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Callie

Which tripod head when shooting stills and video?

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For those who shoot both stills and video, what is your solution for a tripod head? I currently have two separate heads but hate carrying both. I have considered the Manfrotto MH055M8 photo video head but it has such mixed reviews and is a real heavyweight - does anyone use it?

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I think you have answered your own question, Callie. If for whatever reason you must be able to shoot both stills and video on the same outing, then you need both of those very different heads: different tools for different jobs. I own a half dozen tripods but don't own the Manfrotto MH55M8 head. Can you rent one for a test? Just handling it in a store might tell you what you want to know. 

 

It looks like a monster to me . . . but I don't need to be shooting video in the future.

 

Your question reminds me of another problem image makers have now been handed: does this outing call for my Stockimo iPhone, my smaller mirrorless camera or will I need my rolling luggage full of high-end DSLR gear? Or do I always bring everything?  

 

Good luck. 

Edited by Ed Rooney

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thanks Ed, still not sure of the answer, I really don't want to carry two heads and the Manfrotto does look like a monster. Neither seems ideal. Curious to hear if others do indeed carry two heads. But yes, renting or testing in store is a good idea. Thanks for your response.

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I rarely carry a tripod, and never two heads!

 

Pick one for the job in hand. 

 

I intend to shoot a panorama tomorrow and will be taking a pan and tilt head, probably my very cheap, light and indifferent Velbon tripod with built in head, the Manfrotto tripod/head being too heavy/bulky to carry to where I intend to go.

 

Shooting with a NEX 6, and if it isn't too windy, you don't need a heavy professional standard tripod.  I've taken shots at night using a microlight Joby Gorillapod fitted with a small ballhead.

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Last 5-6 years a Manfrotto 701hdv on a stable Manfrotto tripod with a hook for the rucksack to stabilize in windy weather - also used for still photos with the few disadvantages.

 

Bought an extra quick release plate for fast change of cameras.

 

I don't carry the tripod if not necessary. In fact, I prefer to use a tripod for stills only when absolutely necessary. Have also the choice of a light (nearly too light) Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod with a simple ballhead, a Manfrotto monopod, and a Gorillapod (both without heads) for travel purposes.

Edited by Niels Quist

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thanks for the response everyone! Arterra yes that is the video head I also have and I am thinking of sticking with that for now and working around the disadvantages when I want to shoot stills and video - which is quite often when travelling. I do have a manfrotto ball head which I totally hate, so will look at changing that for now for a tilt head. The MH055M8 does have too many knobs and along with its size and weight it is totally discouraging.

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Have a look too at the Gitzo G2180 fluid head - I use one for both photo/video.   

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thanks digi2ap will take a look at that.

StanRohrer if you get to using it for video I would be interested to know how you find it? 

I'm also looking at levelling bases to fit between the video head and the tripod, something like this http://www.acratech.net/leveling-products/leveling-base-with-stud - the acratech seems the best option so far, but still looking. Has anyone used anything like this?

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