Editor in chief | Lead texture artist
Manfrotto N8 nitro head
I bought a Manfrotto N8 Nitro Fluid tripod head for the Meshmen blog and Youtube channel. I ended up with a Spectra 2 led light in compensation for the trouble caused in the manufacturing.
I always regarded manfrotto the go to provider for quality camera gear whether it’s for tripods, light stands, grips or camera bags. I have owned numerous products of theirs and I was looking forward to investing in a new fluid tripod head. My old camera head was not cutting it when I needed to do cinematic type moves. The Manfrotto N8 Nitro fluid head caught my eye. It features a nitro piston that counterbalances the load on the tripod head making handling an even smoother experience . The package arrived and it looked great. I was eager to test it.
The Mail from Manfrotto
The joy was short lived!
A day or two after the tripod head was delivered I recieved an email from the reseller telling me the whole shipment and all of the products that had been sent were being recalled because Manfrotto had found a problem in the manufacturing process.
There would be an upgraded version of the tripod head being put in to production. But the delivery of the new and improved version was about one and a half months away! I was offered a Spectra 2 led light to compensate for my wait.
Sure I could live with that. I had to plan around and use my old camera still head for some time yet.
“To be able to just place your camera in an angle and let go of the handle feels awesome .”
The Manfrotto N8 nitro head
The Nitrotech Fluid head is a CBS head. What that means is that its a continuous counter balance system in the form of a nitrogen piston that counter balances loads up to 8 kg. It will not hold a fully rigged Imax camera but it will be enough for my current needs. At the moment I’m using a Canon 5dmkII, a small camera cage and a follow focus. I will probably upgrade to a 4k solution in the future but the cameras I’m looking at is within the limits of what the system is supporting.
A feature I also liked was the fact that the head has a flat base. The camera sliders I have borrowed from a friend is of the DSLR kind so I can use the head easily. Also Im looking into a new Manfrotto tripod with a bowl and this is supported with an accessory. Currently I’m using my old and sturdy Manfrotto photo tripod. It works great but a ball option looks interesting as it’s much easier to level the head without adjusting the legs on the tripod.
Manfrotto N8 The verdict!
Having used the Manfrotto N8 a few months since I recieved it I’m more then happy with it. The abrupt beginning turned out quite OK with the Spectra 2 led light as a bonus.
The calibration step of the tripod head is very easy. You just loosen your tripod head and find the centre of gravity where it won’t go forward or backward while still being loose and secure the baseplate.
With the CBS lever can increase the tension of the counterbalance system until the head feels responsive and stays put if you leave it at an angle. Thats all there is to it. I will make a short setup behind the scenes video later showing the procedure.
As I said before I have a mixed setup so I prefer a flat base that I can convert to a ball setup down the line. The build quality with Manfrotto is really good as usual. There is also a backlit bulb if you are working in a dim environment.
I would reccomend it as its a lot of bang for the buck and there are not many tripod heads with this counter balance system in this price range.
“Meshmen Studios Approve This Product!”
- Fluid video head with continuous counterbalance system (0-8 Kg)
- Variable fluid pan & tilt drag system
- Side lock plate attachment
- 3/8” easy link connector for accessories, with anti-rotation
- Flat base mount ideal for various applications
Buy yours here Amazon
Spectra 2 Led light
The Manfrotto Spectra 2 came as a surprise! I use it at least twice a week while I’m doing my live streaming or shooting something for my blog. In the future I might pick up another one for smaller practical lights when doing an unboxing or review type shots. It’s a great addition when you want to place a small rim light close to the subject. Currently it’s attached to a Manfrotto magic arm and powered by a 12V adapter. The light is rated to 650 lux so you will not use it to light a stadium. It ships with two light filters for controlling the temperature as the light is a daylight 5600 Kelvin light, so you must use a full CTO filter to make it Tungsten. In the box there is also a hot shoe mount and a diffuser gel. The light has a handy holder for the gels built into the front.
Spectra 2 verdict
The Spectra 2 led light has in a short while become indispensable for my workflow. I like the small form factor and I can even take it out on the field as a small fill light off camera or as a glint in the eye light. As of now I use it for live streaming as an over the shoulder rim light. Any youtuber or videographer that needs something small and portable that you can pop into any camera bag or large pocket…this is the light for you!
- Bright light in a small package
- Ultra-efficient power consumption and perfect colour rendition
- Flick-free, precise dimming control
- Gives 5600K light, adjustable with gel filter set (included)
- Flexible thanks to a 1/4” threaded mounting hole and ball head