The PH-170 NightHawk Ultralight Pan Head is the perfect choice for hunters looking to stabilize their optics while saving weight. When you get your optics stable you are guaranteed to spot more animals. The NightHawk Pan Head pairs perfectly with our Quick-StiX System or any standard tripod to get your optics stable without the huge weight penalty.
ULTRALIGHT AND STABLE
Weighing in as little as 4.9oz (Lightest configuration w/o Carbon Handle) the NightHawk is an easy way to shave meaningful weight from your pack without sacrificing stability.
Having a smooth head not only makes for a more enjoyable glassing session, but a more effective one as well! Without the jerky action of cheaper heads, the Nighhawk allows you to grid out a hillside with more efficiency and less fatigue.
Machined right here in the USA out of billet aluminum and stainless steel. The premium materials and black anodized finish provide excellent resistance to wear and the environments.
Precise control over each axis allows you to effectively grid out a hillside making sure you cover every inch! You can set the tension for the tilt and pan axis independently to achieve the perfect tension for your optics.
|Weight||4.9oz (139g) / 6.1oz (173g)|
Is this thing ridiculously small, lightweight and packable? Absolutely. Are the tilt/pan functions smooth and amazing? No. As with most 'lightest in class' products, it's all about tradeoffs. I purchased this very well knowing it wouldn't support my ATX 85mm very well. However, I sure was hoping it would work will with my 12x42 NL pures with digiscoping setup. Not the case though. You have to tension the tilt down so much that it makes the tilt/pan pretty tough. Also, I read plenty of reviews about the 'bounce back' when panning. It is very real and a bit of an annoyance. I also don't love the twist tension on the handle for the tilt--I found it very hard to fine tune and for that I prefer a separate tension knob. Also, as many people pointed out--the handle prevents you from tilting up much vertically, which seems like something they could very easily fix (not sure why they haven't?). The work around everyone says is that 'oh, you can just drop your back tripod legs.' Well yes, you can, but that's quite annoying--why not just improve the design to be better? I can say that this thing is VERY well built with very tight tolerances. It is really a beautiful piece of machinework.
Awesome head for the weight. Will be my go to for binocular glassing. If the spring-back in the panning didn’t exist, it’d be even better. I’m aware you can tighten it to the point of not having that problem, but it’s at the price of slightly more tension in the panning. The other thing is the location of the handle. It limits the height you can glass without hitting the base on the tripod (Slik 634 in my case) with the handle back toward you, or how far down you can glass when running the handle out the front. Two minor inconveniences in my opinion. I know that the price point reflects the top tier weight and build quality, but as a nitpicker (and baller on a budget) I’d hope for things like this to be figured out on top of the line gear. Will be using this head until someone engineers a sub 10oz VA-5 equivalent.
Start off by saying this is not a pan head for everyone. It is marketed for medium to lighter optics to be mounted on and that has been my experience. Putting a heavier spotting scope on it was about as heavy as I would go before really starting to crank down on the locking g handle. Just know that you are getting a narrow window of use….light-ish setups. Having said that, it is an awesome setup and a joy to use
I got this to use as a very light weight pan head for a mid sized scope - in my case the 65mm Swarovski ATX. I mounted it on a Peak Design travel tripod, using the accessory peak design supply for mounting a third party head
Firstly its very light, and very smooth. The adjustment is fine for smooth control - whether digiscoping or panning around. However its usefulness is limited by the inability to look very far up as the handle of the pan-head impinges on the mounting. Perhaps some tripods might have a small enough base this doesn’t happen, but none of the tripods I own do. This can be overcome by mounting the pan head with the handle pointing forwards - but controlling the tension is made very awkward doing this. The other way to overcome this is to use the supplied alternative knob. This works quiet well, and is even lighter and less bulky. The other problem is that it has a very narrow base - which means none of the fixation screws on the mounting base can lock the head in place.
As always when you try to go ultra light there are compromises - you are not going to get the same experience as you can get with a heavy duty tripod and a wimberley head - but try lugging that lot around the countryside!
I had been looking for something lighter than my va5 head, but that had similar performance. This is it. I haven't hunted with it, but have played with it for a few hours with Swaro 10x42 NL & kowa 554 & 883 spotters. It definitely prefers the the smaller 55 size, but did just fine with the 88 &I wouldn't hesitate to use it with 88 sized spotters.
You'll see reviews and that mention there is movement when panning and letting go. I will confirm mine does that also, but if you tighten the pan adjustment there's a sweet spot that makes the annoying movement go away, and it's still easy to pan smoothly.
Is it as smooth as the va5, no, it isn't. But I will be taking this head instead of the va5 if I'm backpacking in, no question about it. I'm very happy with this head and would buy it again in a heartbeat if anything happened to this one.
Also I've used s&s a few times now and they are a fantastic seller. Shipping has always been quick. Anytime I have questions, they reply very promptly and work with me to figure out my issue. Can't recommend them enough!