (Sony A6300 for example) with a relatively small lens.

If I mount a D500 with 70-200mm lens, the perfect counter balance can be achieved, and the setup stays stationary.

This is perfect if you are converting your traditional photography tripod with flat base for some light video work. But I think it is probably best to invest in a fluid head that have at least some sort of adjustable counterbalance (down to 0 for smaller camera setups) as well as a half ball head for quick level adjustment.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Decent Entry Level Fluid Head

By Li

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

Comments about Manfrotto MVH500AH Fluid Video Head with Flat Base:

I bought it to be used with my newly purchased Sony A6300. This fluid head at 2.1lb still feels too big/overkill for the A6300 w/kit lens.

The non-adjustable counter balance at abt 5.5lb is actually more annoying than useful especially if you mount a very compact mirrorless camera on top.

The pan and tilt drag weights are also non-adjustable. You can kinda use the tilt lock to increase drag for tilting action but it is not very smooth. The pan drag can't be adjusted, and the included pan lock doesn't really lock the panning in place. If you use some force it will still pan...

The good part is the quick release plate is very easy to use and remove.

I think this fluid head would work best with a DSLR camera with a combined body/lens weight of around 5lb-8lb to fully utilize the counterbalance. But if you have a small mirrorless setup, you may want to look at some smaller/lighter offerings (which I haven't found any)

Displaying reviews 1-20

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