i went at 4, was asked to buy N2205 instead, but price difference so much ...
OP at 290 also?, if so i go tomorrow.
Last edited by scubagolfer; 6th May 2010 at 08:35 PM.
Tks ckkent, will go OP tomorrow to get it. yes the N2205 much heavier and i dont need monopod. And the 1 series really look filmsy ....
Does anyone know if all the Sirui 1 series tripods (e.g. T1204, M1205 N1205) have legs with fixed rubber ends? That is a major killer for me. And the website does not say anything about this important detail. I need the flexibility to change to spikes. Otherwise, I'll have to consider their 2 series tripods.
I just got myself a Photoclam PC-33 ballhead from K-13. OP paid < $260 (he had some special arrangement) and I paid $280.
I also own a Kangrinpoche NB3-B. Thought I will replace it with the Photoclam ballhead 'cos I find the panning knob on the NB3-B a little tight.
Verdict: Photoclam PC-33 is HOPELESSLY bad. I urge folks to consider very carefully before purchasing it. Reaons:
a) Construction is really flimsy. The gap between the dial gauge and that part of the main body with the dial reference marker is non-uniform and at some parts the gap can reach ~ 0.5 mm. Sand particles can get in! And even after tightening, there is still some free play in the multi-functional grip! These issues are not present in my NB3-B.
b) More seriously, the knobs are badly constructed. For example, when I tighten the panning-fix knob, the pan-head moves a little. Same goes for the multi-functional grip and the ball-head. This is totally unacceptable for me! The whole reason I discarded my previous tripod (with built-in head) was precisely because of issues like these.
I am honestly shocked that anyone will actually compare such shoddy mechanical built to a Markins ballhead. Ewww.... Guess I am better off with my current NB3-B.
Just thought I would post this warning to fellow CSers.
The Sirui tripods that are highly recommended are also quirky. For example, on the T-1204X, when the knob around the center column is tightened, the column actually rises a little. Granted this issue is not as serious as what I encountered with the Photo Clam ballhead, it is still a sympton of poor mechanical design.
Conclusion: NOTHING can replace Gitzo and Markins. One gets what one pays for.
Last edited by doodah; 8th May 2010 at 05:47 PM.
If it is so bad why part with yr money?? If you never check and trust only reviews you only got yrself to blame..
Havent really tested my T2205X with the Markins Q3T ... hopefully ok ...
Just read your post - not sure whether to congratulate you on your purchase or to feel sorry for your disappointment and despair.
Unfortunately there is no such thing as mechanical perfection. Up to a point, there will be engineering compromises - regardless of how much it cost. The question will always be whether the final product being acquired delivers what it promises based on your expectations and price paid. So at some level I do understand your frustration if a product does not deliver to you expectation.
So to me, the essence here is what should be the right expectation from what had been reviewed here? This is a Korean made ballhead and a Chinese made tripod sold at the lowest entry point price for what it promises - professional performance.
BTW it is not my intention to defend these products - just to respond fairly to and evenly to some points you raised so that forummers here get the full picture - at least from my point of view.
So is the PC-33NS ballhead truly hopeless? "Hopeless" - is a word I would only use if the ballhead does not perform completely for what it is designed to do. I have shared openly about the performance of this head and would hope that others who had bought the ballhead to contribute as well - whether the ball head fails to do what it promises.
I would like very much to know whether the ballhead or even the tripod you bought failed your criteria (a) to (d) you mentioned earlier in the thread - copied above.
I inspected my own PC-33NS to see if it has the issues you raised. First, I see no problem about movement when I turn the knobs. Unless there is a way you use it I am not sure how these movement - possibly micrometer movements - could impact on the final image you shoot. Remembering always this is a compact travel head and not a high performance micoadjustment ballhead.
Unfortunately I do see a very small gap between the knob and the ballhead. However, its so small that I had not noticed it until now (mine is about the width of the thickness of a piece of A4 paper). It appears only when the knob is fully open. Does it affect performance? Not in the least for me but I guess if one is very demanding of such things, then its about the finishing quality. I have to say that very often critics make mention about how gaps here and there are open to sand or dirt. The truth is, even if there is no gap, sand can damage any ballhead simply by wedging itself between the ball and the body.
So the questions here are for me - is the very small gap a quality issue? Maybe, but does it affect perfomance? No. But can it be a sand risk? Yes, but so is the open ball head - sand would more likely to get in there first before the knob due to its overall surface space.
As for your Sirui T-1204X - this tripod was not reviewed by me nor did I make any comments or representations. I can only give you my condolences for its technical issues.
In the end of the day, as you have in fact stated yourself - "You get what you pay for". So you need to ask yourself what did you want to pay for?
It seems you wanted a Markins Q3 quality of finish at Photo Clam price. But the real question for me is whether did you get Markins Q3 Performance from the Photoclam?
Let me end by reposting the two links below I shared earlier where others had done a more comprehensive comparative review of the PC-33NS and the Markins Q3 and other heads (which clearly is not fault free as well).
And to add more confusion (apologies for that), the Markins Q3t is also not the Holy Grail. There have been real-life experiences of the ballhead "freezing up" in extreme temperatures of -10 etc vs other ballheads which continue to perform under same conditions.
I personally own a Q3t but would think twice about using one in sub-zero temps. Under normal conditions, it should be fine.
I also used to own an Acratech Ultimate Ballhead which I thought was overhyped. I dropped it (from less than 1 metre height) just once and it was unusable ever since. That's unacceptable for such an expensive product. The latest models might be better but I have no idea.
b) You are right, it did not fail any of the criteria (a) to (d) I listed. In fact, that was what drew me to the ballhead initially.
Unfortunately, it failed to deliver the most BASIC thing I felt a decent ballhead needs to do: the ability to lock without any camera movement afterwards. Sorry, but that was so basic to me I did not even think how anything that was so well received could fail in that department. And that was why I did not check it thoroughly before the purchase and it was my own failure.
c) Your gap is only A4 size? Wow. Mine is HUGE: more like 0.5 mm. Well, that is where poor QC kicks in. Maybe I should bring it to the distributor? I tested several copies at the shop and mine had the most narrow gap. Hmmm... But I believe even I can get a copy that has a narrow gap, the camera will still move after I tighten the knobs on the head 'cos that is a design failure and not a QC problem.
d) Yes, I am aware you did not talk about the T1204X tripod. But I most certainly expect all tripods of the same brand to be built to the same quality. Again, that is my own failure for taking things for granted.
e) Well, I did get NEAR Markins quality at a lower priced Kangrinpoche NB3 (just do NOT purchase it from Cathay... ). The only complaint I have is the tightness of the pan-base of the NB3. Same goes for my Benro tripod vs Gitzo: lower priced, equally lightweight but tough, does not move after knobs are tightened and only drawback is the tightness of the knobs. They have been the same since I got them.
Do you know my Benro tripod, NB3 ballhead and camera+lens once took a brief swim in a beach due to my carelessness couple of years ago? BOTH tripod and ballhead had sand in them but worked perfectly fine after I cleaned and dried them thoroughly? They behaved like they were as good as new. Seeing the huge gap in the Photo Clam ballhead totally kills my confidence in the product: there is no way that thing can survive a fall in the beach.
Going by Astroboy's experience, I guess my poor NB3 ballhead is better than those expensive counterparts. It has survived falls, a brief dip in the sea and sub-zero temperatures (up in the mountains). Oh well..
PS: Camera also survived OK except for the dial knob, and lens was fine. The camera had to be treated afterwards at ER. All these items (tripod, ballhead, camera, lens) are serving me well till this day. You may ask why I bother to upgrade? Any small improvement e.g. reduced weight of tripod or looser pan-head on tripod is welcome. Unfortunately, I have also just learnt a painful but important lesson: nothing can replace my current gear at the moment.
f) I guess not many users in those links are as demanding as me. The ability of a ballhead to lock without any subsequent movement is fundamental to me.
Last edited by doodah; 10th May 2010 at 12:23 AM.