I am in process of aquiring a new head. I am partial to O'connor but have been reading some good stuff on cartoni focus. Also good price point. Anybody been using this head and have anything to say about it?
Flip Flop Films
Cinematography Forum Leader
I've used both the Focus and the Alfa heads from Cartoni. The Focus is a step up from the Alfa, but the Alfa is pure junk - ears for pan handles strip or snap off (same with Vinton's DV line) and the lock for the wedge plate jams or just plain breaks.
The Focus is a bit more robust, but still shares the same issues of handle locks stripping. The wedge plate is better, with a more positive locking mechanism/lever. I'm not real sold on the Cartoni fluid drags on the Focus...seem to act more as locks than drags and they don't have the range of drag you'd expect from an O'Connor, Miller or Vinten pro head.
If you have the need for more weight - like a prompter or studio rig - the C-20 is a superb head...equal to the 100 for capacity and very smooth. I use it for shooting with 36:1 and 45:1 lenses and at full zoom in with no real backlash or jitter.