The Leofoto BV-30/BV-30M is Leofoto's flagship video head and can be considered a large fluid video head or small cinema fluid head. It has a balanced load rating of 8kg and a general load rating of 20kg. As the balanced rating is exceeded, the fluid dampening will not perform perfectly, especially at extreme tilt angles.
As mentioned in the first line, 8kg allows for either a heavy photo/mirrorless video rig or a light cinema rig. So depending on your needs, you can interpret this as it applies to you.
This head features fluid dampening on the tilt and panning axes. Both offer 4 levels of dampening. The tilt axis also offers stepless dynamic counterbalance adjustment. These features combine to offer perfectly smooth motion for a large spectrum of setups in different configurations, from short heavy primes to the big super tele lenses. Both axes have seperate lock-control levers so the lock/unlock function does not interfere with the dampening adjustment.
The BV-30 is available with an arca-swiss or video clamp (BV-30M) and includes a corresponding 120mm plate. The clamp features a quick release button for rapid attachment/detachment.
The BV-30 is machined from an aircraft grade aluminium and also incorporates premium materials like stainless steel and brass for a head that can take the punishment expected of a video industry workhorse. The base diameter is 76mm, which makes it compatible with either 75mm or 100mm leveling balls.
- Weight - 2180g
- Height - 153mm
- Balanced Load Rating - 8kg
- General Load Rating - 20kg
- Base Diameter - 76mm
- Connection - 3/8" Brass
- Clamp - Arca-swiss and Manfrotto Video available (BV-30M)
More About Fluid Heads
A fluid head dampens the sudden movements that are unavoidable in human operation to ensure smooth pan/tilt motion in video. They are also very popular for use with spotting scopes, binoculars and telescopes, whether used for birding, stargazing or target shooting. Fluid heads come in an endless variety of shapes and sizes, from R1000 plastic crap, up to R500k heads used in the cinema industry. Features and load capability obviously increase with price, so it is critical to familiarise yourself with Leofoto's range to understand what each model can or cannot do. When it comes to fluid heads, bigger is always better, especially if you might upgrade your camera gear in the future.
- If you want a lightweight head to hike with, you are looking at the wrong type of head. Consider the VH-30 or LH Ballheads.
- Fluid heads do not have roll (they cannot tilt side-to-side) and should always be perfectly level when panning, which is why you should always pair a fluid head with a leveling base like the LB-60N or YB-75LP.
Leofoto Fluid Head Range
- BV-1 – Very small fluid head, meant for very light gear like compact cameras and light spotting scopes or binoculars.
- BV-5 – Small fluid head meant for small video cameras (MFT/crop sensor) or spotting scopes up to 2kg.
- BV-10 – Medium fluid head meant for small cameras (crop sensor - full frame) with mid-size telephoto lenses like 70-200 f/4 or spotting scopes up to 2.5kg.
- BV-15 – Medium fluid head that can handle video rigs of up 3kg e.g. full frame body + medium sized lenses (e.g 70-200mm f/2.8).
- BV-20 – Large fluid head for heavy mirrorless/compact video rigs like Sony A7s3/FX-3/BMPCC 6k or R3/Z9 with telephoto lenses. Balanced load rating up to 5kg (The Leofoto BV-20 is still in the pre-release phase at the time of writing this and the exact specs have not been released yet – Jan 2023)
- BV-30 – Small Cinema Fluid Head that can handle balanced loads of up to 8kg. Ideal for video use with XL wildlife setups like Canon R3/Nikon Z9 + 400mm f/2.8/600mm f/4.