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Fluid head (+ tripod) for Panasonic G6
  • Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a fluid head (and a tripod, but the fluid head is more important) for the Panasonic G6 and a 14-42mm lens.

    I'm looking for a tripod preferably with variable drag on the pan and tilt and also counterbalance that actually works with the G6 (i.e. not so the camera is pulled back, not so the counterbalance does nothing).

    I haven't got a budget as such - just interested to see what there is.

    UK BTW.


  • 7 Replies sorted by
  • FC-04H Mod Fluid head + CT7402 legs

    Yet, you'll need some very light rig or some good lens to counterbalance to work properly. For extremely light load it is not easy to make CB to work good. But big advantage here is ability to tune it perfectly.

  • If you want something cheap but solid, I can recommend Giottos MT9351B. it's cheap but it's pretty solid. But it's aluminum so it's heavier than carbon ones. I have yunteng fluid head on it and it does good job. But if I were pro I definitely would get some good carbon tripod.

  • I use a cheap Velbon FHD 41Q fluid head that works well with a light camera. I use a Sirui aluminium tripod. The combination is light and works very well.

  • There are a lot of options out there - Altough I wouldn´t save too much money according a good fluid head. Of the following, I would suggest at least the Benro S8 - Which is also usable on flat mount tripods AND on 75mm half bowl ones. And you can also set the counterbalance to zero (which is needed with VERY lightweight loads - Camcorders for example or just the G6 + lens alone). Benro is also offering 5 years of warranty - Quite nice. At least here in Europe ^^.

    But you can also check out the new Cartoni SmartPro (H548). It´s also equipped with a stepless counterbalance (like the Fancier FC-04H of the deals section Vitaliy mentioned). So you also need a minimum load for it (otherwise the spring is too strong). But the performance and quality (at least of the FocusHD I use actually since a few weeks / months - which is the bigger brother of the SmartPro) is very, very good. Easily compareable to Vinten, Miller, Sachtler and so on. (And you also get a very long warranty - About 6 years if I remember right.)

    Sure - There are also the Sachtler FSB and DV heads - Which offer good performance. But they are quite pricey. And you need at least the FSB6 to get (about) the same payload of the Benro S8 or the Cartoni SmartPro (and I would choose at least the FSB6, to have a little bit more "space" upwards payload wise - For the future). Btw.: Avoid the ACE heads. I had both series in my hands (I owned the ACE M kit for a few weeks and also tested out a ACE L kit in a shop quite intensively) - They are not compareable quality wise (with the FSB heads for example - Especially the ACE M tripod kit is a mess).

    Well. There are also many other options. But I think these are the best to start with (and you still get enough payload range upwards for the future). Also quite interesting is the E-Image GH06 head (which you can also get in a quite cheap EG06A2 tripod-kit). BUT: It´s only LOOKING quite interesting - If there is money left I am maybe trying it out within the next weeks / months. At least it´s features are quite promising (as it´s also in the same payload range as the other heads and also offers zero + 5 steps of counterbalance which is quite nice with a payload range around 6kg). Well - At least I know someone (locally), who is quite happy with one of the older E-Image kits. So it´s maybe also a good option ^^.

    Hope that helps ^^.


  • Thanks everyone for the suggestions :)

    So I'm thinking about the Benro S8 - price is excellent for what you get.

    I'm going to put it on the legs that go with the 717 and also the 270A I think (the standard Fancier ones), which came with a crappy head, but it was only £50 so I thought it was a good deal.

    The legs I have are a 75mm ball size, so I suspect I need some sort of adaptor to turn the flat-head Benro S8 into a ball head? Could somebody recommend me an adaptor if I do indeed need one?

    Thank you and thanks again everyone.

  • @AlecR did you finally bought Benro S8 + 717 or 270A? How is the performance with G6 + 14-42mm?

  • @yskunto:

    I have the S8 actually here. Good performance head - But two points are essential (which I recognized over time - and didn´t mention in the past): The first counterbalance step is positioned quite high (around 2.5kg to 3kg of payload). So it´s not the best solution for DSLR + lens only operation for example - You can still use the step zero counterbalance - yes. But let´s say: You´re using a 1.5 or 2kg payload - Then the 1st counterbalance step is already too much (and the system levels already by itself at counterbalance step one) - And with step zero the system is quite unsafe (as it´s falling quite easily to the front or the back).

    So: If you only use very low payloads, better check out the (even cheaper) Benro S6 head - Lower max payload (and no panning drag control) - But the counterbalance also starts way lower (and you can still use it up to 4kg without any problems - Used it quite intensively in the past - Quite ok at it´s price point) ^^.

    The 2nd point is: The S8 is still using the same drag control on the tilting / vertically (as it´s the case on the S6). It´s usable - But on higher payloads (let´s say over 4kg), the drag is nearly too weak - And it´s compensating too less of the movements. Still usable - Sure. But it´s also a limiting factor (which is essential to know). ^^

    So better check out the Benro S6. Or maybe even the (in the past not recommended by me) ACE L head (used - If you can get one). I found out, that the ACE L I tried in the local shop (which had sitbacks) was maybe faulty - As I also have an ACE L actually here of the actual production which is sitback free - Though: The smaller ACE M still seems to have it´s problems (as I still read and hear of sitback problems - Also the kit-tripod options of the ACE M are a mess - Quite flimsy and unstable. The ACE L kits are way better - And also the dampening is stronger / better).