Fluid heads - can they freeze up?

Viktorsmash

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Sep 16, 2019
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Ontario
I can't find a concrete answer on this one. I've read that most fluid heads have some kind of hydraulic oil in them that isn't supposed to freeze but then I've read about them freezing or barely working. To put this into context, I'm headed to the Rockies in November where it'll be below zero the majority of the time. In fact they already have a few feet of snow and it's getting to -7 at night already.
Thanks!
 

Skyhigh

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May 9, 2015
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Western Nebraska, Eastern South Dakota
Hunting in SD can get fairly cold, been in single digits more than once, so I feel I have some experience with this. I haven't had issues with a head fully "freezing" but have definitely had them where they were harder to turn. I doubt many will fully freeze, but most will gel up to some degree. If you are able you could get some sort of mechanical head (a ball head maybe) as a backup if you are really concerned.
 

Brightwhite

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Feb 16, 2015
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Colorado
I have never had a head freeze up on me, but I have had tripod legs and a atlas bipod freeze up on me where the legs wouldn’t extend. But no, never had head issues. The coldest I can remember is leaving the truck when the thermometer was saying single digit negatives...-7, -9...something like that.
 
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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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Ontario
I have never had a head freeze up on me, but I have had tripod legs and a atlas bipod freeze up on me where the legs wouldn’t extend. But no, never had head issues. The coldest I can remember is leaving the truck when the thermometer was saying single digit negatives...-7, -9...something like that.
I didn't even think of the legs. Maybe I'll use a lighter or something to hopefully "unlock" it. Nice to know you haven't had any head issues though.
 

Camera Land

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Jan 13, 2017
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I just called 3 vendors. The only one that had a tentative answer is Promaster. The oils will thicken but he is calling the factory to see what temperature will cause it to get too stiff to move. As soon as I hear I will report back
 
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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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Sep 16, 2019
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I just called 3 vendors. The only one that had a tentative answer is Promaster. The oils will thicken but he is calling the factory to see what temperature will cause it to get too stiff to move. As soon as I hear I will report back
Wow, thanks for looking out. I found a few good resources in some snowboarding forums, as those guys are always out filming in below zero and the general consensus is that the oil will thicken. The "fix" for those guys is to wiggle and rotate the head around a bunch but I'd prefer to not have to do that and keep my tripod in the same position to not lose my bearing (that is, if I'm switching to my spotter.)
 

litework

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Oct 17, 2019
Messages
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Location
Montana
I just called 3 vendors. The only one that had a tentative answer is Promaster. The oils will thicken but he is calling the factory to see what temperature will cause it to get too stiff to move. As soon as I hear I will report back
Thanks Joel!
 
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