Ok, i'm really excited to talk about this item, it's such a great find for me. I've seen this item many times but couldn't find a single YouTube or Vimeo video review about the 717AH Video Fluid Head (note that the number on the box doesn't always match the number on the fluid head). Other search results on the Internet come back as just product sales information. Am I the only one reviewing this item? Have I truly discovered the next DSLR hidden treasure? LOL.
You gotta watch my short video review above as to why this thing rocks. I'm comparing it to 3 different style Monfrotto brands. As you know i'm the happy owner of a Monfrotto 701HDV Fluid head (I demo it on the 99 dollar slider video). Don't get me wrong, the 701HDV works totally awesome. But as many of you might know, i've been working on a Skater Dolly type project 'Spider Trax Dolly' and one of the delays have been researching the perfect Camera Head to mount. Since there will be an option to purchase the dolly 'without' a Video Head, I wanted to make sure I found the right options to suggest to people.
I've already invested in 4 different fluid heads (not cheap blah!) trying to find the right one for you guys. One of the problems I was trying to solve was the 701HDV mount. Everyone out there with a Slider, Skater, or Dolly knows what' i'm talking about! The lower locking knob doesn't clear very well when mounted on flat surfaces. This means you need to DIY some type of spacer. A simple spacer doesn't always work well either. The fluid head is quite firm so you need to drill out some locking screws to make sure it doesn't come loose. Sure I love the 701HDV, but it has problems mounting to anything other than an actual video tripod.
Here's where I struck Gold. When i'm just about fed up with Fluid heads, and figured I'll have to come up with a special adapter for the Spider Trax dolly project, I run into this little Gem. I've seen this online before, but was hesitant about the build for a brand I wasn't familiar with. It was pretty much my last resort in trying to find the best Fluid Head to suggest for the dolly project. It's available from a US seller which means super fast shipping - (no four week waiting period). Even better, It's half the price of a Monfrotto 701HDV and as far as i'm concerned it's twice the build quality. This thing is compact (same size as 701HDV), but it's beefy! It's designed with lots of metal, the fluid head is smooth, has incredibly strong locks to support lots of weight, and comes with a very very nice adjustable (very long) Video handle for extra leverage. In fact you can mount two handles for smoother panning shots. With the adjusted length, this handle actually is perfect for the Spider Trax Dolly use too! It performs same if not better than fluid heads more than three times it's price.
Why isn't anyone else talking about it? I feel like i'm breaking new ground here much like when I started blogging about those 126 LED Video lights. I'm not sure, but I was sooo happy with the first one, I purchased a second one so I don't have to keep remounting my head onto different sliders, tripods, and dollies. The cheapest i've found the 717AH fluid head was on eBay by this seller, while others sell this upwards to $100 dollars. Click here to visit the USA seller that I received mine from..
Update: Just contacted the company to see if they can supply me with alot more for the Dolly project. They mentioned there's a limited amount in stock until the next shipment. This will be the official Fluid head that will be packaged as an option with the Spider Trax Dolly, so if you're shopping for an awesome quality Video Fluid head, now might be the time to grab one.
Oh and i'm still a Monfrotto fan, in fact I love love love my Carbon Fiber 190 CX3 sticks from Monfrotto. Great quality build for the price.
Remember, the numbers on the Head don't match the box - weird.