Cheap Velbon Video Fluid Head Review

I'm sure many of you already know about this particular Velbon fluid head. It's been a hit for a while now, and I thought it was finally time for me to test one out. As much as possible I love shooting with smaller cameras, and this fluid head was a great surprise. Works great as a spare head on the Konova slider instead of using the static Ball Head (and cheaper too).

If you're just starting out with a GH2, Olympus Pen, or Sony NEX-5n camera you'll get some truly fluid movements with this sub $30 dollar fluid head. It's no wonder this fluid head gets rave reviews over at Amazon and B&HPhoto websites. Best bang for the buck no doubt. Here's a few things to keep in mind about the Velbon. It's plastic, all plastic (except for a bit of metal on the pan bar). Although it doesn't feel fragile to break in under your camera, it's not designed to be thrown underneath all your other heavy equipment or to be tossed around.

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Size Comparison (Left) Manfrotto 701HDV (Right) Velbon Fluid Head

Don't get the bundled tripods as i've heard nothing but horror stories. You'd be better off buying another one like the 190XDB from Manfrotto (found here). Don't overload the thing. I used a Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 100mm Macro F/2.8 which worked well, but the head does not have a 'balance' feature so it wanted to tilt forward with the heavy lens. It's too bad the build quality comes in short, because the performance is truly amazing for such a cheap head. Often you'll find the head on sale as low as $26 dollars, and for a spare head on your DSLR video slider, track dolly, or even one for your Monopod it's a deal. You can find them on sale at B&H (click here)

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find-price-button Velbon PH-368 Video Fluid Head

or at Amazon (click here) available at both B&H and Amazon (click here)

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find-price-button Velbon Fluid Video Tripod head - via Amazon

 63 Comments





63 thoughts on “Cheap Velbon Video Fluid Head Review

  1. W. B.

    Hmm, don't have a flathead that wide haha. Will take fluid head to work tonight to see if i can take it out there. Hope i didn't screw it up already by using too narrow flatheads :S

  2. Mark

    Actually after further research, realized it comes off easily by unscrewing with a flathead. Hope that helps others who might be confused lol

  3. Mark

    Sorry for the stupid question, but I can't seem to figure out how to remove the 1/4" adaptor to make it fir the 3/8" screw for the Konova k2 slider

  4. jeremy

    Emm...

    U

    ARE

    TOTALLY

    AWESOME!!!!!

    Thanks man, never knew this leveling heads existed, totally what I need.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Jeremy - Here's a bowl mount that's sturdy enough to support a small jib: Professional Heavy Duty Video Camcorder Tripod Fluid Drag Head Kits WF717

    You can see it being used in this video: http://oliviatech.com/trapezist-portable-mini-4-jib-by-light-craft-workshop

    Or if you have your favorite 3/8 base mount Video Fluid Head, you can get some of the Bowl Mount leveling features using something like this: http://oliviatech.com/manfrotto-438-compact-leveling-head

  6. Jeremy

    hey emm,

    Thanks for the quick reply.

    So are there any good bowl mount video tripod you could recommend which is about the range of a

    PH368 + manfrotto 190xdb

    Hope this isint too off topic

  7. Jeremy

    hey Emm, was wondering would it be possible to mount this to a bowl mount tripod. With the correct accessories. Like a bowl adapter?

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @aditya - It would mount on there, but you just have to remove the 1/4 adapter from under the Velbon head.

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  10. Richy

    I've used that Velbon head a bit and obviously enough it's an absolute piece of junk for a primary head, but it might be useful on a slider.

  11. Sunil

    Hi..

    Manfrotto 190XPROB uses a 3/8" tripod screw whereas Velbon ph-368 fits onto a 1/4" male screw only.. Any idea how to mate these 2?

    Sunil

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @Qzyxa - Elliot - Sorry I have no clue. I've been using it on my Crane, and wanted to get another one. Can't seem to track any down right now.

  13. Do you have any idea when these will be back in stock? If it wont be for months, I will order a wf717. Actually, are there any other cheap fluid heads? It will be for the 560b monopod.

  14. Clém

    so has anyone tested the Velbon on the Pico Dolly upside down ?

    I'm not sure it's been confirmed...was that what you were saying Emm ?

    I have the 717 but it's the bowl version so it won't work. I just look for a dedicated fluid head for the pico dolly...

    Sorry i'm a bit lost..
    Anyways, thanks a lot as usual for all the advices & reviews on dslr products.
    I now have a weifeng/717 tripod, pico dolly, and z96 led light and i'm really glad with it thanks to you Emm...
    Ok now i stop fanboy mode. Out. See ya.
    🙂

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  16. Emm

    Post author

    @DD - Here's something most people don't think about. You can actually use the Pico Flex Dolly upside down, and it will have a larger base. The knobs will be underneath.

  17. @shai – The Pico is small. It will mount, but you won’t be able to pan the head. The locking knob for the panning gets in the way, but maybe it can be removed from the head. I’ll try that next week. ___>>>>

    So Emm , will this fit the pico dolly ? Looking for one cheap fluid head to fit onto the pico to pan and tilt with.

  18. Emm,
    I need a small inexpensive fluid head or ball head for my DIY
    slider/dolly I have Manfrotto 577 quick release on my 501 fuild head and would like something less expensive than a 701 that I can use the quick release.What are my options?

  19. Emm

    Post author

    @Anthony - Velbon makes some really great tripods. I own a few myself. The comment was intended for the tripods that are bundled with this particular fluid head, not all Velbon tripods.

  20. Wondering what 'horror stories' you've heard about the Velbon tripods? I was looking at some of their video tripods in the local shop today and they seemed pretty skookum. C-500 and C-600 in particular.

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  22. Emm

    Post author

    @vision - For a real video tripod, there should be a few locking screws to keep that from happening. It would be underneath the stage where you would mount the fluid head.

  23. vision

    I have this head on DV-7000 and I like it... But when I screw the pan knob tighter and do a pan in the right side, the whole head starts unscrewing... is that normal? O.o

  24. Picked one up at a yard sale a couple of years ago for $5, missing the plate (bought that online).I love this tripod. It has a slight leak, but it is still super smooth. I will probably pickup another one or at least a head so I don't have to transport the sticky leaky one around anymore. I didn't think of just looking for the head replacement.

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @Amy Barrett - I don't think you can find a 717 for around 50ish, closer to about $75-80. The 717 will survive a fall if you drop your tripod, and the 717 can carry much more weight. If you baby your equipment and have some lightweight stuff, the Velbon works great.

  26. Emm

    Post author

    @shai - The Pico is small. It will mount, but you won't be able to pan the head. The locking knob for the panning gets in the way, but maybe it can be removed from the head. I'll try that next week.

  27. FBowitz

    Hi, this was the perfect timing, just bought my t2i! Buying the flycam and a tamron 17-50mm soon. Do you think the Velbon cx 686 with the PH-368 head is a good buy? If not, what legs should i purchase?

    As I`m already asking, do you know a smaller company/seller that can mark my tripod as a gift? If you know a lot you think maybe will do it, please tell me!

  28. VanderV

    I'm actually one those guys who bought the head with bundled tripod. While it might not be better than an average tripod, it it light and small enough for carry on luggage on aircraft. Low cost carriers usually hate guys who tried to carry big heavy tripod as a carry on luggage but velbon stuff is small and light and as any amateur videographer, a shitty tripod is 1 million times better than no tripod at all.

  29. Emm

    Post author

    @MK - I'm using some very expensive Carbon Fiber ones in the video, but the 190XDB is a good solid set.

  30. MK

    Emm - Great timing! My back up cheap tripod just fell apart last weekend and I was looking to get a new setup. What Manfrotto legs are you using?

  31. Emm

    Post author

    @san - Or you could go with a battery grip. The batteries load from the rear instead of the bottom.

  32. i use this head on my Manfrotto 560B monopod and is great! but the only issue i have is that the plate blocks the battery compartment of my 550D so i have to remove the plate every time i need change a battery ....pain in the ass....

    my only solution was to use the gini rails with the manfrotto quick release plate.

  33. My first tripod was the Videomate 607 which came with this head. After the legs gave out I wanted to keep using the head since it was awesome for the price. I took it off but it was designed to stay on. I found a replacement set of legs and this cheap fluid head on B&H and it's still one of go-to tripods today.

  34. Darius

    I owned a similar head from B&H under the Promaster line. The head is great, especially if you don't load too much weight on it, however I did indeed bundle with a tripod, and while the head did wonders the tripod fell apart after a couple months of moderate use. Live and learn.

  35. @emm What would you say is the best tripod dolly under 100 bucks to shoot on wood floors ? I got my pico dolly for great low shots and love it but what would work best for high level shots ?

  36. @Emm... thanks for the tip... While we're on the subject, I bought one of the Weifeng tripod / fluid ball heads and it's great except the tripod isn't tall enough to get a straight on standing head shot. Is there anything I can do to raise the height of the head? I'm new to the ball heads.

    Thanks for all you do, my number one source of advice for new equipment. Cheesycam for the win!

  37. Habez

    Cant find it on ebay, emm!

    Well, the ones that i CAN find are going for exorbitant prices 🙁 ~46 GBP. o.O

    Im not sure if amazon ships to worldwide (Im from Singapore).
    Gah. I need a budget tripod head for my budget slider lol.

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