• Arrihead I
• Arrihead II
• Arri/Mitchell Geared Head
• Ceco Blimp Type 2-Speed Geared Head (TH-7)
• Ceco Pro-Jr. Geared Head
• D.B. Milliken M-49 Geared Head (non professional)
• GearNex Gearhead
• Houston Fearless Cradle Head (not geared)
• MGM Geared Head
• Mitchell Geared Head
• Mitchell Mini (Lightweight) Geared Head
• Mitchell Vitesse Geared Head
• Mitchell Vista-Vision Geared Head
• Mole Richardson Geared Heads (Not a Modern Geared Head)
• Moy 16” Classic
• Moy 16” Standard
• Moy, Samcine Geared Head
• Moy, Samcine MkIII Geared Head
• Moy 16” Neptune Underwater Head
• Moy 22” Legend
• Moy 12” Mini
• NCE Geared Head
• NCE Cradle Geared Head & Model CGH
• NCE Jr. Geared Head
• NCE/Ultrascope MkI
• NCE/Ultrascope MkII
• NCE/Ultrascope MkIII
• Panahead
• Panahead, Super
• Panahead, Compact
• Raby Geared Head
• QuickSet Various Models (non professional)
• Sea Head (currently unknown)
• Technovision Technohead MkI
• Technovision Technohead MkII (H)
• Technovision Technohead MkIII
• Worrall
• Worrall Mini

 

Arrihead: 

There are two geared heads in circulation from Arri. The ArriHead I and ArriHead II. These are the standard hire geared head on the European market unless sourcing from Panavision. The ArriHead II is the only one still available for purchase.

ARRIHEAD 1

arriHead

Tilt Angle: +- 30 degrees, +- 90 degrees with tilt plate. Tilt plate increments: 13, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 degrees Gear Positions: (Belt Driven / Five position gearbox)

1 (65 turns for 360* pan)
Neutral
2 (35.5 turns for 360* pan)
Neutral
3 (19 turns for 360* pan)
1 (17.5 turns for full 60* tilt)
Neutral
2 (9.25 turns for full 60* tilt)
Neutral
3 (4.75 turns for full 60* tilt)
Camera mounting: Quick release. 180mm forward and back Arri
bridge plate (dovetail)
Pan/tilt drive: Tilt handle laterally adjusts up to 38
degrees to right 3-speed gear drive, plus neutrals.
Gearboxes with 5:1 reduction ratio available.
Locks & Levers: Tilt has two positive lock off brakes, while
pan has one. Both have friction levers at the hand-wheels.
Dimensions (w/out wheels): height 12”, length 20”, width 11”
Weight: 39-43 lbs.
Maintanence: Arrihead I does not need to be lubricated. Clean
for dirt and dust.

ARRIHEAD II

Arrihead II: “Smaller, lighter in weight and equally efficient is the formula of the future… With an equal equipment range and operating convenience, it is 8 cm shorter and approximately 4 kg’s lighter than the large ARRIHEAD.”- Arri Group Inc.

arrihead2

Tilt Angle: +- 30 degrees, +- 90 degrees with tilt plate.

Tilt plate increments: 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, 60 degrees

Gear Positions: (Belt Driven / Four position gearbox)
1 (65 turns for 360* pan)
Neutral
2 (35.5 turns for 360* pan)
3 (19 turns for 360* pan)
1 (17.5 turns for full 60* tilt)
Neutral
2 (9.25 turns for full 60* tilt)
3 (4.75 turns for full 60* tilt)
Camera mounting: Touch-n-go Quick Release
140mm forward and back Arri bridge plate (dovetail)
Pan/tilt drive: Tilt handle laterally adjusts up to 38
degrees to right. Gearboxes with 5:1 reduction ratio
available.
Tilt has two positive lock off brakes, while pan has one.
Both have friction levers at hand-wheels.
Dimensions w/ Handwheels: Length 22”/ Width 13” inch.
Dimensions w/o Handwheels: Length 18”/ Width 11” inch.
Weight: 33 lbs. / 39 lbs. (with wheels)
Maximum Load: 110 lbs.
Temperature Range: -4 to 122 F degrees/-20 to +50 C degrees
Maintanence: Arrihead II does not need to be lubricated.
Clean for dirt and dust.

Arri/Mitchell Geared Head 

The Arri/Mitchell photographed below was in an advert by Clairmont Cameras in the 1970’s. It is probably a custom collaboration between Mitchell and Arri before Arri made the ARRIHEAD.

Arri_Mitchell Geared Head

Houston Fearless Cradle Head

 In 1950, the Houston Corporation of Los Angeles and Fearless Camera Company of Culver City merged to form the Houston Fearless Corporation. Among the camera equipment manufactured would eventually include the Houston Fearless Cradle. By 1964, Houston Fearless would be through with Hollywood, and begin contracted work for the US Government supplying high speed photo processing equipment to theBlackbird and U-2 Spy plane programs. A cradle head is like a geared head but lacks the geared wheel control. It’s controlled instead, by a pan-handle.

Houston_Fearless Cradle Head

GearNex GearHead  

 New to the market is the GearNex Gearhead; quite possibly the first geared head to hit the scene since the Arrihead II… over a decade prior! This head is mainly designed for medium -light weight HD and digital cine packages. It’s most distinct feature may be the affordable price!

GearNex GearHead

Tilt Angle: +- 32 degrees
Tilt plate increments: Coming soon.
Gear Positions: (Gear Driven / Three position Pan gearbox,
Two Position Tilt gearbox)
1 (56 turns for 360* pan)
Neutral
2 (28 turns for 360* pan)
1 (12 turns for full 64* tilt)
2 (6 turns for full 64* tilt)
Camera mounting: 3/8 spring loaded screw
Base: Mitchell, 150mm or 100mm ball
Dimensions: Length 7.25”/ Width 6”/ Height 8” inch. (12” with
ball riser)(Handwheels 5”)
Weight: 20 lbs. (w/o wheels)
Maximum Load: 75 lbs.

D.B. Milliken

Pictured is the Model
M-49 Geared Head. D.B. Milliken was
based in Arcadia, California. Not
much else is known about the company
except they manufactured small film
cameras in what appears to be solid
metal housings, perhaps for
scientific or hazardous purposes.
This model does not appear to have
the ability to change gears and it is
very clear to the observant
individual, the left wheel is located
on the right. This type of geared
head would not be used on
professional motion pictures.

D.B Milliken Head

F&B/Ceco Blimp Type 2-Speed
Geared Head (TH-7)

At first
glance it looks like a
friction head, but look
closely and you’ll see it’s
a rather tall, strong, and
heavy geared head!

Tilt Angle: 45 degrees
Forward / 42 degrees
Backward
Gear Positions: (Gear Driven
/ Two Speed Gearbox)
A 1967 Ad states the two
speeds are ‘fast and slow’…
Height: 10.5”
Weight: 80.5 lbs.
Maximum Load: 200 lbs.

F&B/Ceco Professional Junior
Geared Head

Nothing is
currently known about this
geared head except it has
either a ¼ or 3/8” camera tie
down screw and a ‘standard
Pro-Jr’ flat base. It appeared
in several brief
advertisements in the late
1960’s and early 1970’s. From
the build, price and name, one
can assume the Pro-Jr is
designed to be much more
compact and light, compared to
its big brother, the TH-7. The
hand wheels have been replaced
with cranks… something very
reminiscent of ‘pre-modern’
gear based tripod heads.

FandBCecoHead

MGM Geared Head

The only information
found on the ‘MGM
Geared head’ was simply
this photograph from a
Birns & Sawyer
advertisement October,
1972. Described as a
‘MGM GEARED HEAD’.

MGM Head

Mitchell Geared Heads

The Mitchell Camera Corporation,
located in Los Angeles, CA, was one of the earlier companies
to manufacture geared tripod heads. Ironically, in the early
1940’s, George Worrall was Chief Engineer at the Mitchell
Camera Corporation. He left the company because he ‘felt he
could accomplish more on his own.’ Less then a decade later,
after founding the Worrall Camera Corporation, the Worrall
geared head would revolutionize the industry, and dawn a new
era of the geared tripod head; one in which the Mitchell
Camera Corporation would continue to contribute.
To the best of this author’s knowledge, the Mitchell brand
would produce four ‘modern’ geared head models: the Mitchell,
Mitchell Mini (Lightweight), Mitchell ‘VistaVision’, and the
Mitchell Vitesse geared head. Mitchell geared heads were
discontinued long ago, but they are still found in many
rental houses, visual effect houses, and film facilities all
over the world.

This Mitchell
geared head was on
display at the 1979
SMPTE conference.
The photograph’s
original caption
simply stated it
was a ‘new’
Mitchell geared
head with built-in
adjustable wedge
plate. Most likely
a Mitchell
Lightweight.

Mitchell Head

Mitchell Geared Head

Surprisingly enough, it is very
difficult to track down what is considered the ‘original’ or
‘standard’ Mitchell Geared Head. Thus far, from extensive
research, it is thought that the ‘normal’ Mitchell geared
head model is a four position, three speed gearbox.
Mitchell

Mitchell heads mini and lightweight

Mitchell Mini/Lightweight Geared Head:
Tilt Angle: +-33 degrees, +- 50.5 degrees w/ Tilt plate, as
told to me by a Mitchell Mini owner.
Built in Lift Plate: Advertised at +- 60 degrees in an old
ad. This does not add up with the 17.5 degree tilt plate
information given by the gearhead owner, perhaps the
advertisement was a previous version of the model.
Gear Positions: (Gear Driven / Four position gearbox)
1 (63 turns for 360* pan)
2 (31.5 turns for 360* pan)
3 (21 turns for 360* pan)
N
1 (16.75 turns for 66* tilt)
2 (10.5 turns for 66* tilt)
3 (5.2 turns for 66* tilt)
N
Three Speeds Gear Ratios: 1:1 / 1½:1 / 3:1
Length: 17.25” / 20.75” inches (with wheels & handles)
Width: 10.5” / 14.75” inches (with wheels & handles)
Height: 9” inches
Weight: 44 lbs.

Mitchell Vitesse GearHead

With regards to design, the Vitesse
is quite possibly the most unique
geared head of any. It is designed
in a way, to allow 360* movement on
two axis; pan and tilt. The
inventor of the Vitesse is Joe
Dunton who interestingly, later in
his career, would head ‘Moy’;
another manufacturer of geared
heads.

Mitchell Vitesse

Mitchell ‘VistaVision’ Geared
Head

The large Mitchell
‘Vista-Vision’ geared head, is
aptly named for its
association and pairing with
the Vista-Vision cameras. To
operate around the bulging
‘elephant ear’ cameras, the
hand wheels were extended
along a shaft, away from the
cradle.

 Mitchell VistaVision

Mole Richardson Geared Heads

A ‘modern’ era Mole Richardson
Geared head has not been found as
of yet. This model was described in
the 1930 Cinematographic Annual as,
“… another new device. It is a tilt
head mechanism on a Rohing Tripod.”
This is a great example of the
geared heads which existed and were
in use prior to the Worrall head,
which because of it’s successful
advancements, is considered the
dawn of the modern geared head era,
which today’s heads continue to
advance.

Mole Richardson Geared Head

Moy Geared Heads

Known as
one of the more popular geared
head brands, Moy was based in
London, England and
eventually, during its later
years, fell under Joe Dunton &
Company Limited. Panavision
later acquired Joe Dunton’s
company holdings in 1997, and
presumably Moy with it,
considering they inherited a
very large quantity of Moy
geared heads. (The pictured
Moy ‘Classic or Standard’ has
an auxiliary third wheel for
pan movement.)

Moy Geared Head

Today, Moy geared heads are primarily (& appropriately) found
in rental facilities around the UK, including many Panavision
Europe facilities. As of 2008, Panavision UK rented all four
of the Moy Geared Head models which include the Moy 16”
Classic, Moy 16” Standard, Moy 12” Mini, and Moy 22” Legend.
Other European Panavision rental houses also carry what is
called the Moy ‘Neptune’ Underwater Head.
One will quickly notice a strange and unique attribute of
some Moy Models: a third wheel. In the photograph above, the
third wheel is almost certainly an auxiliary pan wheel. In
the photograph on the following page, the odd placement of
the third wheel (within the cradle) may be an auxiliary pan
wheel, or perhaps something else, such as for a crank up tilt
wheel or auxiliary tilt wheel. Unknown at this time.

Moy 16” Standard/Classic

The most common Moy, the Moy 16”
Standard, is a two speed geared
head. The Moy 16” Classic is
found as a listed geared head in
many rental houses, but perhaps
is the same as the ‘standard’. No
information known at this time
suggests either possibility.

Moy16Standard

Samcine Moy Geared Head

A
Moy Standard, re-engineered
to rental house Samuelson’s
specifications by Moy.
Improves upon the previous
Moy geared head, although the
cradle movement and gears
remain virtually the same. A
new built in wedge allows for
extra tilt function, camera
quick release ability, and
balance adjustment for long
lenses or off center
configurations. The third
wheel (right wheel) on cradle
controls the tilt plate.

SamcineMoy Geared Head

Tilt Angle: +-35 degrees, +-70 degrees w/ built in wedge
Gear Positions: Two speed gearbox
1 (34 turns for full 360*)
2 (12 turns for full 360*)
1 (23 turns for full tilt)
2 (9 turns for full tilt)
Offset arms available and incorporates 2:1 pan and tilt speed increase.

Samcine- Moy geared head MkIII

The MkIII head has a built in slide
balancing adjustment, an either-wayround
adjustable wedge, a dovetail
camera attachment, optional off-set
control positions, two speed pan and
tilt action (four speeds with the
offset arms) a large ‘T’ level, and
adjustable pan friction. It is also
advertised as a 13” head.

SamCine Moy MkIII

Moy 22” Legend

As the photo demonstrates, the
22” Moy geared heads are meant
for some serious weight and
abuse. Pictured here, Jack
Cardiff, BSC and Geoffrey
Unsworth, BSC pose with a
Technicolor 3-strip camera on a
22” Moy geared head. In today’s
world it is very rare for any
camera package to require a
special ‘heavy duty’ grade
geared head. Only fully loaded
70mm or Imax packages demand
such extra support.

Moy 22 legend

Moy 12” Mini

The baby of the Moy family, the
12” Mini was designed and built in
another attempt to reduce the size
and weight of the geared head
while attracting the smaller
camera market, such as 16mm
production. The 12” Mini is tough
to find information on. It is
advertised as a gear head, not
cable driven (referring to the
competitive Worrall Mini). The
lowest gear ratio is 94 turns for
360*. The mini weights 38 lbs and
extension boxes are available.

Moy 12 Mini Geared Head

Moy 16” Neptune Underwater Head

European rental houses list
it as MY-UH head. Any cameraman, who dares enter the ocean’s
water with a geared head, might as well strap the camera to
an anchor! Nonetheless, this is one of the most unique,
mysterious, and interesting geared heads to date. Further
information is top priority. Please harass Panavison UK,
and/or Panavison’s associate rental house Sparks in Hungary…
they won’t respond to email inquiries.

NCE Geared Heads
National Cine
Products made the
NCE, Cradle Geared
Head (updated to
‘Model CGH’), NCE
Jr, and finally
the Ultrascope
series MkI-MkIII.
NCE no longer
exists and NCE
heads are rare in
most capacities.

NCE Geared Head

NCE ‘Cradle Geared
Head’ and ‘Model CGH’

Tilts +-35 degrees,
wedge available. Pan
has tension adjustment
and lock. Tilt has only
tension adjustment. Top
plate is 5½” x 7”.
Weighs 22 lbs and will
carry cameras up to 30
lbs. Equipped with a
ball level and Mitchell
adapter available. NCE
Advertisement, Nov.
1969.

NCE Cradle Geared head

The NCE ‘Model CGH’

is the
updated and improved NCE
Cradle Geared Head. The ‘Model
CGH’ will carry 30lbs, same as
the previous, except this ad
from 1970, mentions a threeposition
pan gearbox: two
speeds and a neutral. The tilt
is a two-position two-speed
gearbox. The top plate is
larger at 6.5” x 8”. Also
advertised: ‘Change in speed
can be made by cameraman in
seconds’… which suggests the
previous model only had one
non-adjustable gear speed. Pan
and tilt locks and tension
adjustment standard.

NCE Model CGH

 

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