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Thread started 24 Mar 2011 (Thursday) 21:50
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RRS BH-40: Where's the love?

 
TheArchitect
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Mar 24, 2011 21:50 |  #1

Like many others, I'm deep into research on a ball head. I've got the Q3T, Photo Clam 33NS and BH-40 on my short list. I've been searching and reading and I find everyone raving about RRS quality but I don't see a lot of people using the BH-40. Is there something about it that is less than ideal? Any owners, past or present, care to comment?

Based on all of my searching and reading people really like the Markins head/RRS clamp combo. If I go that route it's $290 for the Markins and another $80 for the RRS screw clamp (no lever for me). Alternatively, I could get the BH-40 with a slightly larger ball diameter and the RRS clamp already on it for less money.

The head is for my Benro A1690TBH0 Travel Angel. I know the base diameter on the BH-40 is slightly larger than the Q3T and that the knob placement may not allow the TA to close all the way. That's not a big deal to me if the BH-40 is a better head.


I guess the other thing I could do is just get the Q3T with the Markins screw clamp and buy RRS plates. Are the Markins screw clamps really that inferior to the RRS version?


Any advice to nudge me in one direction or the other would be appreciated. I think I'm reaching 'analysis paralysis'.




  
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musso
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Mar 24, 2011 21:54 |  #2

i had the BH-40 i think is was one of the best ball heads i ever had. i upgraded to the BH-55 that is the only reason i got rid of it. i had a QT3 also it was a very nice ballhead but i would pick the BH-40

joe




  
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thenextguy
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Mar 24, 2011 22:29 as a reply to  @ musso's post |  #3

I looked at the BH-40, but ended up going with the Q3T because:

1) It paired better with the Gitzo GT1541t
2) It was cheaper.
3) Nothing I read suggested it was inferior to the BH-40.


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peter_n
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Mar 25, 2011 08:15 |  #4

Where are you looking? This forum seems fixated on Markins ballheads (I have two myself) but if you want a more balanced outlook try the FM forum or photo.net. The other RRS product that doesn't get any play here is their tripods which are slowly increasing in range. They are really good.


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TheArchitect
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Mar 25, 2011 10:29 |  #5

Well, I'm primarily looking here but I've done some googling and wandered over to FM.

I have nothing against the Q3T; it appears to be a fantastic product. I'm just thinking the BH-40 seems to have slightly better specs and you get the RRS clamp with it so you don't have to go through the hassle, and slightly additional expense, of ordering the RRS clamp for the Q3T. Given the high regard for RRS here it seems a bit weird that it's primarily for their plates and less so the heads.

At the moment I'm leaning towards getting the Q3T with screw clamp and just using RRS plates. I can't see how the RRS screw clamp is so superior to the Markins that it's worth it. If I was getting a lever clamp then it'd be a different story.




  
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Sdiver2489
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Mar 25, 2011 10:39 |  #6

What makes the RRS lever clamp so special?


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MGW172
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Mar 25, 2011 11:15 as a reply to  @ Sdiver2489's post |  #7

BH-40 owner here. If you dont care about the legs folding up completely on your Benro, then it's a great head. I was using it on a set of Velbon CF legs that were a compromise between portability and strength. It's a solid head, locks firmly with no droop and it easily handles my 100-400. I also like the independant drag knob with the numbered scale, I can just dial in the number I've used before with a particular lens and I'm ready to go.

On the negatives, I wish it was just a little smoother to move the ball when the tension is set. This is a minor quibble, it's smooth, but sometimes it feels a bit "sticky" if that makes sense. Other users have noted the same.

I dont have any experience with the Q3t, but I will in a couple of weeks. I have decided to get two tripod setups and just bought a GT1541t for travel. The BH-40 is on it now, but will be replaced when I buy the Q3t. Unlike you, I dont like the fact that the legs will not fold up all the way, in fact, one sticks out quite a bit. The BH-40 will go on either a Gitzo or maybe a RRS tripod if I decide they are really worth the premium price.


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TheArchitect
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Apr 04, 2011 20:43 as a reply to  @ MGW172's post |  #8

Well, I got a mint condition Q3T with screw clamp for $225 on Ebay. It arrived today along with a 50D RRS plate.

I do have what's probably a dumb question, though. The center screw was loose and I was able to remove the clamp pretty easily. I'll get some loctite to secure it but the screw itself doesn't have a hex socket to tighten it. Now that I've looked at a few other Q3T photos it appears the Markins posts don't have a way to mechanically tighten it. Am I correct on this? Are you supposed to apply loctite to the screw on both ends and then tighten it by hand?


EDIT: Search is your friend...got my answer regarding the screw.




  
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tvphotog
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Apr 05, 2011 06:41 |  #9

Sdiver2489 wrote in post #12090294 (external link)
What makes the RRS lever clamp so special?

Great track record. Frankly, I think the Markins lever QR is excellent, and is adjustable to any plate system, including RRS.

The RRS lever release is not adjustable. It's also a bit bulkier than the Markins. Because screw releases can be used with any Arca-Swiss type of plate, they're pretty universal.


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bohdank
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Apr 05, 2011 06:54 |  #10

Markins with the RRS lever clamp is what you hear about. I haven't heard anyone replacing the Markins screw clamp with a RRS screw clamp so I'm not sure why you are motivated to do this.


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bohdank
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Apr 05, 2011 06:55 |  #11

tvphotog wrote in post #12161243 (external link)
Great track record. Frankly, I think the Markins lever QR is excellent, and is adjustable to any plate system, including RRS.

The RRS lever release is not adjustable. It's also a bit bulkier than the Markins. Because screw releases can be used with any Arca-Swiss type of plate, they're pretty universal.

An adjustable lever clamp is great if all your plates are of the same manufacture. If you are mixing and matching plates, you would be forever adjusting the clamp to the plate which doesn't sound very desirable in use. Also anything adjustable tends to adjust on it's own, with time, without your involvement. An adjustable lever clamp is not a useful feature, to me.


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Sdiver2489
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Apr 05, 2011 06:58 |  #12

tvphotog wrote in post #12161243 (external link)
Great track record. Frankly, I think the Markins lever QR is excellent, and is adjustable to any plate system, including RRS.

The RRS lever release is not adjustable. It's also a bit bulkier than the Markins. Because screw releases can be used with any Arca-Swiss type of plate, they're pretty universal.

Guess I still don't get it then. If the Markin's is adjustable, what makes the RRS worth it to actually replace the Markin's for all those people buying Q3t's? For the record, I have a photoclam pro gold II lever QR and it is also adjustable but out of the box fit my RRS plate.


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minhi
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Apr 05, 2011 08:12 |  #13

Sdiver2489 wrote in post #12161291 (external link)
Guess I still don't get it then. If the Markin's is adjustable, what makes the RRS worth it to actually replace the Markin's for all those people buying Q3t's? For the record, I have a photoclam pro gold II lever QR and it is also adjustable but out of the box fit my RRS plate.

even though the markins is adjustable, a lot of us are stuck on the use plates + quick-releases from the same manufacturer. it's just easier for me so i don't need to keep track of which plates work with which clamps.

as for the BH-40, i noticed that it's in a wierd size zone, i noticed that the progression is BH-30 -> Q3T -> BH40 as the typical overlap and most people here seem to be in the Q3T middle area. At least for me, i didn't need as much carry power as the BH40, so the Q3 was a nice middle-point.


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MCAsan
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Apr 05, 2011 11:35 as a reply to  @ minhi's post |  #14

for me it was not where is the love for th 40....it was the business case of the extra value (to me) being worth the cost of getting the 55. Both the wife and I are very happy with the 55s.




  
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peter_n
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Apr 05, 2011 12:53 |  #15

Sdiver2489 wrote in post #12161291 (external link)
Guess I still don't get it then. If the Markin's is adjustable, what makes the RRS worth it to actually replace the Markin's for all those people buying Q3t's?

They have all drunk the RRS kool-aid. ;)


~Peter

  
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RRS BH-40: Where's the love?
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