Hidden Treasure! Awesome Video Fluid Head 717AH

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..

cheesycam-video-fluid-head.
click image

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.

cheesycam-video-fluid-head
find-price-button Click image to find 717AH Video Fluid Head
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194 thoughts on “Hidden Treasure! Awesome Video Fluid Head 717AH

  1. How do you level the Weifeng WF-717 tripod head? There is one spirit level in a place where you can not get a vertical site on it. The sticks are great, the head looks good, has a nice smooth movement yet is impossible to get a horizontal 180 degree pan on the horizon.

  2. Eric Plante

    Just got a couple of these for travel heads, having the same problem with panning some have mentioned. Not quite ready to replace the grease, but I have noticed if you warm it up (say a heat gun for 30 sec or so) it pans really nice till it starts cooling down. Not a real practical solution but if you're in a pinch it can help. Also I'd hesitate to use spray grease and use the pan lock for tension, as its a lock and turning it while locked may cause damage. But maybe use some grease that just a little viscous at room temp.

  3. I've added one of these to my Glidetrack 1m SD slider rig, using an elastic band to slide the head in a smooth motion and cutting out jerkiness.

    It's the best fluid head I've seen for this sort of set-up. The adjustable handle is great for handheld stuff too. Other heads have parts that interfere with the Glidetrack, but this one doesn't. Fab piece of kit.

    I've also heard these are being rebranded as "Fancier" instead of "Weifeng" so look out for the name change if you're purchasing and think it's a knock-off.

  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Thuckenstein - It looks like it probably would, but that's quite a price tag on it.

  5. Emm

    Post author

    @Thuckenstein - It's a completely different head, and not a simple attachment. You would need to purchase the other head.

  6. Please help, I have the opposite problem as other people on here trying to adapt my head to other devices.

    I purchased a WF-717AH head and a set of EI-717A sticks from different places. I didn't realize the WF-717AH doesn't come with the ball mount.

    Does anyone know where to get just the ball mount that will let me attach my head and sticks together?

  7. Hi!

    I just ordered one of this fine piece of gear, thanks to your review!! I have one dilemma though because I'm planning to use this video head as my primary head (i will sell my manfrotto 701hd) but I need to be able to quickly change from this fluid head to my glidecam hd2000. I've been searching through the internet for a separate quick release mount for the 717AH quick release plate but I haven't got any luck until now...=( Any suggestions?

    Thanks a lot. I'd really appreciate your help. I have to shoot a wedding in 2 weeks!

    Cheers,
    John

  8. Emm

    Post author

    @Musouka - There are some slight differences which i'm still confused about too. Some are the same head but come with different tripods. They are bundled and a have a name for the 'bundle'. Some of the heads have a bowl mount, and some have the standard 3/8" mount. Then yes, some are being rebranded all together.

  9. Musouka

    Great find. This might be my first fluid head.

    It's confusing how the product has many names. I have seen it as WF-717A, WF-717H and WF-717AH. I wonder if there are all the same? There is even a EL-717AH but it seems to be from a different company (or maybe just different branding).

    For those of us outside the U.S, this eBay seller has a great price of 69.96 (plus 32.99 international shipping from China), bringing the total to $102.95.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEIFENG-WF-717AH-Photography-Video-DSLR-SLR-Fluid-Tripod-Head-Handle-PK002-/230670415824?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b50737d0#ht_4227wt_1266

    I wonder if the whole tripod set is worth the investment, however. Someone said the head was great but the tripod was not. I currently have Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod. I don't suppose this will fit on it? Any suggestions for a good light tripod?

  10. Emm

    Post author

    @Austin - Lift the tripod neck up. Look under the fluid head and there are three small set screws (very small). Loosen those screws all the way and then you'll be able to remove the fluid head. Grab the base of the head and unscrew counter clockwise.

  11. dan virlan

    lol
    Man 300 $ is much far away from 74 $
    I just checked the ebay link and is listed with 300$

    chers

  12. Emm

    Post author

    @misha - Correct. You can take any QR system and place it on top of any fluid head, slider, dolly, crane, or anything you want.

  13. misha

    So i can basically get the head i want and just slap a manfrotto QR system right on top hey?

  14. Emm

    Post author

    @misha - If you want to get into QR systems, you may want to look into Manfrotto stuff. The workaround is that some people place a Manfrotto QR system on top of other fluid heads to stay compatible.

  15. @ Emm Ive been thinking about purchasing this head. My only concern is i want to have a quick release plate mounted onto my Flycam so i can quickly take it off and put it onto my tripod. Are there any plates that would be compatible with this head?

    Manfrotto makes one but then your stuck buying Manfrotto video head.

  16. This head isn't very good. You will have no control over the drag and it is stiff as hell. I would never recommend it to anybody. Keep your money and invest in something well made that you will keep for a long time...

  17. sigmund

    I had one of these and I think it is good depending on the purpose you want to use it. for run and gun and fast shooting like weddings, the fluid head is not smooth for adjusting it faster up or down. actually, it is a hell of a drag to adjust. for other purposes, it will get the job done though.

  18. Angela

    I've only had this tripod head for about 5 months and it was working for me pretty well (i shoot a lot of live performances with the camera on a tripod). The past month I started getting too much play/wobble in the first joint at the base of the head (where the two cylinders meet). I ended up taking the head apart and found that one of the little black hex screws (there are 6 in that particular area) had snapped off. I'll have to find a replacement screw but I just wanted to share this issue with all of you in case you were having a similar problem. I haven't put it back together to know if the problem is totally fixed, but at least I found where the issue was!
    Cheers

  19. Crypple

    I bought this model and have been using it for a few months now on a small production. It's ok, but not great. Honestly it's not really all that smooth and the adjustments available in the fluid drag are just poor. There is no option to have a friction free release and the drag control sucks. For macro shots forget about this being smooth, it's just not. For general use, this is a great little head and not a bad buy if you're on a super budget, but don't expect to get professional level results out of it. Consider saving a few bucks and getting a cheaper manfrotto or gitzmo fuid head from B&H. Sure you'll spend $350 or so ( like the sweet new 503HD) but you won't want to replace it after a few time using it.

  20. Emm

    Post author

    @ZestyKy - A bowl mount Fluid Head is not easily adapted to just other tripods. You will need a tripod with a bowl mount to use it. Also the tripod you are looking it is a photo tripod, not a video tripod. The biggest difference is that the Video tripod has locking screws under the head so that when panning it doesn't come loose.

  21. ZestyKy

    Thank you for this review! It's very helpful. I'm only wondering about the 75mm bowl design. Is that compatible with other carbon fiber tripod legs or does the head have the option to be mounted on a set of legs that isn't a bowl design? I'm looking at a relatively inexpensive carbon fiber tripod that goes for $99 on amazon but I want to make sure it works with this head before I buy it. http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-Carbon-Tripod-Release-folded/dp/B00465ZYJ2

    Thanks for your help!

  22. They have a version for the tripod that is flat not on a bowl adapter. That will help oyu. If you go to the SLIK web site you will see the same legs but not bowl adapter and them in there you can place the head, the flat part, it is two parts head.

    Also a italian brand (can't remember the name now) use the same head but flat with a 3/8 screw. Take a look

  23. Emm

    Post author

    @frank suero - I have a tripod similar to that and the head is very good. Unfortunately I find that using a bowl mount head slips under weight sometimes under the crane that I have.

  24. I have this legs and head and they are good but, the locking system does not work. I agree that this is great for most projects but please do not place it under a jib, it will just cause yoy problems.

    We just ordered 3 more of this for studio but got another one for our (not yet ordered) cobra crane. Our support for the cobra is the Davis & Sanford PROVISTA7518XB Provista Tripod with FM18 Head. That tripod is great for this Jib.

    Another pain (and if you have a better solution) is that the 717 is not compatible wit manfrotto plates (501) and on top of our ginii rig and all other accessories we have the manfrotto adapter.

    Our solution is to mount the adapter (manfrotto) on the 717 plate and like tkat we just move the camera alone. Working for now but not a elegant or final solution. Any better alternative will be welcome.

  25. Emm

    Post author

    @Daniel - The GH2 is a very small camera. Almost anything you put it on will block the battery door. For Canon DSLR's the battery grip solves that problem. For GH2, I don't think they make a battery grip.

  26. Daniel

    I bought the W717A fluid head and tripod. I mounted my GH2 to the quick release plate onto the tripod but it blocks the BATTERY DOOR! So, I can't swap batteries without having to unscrew the camera off the QR plate.

    What do I do to resolve this issue? Any suggestions? Much appreciated!

  27. Bob

    On the 701, all you have to do is pull the knob to reposition. No tool required. This is the same for all manfrotto products.

  28. Emm

    Post author

    @Lex - That's a totally different type of head mount. You have the bowl type and I have the standard threaded fit.

  29. Lex

    I bought one of these but the whole tripod. It's the same but the one Fancier Weifeng WF-717H Fluid Head Tripod.

    You only bought the tripod head and it comes with another piece attached at the bottom.

    I have the one like in this video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqB1ITXDoAM

    The one you show in your video has another piece at the bottom and you easily mount it to the spider trax dolly.

    I want to know how can I get that bottom piece for my tripod head?

  30. I have been using it for almost a year, It is really great in terms of the price and function, good review, I think the tripod company should thanks you for doing a review and makes more ppl getting this=P

    Cheers,
    Ray

  31. Would this be smooth enough to work high very high zoom? I have a video camera that does 25x optical and 35x "enhanced" zoom and would like to be able to pan along with skaters from across a canyon.

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