Ulanzi U-190 Mini Fluid Head

This impressive yet small tripod fluid head announces itself to the market with a load capacity of 10 kg. This means it can accommodate almost any DSLR or mirrorless camera (with a lens) on the market, but at 355 grams it offers amazing benefits for travel photographers or those looking for a particularly lightweight set-up. With a 40mm tripod base and a length of just 80mm from base to plate, the fluid head is 90mm at its widest point. With the optional 200 mm long handle you are ready to use straight away.

But what is a hydraulic fluid head, you may ask?

Most tripod heads are called ball heads because the mechanism that enables panning and tilting is a ball that sits in a base. A fluid head contains a pressurized water chamber that dampens or slows down sudden movements and vibrations, allowing the user to pan, tilt, and track video smoothly.

As soon as you pick up the Ulanzi U-190 fluid head, you'll notice a few things. First of all, you will feel a metal design that is very well finished. The solid, smooth, matte finish is very pleasing to the eye and is complemented by the color palette of black, silver and red, all matte. Secondly, you will notice that the hydraulic mechanism always wants to bring the tripod plate horizontal. This pressure allows you to effortlessly pan and tilt the tripod slowly and evenly. Thirdly, you will find four buttons adorning the fluid head.

The top button is used to loosen and tighten the tripod plate (to which the camera can be attached). The next two buttons are next to each other. The smaller button holds the handle in place when you want to attach it. The handle can be inserted on either side of the fluid head and can be bent downward, outward, inward or upward. This button holds the handle securely in place by using small teeth inside the button to grip into your chosen position. The other button next to it is larger and locks the fluid head at any desired tilt angle (up and down), from -80 degrees to a positive 90 degrees. The fourth button has a beveled surface and locks the swivel function of the fluid head.

The swivel function of the fluid head can be measured by a 360 degree base plate, which is indicated by a small downward arrow on the lowest part of the fluid head. There is a 3/8" internal thread underneath the device for attaching the fluid head to the tripod. The U-190 comes with a ¼ 20" insert and a small attachment tool for smaller tripod mounts and other accessories.

Fluid Heads are the perfect addition to anyone shooting videos because this little beauty is sturdy enough to carry heavy gear and small enough to be easily transported. I tried out my Nikon Z6 with the 14-24mm wide angle lens, which weighs just under 2kg, to see how it works. I found that if you weigh over 1.5kg you lose the sense of the hydraulic pressure you are pushing against to achieve smooth pan and tilt motion. However, if you plan to use the U-190 Fluid Head primarily for photography, you shouldn't experience any limitations due to weight. Just be sure to securely mount your camera using the base plate (or your own L-bracket) and that the tilt knob is also locked to prevent your camera from wandering or falling.

The Arca-Swiss interface means that any tripod mount other than Manfrotto's can work seamlessly with the U-190. The included mount is also slim, stylish, up to the task and reminiscent of the Falcam 38 plates used for the Ulanzi quick release system.

Click here to buy U-190 Mini Fluid Head !

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