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Thread started 04 Jun 2009 (Thursday) 09:15
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Ball head capable of precision movements

 
siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 09:15 |  #1

I am looking for a new ball head and up to yet I have always frustrated by the lack of precision movement they have.

I want to be able to tighten to the point that the camera is not moving by it's own weight then be able to make small adjustments to my composition by a little more exertion of force in any direction. Up until now both the Manfrotto 486rc2 and the Gitzo GH1780 has failed to live up to my expectations. It's either jerky movements or too loose for precision with no point in between.

Surely this is not too much to ask? Isn't this a requirement of any serious photographer?

I don't really have to the Arcaswiss silly prices to have this kind of control in a ballhead do I?

Geared heads are to slow and heavy.

I have looked seriously at the Kirk BH-3 which is more than I would like to pay to be honest. Would this head live up to my expectations?


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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TaDa
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Jun 04, 2009 09:22 |  #2

My Arca head is pretty damned precise, but it's still not as precise as a pan-tilt head. My Arca head is awesome, but you're going to fiddle with a ballhead a little more than a pan to get that perfect framing.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

  
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tvphotog
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Jun 04, 2009 09:26 as a reply to  @ TaDa's post |  #3

Markins ballheads. Any of their ballheads.

Read this review. Note comparison with larger and more expensive ones.:

http://www.nikonians.o​rg …n-nikon_articles/markins​/ (external link)

BTW, the 486 ballhead is for lightweight cameras. It has a relatively small ball and only an on-off lock, not a tension control as does the Markins and other higher end heads. Price may be related to this second control.


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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 09:29 |  #4

TaDa wrote in post #8048049 (external link)
My Arca head is pretty damned precise, but it's still not as precise as a pan-tilt head. My Arca head is awesome, but you're going to fiddle with a ballhead a little more than a pan to get that perfect framing.

Thanks yeah I got a pan and tilt head as well and although it has the precision it really is a chore with the 3 adjusters constantly having to be un/tightened.

You see so many pro landscape photographers using and swearing by ball heads that it makes me wonder if given the right one I would never look back on the pan and tilt option.


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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TaDa
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Jun 04, 2009 09:33 |  #5

Like i said, I adore my Arca head, and could never go back to a pan tilt head, it's just the nature of the beast since a ballhead can move in so many different directions. When I say "fiddle to get the perfect framing", I'm talking about seconds, not minutes.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

  
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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 09:34 |  #6

tvphotog wrote in post #8048078 (external link)
Markins ballheads. Any of their ballheads.

Read this review. Note comparison with larger and more expensive ones.:

http://www.nikonians.o​rg …n-nikon_articles/markins​/ (external link)

BTW, the 486 ballhead is for lightweight cameras. It has a relatively small ball and only an on-off lock, not a tension control as does the Markins and other higher end heads. Price may be related to this second control.

I have seriously looked at the markins Q3 but it seems there are little to no dealers over in the UK that sell them. Down the line I would buying camera/ lens specific plates e.t.c and it would be nice to not have to import everytime.

Warehouseexpress.co.uk sells the Kirk line which I why I made it a preference.


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 09:37 |  #7

TaDa wrote in post #8048094 (external link)
Like i said, I adore my Arca head, and could never go back to a pan tilt head, it's just the nature of the beast since a ballhead can move in so many different directions. When I say "fiddle to get the perfect framing", I'm talking about seconds, not minutes.

Yeah I am sure your right and as much as I would love to own an Arca B1 it's just to much dollar for me to justify. Surely this can't be the only range that's capable of such precision?


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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squiress
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Jun 04, 2009 09:42 |  #8

Critical to smooth (precise?) ball mount movement is the size of the ball. The larger the ball the smoother movement could be (still issues with materials of course). Even my Benro KB-2 is fairly smooth because it has a decent size ball, whereas my Gitzo off axis head has a tiny ball and is best used simply clamped down.


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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 09:52 |  #9

squiress wrote in post #8048142 (external link)
Critical to smooth (precise?) ball mount movement is the size of the ball. The larger the ball the smoother movement could be (still issues with materials of course). Even my Benro KB-2 is fairly smooth because it has a decent size ball, whereas my Gitzo off axis head has a tiny ball and is best used simply clamped down.

I initially thought this maybe the case and looked at just upgrading to the manfrotto 488rc4 which would have a bigger ball. Reading reviews I found that it suffered the same problem (maybe to a lesser degree I don't know) and the reviewer claimed it was no capable of precision (smooth and tight) movement :(


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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jhom
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Jun 04, 2009 09:55 |  #10

Since price and availability is an issue, I would suggest you look at the Manfrotto 468MG. It is a very good ballhead that will clearly give you more control. On the other hand, if you are looking for a ballhead that you won't need to replace for a long while, I would suggest the Markins, or RRS. They are better ballheads. The better ballheads give you the features your are asking for. Yes, it cost more for a better product.


Jim

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puggle
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Jun 04, 2009 09:58 |  #11

In my opinion, the best ballhead is the Really Right Stuff - BH-55.

http://reallyrightstuf​f.com/ballheads/02.htm​l (external link)

It is outstanding in quality and performance.

One thing though, it's pricey, but I believe it's worth it.


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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 10:01 |  #12

jhom wrote in post #8048204 (external link)
Since price and availability is an issue, I would suggest you look at the Manfrotto 468MG. It is a very good ballhead that will clearly give you more control. On the other hand, if you are looking for a ballhead that you won't need to replace for a long while, I would suggest the Markins, or RRS. They are better ballheads. The better ballheads give you the features your are asking for. Yes, it cost more for a better product.

I have looked at the hydrostatic ballheads but can find little information on the net about them.

Of coarse I understand the the more expensive products will generally be better (isn't that always the case?) but is there not a medium price range head capable of precision movement? This is why I mentioned the Kirk BH-3.


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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summerwind4
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Jun 04, 2009 10:05 |  #13

+2 for the Markins...........pret​ty sure they can accomodate you too.......well worth the price and wait.
once you use it you will never have doubts as to your decision.
very very smooth


  
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TaDa
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Jun 04, 2009 10:07 |  #14

I bought my B1 used off of FM for $200. If you look, you can find them. I was quite happy with being able to buy a quality ballhead for the price.


Name is Peter and here is my gear:
Canon 5D II, Canon 7D, Canon 40D
Glass - Zeiss 21 f/2.8 ZE, Canon 35 f/1.4L, Canon 40 f/2.8 STM, Canon 24-70 f/2.8
L, Canon 85 f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon 500 f/4L IS
Speedlite 580ex II, 430ex - Gitzo GT-3541XLS w/ Arca B1

  
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siejones
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Jun 04, 2009 10:14 |  #15

TaDa wrote in post #8048266 (external link)
I bought my B1 used off of FM for $200. If you look, you can find them. I was quite happy with being able to buy a quality ballhead for the price.

I would be happy to get a second hand one if I could find one. I have been scouring ebay with no joy :(


Technical perfection is only ever important if it improves the asthetic. It is not the precursor to beauty. Not in art..not in music and not in photography!

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Ball head capable of precision movements
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