NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

815FH-S fluid head? - Updates + Open letter to Varavon

I know a lot of you guys are confused about the 815FH fluid head, it was confusing to start with and now that they changed the name to 815FH-S it's even more confusing.

Screenshot from their website.

Screenshot from their website.

It's a head worth caring about. It's perfect for DSLRs and small cameras due to its releasable 1.5KG counterbalance and is smoother than anything else I have used. Unfortunately the manufacturer (Fancier/Weifeng/E-image) decided to change the oil at some point which made their heads perform like huge chunks of crap (both the flat-mount Varavon branded version and the original bowl-mount FC-270A Fancier version). Varavon have tried to explain to buyers what oils were being used in their heads by describing the oils as "Japanese" and "Taiwanese" oils, which just adds to the confusion. Now they have a new S version which seems to have reverted back to the awful old Japanese oil, although I'm not 100% sure this is the bad one.

Screenshot from their website.

Screenshot from their website.

Here is the email I wrote to Varavon:

"Me and many other people are confused about the 815FH head. (And now the new S version)
1. How many versions of this flat head do you sell?
2. What oil is the thicker oil that Fancier put in my two 815FH heads? (Japanese/Taiwanese?)
3. How can we get the thicker oil? - Can you please sell two versions of this head so we can choose what oil to buy. I will be happy to make a video to explain it to people on Youtube if you can do that. I will be happy to film a comparison if you want.
I do understand that some people are complaining that the thicker oil is "too thick" but this is not true.
The professionals who will give your head a good reputation do not like the thinner oil.
The 815FH with the thinner oil is 99% useless for professionals - But the 815FH with the thicker oil is the best fluid head I have ever used. Better than Manfrotto, Sachtler, Vinten, etc."

Hopefully we'll get a reply soon. I will post updates here. Here's my review of the 815FH.