The Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 and 612 heads are revolutionary. These are the first “relatively-affordable” video heads with a continuous counterbalance system. It’s also relatively-low-priced considering their high payload capacity- 17.6 lbs. for the 608, and 27 lbs. for the 612. What is a continuous counterbalance system? A nitrogen-charged piston is used to variably-counterbalance the load on the head as it moves off-axis (tilts forward or backward). Conventional video heads, which use springs to compensate for off-balance loads, typically are not adjustable. So while the counterbalance springs do reduce the amount of friction required to hold a binocular at any tilt angle, considerable friction is still required to prevent the head from drifting. The NitroTech allows for precise counterbalance adjustment, requiring only a minimal amount of friction to prevent the head from drifting, regardless of the amount of tilt. As an added bonus, they just look cool- even the red accents perfectly-match the red accents on the XL models.
The 608 works well with our XL Series Binocular Telescopes from 70mm to 100mm. The 612 is needed for the heavier BT-127XL-SD.
- All-aluminum fluid head provides smooth azimuth and altitude motion
- Nitrogen-charged gas counterbalance minimizes friction required to prevent drift as binocular tilts from horizon to zenith
- Quick-release plate includes 1/4-20 screw and 3/8-16 adapter
- Single panning handle
- Max. weight capacity: 608- 17.6 lbs., 612- 27 lbs.
- Weight: 4.85 lbs.
Seth Colby (verified owner) –
At 45x through the BT-1100XL SD we tested 3 heads: the Manfrotto 502 as seen on Binomania, the Oberwerk XL Fork, and the Manfrotto Nitrotech 608. The 502 was smooth but a bit tippy no matter how we tweaked the up/down drag. The Fork balanced better but with more stiction in both axes hence not as smooth. The Nitrotech was dialed in perfect, easily neutralizing the binoculars’ considerable moment of inertia in elevation. Stiction was negligible. We therefore found the Nitrotech effortlessly balanced while also smooth, agile, and precise. With an XL100-class load on a solid tripod w/ a geared center column, the Nitrotech 608 is the decisive winner and the easy keeper. Great support from Oberwerk, BTW; we felt treated like royalty.
Seth Colby (verified owner) –
Typo corrected: At 45x through the BT-100XL SD we tested 3 heads: the Manfrotto 502 as seen on Binomania, the Oberwerk XL Fork, and the Manfrotto Nitrotech 608. The 502 was smooth but a bit tippy no matter how we tweaked the up/down drag. The Fork balanced better but with more stiction in both axes hence not as smooth. The Nitrotech was dialed in perfect, easily neutralizing the binoculars’ considerable moment of inertia in elevation. Stiction was negligible. We therefore found the Nitrotech effortlessly balanced while also smooth, agile, and precise. With an XL100-class load on a solid tripod w/ a geared center column, the Nitrotech 608 is the decisive winner and the easy keeper. Great support from Oberwerk, BTW; we felt treated like royalty.
ROBERT D (verified owner) –
I’m very happy that I upgraded to the Manfrotto 612 Nitrotech Head, it moves very smoothly and precise, with the BT-127XL-SD. Great product. Definitely recommend it.
Dave Hoagland –
I purchased the Oberwerk BT-100XL-SD binocular telescope with a Manfrotto 475B tripod and the Manfrotto Nitrotech 608 video head.
The Manfrotto components are a perfect match and an absolute must have for this model telescope, they are rock solid. The elevator on the tripod is smooth and stable even when left unlocked conveniently allowing for a lot of use between couples of different heights. The legs have a huge range of adjustment yet fold up very compact. I find that I can even rest my hands on the tripod with barely any movement discernible.
The 608 head is super smooth and balanced making panning and scanning through the skies a friction-less and very steady experience. The elevation locking ring is large and easily acquired in the hand, quick and simple to operate. The counterbalance puts the telescope in absolute balance allowing flawless motion to the desired viewing point at any angle with no overshoot or diving.
I originally tried a lesser set of tripod components in a misguided effort at economy. That was a mistake, the full performance of the telescope will not be realized without an adequately balanced and flawlessly smooth mount. The Manfrotto components have elevated the performance of this telescope to perfection, I couldn’t be happier with this equipment.
George Plumfield –
I bought the Manfrotto 608 head with the Oberwerk TR3 tripod and the Oberwerk BT-82XL-ED binocular telescope and all have worked wonderfully. After the initial learning curve of setting up the head the nightly set up was just a few minutes. The use with the BT was amazingly smooth allowing for a quick slew across the sky to the slightest nudge of the handle to keep the selected object in view. No during-observing adjustments are necessary.
I also use it as a mount for my Questar 3.5 and with this instrument the static nightly setup again is just a couple minutes.
All heartily recommended!
I bought the nitrotech 612 head for use with a 6.2 kg pair of 82mm binoculars that were just on the bubble between 608 and 612 in terms of mass. I can’t speak highly enough about this mount head. motions are incredibly smooth and as effortless as you want them to be, given the adjustable drag. panning upwards there is an ever so slight rebound that is not present when panning down but this is tiny and i’ll probably learn to adjust it out. this head is set and forget over the entire sky.
i bought a fork mount from another vendor at the same time and found motions with the nitrotech head to be superior both in terms of resistance and because it is very difficult to find a perfect balance for the entire range of motion with fork mounts without going to extreme measures to get the center of mass aligned with rotational axes. that’s the beauty of the nitrotech counterbalance. it acts like a progressive spring to provide correct balance over the entire sky. the big drawback is that it’s expensive, but wow does it work.
i highly recommend Kevin’s video on intial set up found under the support tab in “getting started product instructions”
Joe (verified owner) –
The Manfrotto 608 head is…! an absolute must! for the BT=XL100 series. It’s just absolutely liquid smooth,
Once it’s balanced & dialed in with my XL100’s They become one! as a mechanical team!
After looking at the mfg., reviews,
Simply Can’t say enough about this offered product.
Don’t short yourself! Drop the extra coin, on this optin! you won’t regret it!