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A brief comparison of Manfrotto N8 and same class fluid heads

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#1 range88

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:51 AM

QQ图片20180624223545.png

 

Precision
N8 & F8: The cb of N8 and F8 are both quite acceptable. At min. drag, both slides a bit near ±30 degrees but the effect diminishes to unobjectionable level when adding appropriate drag. The Cartoni employs a “winged” cb mechanism which can be found at US patent doc US7331675. The Manfrotto employs a novel and practical means, i.e., a piston, which works very much like a lineal spring. I am unaware of any sinusoidal compensation mechanism in this case. The results are similar.
V6: The Perfect Balance is exemplary. Simple and effective rod compensation mechanism, which can be found at US patent doc US8596892. No complain here, though the min. drag of Vision 6 is set at relatively high level.
VH10: Fixed 2kg spring. Not adjustable, no compensation at all, only better than none.

 

Fluidity
N8: The feeling of drag is convincing, especially horizontal, which enjoys an unusually large range for this class of head, from near zero friction to very high torque movement. Perfect for both whip and slow motion.
F8: Acceptable only. Quite a bit friction remains at min, low torque at max.
V6: Vision 6 uses LF (Lubricated Friction) drag, the min. drag is set at relatively high level. Noticeable but not so different compared with max. drag , i.e.,  narrow range. Much worse than their TF(Thin Film) drag tech.
VH10: Just floppy.

 

Load Range
N8 & F8: N8 identifies its load capacity from 0-8kg at 55mm cog(center of gravity). Not bad but not on the same level of F8: identical 0-8kg, but at 75mm cog. In my test, both heads can start from 0, but N8 won’t hold my standard testing tools, so a lighter weight is used. There is a 10cm cog difference between the two at respective max cb settings. F8 lives up to its balance graph perfectly well. But as this is not my standard testing tools and no balance graph was provided by manufacturer, I can’t calculate the cog and load capacity of N8, but I think the specification is relatively accurate and the max load may be around 5-6kg translated to 75mm cog. Not bad at all, just falls short of best practice in industry.
V6: Here comes what I dislike Vinten most. The range is 2-3kg throughout and the min bar is so high. Sometimes you need multiple heads to cover up all your scopes.
VH10: Without an effective cb mechanism, it is mainly friction to hold the head with higher loads. It seems pointless to assess here, so I just mark a 5 (min. acceptable performance).

 

L/W Ratio
N8 & F8: F8 excels here with a 5(8kg/1.6kg), actually this is the most potent/compact small fluid head I can find. N8 is not far behind with a 3(6kg/2kg). As N12 and N8 share the same chassis and are of similar weight, I think N12’s L/W Ratio will improve quite a bit.
V6: 4.1(9.5kg/2.3kg)..
VH10: Although the result is a high 6.6(6kg/0.91kg), it just doesn’t count. 5 points, same reason above.

 

Tilt Range
F8 & V6: Both ±90 degrees.
N8:+90/-70. Not a big problem for zenith gazers considering it can mount backward.
VH10: 5 points, same reason above.

 

Ruggedness
N8: Chassis made of quality metal, some plastic small parts. Working temp -15~+50 c. May have a problem under extreme weather.
F8: More plastic used, but Cartoni claimed the material is a high-tech plastic developed by a local university. Working temp -40~+60 c.
V6: Main parts made of casted aluminum. Working temp presumably -40~+60c.
VH10: Just cheap. Working temp presumably -20~60 c.

 

Ergonomics
N8: The side load mechanism is easy to operate. Bubble lights up. Big knobs, quick dials. Very good.
F8: Slide in mounting. With scales, though no bubble, and it is time consuming to dial the cb from min to max.
V6: Slide in mounting, no scales, Bubble lights up. A bit awkward to dial the cb when load is high.
Vh10: Plain but acceptable.

 

Conclusions
The N series is the best fluid head Manfrotto offered in recent years. Its novel piston cb mechanism proves to be effective. The N8 is a good all-rounder at an affordable price.

 

IMG_2306.JPG


Edited by range88, 24 June 2018 - 09:37 AM.

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#2 range88

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 06:53 AM

The cogs.

IMG_2305.JPG


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#3 range88

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 08:13 AM

100mm diiference in cogs.

 

IMG_2307.JPG


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#4 Beg

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 10:51 AM

Agree that Manfrotto has upped the ante with the N series. But I would not feel comfortable putting my BT-100's on the N8. My Obie BT weighs 12.5 lbs and my Orion BT weighs 14.5 lbs. The N8 is rated at 17.6 lbs. Think that is just to close. 

 

These expensive mounts are an investment for whatever else comes out in 2 or 3 years. So I think my N12 rated at 26lbs is where I want to be. And using it in the field for the last couple weeks, I don't think I would want anything less. So it's a $600 investment.


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#5 range88

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:09 AM

Agree that Manfrotto has upped the ante with the N series. But I would not feel comfortable putting my BT-100's on the N8. My Obie BT weighs 12.5 lbs and my Orion BT weighs 14.5 lbs. The N8 is rated at 17.6 lbs. Think that is just to close. 

 

These expensive mounts are an investment for whatever else comes out in 2 or 3 years. So I think my N12 rated at 26lbs is where I want to be. And using it in the field for the last couple weeks, I don't think I would want anything less. So it's a $600 investment.

The N series's ratings are based on 55mm cog. This is not the industry standard for fluid head, but aiming more at the DSLR and compact VR market.

So you can calculate your bino's cog and see if they fits.



#6 Mr. Bill

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:43 AM

Agree that Manfrotto has upped the ante with the N series. But I would not feel comfortable putting my BT-100's on the N8. My Obie BT weighs 12.5 lbs and my Orion BT weighs 14.5 lbs. The N8 is rated at 17.6 lbs. Think that is just to close. 

 

These expensive mounts are an investment for whatever else comes out in 2 or 3 years. So I think my N12 rated at 26lbs is where I want to be. And using it in the field for the last couple weeks, I don't think I would want anything less. So it's a $600 investment.

The $150 difference between the N8 and N12 will be long forgotten in a year


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#7 Castor

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 06:28 PM

waytogo.gif 

Conclusions
The N series is the best fluid head Manfrotto offered in recent years. Its novel piston cb mechanism proves to be effective. The N8 is a good all-rounder at an affordable price.

 

attachicon.gif IMG_2306.JPG

 

Wow Range88, what an excellent review and detailed comparison evaluation of these quality fluid heads, bow.gif  it’s a shame it is not posted in a more visible area of the forum, like the mounts section where more people could benefit and comment.  Thank you for bringing it to my attention, I’ll save it in my favorites for future reference! waytogo.gif 


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#8 ihf

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 03:25 AM

As a heads up B&H has the N8 on sale in the DealZone for USD 299.88 (today only) instead of the usual USD 450. It looks like a clearance sale as the new models Nitrotech 608 and 612 have been announced. (Maybe N12 coming next?) As far as I can tell the differences are minor.



#9 GamesForOne

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:43 AM

The $150 difference between the N8 and N12 will be long forgotten in a year

But with the present B&H deal noted above the difference is $300. I'm tempted by the sale N8 price.

 

$300 is not chump change.

 

I think I would definitely pull the trigger on the N12 if it went on sale for 33% off.  jump.gif

 

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#10 Beg

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 08:21 AM

I would not be surprised if the N8 and N12 get discontinued..



#11 Rich V.

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 09:32 AM

Manfrotto Releases New Fluid Video Heads – Nitrotech 608 and 612:

 

https://www.cinema5d...rotech-608-612/



#12 Beg

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

I really like my N12 I really do. But if I was going to do it all over again, I think I would go with a fork mount like APM's or the new Orion. Simplicity has it advantages. The fork mounts are made for Binos and the Video fluid heads are make for cameras. And the COG issue that can potentially prevent a binocular like the 120mm from being used, even though it's within the heads weight range, is a huge issue to me.



#13 Binojunky

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 02:55 PM

Worth mentioning is that a lot of the Manfrotto heads and tripods are now coming from China, no longer Italy, the quality seems good but the prices have stayed the same,D



#14 Rich V.

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Posted 01 May 2019 - 07:37 PM

Worth mentioning is that a lot of the Manfrotto heads and tripods are now coming from China, no longer Italy, the quality seems good but the prices have stayed the same,D

I've seen no mention from N8/N12 owners about the country of origin of these heads if not from Italy.  Anyone?



#15 Beg

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Posted 02 May 2019 - 12:14 PM

https://www.manfrott...o/made-in-italy


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#16 Binojunky

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 10:09 AM

The head I bought was made in China, it was from a Manfrotto stockist and as I looked through the display of their products some were  from Italy and some from China, just saying,D


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#17 OBERWERK

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 01:40 PM

I've seen no mention from N8/N12 owners about the country of origin of these heads if not from Italy.  Anyone?

All the NitroTech heads I've seen have "Made in Italy" in a few places on the box, as well as engraved in the body casting.


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#18 Tamiji Homma

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Posted 03 May 2019 - 02:25 PM

Here is N12 mount top:

 

large.jpg

Close up:

large.jpg

 

Tammy


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#19 Jawaid I. Abbasi

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Posted 05 May 2019 - 03:44 PM

A quick question:

Does it have the Arca Swiss or its own. I used the Arca Swiss plate and it is more easy, secure and comfortable to in and out in my mount which is also made by Manfretto Italy



#20 GamesForOne

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Posted 06 May 2019 - 12:10 PM

Just noticed in the recent past deals list at B&H:

 

https://www.bhphotov...ch_n12_536.html

 

Apparently the no spreader tripod with the N12 was $780 off = $450.

 

Sorry I missed that! I signed up for the emails...

 

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#21 ihf

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 01:18 AM

Well, the N12 with a mystery carbon tripod (MVTTWINMCUS - cant find any reviews) is on sale at B&H  again for USD550. Just remember that th N12 will not work well with sub 4kg payloads (at 55mm cog).

 

My N8 did arrive today and it also specified Italy.



#22 GamesForOne

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:20 AM

Well, the N12 with a mystery carbon tripod (MVTTWINMCUS - cant find any reviews) is on sale at B&H  again for USD550. ...

Yes, saw that in the Daily Deals email. You get the tripod for $40 as they are showing the N12 alone now for USD510.

 

That tripod doesn't work for me though for binocular telescope use as it has no center riser shaft.

 

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Edited by GamesForOne, 09 May 2019 - 09:21 AM.


#23 Rich V.

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 09:23 AM

Here's the specs for that $40. Manfrotto video tripod included in the package:

 

https://www.bhphotov...r_twin_leg.html



#24 GamesForOne

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 10:24 AM

Here's the specs for that $40. Manfrotto video tripod included in the package:

 

https://www.bhphotov...r_twin_leg.html

Very nice if only it had a cranked center riser. I am just not a fan of adjustable astro chairs.

 

I wonder what the resale value of that tripod would be in essentially new condition? Tempted to get it for just the N12 and sell the tripod.

 

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Edited by GamesForOne, 09 May 2019 - 10:25 AM.


#25 Rich V.

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Posted 09 May 2019 - 11:52 AM

Very nice if only it had a cranked center riser. I am just not a fan of adjustable astro chairs.

 

I wonder what the resale value of that tripod would be in essentially new condition? Tempted to get it for just the N12 and sell the tripod.

That's the trouble with video oriented head/tripod packages; as bino users we like video heads but prefer the functionality of a geared column photo tripod rather than a bowl tripod.

 

Myself, I prefer using an an adjustable astro chair and a geared column tripod.  The chair gets me in the "zone" but the geared column takes care of the tiny, progressive height adjustments necessary for the easiest views.

 

Rich




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