Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head with Fluidity Selector Plus Two Bonus IVATION Replacement Quick Release Plates for The RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter

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Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head with Fluidity Selector Plus Two Bonus IVATION Replacement Quick Release Plates for The RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter

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Manfrotto XPRO Fluid Head with Fluidity Selector Plus Two Bonus IVATION Replacement Quick Release Plates for The RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter

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5.0 out of 5 stars
No I know what smooth is.

Reviewed in the United States on September 24, 2015

I’ve had several fluid heads and this one is by FAR the smoothest. I wasted my last 199+ on the benro mono pod with the S-4 head. The manfrotto blows it out of the water! So smooth and you can adjust both pan and tilt tension. Buttery smooth. I mean smooth. The only issue I had is there’s a small type plastic cover on the open space that always seems to pop off when I lift it from that area. I tend to grab all my tripods at the same place and noticed it pops off easy, besides that, it’ll be hard to find a better fluid head.

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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 27, 2016

Nice fluid head, specifically designed for DSLR users. I originally bought the Manfroto 502AH because the price was only a little more than the XPRO, but returned it and bought this one for several reasons. Really, the 502 is much higher quality, but you sacrifice weight, size, and convenience. If you are a DSLR user who uses other tripods for photography you will need to use different mounting plates with the 502.

This XPRO better suits my needs as a semi-pro photographer with a DSLR (I shoot technical videos at my work, but it is not my primary job). Overall, the build quality is good (the 502 is more beefy, but also weighs 2x this one). With the XPRO, there really isn’t any adjustment for the fluid resistance. I have read and watched youtube videos saying there is, but in the real world you won’t be adjusting tension with this product. Some people say the tension is too much. I disagree, I thought the tension was adequate. You don’t want too little tension or your video will be jumpy. If you are a professional who pans often, you probably should get the 502. If you have a DLSR and occasionally pan video, get this one.

One big thing I like about this is it uses the QR plates that I already use with my Manfroto ball head. It is very nice being able to switch between tripods without having to switch plates (or having to find the right plate for your application).

Is the 502 better built and does it give you ability to adjust the fluid tension? Yes and yes. The 502 is built like a tank, but it is also significantly larger and heavier. And it is not designed with DSLR users in mind.

One main reason I switched to this head is because the 502 uses a long plate NOT geared towards DSLR users. The plate is designed this way so you can balance the camera if you have additional gear mounted (mics, lights, etc). Can you use the 502 with a DLSR? Absolutley. But the plate will extend a few inches behind and in front of your DSLR body. I wasn’t excited about this but could live with it. Attaching the plate to the fluid head was not a great experience though because the knob to tighten down the plate was too close to the DSLR body. Probably this wouldn’t be a big deal with a camcorder or professional video camera because those are narrower side to side (compared to DSLRs, which are more wide). The whole setup was just awkward if you plan on mounting and removing your camera semi-regularly. If you are in a studio, or leave your camera attached to the head, its probably not a big deal.

If Manfroto made an adapter plate that accepted QR plates, I might have kept the 502. Manfroto does make a QR base, but it doesn’t work with the 502 plate because of piece of metal on the bottom of the QR base. In the end I am very happy with the XPRO.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 10, 2015

Love this head. It is light weight yet handles my heaviest lens and camera set up (Sony A99 and Tamron 200-500 lens) just fine. It is much smoother and lighter than the cheaper video head I previously used (EI717A).

I am also finding that I love it for bird photography, which was a bit unexpected, because it is so well balanced. I can set it with just the right amount of friction so that it stays steady but can be moved with a quick flick of the lever. I find I get sharper bird shots, if I can get my hands off the camera before taking the shot and use a cable release. This lets me do it much quicker than the ball head or trigger grip I have used. I do use the lever on the left side when I shoot birds as it gets in the way of me looking in the viewfinder on the right side. I’ve always done video with my right hand on the lever as I use the LCD screen. Switching sides was a breeze.

When you need to lock the head down for a longer exposure or when you have more time, it locks down well. My only complaint with these types of heads (2 way pan) is that you have to adjust your tripod legs to get a level horizon. Three way heads will let you adjust your horizon on the head but I think you lose the nice fluidity of the pan, so its and acceptable trade off.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 10, 2016

Good quality and the two additional QR plates are a plus. I consider the load ratings a bit decieving. Yes, it works though you will find yourself setting to the maximum damping in short time. In order to obtain the vertical angle I had to instal the arm backwards. Would have been nice if it were a wee bit longer.
If using in conjunction w/spotting scope allow 3X load weight/nothing more than an 80mm. It handles 100mm, but for ease/convienence I would move up a notch. Still, lightweight and w/cams or bins well behaved. I can see this on a monopod w/15×56 bins.
Good quality and value for the money. Plus, it will handle long spotters or lenses it merely helps if you use the same one predominately as you can fine tune the settings and leave them. For the price it is a lot of head at little weight and tilt/pans smoothly.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 22, 2016

Excellent fluid head – for this price range, it’s the best I’ve worked with. It’s as good as the Manfrotto 502 but without the precision tension controls and half the size. The only thing I wish was different though is the quick release plate. It’s good for small DSLRs but I wish it was the longer version (similar to the 502) for extra stability if you’re mounting something other than a camera (such as a slider) and with the ability to add a 3/8 screw. Also, the bottom of the plate uses a little handle that you twist to tighten the screw, which I found really hard to take out – would prefer the coin screw-type. Almost broke a nail with this one, really frustrating, so one start off for that.

Fluidity is fantastic though. The head does what it’s meant to really, really well. Can’t go wrong with this one.

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 13, 2016

I have a Manfrotto tripod that had a different Manfrotto ball head. Suddenly I find myself having to do more video and the ball head just wasn’t satisfactory. This fluid head works great for video and with the additional adapter plates will allow for quick changing between several different cameras. It’s various setting for motion damping makes it very versatile. There were other heads that seemed to get good reviews but as you read further into them there often was some issue that made me reconsider my choice. Yes, this was more expensive than some others but I looked at the incremental difference in price and considered the Manfrotto quality and was glad I settled on this head. This is one of those situations where you have to ask yourself, “When was the last time I was disappointed by buying the best?” Often there are the intangible qualities that just give a great deal of satisfaction in using a given product. This is one of those cases.