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Thread: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

  1. #1
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp


    I am interested in getting this ballhead with the lever release clamp (8kg load capacity) but could not find much discussion in the forum. It seems that quite a few CSers have been using this ballhead as I can find some discussion on people trying to get this ballhead from some very old posts. Anyone can comment on this ballhead?

    I am looking for a mid-range ballhead that can support the load up to a 200-300mm lens (e.g. Canon 70-200/f2.8 IS) with 580EXII on it. The head will be put on a Gitzo GT2530 or GT1541T tripod. It seems that the Gitzo '2' series platform disk (D0701.05) has a larger diameter than the BH-40 and thus when you drop down on the notch for portrait shots, the plate cannot completely clear the platform disc.

    One way to solve this problem is to use the L-plate that RRS provides. Or, the cheaper option will be to change the platform disk to the '1' series one (D0701.03). Still undecided whether to go for the L-plate (US$140 vs a normal RRS camera plate US$55) or not.

    The BH-40 seems to be available for the past 3-4 years and from reading some of the online reviews, it seems to be comparable to Markins M10/Acratech V2.

    Will appreciate any comments from someone who has experience in using these ballheads.

    Thanks...
    Last edited by CS TAN; 29th July 2008 at 03:30 PM. Reason: Add a link to the RRS Website

  2. #2

    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    U can get the BH-40 w LR instead; it will fall into the drop notch nicely. Personally, i think L-plate is the way to go, if u plan to shoot lots of portrait shot.

    If the drop notch is important to you, QR with lever is the way to go. Take note. I tried Markins, it's difficult to use the drop notch on the left unless the locking screw
    - is below the lens ; but needs to get use it when zooming or focusing.
    - is behind the camera; but hits the chin when using the VF
    - The screw cannot be on the right; since the right hand is holding onto the cam.
    - With the screw on the left, it will hit the casing before it's 90 degree into the notch.

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    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Hey, thanks for the reply and the detail description on using the notch. Looks like the L-plate and the QR with lever is the way to go.

    Any comments on whether this BH-40 ballhead will creep/play (not sure about the exact technical term here) even when the load is within spec? It gets to be quite annoying using some QR plates that give way under load. This is more so when using a telephoto lens.

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    Member Papilio's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    I'm using this ballhead with the AS II Clamp for my macro photography. I like the Lever Release clamp as it's quick to lock on and it's a lot faster than the traditional screw type clamp when used in the field.

    I'm using both the Tamron 180mm and the Canon 180mm which has a lens collar. As for the portrait position, I just leave the setup clamped and rotate the camera using the lens collar to portrait position.

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    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Papilio View Post
    I like the Lever Release clamp as it's quick to lock on and it's a lot faster than the traditional screw type clamp when used in the field.
    Yeah, that's is one of the feature that has attracted me to RRS as compare to the other screw-in types. So, you are using the camera plate instead of the L-plate. Do you find similar inconvenient as described by Coffee3in1 above?

    Since you do a lot of macro photos, I will take that you are happy with the BH-40 ballhead with no creep/play, yeah?

  6. #6
    Member Papilio's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    Yeah, that's is one of the feature that has attracted me to RRS as compare to the other screw-in types. So, you are using the camera plate instead of the L-plate. Do you find similar inconvenient as described by Coffee3in1 above?

    Since you do a lot of macro photos, I will take that you are happy with the BH-40 ballhead with no creep/play, yeah?
    Actually, though I have the camera plate, I don't use it when either of the two 180mm lenses is on the camera. The clamp is on the lens plate at collar of the lens. I have the lens plates for both lenses and that's why the portrait mode is not a problem for me.

    Yes, very happy with the ballhead. No creep once locked down.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by Papilio View Post
    Actually, though I have the camera plate, I don't use it when either of the two 180mm lenses is on the camera. The clamp is on the lens plate at collar of the lens. I have the lens plates for both lenses and that's why the portrait mode is not a problem for me.

    Yes, very happy with the ballhead. No creep once locked down.
    Right, with the collar mount on the ballhead, it is a lot more flexible.

    With the price on the RRS BH-40, I am not expecting any creep but I just want to hear from the actual users on their field experience instead of relying on the claims from the vendor.

    Thanks for your input. I will go ahead and order the BH-40 with the L-plate and some lens plates.
    Cheers.

  8. #8

    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    With the price on the RRS BH-40, I am not expecting any creep but I just want to hear from the actual users on their field experience instead of relying on the claims from the vendor.
    I'm also very keen to find out more. RRS claim about the sweet spot. Once it is set - you can just move the camera around, compose and let go, it will stay there. Dunno how true it that.

    But then, there's some complaints (late 2007) that the tension control on the BH-40 isn't so good. I'm aiming for the BH-55.

    What i've face with my other ballheads, esp in macro situation, is that the focus point sags as i tighten the ballhead; and goes even more as i realease my right hand. I work around that problem by aiming off to compensate for the sag. A minor annoyance.

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    Senior Member denniskee's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    i have no experience in rrs heads, but i my opinion, tension is primarily meant to prevent the camera set mounted on ballhead from free falling to the side, which the impact may cause the tripod to topple, and to prevent the set from uncontrol rotation when in the portrait oreintation (ie the slot in the ballhead), all these when the user had loosen the ballhead (or accidently loosen) and accidently let go his holding hands from the camera set.

    to expect the tension control to hold the camera in any given orientation is a miss-used.
    Last edited by denniskee; 30th July 2008 at 12:32 PM.
    photography makes one sees things from all angles.

  10. #10

    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by coffee3in1 View Post
    I'm also very keen to find out more. RRS claim about the sweet spot. Once it is set - you can just move the camera around, compose and let go, it will stay there. Dunno how true it that.

    What i've face with my other ballheads, esp in macro situation, is that the focus point sags as i tighten the ballhead; and goes even more as i realease my right hand. I work around that problem by aiming off to compensate for the sag. A minor annoyance.
    The issue you are mentioning is called 'creep'. It's one of the reasons why RRS and Arca-Swiss heads cost so much more than the other brands (Manfrotto, etc) and copies (china made ones). I have been using a Arca-Swiss B1 for 10 years. To this day, it doesn't exhibit any creep. In the end, the user has to decide if the price difference is worth getting rid of the annoyance.

    The Zohan.

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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by coffee3in1 View Post
    I'm also very keen to find out more. RRS claim about the sweet spot. Once it is set - you can just move the camera around, compose and let go, it will stay there. Dunno how true it that.

    But then, there's some complaints (late 2007) that the tension control on the BH-40 isn't so good. I'm aiming for the BH-55.

    What i've face with my other ballheads, esp in macro situation, is that the focus point sags as i tighten the ballhead; and goes even more as i realease my right hand. I work around that problem by aiming off to compensate for the sag. A minor annoyance.

    the sagging didnt come from your tripod or tripod head. its the camera. esp if you are using a attached vertical grip.

    usually when you focus, you tend to hold the camera rather firmly, this force is enough to cause the camera or the tripod collar to have a slight deviation downways. try trightening the tripod head without holding the camera yet looking thru view finder ( hold the foot of the tripod collar to make small adjustment.) the situation should improve.

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    Senior Member CS TAN's Avatar
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    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    From my own understanding, the creep came from various sources.

    One of the big contributor is the ball head when it cannot lock tightly at the point it was lock and thus introduce the creep.

    The other one is the camera plate that was attached to it. The camera plates usually has a certain kind of material such as rubber/cork at the point where it touches the bottom of the camera . Due to the contact not very secure, the plate twisted slightly due to the weight of the camera and therefore produce creep.

    The third is from some of the quick release mechanism which does not lock the camera plates tightly and thus introduce creep as well.

    Lastly, the plastic body of the camera/hand grip will flex slightly due to the nature of the material. The small flex will get magnified when you look through a lens at the tele end such as 400mm.
    Last edited by CS TAN; 1st August 2008 at 08:44 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: RRS BH-40 Ballhead with B2 AS II Clamp

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    From my own understanding, the creep came from various sources.

    One of the big contributor is the ball head when it cannot lock tightly at the point it was lock and thus introduce the creep.
    That is true, esp with the cheaper ballheads.

    Quote Originally Posted by CS TAN View Post
    The other one is the camera plate that was attached to it. The camera plates usually has a certain kind of material such as rubber/c0ck at the point where it touches the bottom of the camera . Due to the contact not very secure, the plate twisted slightly due to the weight of the camera and therefore produce creep.

    The third is from some of the quick release mechanism which does not lock the camera plates tightly and thus introduce creep as well.
    Good thing you mentioned the plate. The camera plate from RRS doesn't use cork. In fact, the plates are custom made for each camera body. It doesn't use cork and fits perfectly. It also uses the allen key for tightening. Once the plate is on. It stays on forever, without the need for tightening.

    The Zohan.

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