Approve the Cookies
This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and our Privacy Policy.
OK
Index  •   • New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Guest
New posts  •   • RTAT  •   • 'Best of'  •   • Gallery  •   • Gear  •   • Reviews
Register to forums    Log in

 
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 16 Feb 2012 (Thursday) 23:13
Search threadPrev/next
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

Cullmann Magnesit MB 6.3 Review

 
jt354
Senior Member
401 posts
Joined Oct 2010
Location: Michigan
     
Feb 16, 2012 23:13 |  #1

Hey all,

The multitude of threads recommending RRS BH-40's, Markins Q3's, Kirk BH3's, etc. were unable to rescue this poor fool, who decided instead to "save a few bucks" and enter mid-priced ball head purgatory. With $150 in Amazon gift cards burning a hole in my "wallet" and a photo-vacation coming up, I decided on the Cullmann MB6.3. Total cost was $185 shipped from Amazon.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


This is what comes in the box: A relatively nice zippered bag, the head, standard camera platform and quick release assembly, a 1/4" reducer bushing, hex wrench, and "cleaning cloth."

Cullmann offers three different "MB6" heads. All are the same basic model with different camera mounts/QR assemblies. Below is the MB6 with the standard camera platform, which Cullmann sells as the MB6.1 for ~$165. This configuration was out of stock when I ordered, but is the best choice for someone who plans to add an arca-style platform. For $200, Cullmann offers the MB6.5, which has a clamp and plate that are supposed to be arca-compatible.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


The large knob on the right unlocks the ball, and the smaller knob to the left unlocks the panoramic base. The "inset" knob sets ball friction.


IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Here it is with the QR attached. The QR assembly is very similar to the Manfrotto RC2 system -- push in and hold the tab on the right and pull the lever to release the plate. The clamp attaches to the head with a captive 3/8" screw and has grooves that mesh with "nubs" in the ball stem to prevent twisting. Unfortunately, the tiny plate permits extensive flex/camera rotation in portrait orientation, making the whole QR system pretty much useless. If possible, get the 6.1 instead and add your own QR assembly.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Crappy QR aside, this thing is solidly made. Adjustments in both ball motion and panning are very smooth compared to the Manfrotto 496 and Giottos MH-1300. Both the ball and panning base lock securely, and panning is slow and well damped. The friction adjustment works well and has 9 positive "click settings" from loose to tight. The "tightest" setting works well for my needs, but may not be quite robust enough for heavy gear. Strangely enough, friction can really only be adjusted when the ball is unlocked.

The lock knob is positioned directly across from the drop notch -- for ergonomics' sake I wish it were 90 degrees counterclockwise from the notch instead.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Here's the base -- nothing special, 3/8" thread with a 1/4" reducer bushing provided. Already looks like the powder-coated finish is going to get pretty beat up.

IMAGE NOT FOUND
IMAGE IS A REDIRECT OR MISSING!
HTTP response: NOT FOUND | MIME changed to 'image/gif' | Redirected to error image by FLICKR


Here's the ball sans-platform. The threads are 3/8" and the two "nubs" require an RRS-style plate should one decide to upgrade. The ball is not completely sealed, but seems like it should keep dust out better than the Manfrotto. The rubber "collar" around the stem prevents metal-to-metal contact when using the drop notch or forgetting to lock your camera in place :)

All in all, I'm pretty impressed. Aside from the QR, this head is well-built and seems like it should last for a long time with proper care. It comes with a 10-year warranty -- I don't know if there is a U.S. service center though or if I'd have to send it to Deutscheland for repairs.

Zenfolio (external link)
flickr (external link)
Gear: Canon 60D / Canon G12 / Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 / Canon 35mm f/2 IS / Canon 85mm f/1.8 / Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 / Speedlite 430 EXII / Slik 700DX legs / Cullmann MB6 head

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 21, 2012 20:03 |  #2

nice review, i just ordered the Cullmann MB8.3


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 23, 2012 15:28 |  #3

man i did not get the 1/4 reducer bushing with mine


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 23, 2012 15:35 |  #4

ignore me ha it was already inside


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Feb 11, 2013 13:30 as a reply to  @ amairphoto's post |  #5

Follow-up after a year?

I am also looking at this one even though I am considering and have played with the RRS BH-40. There are aspects I like about the Cullmann that keep this in mind. The baby brother 2.1 with a Kirk QR clamp that is used for the P&S is wonderful.


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 11, 2013 14:33 |  #6

I got one and it broke within a year.


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
Sirrith
Cream of the Crop
10,545 posts
Gallery: 50 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 36
Joined Nov 2010
Location: Hong Kong
     
Feb 11, 2013 19:46 |  #7

ra40 wrote in post #15598652 (external link)
Follow-up after a year?

I am also looking at this one even though I am considering and have played with the RRS BH-40. There are aspects I like about the Cullmann that keep this in mind. The baby brother 2.1 with a Kirk QR clamp that is used for the P&S is wonderful.

I actually have both the RRS BH-40 and the Cullmann MB6.5 (had this one for 2 years now).

They both have things going for them.

The advantages of the BH-40:
-smaller
-lighter
-seems to sag less on release (though I haven't tested that properly)
-takes RRS clamps and plates from the start
-knobs more comfortable to use

Advantages of the MB6.5:
-price
-significantly better panning base (the damping is so much nicer than on the RRS)
-better for reverse folding tripods (the RRS knobs mean that even though the BH-40 is smaller, the legs cannot fold as well around it)
-knob placement is better


Some things that I have noticed through usage:
The Cullmann is an absolute beast. My tripod has fallen into a river head-first, its been bashed against rocks, scraped against hard surfaces, used in sub-freezing temperatures, and it has held up perfectly except for the little rubber ring around the ball stem which is tearing a bit. Also, there seems to be a plastic bushing of sorts in the panning base that has come out of place and is showing in the "window" that indicates your panning degrees. It has zero effect on function though. The BH-40 locking knob is annoying and a PITA. The design is stupid, full stop. The knob goes down past the panning base, which means that if you use a tripod with a spider that is wider than the base, the knob will hit the spider and won't be able to turn. RRS obviously realises this as they have made that knob spring-loaded so you can set it to another position, but this could easily have been avoided with a different shape as on the BH-55. The knobs seem to be made of pretty soft metal. My tripod fell over from a pretty short position, and the locking knob edge is pretty scratched up where it came into contact with the ground.

I do like the BH-40 better overall though. It is a bit faster to use, and the size and weight are good.


-Tom
Flickr (external link)
F-Stop Guru review | RRS BH-40 review

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Feb 12, 2013 13:56 |  #8

DonJuanMair wrote in post #15598898 (external link)
I got one and it broke within a year.

Did you get another or abandon it for another ball head?

Sirrith wrote in post #15599971 (external link)
I actually have both the RRS BH-40 and the Cullmann MB6.5 (had this one for 2 years now).

They both have things going for them.

The advantages of the BH-40:
-smaller
-lighter
-seems to sag less on release (though I haven't tested that properly)
-takes RRS clamps and plates from the start
-knobs more comfortable to use

Advantages of the MB6.5:
-price
-significantly better panning base (the damping is so much nicer than on the RRS)
-better for reverse folding tripods (the RRS knobs mean that even though the BH-40 is smaller, the legs cannot fold as well around it)
-knob placement is better
....

I do like the BH-40 better overall though. It is a bit faster to use, and the size and weight are good.

I also had the same concerns about the lever/knob when locking the RRS up. Pulling the knob out to reposition, then give it the final snug but it is an additional motion involved. The Cullmann 6.3 I played with locks in 1/2 turn. The 2.1 takes 2 full turns and that is one gripe I have but the P&S is light so it isn't requiring full lock to be stable.

The rubber collar on the 2.1 ball stem split on mine pretty quickly. I'm not flinging it around or letting the P&S sag, it split on the second use. The opening must have a sharp edge that just catches it enough to cause this. Oh well.

I've been thinking that the Cullmann 6.1 with a RRS B2 Pro II clamp would be nice. Just been a coin toss in which direction to go, one moment it is RRS, next the Cullmann. :confused:;)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 12, 2013 18:17 |  #9

im going to go with a different option, mine clicks into place and then moves after, i have to guess where the camera will land if you know what i mean


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Feb 13, 2013 12:43 as a reply to  @ amairphoto's post |  #10

Thanks...I figured the RRS, Markins get so much discussion for a reason. :)




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
amairphoto
Cream of the Crop
Avatar
6,946 posts
Gallery: 67 photos
Best ofs: 3
Likes: 4207
Joined Aug 2007
Location: Las Vegas
     
Feb 13, 2013 14:53 |  #11

What head will you go with


My Website: http://www.amairphoto.​com (external link)
flickr (external link)

  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Feb 16, 2013 00:50 as a reply to  @ amairphoto's post |  #12

Likely the BH-40. The Markins doesn't have the anti-twist prongs and while much of what I shoot will not likely test that aspect, that integration reduces the possibility of it. An anti-twist can be done but my machining or modifying parts is a thumb-down. An off the shelf solution is wanted. The RRS may not be perfect and what is, it meets the basic criteria for the majority. RRS is a few hours away if any service or parts are needed.

RTS Photo in NY is an unknown to me if there are Cullmann issues. I had a hard enough time getting any info on availability of the 2.1 when the mini tripod was being built-up. I'd called RTS monthly for 5 months and they encouraged the 4.1 or 6.3. I am a glutton for punishment to consider the 6.1 but availability of those doesn't seem to be a problem, just the 2.1.

That is where it stands for now, next week, who knows. :confused::D




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
afoton
Senior Member
Avatar
348 posts
Joined Apr 2012
Location: Norway
     
Feb 16, 2013 02:23 |  #13

Sirrith wrote in post #15599971 (external link)
The BH-40 locking knob is annoying and a PITA. The design is stupid, full stop. The knob goes down past the panning base, which means that if you use a tripod with a spider that is wider than the base, the knob will hit the spider and won't be able to turn.

I have the RRS BH-40 and use it regulary on a tripod with a base wider than the bal head. So the base stop the locking knob from turn round. As more others ballhead I have used, as more I like the BH-40. And the no turning lock knob is not a exception. Turning the knob upwards against the camera, but not so much that it is in the way for the camera, is locking the ball. Turning it downwards against the tripod base, is unlocking it. And the ball is unlocked when the knob is down on the base, so I never have to reposition the knob. And I can see with my eyes if the ball is locked down or not, just looking at where the knob is pointing, or feeling it with a finger.

The Markins Q3T is not a bad ball head either. But mine doesn't work in the cold, so for me it is just for summer use.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Feb 16, 2013 17:11 as a reply to  @ afoton's post |  #14

That is a good point of having a visual reference with an "on" and "off" lever position. Any of the ball heads I've painted a reference mark on the knobs so that it can be determined if it is snugged or somewhere between.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
ra40
Goldmember
Avatar
1,070 posts
Gallery: 451 photos
Likes: 1204
Joined Jan 2013
Location: So. Cal
     
Mar 19, 2013 16:21 as a reply to  @ ra40's post |  #15

I mentally battled with which direction to go. With any gear, there are aspects to ponder preferences. This is what I felt was workable and maintains the continuity between the table top rig and the travel tripod which this is for: Cullmann 6.1 and the RRS B2 Pro II.

The RRS plate has recesses for anti-twist and like I figured the Cullmann is cut smaller so that it isn't a spot on fit. Had I gone with the Kirk, I would have machined in the exact fitting slots to fit the Cullmann head. This is a small issue and rather than spend more $ and time modifying parts, this was the simpler approach.

The Cullmann is threaded for 3/8" and the RRS QR is for a 1/4"-20. I have an aversion to drilling out the RRS QR for 3/8" so the reducer bushing is the least offensive way to go. I bought the RRS bushing which is worlds better than the ones sold at the camera shops. You can see how much more thread engagement there is on the RRS bushing.

Total price for this set-up came in at $275.91 (With applicable taxes and shipping charges included.)
Cullmann 6.1 $169.60
RRS B2 Pro II $100.92
RRS 1/4-20" bushing $5.39


HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.



HOSTED PHOTO
please log in to view hosted photos in full size.




  
  LOG IN TO REPLY
sponsored links
(this ad will go away when you log in as a registered member)

4,705 views & 0 likes for this thread
Cullmann Magnesit MB 6.3 Review
FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
AAA
x 1600
y 1600

Jump to forum...   •  Rules   •  Index   •  New posts   •  RTAT   •  'Best of'   •  Gallery   •  Gear   •  Reviews   •  Member list   •  Polls   •  Image rules   •  Search   •  Password reset

Not a member yet?
Register to forums
Registered members may log in to forums and access all the features: full search, image upload, follow forums, own gear list and ratings, likes, more forums, private messaging, thread follow, notifications, own gallery, all settings, view hosted photos, own reviews, see more and do more... and all is free. Don't be a stranger - register now and start posting!


COOKIES DISCLAIMER: This website uses cookies to improve your user experience. By using this site, you agree to our use of cookies and to our privacy policy.
Privacy policy and cookie usage info.


POWERED BY AMASS forum software 2.1forum software
version 2.1 /
code and design
by Pekka Saarinen ©
for photography-on-the.net

Latest registered member is socrbob
1094 guests, 253 members online
Simultaneous users record so far is 15144, that happened on Nov 22, 2018

Photography-on-the.net Digital Photography Forums is the website for photographers and all who love great photos, camera and post processing techniques, gear talk, discussion and sharing. Professionals, hobbyists, newbies and those who don't even own a camera -- all are welcome regardless of skill, favourite brand, gear, gender or age. Registering and usage is free.