ok.. prob an old topic, but:
need advice for ball head for Mam 645AF.
sounds dirty if you aren't a photo wonk..
ok.. prob an old topic, but:
need advice for ball head for Mam 645AF.
sounds dirty if you aren't a photo wonk..
Photo clam. runs about $169 for the smallest version. i have the larger version and like it.
also look at a markins Q3
Even the Arca Swiss Z1 fits in that budget
http://www.graham-mitchell.com Graham Mitchell
I have the RRS BH-55, and although it is very good for a ballhead, I must say that I am a little disappointed that it still moves a little as I tighten it. I am not sure if I am being totally unrealistic, but I recall when I bought my baby BH-25, this was my exact beef with it, yet people reassured me that the two larger brothers didn't have this problem. As soon as you have tightened down a ballhead, and it moved slightly, you stand there, realizing that there is no way to tweak the angle *slightly*, other than opening it up, and then trying again. I guess I am ripe for a Cube, but I can't (yet) get over that price tag, even the discounted $1700. I wonder if I should have bought the Z1?
Carsten, too bad with your BH-55. I had a cheaper Bogen ball head first, and then a nice Gitzo ball head, and both drooped after locking. So far, I haven't found this to be big problem with the RRS BH-55. Maybe the weight/distribution of our rigs is different. However, I also found that my tripod legs were causing a fair amount of the problem. When I first got the BH-55, I had it on a smaller aluminum leg set (Slik Pro 700DX, don't laugh, they are actually pretty good legs). After vibration and drooping problems, I swapped to a Gitzo Systematic carbon legs, and everything was firm and steady.
Eric, don't skimp on this. Not that you can't get a good head in your budget, but learn from the experience of us (collectively, on this board). Pay more and buy it once, or pay even more and buy it twice. A tripod/head is a critical piece of equipment that shouldn't be underestimated, especially not with medium format. What legs will you be putting this head on? I found the hard way that cheap and lightweight legs suck, and end in headaches and a lighter wallet.
Quick release with clamp (you don't have to unscrew the plate).
The big ball lock is easy and fast to handle and very solid.
I wanted a ball head with double leveling (no circular levels but tube levels) so I decided for the GH3780QR.
I use this Gitzo with a RRS panning Clamp.
Which i am thinking of selling and go with a GH3780 which is bigger
I also use the Gitzo GH2780 and think its a nice head - good relation between weight-price-handling and most important stability.
BTW: this is why 2 tube levels are very good (actually the GH3780QR has four). I use my ball head on a Berlebach (wood) triopod. Not the smallest combo to cary but still okay... and very solid.
To be clear: the photo attached was not meant to show any problem, just that I need the sides to be vertical, and I had to loosen and tighten the ballhead 3 or 4 times before I got that.
I couldn't move to the left due to other junk there, so I just accept the slight angle.
thanks to all for the advice.
Liking the gitzo or acrarech.
Anybody selling now that the cube seems to assimilated you all?
Eric if you wanted the Gitzo 2870 http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...=REG&A=details
I can sell you mine. It does have a few scratches on the knob but functions awesome. I need to do this today though. I need to order the GH3870 overnight so I have it this week . I can do 220 paypal if you wanted shipped ground to you in the US if your interested.
I use a Pano clamp on my Gitzo head from RRS
But the circular level makes life more difficult. It's okay if the camera is unmounted and you can look straight down at the level. But if the camera is mounted you have to look from the side or even don't see the level at all.
I use the GH3780QR even with my Cambo WRS and it's a joy to work with as it is really accurate and you always see the tube levels on the front, back and side when the camera is mounted.
Just something to consider...
While I was using the Acratech fulltime I also had a leveling base attached; level using the base then the camera using a small hot shoe bubble - not perfect but very close. When shooting panos I'd remove the ball head but kept the leveling base on the attached the RSS pano kit. Now since using the Cube I don't need any of this, of course it helps that I'm shooting with a Cambo RS-1000 now as well.
I still have the Acratech attached to a smaller tripod for those very rare times I want to shoot wildlife; I've used the Acratech from shooting humming birds in our back yard (somehow that just doesn't sound right) to bears and buffalo in Montana and Alaska. As much as I truly love the Cube it just isn't suitable for fast action shots.
I know I level the base when I need it than put the camera on.
There QR setup does not work very well with Arca plates if you look again they have special adapter plates for the Arca style . Reason I bought the screw type was I put my own Arca clamp on.
There's always a workaround for anything. But if someone buys a new head why not buy one that doesn't require any workaround... (if leveling is one of the primary concerns).
Attached an image how the GH3780QR looks from above. You can see the levels always, either way on which kind of plate the camera is mounted.
Last edited by thomas; 15th January 2011 at 07:38.
Now if you use Arca plates on lenses and such or you prefer them than as you can see it will not take a Arca plate. There is a adapter to do that but I can't find the data. But Jack and I went through this data with David at Dale and reason we both bought the center screw is our L brackets and lenses are all Arca style. Jack bought the 1780 for his travel pod and i bought the 2870.
I only point this out because we went through this and it is not really well described in the product descriptions. I will not buy anything without a Arca style plate use. They are just to easy to use with every camera around and L brackets plus the long lenses. Actually when David announced these heads i said it was a dumb move on Gitzo's part to not make it Arca style to begin with. That thread is on this site
Here you go read this thread
We're in total agreement with each other. Find the tool(s) that suits your need(s) the best. I'd shoot wildlife with a ball head and landscape with the Cube. I also found that shooting eagles off a tripod was useless and went to handholding - had to do that a couple time with bears as well. After awhile I felt like I was paparazzi.
Also need to remember not all plates are equal so be careful when looking at QR.
BTW looks like we were posting at the same time on this - helps to be 120 miles apart...
I still want the Cube no question and with one you really need to have both types of heads.
Yes be real careful on these QR plates. Many are NOT arca style and this causes a lot of issues with having several systems
Guy is correct. Thomas' photo above shows the Gitzo jaw which is significantly wider than an Arca-style dovetail and needs a special spring-frame adapter insert that Gitzo does give you with that head. (Thomas, would be great Thomas if you could add a photo of the insert so folks understood what it takes to mount the Arca QR plates to that clamp.)
My issue with it was the insert could easily fall out if no plate is tight in the clamp and my RRS plates were too tight to slide easily. So I bought the 1780 version of the head with just a stud top and then mounted an RRS clamp directly to that. That is on my Gitzo 1541 pod that I use for travel and the combo works great for me, even with the Mamiya mounted. For regular use with the Mamiya however I would get at least the 2780-sized head if not the 3780 size.
Edit: I found a pic of the insert required for the above Gitzo clamp when using an Arca plate in it. You can probably see what I mean just by looking at this and the photo of the clamp above --- this insert fits inside the jaws of the GItzo clamp, then an Arca-sized plate is supposed to fit inside the jaws of this insert:
Just to clarify, the Arca adapter for the GHx780 series heads is not included, but available as an accessory. It is an Arca adapter, and not all Arca-style plates will fit it. For example, the RRS plates, while being Arca-style are actually a little thicker at the edges than an actual Arca QR plate. So, RRS plates won't fit. This is why Jack and Guy both opted for non-QR heads and just put on their RRS panning clamp adapters right onto the 3/8" thread. Actually, this was a really nice solution.
I personally use both the GH2780 and GH1780 in non-QR versions. Great heads. The QR plate or camera chassis will bend/give before the ball moves. The GH3780 is a beast, and frankly I can't see why you would need anything stronger than the GH2780. It can hold about 50 lbs of load and only weighs 1 lb. When engaged, the ball will not drift or move for anything.
Thanks Jack and David for clarifying that up. This was the exact reason as David and Jack mentioned we both opted for the stud center, than we could add any Arca style clamp to it. There very inexpensive about 56 dollars I believe. Actually just got one for Peter for his Fotomagic ball head for the workshop
David your last point is very true the 2870 holds anything i put on it without creeping at all. I was just going to explain this to Terry in a e-mail but will do it here. Take any camera with a 70-200 lens on it mount it on a tripod , than zoom out to 200mm. Keep the ball head of whatever you have sort of loose in the ball frame very precisely on something than lock it down. Now if the framing shifts or creeps down which will almost always do on many heads than it is worthless to you. If you have to overcompensate for creeping than surely you are exceeding the ball head. Now I have had MANY ball heads in my day and this has happened to many of them. Now this Gitzo head never creeps and another point. Take any RRS ball head BH-55, BH-40 or BH-25 while your holding the camera for safety twist it loose about 1/4 of a turn and tell me what happens. You guessed it , it flops down right into the tripod which with heavy weight will do one of two things . Smack a body or lens right into the tripod or tip the damn thing over. I have seen and done both and reason I sold the BH-55. The Gitzo has and David can explain this better or Jack but you have to really loosen the knob like almost a full turn before this would be even possible. Also the cool thing is it will not fall over side to side only up and down because of the friction being applied is different than any ball head I have ever seen. I can actually not tighten the ball head down and move it up and down let go and it just stays there without tightening. Now if i want to shift side to side i actually have to put real force on that side to side movement to make it move. You have to try this in a store when you folks get a chance. When Jack and I tried it we looked bewildered that it could do this and bought them on the spot. This is the reason I like these heads my chances of it hitting the tripod is almost none. Trust me having a Phase body , back and a decent size lens is a lot of money hitting the tripod or concrete. Also buy a Ball head rated much higher than the weight you are putting on it. No such thing as being to sturdy or overkill here. The 3870 is serious overkill but rather have it than worry about it when you walk away from the tripod and 30 grand is sitting on top of it
Guy and Jack
do you have any issues with the RRS clamp spinning open on the head, do you use any other solutions for securing the clamp than just spinning it down tight?
also how do you feel about the head not having the same feel when the ball is not tightened down, from memory I recall it was easier to move the ball forward and back than it was from side to side, does this ever mess up accurate framing?
Thank you so much for the real world input.
PS never mind on my second question... maybe I should refresh before posting, Guy answered my question before asking
Have no issues on securing the pano clamp to the tripod head. Seems very secure when screwed down tight. The one very nice thing on the Pano clamp is it rotates very very smooth around, much smoother than the head itself. Really like spinning in butter.
One thing you do need to do is when you set up the tripod and head when working is make sure the knob is either right or left so you can go up or down. It works on that axis. Now going from side to side the tension is in that direction to the knob and the other side. So you just have to make sure the knob is not facing you otherwise you will be off the axis. . Great trick is to use the tripod rotation get it to the right than lock it down . Than use the Pano head for the camera rotation. One reason I like the Pano head on it and like I mentioned very smooth rotation. Hope that made sense hard to describe without showing you in person.
Also these heads are very light, there hollow inside. Really need to go in a store and just try them out. I was very skeptical at first when i read the specs until I actually tried it.
Let me clarify -- IMO this is a huge ADVANTAGE as you can first level the head side-to-side, then tweak elevation to suit without losing the side/side level adjustment you just made. This plus the fact it doesn't walk when tightened down and the fact it is almost ridiculously lightweight for its strength are the main reasons I bought this head and sold all of my other ball heads.also how do you feel about the head not having the same feel when the ball is not tightened down, from memory I recall it was easier to move the ball forward and back than it was from side to side, does this ever mess up accurate framing?
No problem, that's why we're all here in the first place!Thank you so much for the real world input.
Damn all this talk made me buy the 3780 . Just ordered it. LOL
I really use these tripods to hold the very important stuff , must be absolutely rigid or you can have a bad spill. Let me show you. LOL
1000 dollar cup holder
Also, what you describe about turning the Gitzo knob is precisely one of the reason I got rid of it within a month. I HATED having to turn that knob around and around to get it to loosen up. I also had to really crank on it to get it to lock properly. Both of these movements, combined with the fine ridges on the knob made my hands unhappy, ESPECIALLY when it was cold out. I remember being so pissed having to constantly take off my glove, unscrew the thing, recompose, screw it down tight again, put glove back on with my roughed up cold fingers. Ugh, I sound like a weenie, but damn I hated that head. The ball movement in my particular head was never smooth either. Nothing like the RRS. There was always some amount of friction on it, and it never moved smoothly, it would just kind of jerk along. A smooth, but tight friction would be ok, but this ball just didn't have it. The RRS is just the ticket for my style I guess. I like the quarter-turn to full silky smooth movement back to full lock. It's just plain easy, but yes, you do have to have a hand on your gear when you loosen it.
Obviously, YMMV. My features are your selling points, and vice versa.
PS: As for the locking side-to-side vs. back-to-forward.... with something like the RRS, you could frame the vertical, lock the ball, and use the swiveling base, or the swiveling head if you get the pano head, to frame the side-to-side. Same thing, just reversed, and the ball stays locked.
My one issue with the BH-55 was like you said 1/4 turn and if your not holding it than you could have trouble. The Gitzo you almost have to force it to fall over or really unscrew it a lot.
Drag knob, that's the word I was looking for. The BH-55 has a drag knob, though I don't use it. So in theory, you could set it to do the same as the Gitzo (i.e., not having your gear fall over when loose).
All that unscrewing on the Gitzo, and the force needed to recompose if you didn't, was precisely why I hated it. I think we're just opposites.
I had the GH3750 off-center ball head.
The off center could be the difference. The biggest difference from memory now was i don't really have to screw down the Gitzo it just stays put , the BH55 you had to lock it down more. We need to play with them side by side but I do remember having trouble with the RRS , it is a great head though and did like it a lot but it fell over a couple times and it bugged me a lot
Bottom line, try one of the new center ball heads and you will love it. I think they are truly a leap forward in ball head tech. Highest strength to weight ratio, period. Also, by turning the tension knob, you can shorten the throw of the locking wheel so you don't have to keep turning so far.
For stitiching with pano head I unmount the ball head from the tripod and mount it on the shoe of the pano head. This combo will not win a beauty contest but it works surprisingly well. This is not very stable nor acurate. But my Manfrotto pano head is BS anyhow and as long as I don't use wide lenses for stitching the axes don't have to be very accurate.
Last edited by thomas; 15th January 2011 at 07:38.
Got my GH 3780 today and it is sweet. Nice and light and strong like a bull.
For quality on budget you can take a look at Feisol ballheads. I have the CB-50D model and it's smooth and solid. I´ve used it with all my cameras including Mamiya RZ67, Mamiya 7, Canon 1DsII (with up to 500/4.5 L). It's just surprisingly good for the money ($160), and they have a lager one available (with 70mm ball priced $250).