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Thread: Recommended ballhead for heavy lens?

  1. #21
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    someone is selling the Foba bento M1.... $200++.

    http://forums.clubsnap.org/showthread.php?t=45750

    from the website, it seems to be able to support 18 pounds!
    http://www.sinarbron.com/photokina/mline.html

    But if you could afford it, just for the the "ultimate" which is probably the best around in terms of performance....
    Last edited by mpenza; 17th October 2003 at 11:58 AM.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

  2. #22
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    Don't get the B1.

    Coz if you do, you'd probably never buy another ballhead again. You'd never have the fun of itching to upgrade, or wanting something better. It like being married - "Unto death do us part."

    Seriously though, i recommend either the B1 or the Arcatech Ult BH. If you're getting from CP, try out all the potential candidates. The difference in quality is really really obvious when you handle them side by side. And for your case, it's not that you can't afford it - you just can't justify it, right?

    The only disadvantage of the B1 is that it's too expensive to 'knock around', and ballheads don't come with any warranty. You need to 'baby' it a bit, more so than your lenses. The B1 is also a bit senstive to temperature changes and occasionally locks up during transportation if you're not careful. But in the handling and usage department, it beats any sub-$500 ballheads hands down.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST1100
    Don't get the B1.

    Coz if you do, you'd probably never buy another ballhead again. You'd never have the fun of itching to upgrade, or wanting something better. It like being married - "Unto death do us part."

    Seriously though, i recommend either the B1 or the Arcatech Ult BH. If you're getting from CP, try out all the potential candidates. The difference in quality is really really obvious when you handle them side by side. And for your case, it's not that you can't afford it - you just can't justify it, right?

    The only disadvantage of the B1 is that it's too expensive to 'knock around', and ballheads don't come with any warranty. You need to 'baby' it a bit, more so than your lenses. The B1 is also a bit senstive to temperature changes and occasionally locks up during transportation if you're not careful. But in the handling and usage department, it beats any sub-$500 ballheads hands down.
    Thanks ST1100 for that piece of info abt the Arca Swiss B1. You are spot on when you said that perhaps I can't justify the expenditure, which is somewhat true. Still hope to find a good ballhead ard or below $500. I'll check out all the suggestions first before making my final choice. Thanks once again, for all who replied.

  4. #24
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    btw, garion, may i know what lens you're getting?

    ...oops..didn't read properly the first post...

    anyway, for the 50-500, it's best to get those arca-swiss type QR+lens plate that normally comes with those 450-500+ ballheads...others might just be too 'weak' to hold up that lens...
    Last edited by rncw; 17th October 2003 at 04:31 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    Thanks ST1100 for that piece of info abt the Arca Swiss B1. You are spot on when you said that perhaps I can't justify the expenditure, which is somewhat true. Still hope to find a good ballhead ard or below $500. I'll check out all the suggestions first before making my final choice. Thanks once again, for all who replied.

    Hmm.. If I got St1100 right.. I think he is doing a reverse thnking...

    What he meant is get the B1 and you dun have to buy another ballhead again.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by binbeto
    Hmm.. If I got St1100 right.. I think he is doing a reverse thnking...

    What he meant is get the B1 and you dun have to buy another ballhead again.
    You are quite right. (and what he said is true) However like he mentioned gotta be real careful with the ballhead tho...hehe. Wait kena banged or accidentally dropped it then "xin tia"...

    rncw: thanks for the suggestion.

  7. #27
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    Given the light weight nature of the original posters kit (yes it's light weight in reality) almost any ball head capable of swinging a 7kg plus load will work. The only thing to be aware of is that the lighter heads may have creep when tightening the head.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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  8. #28
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    Are you still using 488RC2?
    Do you think it's still good enough for your usage?
    What's the longest/heaviest lense you use with this head?

    I'm thinking to get either 488RC2, 488RC4 or Giottos MH-1000/MH-1001. Is the RC4 quick release works better than RC2?

    Quote Originally Posted by rncw
    for manfrotto, the 488RC2 is good...bought mine for 127 only...
    Garion: What did you buy in the end?

  9. #29
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    Agree with Ian that the rig is really quite light, most reasonable heads should take the load. The big issue is to avoid anything with a cork mating between the head and the rig, because of the inherent instability caused by a layer of compressible cork between head and camera/lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by ST1100
    The only disadvantage of the B1 is that it's too expensive to 'knock around', and ballheads don't come with any warranty.
    The B1 comes with a length warranty, I believe 5 years. The only issue to note is that it needs to be sent overseas for repair if it ever needs it.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    You are spot on when you said that perhaps I can't justify the expenditure, which is somewhat true. Still hope to find a good ballhead ard or below $500.
    Push it into the budget for your lens. If you can justify the price of the Sigma, then save up a bit more/justify a bit more and take the head as an integral part of the price.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibawa
    Are you still using 488RC2?
    Do you think it's still good enough for your usage?
    What's the longest/heaviest lense you use with this head?

    I'm thinking to get either 488RC2, 488RC4 or Giottos MH-1000/MH-1001. Is the RC4 quick release works better than RC2?

    Garion: What did you buy in the end?
    yes...so far so good...been using it with
    D100+batt grip with 2 batts + Kenko x2 TC + AF-D 80-200 ED + SB80DX with SD-8A (total 10 AA NiMH batteries)...

    it's cheap...



    Garion : what did you buy?

  12. #32
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    Wow....this thread is still floating around...


    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    Push it into the budget for your lens. If you can justify the price of the Sigma, then save up a bit more/justify a bit more and take the head as an integral part of the price.
    Thanks, Jed, for the advice. Agree with what you have said, investing in a good quality ballhead (although pricy) is essential for the stability of the whole setup, and is a must for ensuring good results with long/heavy lenses.

    In case anyone is still curious as to what my final selection was, for the tripod legs I got the Gitzo G1224 tripod (aluminium, 3 sections). I did consider the CF models, but they are costlier, and I find that this model is tall and sturdy enough for me. For the ballhead, it was a 3-way fight between the Arca Swiss B1 Monoball, the Acratech Ultimate Ballhead and the Markins M10 (tough decision)...after much thought I finally settled on the Markins M10 ballhead (just ordered it on Monday), and currently waiting for it to arrive.

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    after much thought I finally settled on the Markins M10 ballhead (just ordered it on Monday), and currently waiting for it to arrive.
    good....if possible, after you received the ballhead, let's meet up...i was considering the markins for very long time...but yet to see one for myself before committing...

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by rncw
    good....if possible, after you received the ballhead, let's meet up...i was considering the markins for very long time...but yet to see one for myself before committing...
    Richard: if you're buying one, mind if I tagged a QS-600 along the order. Thanks.

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    Am thinking of getting the 'Bigma' 50-500mm f4-6.3 APO EX HSM for use with my 10D. Am currently using the Manfrotto 486RC2 ballhead with a Manfrotto 190B (which I may upgrade to a 055Pro if I get the lens). Any recommendations for a suitable ballhead which would provide adequate support for this combo? Or is the 486RC2 adequate for this load? Total weight is abt 3.5kg (assuming 10D w/ batt grip ~1.4kg + weight of lens ~2.0kg). Would appreciate your kind advice/input.

    Thanks in advance.
    Some advice since I have this combination before (50-500mm, 486RC2).

    The 486RC2 can barely take the weight of the 50-500mm, I advice you to get something more heavy duty than this (486RC2). The ballhead still slips slightly after tightening when this lens is on it.
    I'm still using the 486RC2 but have since sold off the 50-500mm.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by afiend
    Some advice since I have this combination before (50-500mm, 486RC2).

    The 486RC2 can barely take the weight of the 50-500mm, I advice you to get something more heavy duty than this (486RC2). The ballhead still slips slightly after tightening when this lens is on it.
    I'm still using the 486RC2 but have since sold off the 50-500mm.
    Hi afiend, thanks for sharing the advice, agree with you about the 486RC2 not being able to take the load of 50-500mm + cam body....it just isn't stable at all. There were at least 3 occasions when I forgot to tighten the locking lever on the ballhead and my whole combo simply flopped to the front, banging the lens hood against the tripod (luckily no harm done to the lens and lens hood). Other than that the most annoying thing is yes, the ballhead creeping even when the lever is tightened to the maximum. Its a pain in the neck when you want to compose something but have to keep re-adjusting the head to compensate for the creep.

    Hope the Markins will provide more than sufficient support for my combo.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garion
    There were at least 3 occasions when I forgot to tighten the locking lever on the ballhead and my whole combo simply flopped to the front, banging the lens hood against the tripod (luckily no harm done to the lens and lens hood).
    This really isn't a fault of the ballhead at all, curiously enough. It doesn't matter if you have a B1 or a tiny little thing, if you forget to tighten your rig, it's gonig to flop over.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jed
    This really isn't a fault of the ballhead at all, curiously enough. It doesn't matter if you have a B1 or a tiny little thing, if you forget to tighten your rig, it's gonig to flop over.
    Maybe with the 486RC2, when he said flop over, he meant that the whole rig toppled but with a larger, heavier ballhead, the wholerig may still stay upright despite flopping down? Hahaha..... doesn't make any sense does it......???

  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by TME
    Maybe with the 486RC2, when he said flop over, he meant that the whole rig toppled but with a larger, heavier ballhead, the wholerig may still stay upright despite flopping down? Hahaha..... doesn't make any sense does it......???
    No, you do have a valid point there. The ball locking lever on the 486 RC2 can only be tightened such that the rig stays in one position and doesn't topple over, but the friction control isn't as good as those found in the larger, more expensive ballheads - if you loosen the locking lever even by a little for e.g to make some small adjustments in positioning there is a tendency for the rig to suddenly flop over due to insufficient friction, when your hands leave it. Kinda hard to explain, you have to actually try it to see how the thing works.

    With the larger/more expensive ballheads (like the Arca Swiss for e.g), you have a progressive tension knob with markings and a thumb screw where you can set the minimum tension for a given load such that the rig can still be adjusted to its desired postion but will stay in position after your hand leaves it and does not flop over so easily (as in the case of the 486 RC2). Jed is right though, for any ballhead, if the tension knob or lever is set to 0 or completely loosened, the rig will still topple over. Have to be careful of that I guess.

  20. #40
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    Tension nobs aren't there to stop rigs from flopping over, they're there to ensure you're not constantly fighting with the weight of the rig when it is even slightly off centre. It also allows smoother motion when a really heavy (think supertele) rig is on the ballhead.

    If your tension is set so tight that the head will not flop when it is off centre, then you end up having to fight to move your setup, then you're back at square one having to work against your ball head from the beginning.

    Ballheads, tension setting or no tension setting, are simply *not* designed to be released without being first locked in position.

    TME, you're wide of the mark.

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