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Thread: Recommend good ball head

  1. #1

    Default Recommend good ball head

    Hi Guys,

    Can recommend me a good ball head to be used for both scenery shots(need panning) and bird shootings????

    I saw a Giottos at CP that's around $170.. No idea what to really look into when choosing a ball head...

    I may be putting it on a Velbon Sherpa pro, or a Manfrotto 190DB...

  2. #2
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Can recommend me a good ball head to be used for both scenery shots(need panning) and bird shootings????

    I saw a Giottos at CP that's around $170.. No idea what to really look into when choosing a ball head...

    I may be putting it on a Velbon Sherpa pro, or a Manfrotto 190DB...
    Look for smoothness. Ease of use as well as costing. Look also at the quick release plate, there are several types.

    Check also the weight consideration (maximum you would be using at)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    giottos is a nono for me... i got the MH-1002... the screw thread wear out easily as it was constructed with aluminum(quite soft).

    might want to look at the manfrotto 486RC2/488RC2.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by ExplorerZ View Post
    giottos is a nono for me... i got the MH-1002... the screw thread wear out easily as it was constructed with aluminum(quite soft).

    might want to look at the manfrotto 486RC2/488RC2.
    Thanks... Does the manfrotto 486RC2 has panning features???

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    Thanks... Does the manfrotto 486RC2 has panning features???
    for ballheads, only the better and more expensive ones has the panning funciton..

    the 486rc2 is just a simple ballhead

  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    Thanks... Does the manfrotto 486RC2 has panning features???
    486 RC2

    488 RC2

    Check it out yourself...

  7. #7

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by kcuf2 View Post
    for ballheads, only the better and more expensive ones has the panning funciton..

    the 486rc2 is just a simple ballhead
    So, any recommendations for one with Panning features??? The Giottos seems to be decently priced with panning, but have some negative feedback from ExplorerZ

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    So, any recommendations for one with Panning features??? The Giottos seems to be decently priced with panning, but have some negative feedback from ExplorerZ
    well, if the model you looking at comes with a quick release, it should be pretty alright. mine was the aluminum screw thread(the one on the "ball" and not quick-release) that wear out.
    http://www.giottos.com/
    can check out their ballhead there... mine is mh-1002 with that "bare" screw thread.
    Last edited by ExplorerZ; 10th January 2007 at 04:01 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member azul123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    Hi Guys,

    Can recommend me a good ball head to be used for both scenery shots(need panning) and bird shootings????

    I saw a Giottos at CP that's around $170.. No idea what to really look into when choosing a ball head...

    I may be putting it on a Velbon Sherpa pro, or a Manfrotto 190DB...
    For bird shooting ah... I am guessing huge telephoto lens will be used? then you will need a ballhead that grips very well so your lens stays at position. What brand will depends on your own fancy, as long as it grips well with the type of lens you use, ok liow.

    ../azul123

  10. #10

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    why not try the Benro ballhead?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    You forgot to mention one v. important thing: what is your budget like? Giottos is a nono for me too. Real life experience: I had a friend who bought one (can't rem. which model), while he was carrying his setup around (300D + 70-400 f4L + 550ex on monopod), the screw holding the plate to the base of the camera somehow loosened and the whole rig fell to the ground, lucikly the flash + lens got away, cam body got the worse impact, whole hotshoe torn off but luckily repairs costed less than $100. We found out the screw thread for the screw on the lens plate was not tight enough.

    A good ball head would be an Arca Swiss style ballhead, which accepts dovetail style lens plates. Currently the good ones in the market are Markins M10/Q3 (made in S. Korea, my personal recommendation), KanRinPoche (China made Arca Swiss clone), Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. Benro also offers Arcas Swiss style ballheads but I am not sure of how its performance like.

    If you dun foresee using heavy big lens (i.e. bigger than 70-200mm f2.8), the Markins Emile Q3 is excellent. Should be costing around $480 from John 3:16. TK Foto Technic also carries them. Call them to check for availability. KanRinPoche is carried by Cathay Photo.

    Good ballheads are not cheap, but why compromise your gear if you go for the cheaper stuff? My friend mentioned in the incident above found out the hard way. In the end he ditched the Giottos and went for a Markins M10.
    Last edited by Garion; 11th January 2007 at 10:42 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Garion View Post
    You forgot to mention one v. important thing: what is your budget like? Giottos is a nono for me too. Real life experience: I had a friend who bought one (can't rem. which model), while he was carrying his setup around (300D + 70-400 f4L + 550ex on monopod), the screw holding the plate to the base of the camera somehow loosened and the whole rig fell to the ground, lucikly the flash + lens got away, cam body got the worse impact, whole hotshoe torn off but luckily repairs costed less than $100. We found out the screw thread for the screw on the lens plate was not tight enough.

    A good ball head would be an Arca Swiss style ballhead, which accepts dovetail style lens plates. Currently the good ones in the market are Markins M10/Q3 (made in S. Korea, my personal recommendation), KanRinPoche (China made Arca Swiss clone), Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. Benro also offers Arcas Swiss style ballheads but I am not sure of how its performance like.

    If you dun foresee using heavy big lens (i.e. bigger than 70-200mm f2.8), the Markins Emile Q3 is excellent. Should be costing around $480 from John 3:16. TK Foto Technic also carries them. Call them to check for availability. KanRinPoche is carried by Cathay Photo.

    Good ballheads are not cheap, but why compromise your gear if you go for the cheaper stuff? My friend mentioned in the incident above found out the hard way. In the end he ditched the Giottos and went for a Markins M10.
    not sure which quick release you are talking about, bu i think the giottos 652 is pretty good(at least to me).

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    acraswiss ultimate ballhead

    for birding.. get a gimbal
    “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.” - Adolf Hitler

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Try the Really Right Stuff (RRS) BH-55 ballhead. it's slightly heavier than the Arca Swiss B1, and has received quite good reviews from some peeps out there. I've never personally tried it, but the features/specs look very good.
    It comes with panning, can support 23kg of equipment, and u can choose different styles of clamps, including a panning clamp, meaning u get double panning, like the arca swiss z1. It also has 2 notches for 90 degree turning instead of the usual one notch, and is shorter than most heads.

    A WORD OF WARNING - IT IS VERY EXPENSIVE, and it can only be bought from them directly...
    i wanna get one but still saving up... zzz....check out their L-plates too.. good for any arca-style clamps....

  15. #15

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Hi All,

    I think I may consider the Markins Q3 ball head... The website says it supports up to 30kg, but mention of its use with something around a Canon 20D and Canon 70-200.. Wonder whether I can use it with a 20D, 100-400 and external flash mounted???
    Last edited by Hein; 13th January 2007 at 11:43 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    I'm getting the Benro KS-1 ballhead. (S$180)
    Max load: 12kg



    Alternatively, u can try out this world-class ballhead as shown below:
    Flickr Me! :: Nikon D80 :: Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by Hein View Post
    Hi All,

    I think I may consider the Markins Q3 ball head... The website says it supports up to 30kg, but mention of its use with something around a Canon 20D and Canon 70-200.. Wonder whether I can use it with a 20D, 100-400 and external flash mounted???
    The Markins Q3 should be able to hold that kind of weight, no problem, but if you foresee yourself upgrading to heavier body or lens in the future the Markins M10 is a better bet. I'm using an M10 myself, and it can hold up to 400mm f2.8 class lens with virtually no slippage at all (tested before).

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    I recommend Manfrotto 488RC0. Holds up to 8kg.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Markins Q3. This head weighs only about 400gm but holds up to 30kg.

    It has a panning base and one of the best progressive locking mechanisms I've had/tried.

    Only thing is its price...it's around SG$500 locally and that price does not include the camera plates. The M10 holds up to 40kg but costs about SG$100 more.

    As for tripods, try the Velbon Sherpa PRO CF series. Carbon fibre legs with Magnesium alloy body. Light yet tough. Goes very well with the Markins heads. Price is about SG$450 for the Sherpa Pro CF640.

    _

  20. #20

    Default Re: Recommend good ball head

    Quote Originally Posted by deadpixel View Post
    Markins Q3. This head weighs only about 400gm but holds up to 30kg.

    It has a panning base and one of the best progressive locking mechanisms I've had/tried.

    Only thing is its price...it's around SG$500 locally and that price does not include the camera plates. The M10 holds up to 40kg but costs about SG$100 more.

    As for tripods, try the Velbon Sherpa PRO CF series. Carbon fibre legs with Magnesium alloy body. Light yet tough. Goes very well with the Markins heads. Price is about SG$450 for the Sherpa Pro CF640.

    _
    Hi Deadpixel....

    I'm still considering between the SHarpa PRO CF640(John 3:16) or the Mamiya AY702.. So far, I'm leaning towards the Mamiya tripod, but no idea about the head yet.... $500 seems quite a lot for me on the head...

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