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Thread: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

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    Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I just got a Gitzo FT1542T to use with my Sony A7 and is looking for a good ballhead. Any recommendation? My longest lens so far is a Leica 180mm Elmarit E67 f2.8. I might get a LA-EA4 and use this with a sony 70-200 f2.8 but that is probably the heaviest I would go.

    There seems to be quite a few options out there. From what I gather, stay away from the Gitzo ballhead. FLM, Leica, Arca Swiss Monoball, RRS, Markins, and Novoflex seems to have good reviews but which one? I also probably don't need too big a setup as I like to use this for travel.

    Thanks for any advise.

    Vince

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I can highly recommend the RRS BH-30 for use on the Gitzo Traveler. It's a fantastic head and a great match for the size of the tripod.

    BH-30 LR

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Vince, I have both the RRS BH-40 and BH-55. I would recommend either or both. They're solid, well made and easy to adjust. If you opt for any of the RRS ballheads, I'd also recommend getting the lever release option (LR suffix). With the BH-55, you can cover all your bases. The BH-40 is the smaller ballhead of these two and is great for travel when you're not packing longer lenses.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I have the BH-40 but I have a feeling that the 30 would be fine.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Colson View Post
    Vince, I have both the RRS BH-40 and BH-55.
    I have these heads as well, but both are rather too large for the scale of the Traveler tripod. The BH-30 is a perfect fit.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    As an alternative try the markins q3 - I find it perfect with the same tripod and A7
    Markins.com

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I use the Novoflex mini Magicball. It will support to 11lbs according to the specs. I believe it to be very underrated and it is so easy to operate.

    Joel

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I'm using the Arca Swiss Monoball P0 with Manfrotto 190CFpro3 legs, fitted with an RRS lever action clamp for standard A-S plates. Best head I've owned...

    My other two heads (Markins Q3 and Acratech Ultimate Ball Head) are very good, but not as good as this one.

    G

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Guys, thanks for all the recommendation. The RRS BH-30 to 55, the Markins Q3, Novoflex and AS Monoball were all what I thought were the front runner and I guess I was right based on the feedback so far. I guess I need to head down to a local shop to see the actual thing before buying. I don't expect to use it with super heavy setup so might opt for the something lighter. I am leaning more towards the RRS BH-40 right now.

    I am surprise that no one recommended the FLM or the Leica ballhead.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by VINCET View Post
    Guys, thanks for all the recommendation. The RRS BH-30 to 55, the Markins Q3, Novoflex and AS Monoball were all what I thought were the front runner and I guess I was right based on the feedback so far. I guess I need to head down to a local shop to see the actual thing before buying. I don't expect to use it with super heavy setup so might opt for the something lighter. I am leaning more towards the RRS BH-40 right now.

    I am surprise that no one recommended the FLM or the Leica ballhead.

    I got the RRS BH-30 on the Gitzo Traveler, and the BH-55 on a heavier Gitzo tripod. Works for me.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Here's a snap of the BH-30 on my Traveler tripod.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I really like my Acratech GP. And they have a smaller, lighter version:
    Acratech GPSS

    Works great as a ballhead, pretty nice as a gimbal, and you can make a leveling base out of it by swapping things around. And that works quite nicely too. Their customer support is awesome as well.

    I'm intrigued though by the FLM with the tilt lock feature, ballhead with nicer abilities for video and smooth vert pans.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Why stay away from the Gitzo? I have had 2 for quite a while, and they do quite well for me.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Hi

    I really like the Arca Swiss P0 - a great head.

    Have RRS and Novoflex - Like the P0 the best

    Arca-Swiss Monoball p0 Ballhead with Classic Quick 801-214 B&H

    Also Gitzo finally makes a bag that you can use for the Gitzo Traveler.

    Gitzo GC2202T Padded Traveler Tripod Bag Series 2 GC2202T B&H

    The Ver "1" is just too tight - the one on link is good. Gitzo eventually gets it right - you just gotta wait sometime.

    Thanks

    Phil

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I have RRS-BH55 and Markins Q3T with RRS lever clamp, i used that Markins on my Gitzo tripods of series 1 traveller and series 2, but i felt they are not steady combo, so i bought series 3 and 5 to be my ultimate tripods, so when i travel i take Gitzo series 3 with RRS-BH55.

    I also feel that RRS-BH55 is too much, overkill and heavy for travel if i will use my A7R, so i am not sure if i should go with RRH-40 or 30 if i will use series 3 tripod.
    Tareq

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I have the older Gitzo 1540T and I am using the Markins Q3 Traveller. No issue with this set-up using my M240 or A7r with the1 80 Apo-Elmarit.

    N S Ng

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I have RRS-BH55 and Markins Q3T with RRS lever clamp, i used that Markins on my Gitzo tripods of series 1 traveller and series 2, but i felt they are not steady combo, so i bought series 3 and 5 to be my ultimate tripods, so when i travel i take Gitzo series 3 with RRS-BH55.

    I also feel that RRS-BH55 is too much, overkill and heavy for travel if i will use my A7R, so i am not sure if i should go with RRH-40 or 30 if i will use series 3 tripod.

    I use the RRS BH-55 on the GT3541XLS and the BH-30 on the Gitzo Traveler. The BH-30 seems to me to be a mismatch on a Gitzo series 3. A better fit for a Gitzo series 3 seems to be the BH-40. But to travel lighter the Traveler with BH-30 can certainly handle my A7R with wide to short tele lenses. For longer lenses the BH-40 on a Gitzo series 3 is definitely better. For my Leica R lenses 280/4 or 105-280/4.2 i definiely would use the BH-55.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    I use the RRS BH-55 on the GT3541XLS and the BH-30 on the Gitzo Traveler. The BH-30 seems to me to be a mismatch on a Gitzo series 3. A better fit for a Gitzo series 3 seems to be the BH-40. But to travel lighter the Traveler with BH-30 can certainly handle my A7R with wide to short tele lenses. For longer lenses the BH-40 on a Gitzo series 3 is definitely better. For my Leica R lenses 280/4 or 105-280/4.2 i definiely would use the BH-55.
    I will travel with A7R for sure and it will be my main camera for landscapes, but i will carry also my Canon 1DX, Canon 1 series are always heavy, and pairing that with some Canon L lenses will give it heavy gear, so i will not travel with 2 tripods and i don't want to depend on Gitzo series 1 traveller tripod for my Canon gear.

    Maybe i have to look back on BH-40, it sounds a great fit for series 3 and i am sure it will handle Sony and Canon bodies with different lenses weights up to 70-200/100-400L.
    Tareq
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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I will travel with A7R for sure and it will be my main camera for landscapes, but i will carry also my Canon 1DX, Canon 1 series are always heavy, and pairing that with some Canon L lenses will give it heavy gear, so i will not travel with 2 tripods and i don't want to depend on Gitzo series 1 traveller tripod for my Canon gear.

    Maybe i have to look back on BH-40, it sounds a great fit for series 3 and i am sure it will handle Sony and Canon bodies with different lenses weights up to 70-200/100-400L.

    It should, I agree.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Are there any FLM users here? The spec looks very interesting and they also are great looking. From the review, it also sounded like they are well crafted.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Professional View Post
    I will travel with A7R for sure and it will be my main camera for landscapes, but i will carry also my Canon 1DX, Canon 1 series are always heavy, and pairing that with some Canon L lenses will give it heavy gear, so i will not travel with 2 tripods and i don't want to depend on Gitzo series 1 traveller tripod for my Canon gear.

    Maybe i have to look back on BH-40, it sounds a great fit for series 3 and i am sure it will handle Sony and Canon bodies with different lenses weights up to 70-200/100-400L.
    I have a BH-40 and it's marginal over 200mm as RRS themselves say. If you're putting a 1 series body with a 100-400mm lens on it, get the BH-55.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I have a BH-40 and it's marginal over 200mm as RRS themselves say. If you're putting a 1 series body with a 100-400mm lens on it, get the BH-55.
    No need to get BH-55, i have it long time ago.

    Maybe better i travel with BH-55 so i can put anything from lightweight to so heavy gear and never worry, i should handle the weight of BH-55 itself.
    Tareq

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I've used the Kirk BH-3 heads for years on my smaller bodies, including m4/3 and now my NEX 7s. Highly recommended.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Acra Swiss P0. Great head. Small but takes some huge loads--I use it with an RX-1 and Pentax 645D.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by VINCET View Post
    Are there any FLM users here? The spec looks very interesting and they also are great looking. From the review, it also sounded like they are well crafted.
    Yes, I've been using FLM for over a year now.

    Disclaimer: I bought an FLM ball head and I was so impressed with it, that I became the distributor for FLM in North America (no joke).

    I can tell you that I use one ball head (and one tripod) for all formats: digital, medium format, 4x5 and 8x10. The FLM gear supports everything, without problem, and is very light to carry.

    The bonus is that the ball head (and tripod) enhances my shooting experience: the little details and features that come with the ball head make setting up, levelling, framing and shooting a breeze; I am no longer fighting my equipment, my equipment is helping me. Consequently, I forget it's there.

    I use a CB-58FTR ball head because of the wide range of gear I use (1.5 lbs - 24 lbs); I'd suggest you look at the CB-38FTR or CB-43FTR for your current set-up.

    You may not need the tilt function; it is a godsend to those of us who work with view cameras or require very precise framing with digital backs. It's also fun to have, just in case. But if you don't need it, the CB-38F or CB-43F will amply meet your requirements.

    And yes, every piece is designed and manufactured in Germany to very high standards.

    Good luck in your choice!
    Last edited by Ari; 6th June 2014 at 09:26.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    Yes, I've been using FLM for over a year now.

    Disclaimer: I bought an FLM ball head and I was so impressed with it, that I became the distributor for FLM in North America (no joke).

    I can tell you that I use one ball head (and one tripod) for all formats: digital, medium format, 4x5 and 8x10. The FLM gear supports everything, without problem, and is very light to carry. ...
    I'm very happy with my A-S P0 head, but I'm interested in a set of FLM legs ... Seem to be a bit difficult to find and get full specs for.

    G

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I'm very happy with my A-S P0 head, but I'm interested in a set of FLM legs ... Seem to be a bit difficult to find and get full specs for.

    G
    B&H has good, detailed specs on all of our tripods; here is their listing for our travel tripod, the CP26-S4S: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...er_tripod.html
    If you need any other information, the website linked below has tripod specs and you can also download the full catalogue for specs galore.
    You can also contact me anytime at ari @ flmcanada . com
    (I added spaces there for the spammers).
    Thank you, Godfrey.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Ari View Post
    B&H has good, detailed specs on all of our tripods; here is their listing for our travel tripod, the CP26-S4S: FLM CP26-S4S Carbon Fiber Tripod 32 26 902 B&H Photo Video
    If you need any other information, the website linked below has tripod specs and you can also download the full catalogue for specs galore.
    You can also contact me anytime at ari @ flmcanada . com
    (I added spaces there for the spammers).
    Thank you, Godfrey.
    Thx! I downloaded the catalog and will study the offerings.

    Minor nit with the catalog: in the legs section, it marks 3section as more stable, more compact and 4section as less stable, less compact. Um, I think one less and one more should be switched according to the dimensions ... :-)

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I'm very happy with my A-S P0 head, but I'm interested in a set of FLM legs ... Seem to be a bit difficult to find and get full specs for.

    G
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Thx! I downloaded the catalog and will study the offerings.

    Minor nit with the catalog: in the legs section, it marks 3section as more stable, more compact and 4section as less stable, less compact. Um, I think one less and one more should be switched according to the dimensions ... :-)
    Yes, I know.
    I did say that everything is made in Germany, and I wasn't kidding.
    The new catalogue will finally have the correct description.
    Thank you, Godfrey.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    How do you guys mount telephotos with tripod mounts/rings? e.g. the FE70-200? If using an RRS or any type with Arca type quick release, do you use a generic plate for the lens or use the camera's plate? I don't see that RRS makes custom plates for Sony lenses yet.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    How do you guys mount telephotos with tripod mounts/rings? e.g. the FE70-200?
    I use this RRS plate for the 70-200mm, attached to the collar mount - multi-use fore-aft plate. It has a anti-rotation flange so it doesn't twist. (they make this style plate in a few different lengths; a shorter one would be fine for the Sony, since its foot is pretty small, but I had this one on hand.)

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    How do you guys mount telephotos with tripod mounts/rings? e.g. the FE70-200? If using an RRS or any type with Arca type quick release, do you use a generic plate for the lens or use the camera's plate? I don't see that RRS makes custom plates for Sony lenses yet.
    With the Leica Elmarit-R 180/2.8, I use a generic plate bolted to the lens' built-in tripod mount. (I have a lens mounting plate fitted to the Olympus 50-200's mounting foot as well.) For the rest of the lenses I use with the A7, I fit an Novoflex ASTAT/NEX tripod foot to the mount adapter.

    Long teles like 300-600mm teles (I don't have any at present) ... I've used a gimbal head in the past.

    G

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by dandrewk View Post
    How do you guys mount telephotos with tripod mounts/rings? e.g. the FE70-200? If using an RRS or any type with Arca type quick release, do you use a generic plate for the lens or use the camera's plate? I don't see that RRS makes custom plates for Sony lenses yet.
    RRS MPR-73. Works a treat.

    Joe
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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    I have not make the purchase yet, but I think I am leaning towards the FLM CB-38 FTR ballhead. I do like the look, features, the idea that it is what Leica choose to rebadge, German made, but most of all, I am impress by their support. Ari in particular. I emailed him asking him about their product and he is very accommodating and answered all my questions well. Not only that, when I mentioned that I posted on this forum, he also signed in just to reply to the post. That is good customer service.

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    Re: Ballhead recommendation for the A7

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    I have a BH-40 and it's marginal over 200mm as RRS themselves say. If you're putting a 1 series body with a 100-400mm lens on it, get the BH-55.
    FWIW RRS recommends the BH 30 for 70-200 f2.8 lenses. That's with a DLSR. The A7 + FE70-200 f4.0 weighs in less than 3.5 lbs, well within the BH 30's very conservative 15 lb. rating.

    It's always a trade off between portability and sturdiness. One of the great things about mirrorless are smaller tripods and heads. Smooth action (no "bounce back") is still critical, but (thank God!) bulk is no longer a requirement.

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