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  • Manfrotto introduced the new 502 professional video heads into their family of products. The 502 heads are designed to provide videographers and photographers with the ideal camera support for the latest equipment and setups.

    This 502 head series is available in two models: the MVH502A and the MVH502AH, both compatible with the latest digital video camcorders and hybrid DSLR cameras with medium/long lenses. The MVH502A is equipped with a 75mm ball base, while the MVH502AH comes with a flat base with 3/8-inch thread. The company says the 502 series is guaranteed to offer the “same dynamic performance” that Manfrotto products are known for, thanks to the brand’s patented bridge architecture.
  • 37 Replies sorted by
  • @Tscheckoff Thank you for that detailed Reply. I'm looking at the A373FBS8 right now.

  • @chauncy:

    Why not check out the Benro S8. It´s always a flat base head (and a quite good one). (The 75mm half bowl kits are only coming with an 75mm adapter - So you can use the leveling feature.) Also feature wise it´s WAY better equipped than the 502HD head.

    (Sorry @ Vitaliy to post that here - But it´s just the better option for him ...)


    The same goes for you - You can get a Benro A373FBS8 kit for around 450$ (sometimes even cheaper with rebates). You get the single leg tripod (very stable stand and stiff connections / base - Used multiple versions already), the half bowl adapter (where you can mount a ballhead or three-way-head for shooting stills) and the flat base S8 head.

    Btw.: Used til now following tripods from benro: C373T, C474T, C4770TN (the new one is actually in use), A373T, A2570T (classic) and the A3570F (classic with leveling mid level collumn). Especially the half bowl tripods (the first four) were EXTREMELY rugged. Even compareable to the Manfrotto (MPro 535 and 536) and even the Gitzo systematic tripods (with half bowl upgrades). Especially the C474T and C4770TN are "Stability-MONSTERS" ^^.

  • I was thinking of getting this head and a fairly heavy duty carbon (photo) tripod for their relatively small size and light weight. Has anyone tried this head on a 26lb class carbon tripod? I want something I can carry around easily that will also be able to use a ball head on for stills shooting.

  • that blows. I'll have to buy the flat version with a bowl adapter so I can use the head anywhere I want.

  • the 502's bowl does not come off easily, and does not work well as a flat bottom head.

  • about the 502 with the 75mm bowl, does the bowl come off easily? Can it then work as flat bottom head as well?

  • Up today I am using a monopod 560b with a 391RC2 head with my GH3 . Can you guys recommend another one for using with a monopod ? Thanks

  • @davidp158, long-delayed reply - I use the 501PL plate (about $28 at Glazers) on the bottom of a slider I attach to the 504/tripod. Works great, solid. How do you like the Tascom? Kevin

  • Just following up to an old post:

    I have been using the Manfrotto 502 head with a small/medium size rig, and it handles the weight just fine. My rig includes set of rails with mounting bracket, handles & shoulder pad, GH2 w/multiple lenses (pancakes to 14-140), Feelworld 7" monitor, Tascam DR-40 recorder, external battery pack and sometimes a Sennheiser shotgun mic. The 502 head is very smooth, and doesn't bind or get sticky. In fact, the extra weight seems to make pans and tilts much smoother and tripod (Manfrotto PROB190) feels more solid.

    Q: Does anyone know if there is an alternative mounting plate to the 504PLong? The 504PLong plate runs around $65, which is somewhat higher than only "long" plates from Manfrotto. $65 plate for a $175 head seems overpriced to me.

  • @ickejohannes: Pardon the delay. Just saw this. I've been using my 14-140 with no issues. I've also tried the Ace. Its lighter and feels more 'plasicky'. I would guess it is not a prob with the 14-42. One thing i realized and happy that i bought aluminum sticks. You may want to have that extra weight when out in the field. Its been able to handle some decent wind gusts.

  • Has anyone used the 502 with just a bare GH2 with the small kit lens (14-42)? Trying to decide between this and the Sachtler Ace.. The fine-tuning of the 502 seems nice, but in the specifactions it says 2lbs minimum weight. GH2 and kit lens would be less than that.. Is it still possible to counterbalance properly?


  • Anyone using this with full rig including mattebox, follow focus, 5-7" lcd, audio recorder, shoulder pad, and either external battery or counter weight? I know that is going to be right around 8 pounds and wondering if that is pushing it with this head.

    @davidp158 - any pics of your rig setup on this head and have you added any additional gear to what you listed? Some more feedback would be appreciated.

  • kavadni - Aha! My bad for not paying closer attention to the manual. Sure enough, the knob pulls outward which completely eliminates the issue I was struggling with. Thanks for your reply!

  • @davidp158 have you tried pulling the knob outwards, away from the head and rotating it? On my miller DS10, which is of similar design, this allows you to adjust the angle at which the knob is positioned.

  • I picked up a 502 head at Glazer Camera's Photo Festival today. The 502 seems to work fine with the GH2's limited weight, and the pans and tilts are sweet. The release plate is a bit tricky to slide into place, and the knob that secures it is in an awkward place (hits bottom of the camera body), but otherwise, I am very pleased with the 502.

  • @david158: I will guess the weight should be great. Spec says it can handle up to 8.8lbs. So thats good.

    @Kihlian: Not sure. I have not tried the 501PL. They give you the 504 long plate when you buy the 502. Spec says 2" wide but it looks smaller to me. They advertise 501PL for 501/503 on BH. Maybe not...give them a call.

  • @pvjames Did you know or tried if the 501PL plates fits on the 502? Thx.

  • @pvjames

    Thanks for your comments. BTW, I bought a basic rig (rails, handles, shoulder pad) though this forum, and added my Tascam DR-40 recorder to it. The combined weight of the rig and camera is probably close 5 pounds. Do you think this weight range is still too light for the 502 head?

  • @davidp158: I'm very happy with the 502. You might have issue with the weight. GH2 is really light for that head. 502 can also handle heavier cams but i don't consider the weight a prob to me and i've been hiking alot with it.

  • pvjames - Still happy with the 501 head? I need to get a head for my GH2. Any issues that you've run into this the 502?

  • @pvjames Thanks, I'll look into it =)

  • If you run-gun, try to get carbon-fiber with the 502.

  • I think the 502hd is around $199, any recommendation on a good tripod to go with this? :)

  • Basically, I need a second tripod and I have the 717 but would be happy to upgrade to something better if it is not too much more.

  • @pvjames thanks for the picture, the 502hd seems bigger than the gh2 haha I may actually go with the 502hd =)