A fluid head is a tripod head that has an internal ball joint, which allows the head to move but not turn. This can be useful in situations where you would want to point a camera at a particular angle, but it also means that when you move the head, it will only turn a fixed amount. For example, if you’re using a fluid-head tripod to shoot photos of your kids and then try to rotate the camera around them on their birthday cake, it’s going to spin wildly unless very carefully adjusted (and even then it may have problems).
This type of tripod has become standard for serious use because of its reliability and ease of use (in other words, what makes it great). However, not all tripods are created equal; in this article I explain how different types of heads work and why you should know what yours does before buying one.
How to Remove Fluid Head From Tripod? Step by Step
You can remove the fluid head from a tripod by loosening the locks and screws on the head. You should take care to ensure that you don’t damage any of your equipment during this process.
- Remove any accessories attached to your camera, as well as the quick release plate, which is attached to the bottom of your camera.
- Loosen and remove the large knobs that hold the fluid head in place at its base, then gently wiggle it until it comes loose from its locking mechanism.
- Carefully lift and remove the fluid head from its mounting point on top of the tripod.
1. Remove the quick-release plate.
To remove the plate, adjust the quick release lever so that it is at its most-loose position (you should be able to fit your finger between the plate and the tripod head) and press down on it with a firm but gentle force. This will loosen up both halves of the plate. Gently push down on one side and then use a flat-head screwdriver or similar tool to pry it out of its socket. You may need to re-tighten the quick release lever between each step in order for it to still remain firmly attached to your camera body. Once you have successfully removed it, take note of where this part goes, as you may need this information later in order to put everything back together properly.
Make sure you have the right tools for this job!
2. Unscrew the large knobs at the base of the fluid head.
- For this step, you will have access to only one set of pliers, as there are only two knobs that must be unscrewed from underneath the fluid head: one on either side of where it sits on top of your tripod’s baseplate/support assembly (the “body”). Since they are located opposite one another in relation to how they might be held by a human hand (one is closest and can thus be loosened more easily), I recommend removing both sets simultaneously with two hands—one holding onto each side of the head while you pull them away from other end with all your might! When all four knobs are bolts are off at once, gently pull them outwards (away from their sockets at the base) until they come free from their vertical alignment and sit free on your work surface (or wherever you like). You can leave them there or pick them up again if you’d like; I just found these very small parts amusing so didn’t want to risk losing any. However, that’s up entirely to what interests you personally
- Once you have removed these knobs, remove the tripod legs by turning them anti-clockwise until they are loose enough.
3. Gently wiggle while you loosen it.
Now, this is where people screw up and damage their tripod. You need to make sure that you don’t damage your tripod by being too rough with it.
Yes, you do have to use a bit of force in order to loosen the fluid head from the tripod, but never force it if it doesn’t come off easily. We can’t stress this enough – do not force it!
If you do have to use a bit of force in order to unscrew the fluid head from the tripod, then make sure that you are careful and not damage the fluid head.
4. Take out the fluid head and replace it with a new one
Once you have removed the fluid head, you can now replace it with your new one. Follow the same steps in reverse to install your new fluid head. With your new fluid head firmly in place and secured with the screw, you are ready to use your tripod again.
5. It takes only a little bit of effort to remove a fluid head from a tripod.
Note: It takes only a little bit of effort to remove a fluid head from a tripod.
- Secure the fluid head in your left hand and grip the tripod in your right hand, with your fingers wrapped around the camera mount and your thumb beneath it.
- Carefully insert your index finger between the fluid head and tripod until you feel resistance. This is where you will apply slight pressure to twist the two components apart. Do not use any force at all; simply rotate back and forth until they separate easily.
- If you find that this method is still too tight, place one palm on each component and gently push them apart with both hands at once, applying no force aside from what is necessary to separate them smoothly.
Tips for removing the fluid head: Things to keep in mind for a successful removal.
A few important things to remember when removing the fluid head:
- Make sure your camera is detached from the fluid head. This should be common sense, but double-checking never hurts.
- Remove the quick-release plate from the fluid head. It will be stuck on tight and removing it will take some effort on your part, but as long as you’re working in a safe environment you should be okay. Again, double-check to make sure that you haven’t forgotten anything!
- Use a wrench to remove the fluid head from the tripod. If you don’t have a wrench handy, then borrow one from somebody or go buy one at your local hardware store — just make sure that it’s big enough for this job!
Cleaning the fluid head:
To clean the fluid head, you will need to loosen and remove. This can be done by turning the lock knobs on each side of the fluid head. If they are not working properly, use a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench to loosen them. Once they have been removed, use a soft cloth to wipe down the interior surface of your fluid head. Do not use any liquids or solvents to clean the fluid head as it could damage it and make it unsuitable for your tripod attachment.
If you have dirt or debris that is embedded in the grooves of your fluid head, then you may need to take it to a professional camera repair person for cleaning and proper maintenance.
To conclude, carefully detach the fluid head from your tripod. Using a screwdriver, unscrew the bolts that hold it in place. Next, make sure you clean off any dirt or dust on the plate of your fluid head. Then, reattach it to your camera and align its markings to those of your camera. Finally, reattach the head to your tripod using a wrench or screwdriver to tighten it back into place.
Once you have gone through these steps and have successfully removed and replaced the fluid head on your tripod—congratulations! You are now ready to get started building more elaborate sets for all of your future projects!