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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 09 Jan 2014 (Thursday) 23:54
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Are ball heads worth it?

 
marcosphoto
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Jan 10, 2014 09:03 |  #16

I just bought my ball head and even though I have not used it a lot I am really optimistic about it's versatilities. I used to have an old fasioned almost video style head and while it was built like a mack truck it was really slow. I can have the ball head locked on target in under 4 seconds - awesome. Now I have the newer manfrotto 054 series, not nessesarily the best value in the world but this thing is strong with no creep like the lower models. I admit, some of their other models leave a lot to be desired but the 054 is as strong as the manfrotto names history IMO. I really like it, although I wanted the Vanguard BBH-200 but to get this head in Canada was as much as the 054 manfrotto.




  
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jt354
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Jan 10, 2014 09:16 |  #17

While the brands mentioned above are obviously excellent choices, you don't have to shell out for Arca-Swiss if money is tight. From personal experience, I would avoid Manfrotto and Giottos, but I've been very happy with my $160 Cullmann head and have heard good feedback on Sirui and Induro. The smaller heads by Kirk and RRS are fairly affordable as well. I do highly recommend an arca-style clamp, in my opinion they are far superior to any other proprietary quick release system.


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Charlie
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Jan 10, 2014 11:03 |  #18

Somebloke wrote in post #16593174 (external link)
What makes it better, excuse my ignorance :o

I started off manfrotto, but just got tired of blurred long exposures. The manfrotto snap in connections just werent very tight, and didnt adjust very well. Works fine if you're in a studio or just need to offload the weight, but for long exposures, just not working too well for me.

so after I made the jump to AS ballhead, I here are the biggest changes.

1. L bracket! One accessory I cannot do without. Here's why you use an L plate: http://www.youtube.com​/watch?v=G4iOxH5vyCo (external link) This may be trivial for some, but it's a big deal if you shoot lots of landscapes.

2. Better control of micro movements. With cheaper ballheads, it's harder to frame exactly how you like. I've very particular about getting leveled shots, and the leveling tool is always enabled in live view. It's much easier to get quick and accurate adjustments with the ballhead.


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Somebloke
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Jan 10, 2014 11:08 |  #19

Thanks but is there one site where I can just get everything in one go?




  
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Charlie
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Jan 10, 2014 11:22 |  #20

you can buy a sirui K-30x/Z1/whatever + kirk L bracket on bhphoto.

if you have money for the Z1, I'de get the RRS BH-55 instead. You can buy the RRS BH-55 + RRS L plate directly from RRS website. Love their L-Plates, havent been able to justify the costs for the ballhead....... yet :)


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Snydremark
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Jan 10, 2014 12:06 as a reply to  @ Charlie's post |  #21

To expand on a couple of things previously said:

mike_d wrote in post #16593029 (external link)
For stills, yes. Ballheads make it easy to position the camera with one hand, then lock it down with the other....

If you purchase a decent quality ball head with proper tension control (this is where the Manfrottos fall well short), you don't even need two hands. Set up the camera on the ball head, adjust tension control so that it holds the camera when you're not actively moving it. From there, you just position the camera and let go; ball holds camera in place. This was the biggest relief and revelation of ball heads for me when I finally moved over to a non-Manfrotto piece.

Somebloke wrote in post #16593172 (external link)
I know this has been done to death but do you really need to go the expensive arca Swiss style root? Are the manfrotto heads sufficient?

Because the Manfrottos don't do tension control well, you have to loosen the tension knob, move the head where you want it, and while holding the camera in place, dial the tension knob back on. Because of this, there is a real problem with 'drooping', where the camera drops slightly while putting that tension back on.

This problem is eliminated by using a decent quality, Arca-Swiss style ball head (many of the ones already listed within this thread). Also, the A-S system is much more, widely supported in terms of accessories available, etc. Especially when/if you get up into the "big glass"; things like Gimbal heads are only made in A-S compatible models, so you'd be SOL if you're still on a Manfrotto system by that point.

Manfrotto makes some alright stuff that will get folks in at a price point that rivals the cheap-crap stuff you get from Walmart/Target/Best Buy/etc; but the A-S options simply have a wider range of better quality stuff and better support.


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marcosphoto
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Jan 10, 2014 17:05 |  #22

My manfrotto 054 series has a seperate tension and lock knob, everyone sure about how bad manfrotto components are? I can dial it right in to where I want with any lens I own. Sorry, off topic now.




  
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jt354
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Jan 10, 2014 17:20 |  #23

Marcos I haven't tried the higher end Manfrottos, like the 054 and MG series. The 496RC2 and 498RC2 are the most popular models in Manfrotto's line, undeservedly so in my opinion. Also, their proprietary quick release systems are mediocre at best.


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Somebloke
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Jan 10, 2014 23:33 |  #24

What a pain in the bum-so if I want the arca Swiss I can get that from adorama-thoughts on classic versus quicknrelease? And then if I wantba L bracket I have to go direct to really right stuff yeah which is very expensive! Do I also need a plate?




  
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Jon
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Jan 10, 2014 23:48 |  #25

Adorama's Flashpoint ballheads (which are Arca-Swiss type) include a flat all-purpose plate. If you buy the RRS (or Kirk) L plates (which are precision machined custom to your camera model, which helps account for the cost), you don't need another plate; they're already grooved/milled to fit Arca-Swiss style clamps.


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Charlie
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Jan 10, 2014 23:52 |  #26

Somebloke wrote in post #16595830 (external link)
What a pain in the bum-so if I want the arca Swiss I can get that from adorama-thoughts on classic versus quicknrelease? And then if I wantba L bracket I have to go direct to really right stuff yeah which is very expensive! Do I also need a plate?

Buy eBay, second hand rrs l-plates are as good as new. Typically go for 80-110.


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Scatterbrained
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Jan 11, 2014 00:12 |  #27

If you're running a grip I'd opt for the Kirk L plate. The Kirk plate clamps over the lug for the strap, making the whole camera much more solid. There's always a wee bit of wiggle between the body and the grip, but with the L bracket clamped onto the strap lug that goes away entirely. Rock solid.

As far as AS heads go, the ability to run L brackets is one major benefit of AS systems. When it comes to getting a head, that really depends on budget. I'm a fan of Acratech personally. Like RRS however, they aren't cheap. I ran an Adorama flashpoint F-3 for several years and can vouch for it's reliability. Definitely a good value for the money.


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afoton
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Jan 11, 2014 02:46 |  #28

Somebloke wrote in post #16595830 (external link)
And then if I wantba L bracket I have to go direct to really right stuff yeah which is very expensive! Do I also need a plate?

A L-plate is just a long plate bent to the form of a L. You just need one plate pr camera, one L-plate or one short plate.




  
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Somebloke
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Jan 11, 2014 02:50 |  #29

afoton wrote in post #16596058 (external link)
A L-plate is just a long plate bent to the form of a L. You just need one plate pr camera, one L-plate or one short plate.

Oh ok, thanks :)

Any thoughts on the classic verus quick releases for the Z1?

Is this all I need to buy?

http://www.adorama.com​/AWMBZ1SPC.html (external link)

And this?
http://www.reallyright​stuff.com/s.nl/it.A/id​.2317/.f (external link)




  
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Somebloke
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Jan 11, 2014 06:15 |  #30

And maybe one of these?

http://www.reallyright​stuff.com/s.nl/it.A/id​.3607/.f (external link)




  
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Are ball heads worth it?
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