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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 07 Jan 2005 (Friday) 07:52
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Tension Control

 
psychonaut
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Jan 07, 2005 07:52 |  #1

looking at Giottos MH-1001 versus Manfrotto 488 the main difference as i see it is Giottos has tension control for an extra 15 bucks.

how useful is that feature, how important is it to have ?




  
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Scottes
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Jan 07, 2005 08:01 |  #2

I like it a lot - BUT it's not perfect. I like it because it lets me use my long lenses on the ball-head with ease of movement combined with some stability. With TC the lens isn't just loose and flopping around, but rather it's loose enough and moving [relatively] freely. I can let go of my camera and the lens won't flop over and crash against the tripod.

But my Manfrotto 490RC4 isn't perfect. It tends to be "sticky" until the ball moves a bit first - it likes to "set" into one place, but once loosened it's OK. The tension isn't even around the ball - it's not off by much, but it's off. The tension control isn't perfect - it's not very finely adjustable.

I have no idea about the Giottos - it's probably better than the Manfrotto but I don't know if it's that much better. I wouldn't buy it again unless it was *perfect* - and that means expensive, like Kirk or Arca or RRS - and I would have to try it out in the store first.

Even with the imperfections it can be nice if you're using a ballhead to do landscapes. The tension will allow for a little more control when "finessing" the camera into the perfect position.

Useful? Somewhat.
Useful if it was perfect? Definitely.
Important to have? Probably not.


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IanD
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Jan 07, 2005 09:16 as a reply to  @ Scottes's post |  #3

Last winter I purchased a Giotto bh and returned it the day after (forget the model). In the store it was silky smooth due to the fluid damping but get that sucker outside in the cold and the fluid turned into molasses. Stiff as all get out. Almost needed a hammer to get it to move. Picked up a Manfrotto 488RC2 instead. A little bitty bit stiff in the cold but worked well.


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CyberDyneSystems
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Jan 07, 2005 09:41 |  #4

Actully,. I think Scottes 490 tends to be smoother than the Giottos tension control.

As for the molasses.. yes Ian,. I picked mine up used.. so when it was as stiff as all that,. I decided to "replace the molasses".. cleaned it all out with Carb cleaner and "re-lubed" with something a bit less viscous.

In all honestuy.. I had assumed that the issue was mine was old and the grease had simply gotten old and cruddy...

If you had this problem with a new unit (the ones I've tested in stores seemed smooth) then the problem with there choice of greese may be more prevelant than I thought :(

Something to consider...

On the other hand,. you do live in the Arctic Circle... :rolleyes:

Giottos is made in Southern Italy... :)


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Scottes
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Jan 07, 2005 09:59 |  #5

Lube on a ball-head ball scares the crap out of me. I simply would not purchase a ball-head that requires a lubricant. There's are better ways to do in, as mentioned in that other thread....


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Jan 07, 2005 11:53 as a reply to  @ Scottes's post |  #6

To cure the "lube" problem I've ordered a AcraTech Ultimate ballhead. Should be here next weekend, weather permitting. Then again, there ain't a snow storm in hell that will stop the delivery guy. :) :) :)


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Jan 07, 2005 11:55 |  #7

FYI... I think the Lube was only in contact with, and effecting the Panning bearing... not the ballhead. But I may not recall correctly.


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Jan 07, 2005 12:01 |  #8

Oh, the panning lube on my Manfrotto is very thick crap. I rarely pan so I can't tell you how it is in the very cold. I always thought you meant that the ball was lubed when you mentioned that head.


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Scottes
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Jan 07, 2005 12:02 as a reply to  @ IanD's post |  #9

IanD wrote:
To cure the "lube" problem I've ordered a AcraTech Ultimate ballhead. Should be here next weekend, weather permitting. Then again, there ain't a snow storm in hell that will stop the delivery guy.

Sweet! I can't wait until I get a chance to check that sucker out.


wait a second...


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Jan 07, 2005 12:07 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #10

CyberDyneSystems wrote:
FYI... I think the Lube was only in contact with, and effecting the Panning bearing... not the ballhead. But I may not recall correctly.

I recall seeing a "lube" on the ball and it attracted all sorts of fuzzy stuff. Tried to clean it off but it kept on coming back. Of course, i might have been holding the ballhead upside down.
:)


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Scottes
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Jan 07, 2005 12:09 |  #11

CDS, I could swear that you mention putting carb cleaner in the ball socket.

Or was that barb wire in the wall socket? You Rhodeans talk funny.
:-)


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Jan 07, 2005 12:22 as a reply to  @ IanD's post |  #12

IanD wrote:
I recall seeing a "lube" on the ball and it attracted all sorts of fuzzy stuff. Tried to clean it off but it kept on coming back. Of course, i might have been holding the ballhead upside down.
:)

Ian:
The 'fuzzy stuff' is duck feathers, and you have been using it upside down....you're not supposed to bend over and take the shots between your legs (although for us old guys that might be the easiest way to get those 'down low' shots).


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Jan 07, 2005 13:05 as a reply to  @ Belmondo's post |  #13

belmondo wrote:
Ian:
The 'fuzzy stuff' is duck feathers, and you have been using it upside down....you're not supposed to bend over and take the shots between your legs (although for us old guys that might be the easiest way to get those 'down low' shots).

What old guys? The instruction book with the tripod was very confusing.
:confused: :confused:


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Mar 05, 2005 20:02 as a reply to  @ IanD's post |  #14

Don't try taking this discussion out of contest. :confused:


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lancea
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Aug 08, 2005 16:06 as a reply to  @ IanD's post |  #15

IanD wrote:
Last winter I purchased a Giotto bh and returned it the day after (forget the model). In the store it was silky smooth due to the fluid damping but get that sucker outside in the cold and the fluid turned into molasses.

Just a thought from my previous career - we used Rimco wind vanes on automatic weather stations, including some in alpine locations. I think they were even used in Antarctica. The notable feature of these vanes was the dampening provided by a rotor moving within a container of silicone grease. Obviously this dampening needed to be consistent across a wide temperature range, and the grease did a pretty good job.

To cut a long story short - silicone grease might be a good substitute for the original fluid.


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Tension Control
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