Manfrotto 701HDV head

NoSpringChicken

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Does anybody else have any experience of the Manfrotto 701HDV head? I have been using one for a few months but I don't see them mentioned much, unlike the Manfrotto 128.

I use mine with the Manfrotto 190CX3 legs to support my Nikon EDIII scope, which is notoriously back-heavy. The head has a sliding plate with 58mm of travel and I have found that, by pushing this all the way forward and extending the sunshade, the scope is perfectly balanced vertically and will not droop when I let go of the handle. It has a built in counterbalance spring for 1.5kg weight.

I suppose one of the main criticisms of it is that the pan and tilt drag rates are not adjustable. In practice, I do not find this to be a problem as they seem fine for my use. If required it is possible to very lightly tighten the separate pan and tilt locking knobs to increase resistance.

The handle is rather long but it incorporates a bend and I have it pointing down quite a lot, which I find comfortable to use for extended periods. The weight is 830g and it will support 4kg, so it is no lightweight but is not a monster either.

Nice touches are storage underneath for either the 1/4" or 3/8" attachment screw which is not being used and an ingenious series of shallow ramps underneath the bottom flange which engage with the three grub screws on the Manfrotto tripod to prevent it working loose.

It seems solidly constructed from alloy with a few plastic components. The plate safety locking device, however, is made of plastic and appears to lack a little precision. It seems to work all right in practice though. I do wonder how some of the small components such as springs would cope with prolonged exposure to the elements and salt water.

There are some excellent photographs of it in the Equipment Reviews section of Birdforum.

Overall, I am very pleased with it and would be interested to hear of other people's experiences of it.

Ron
 
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njlarsen

Well-known member
Opus Editor
I dont have the one you use but the 700RC2. I am writing because I cut off the handle to a more reasonable length, and it works quite well. So you don't have to live with a handle that feels too long if you don't want to.

Niels
 

SUPPRESSOR

Well-known member
I dont have the one you use but the 700RC2. I am writing because I cut off the handle to a more reasonable length, and it works quite well. So you don't have to live with a handle that feels too long if you don't want to.

Niels
I would not cut the handle down on this one as it is crimped in a particular way to fit onto the rose unlike on the rc128. I have the 701hdv head and am pleased with it , on top sits my swarovski st80hd and it behaves very well.
fiddler.
 

Richard Scott

Well-known member
I have a Manfrotto 701HDV on Velbon CF 535 legs for my Leica APO62. I'm very happy with this combo. I sometimes digiscope and just slide the QR plate forward to compensate. I prefer to use the head without the handle. I seem to be able to control the head movement better by just moving the scope. The only problem I've had with the head is the large u-shaped plastic shroud in the middle of the head had popped off a couple of times.
 

NoSpringChicken

Well-known member
United Kingdom
The only problem I've had with the head is the large u-shaped plastic shroud in the middle of the head had popped off a couple of times.
Yes, now you come to mention it, that has happened to mine a couple of times too. It's no big deal as it just snaps back into place but I think it could be a bit more secure. The first time it happened it frightened the life out of me.

Ron
 

Seaforth87

Active member
Following the positive comments on this thread I bought a 701HDV head for an 055 tripod. Am very impressed and it has been thoroughly reliable during some heavy autumn birding last year.
 

BruceL

New member
I use the 701HDV for video, which is the most demanding of tasks, and am more than happy with it.
I use a 3X teleconverter lens on the front of my Sony AVCHD camescope and am often filming at a 35mm equivalent of 1300mm. I've had three other heads before and this is the best. Smooth movement, allowing me to follow and stop on my subject just as I want to. Previous heads either had a tiny unwanted rebound at the end of the movement (which translates into a mighty jump on the video) or were slightly too stiff or loose, whereas this one can be adjusted with a slight touch of the knob to just about any friction that is wanted and has no rebound. The only slight criticism I have is that the panning (horizontal) movement is just a little bit too stiff for my liking, even with the screw adjustment at its loosest. I wonder if it's just mine, or do other users notice this?
In every other respect this head is so good that I wouldn't think of changing it.
By the way, in video at least the head is MUCH more important than the tripod. I found an ancient Manfrotto 190 tripod in a boot fair for £4 and it works as efficiently as my much heavier pro tripod (though it doesn't have the useful ball-style level adjustment that the heavier tripod does, and I am obliged to manually adjust leg length on slopes).
I should add that because of the heavy lens screwed on the front of my Sony I have retained an extra Manfrotto long sliding plate which I have mounted on top of the 701HDV to counteract this.
 

bobdobbs

Active member
I just picked up the Manfrotto 701HDV/055XPRO this morning based on the feedback here & it's a beautiful combo! Can't comment on using it yet - my Zen 20-60x80 will arrive next week, but i'm sure it will a nice combo. Totally rock solid with the D7000 & 70-300 VR lens! (i know, switch off the VR).
 

BackGardenMoths

Well-known member
Hi just spotted this thread. I have this head as well for use with a opticron es100 scope. Will it be ok to use with my new canon 100-400mm lens as well. Just need some advice. Thanks
 

bobdobbs

Active member
If i was shooting with a 200-400mm lens, then i would probably spring for a gimbal head. Gotta have some good sticks though...
 
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