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Miller Super 8 fluid head - panning?

Miller Fluid Head vintage tripod

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#1 Matthew Hendrickson

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 06:08 PM

I want to apologize, I'm not at all well-versed in tripod/head gear.

What I just received in the mail from an online auction is a Gitzo Studex tripod with a Miller Super 8 fluid head. I chose this mainly for the brand reputation and the "super 8" name- that's what I'm shooting on.

There are no real issues with it. The tilting action is smooth and it even pans smoothly, if a little slowly. However I don't see a mechanism for the panning. It seems to me it is just rotating on the mount screw threading. Is this its intended use? I ask because there is still a possibility of return. Also, I may change tripods later and would still need a good panning function.

Hope that's clear. Thanks.

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#2 Glenn Brady

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 07:49 AM

The Miller Super 8 fluid head as supplied by the manufacturer has drag adjustments for both pan and tilt.  Adjustment knobs should be visible on the side of the head opposite that shown in your post.  The Gitzo tripod to which the head is mounted doesn't have a ball-leveling feature, so set up may be tedious.   


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#3 Matthew Hendrickson

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Posted 20 December 2015 - 08:03 PM

Thanks. I played with it more and there is a wing nut on the side that clamps down the panning action. I'm not sure how this tech works though. I screw the head down, loosen the panning nut and the head spins around. Mystified by how that internal mechanism works?
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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 10:19 AM

Sounds like 'fluid' is a description of how they'd like it to be, not of the mechanics. It seems to be a plain friction head.

A fluid head would have some sort of reservoir.


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#5 Glenn Brady

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:16 PM

Sounds like 'fluid' is a description of how they'd like it to be, not of the mechanics. It seems to be a plain friction head.

A fluid head would have some sort of reservoir.

 

No, this is an authentic fluid head (I know because I own about a half dozen examples).  It'll work well with lightweight cameras.  


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#6 Glenn Brady

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Posted 21 December 2015 - 03:25 PM

Thanks. I played with it more and there is a wing nut on the side that clamps down the panning action. I'm not sure how this tech works though. I screw the head down, loosen the panning nut and the head spins around. Mystified by how that internal mechanism works?

 

I think you haven't fastened the head to the tripod securely (and it doesn't help that the tripod isn't really designed to accommodate this head).  It would appear that the torque needed to pan the fluid head is exceeding the torque needed to unscrew the head from the tripod.  Maybe you could use soft-jaw pliers or some similar tool to tighten the head to the tripod; hand-tightening may not do it.   


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#7 Matthew Hendrickson

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 01:29 AM

Thanks for the replies. To get the head off, I lock the wing nut and then can twist the head off. Otherwise once screwed on it spins in a smooth pan. I thanked the online seller already for the tripod. Still they offer a 14 day return on the item. I think it may work for me but am wondering if I payed too much. With tripod and head, what's a fair price for this? Also how loose and free do fluid heads get? For instance I couldn't pull off a convincing whip pan with this.

Edited by Matthew Hendrickson, 22 December 2015 - 01:39 AM.

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#8 Matthew Hendrickson

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 01:42 AM

Mark Dunn,
What do you mean reservoir? I'm suspicious that there is no rotating element on the head itself. The whole head pans.
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#9 Matthew Hendrickson

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Posted 22 December 2015 - 03:34 AM

Figured this out and am embarrassed I didn't just do this to begin with. There is an internal column within the body of the head. I couldn't move it independently with my hand. It does lock into the mount and remain stationary while the head swivels. With a flashlight, peering into little gap, it was obvious.

Hey, I warned you I was newb.

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