Fluid Heads & Tripods: Everything You Should Know

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Get Ready for the most comprehensive guide to tripods and fluid heads that you never asked for (but secretly always wanted). Vistek’s Dale Sood dives into the technology, the techniques, and lets you in on some tips that will help you capture better and smoother shots in less takes.


Fluid Heads & Tripods: Everything You Should Know

If you want to skip ahead, please use our chapter guide below!

Quick Jump Guide:

  • 00:32 Mechanics of a fluid head
  • 04:24 Balancing your camera on the fluid head
  • 11:44 Fluid Head to Support attachment types
  • 15:12 Camera to fluid head attachment plates
  • 22:46 Tripod & Support Bases

Tripod and Fluid Heads Used in This Video:

Sachtler Tripod Flowtech 100 MS With Mid-Level Spreader And Rubber Feet 5585 Video Tripod Kits

Performance tested in extreme conditions, flowtech™ is incredibly fast, lightweight and easy to set up and adjust compared to any other tripod, giving the camera operator ultimate versatility and improving their workflow. Now available in 100mm for heavier camera payloads and precision shooting.


Sachtler Video 18 S2 Fluid Head 1811 Video Tripod Head

For decades, the sturdy fluid head Video 18 has had a place on the equipment lists of successful ENG camera operators. Thanks to the excellent drag mechanism, the innovative Speedbalance technology for swift weight compensation and the large payload range, this best-seller is not only comfortable to use, but above all, highly reliable. It comes with typical practical Sachtler features like temperature resistance, Touch & Go plate, parking position for spare camera screws and illuminated spirit level.


Camgear V10ALML Video Tripod Kit With V10 Head, T100 Aluminum Tripod with Mid-Level Spreader, and Case Video Tripod Kits

Real professional drag performance, selectable 4 positions pan & tilt drag including zero position, offers operators the silky smooth movement and precise framing. Selectable 5 position counterbalance system including zero position for payloads between 0-10 kgs/0-22.04 lbs. With levelling bubble. Thanks to 0 position, the head is able to support small DSLR configuration and fully configured HDV cameras and cameras with light ENG configuration. 100mm ball levelling, equipped with mini Euro plate quick release system, which enable faster setup of camera.


Camgear Mark 6 MS Video Tripod Kit. Includes Pan/Tilt Head MARK6ALMS Video Tripod Kits Aluminum

The Camgear Mark 6 ALMS tripod kit features a MARK 4 fluid head, a MARK AL/MS2 two-stage aluminium tripod and a PB-MARK pan bar. It also includes a mid spreader and a MARK tripod kit soft bag.


Shape WLB VCT Tripod Plate VCTSH Camcorder Support Accessories

Allowing quick-release mounting/dismounting of professional broadcast cameras, this new SHAPE Quick Release Tripod Adapter is compatible with SHAPE’s most renowned baseplates. The delta plate system at the front of this plate and the rear catch hook will allow you to quickly mount and dismount your camcorder from a Tripod Adapter. This product is made in Canada and of CNC aluminum and covered by our lifetime warranty.


Shape WLB Revolt VCT Baseplate w/Camera Shoulder Mount and Telescopic Handle BP12 Camera Stabilizer & Gimbals

The SHAPE VCT UNIVERSAL BASEPLATE offers a unique design created for professional cameras. It is made of a sturdy and lightweight support system, compatible with different lens adapters from Sony, Canon, RED, Panasonic, Blackmagic, ARRI and many other camera models with interchangeable lenses.


Cover Photo by ShareGrid on Unsplash


Also published on Medium.

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About Author

Woodrow Walden is a Toronto-based photographer and the Social Media Community Specialist for Vistek.