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Author Topic: RRS BH-40 Ballhead Announced!  (Read 7637 times)
boku
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« on: August 13, 2005, 01:27:22 PM »
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This, IMHO, is my long-awaited Acratech killer.

One of these will be sitting atop my Gitzo 1228 as soon as they are shipping.

I love my RRS model 55 on the Gitzo 1325. Compact, light, sturdy, no walking when tightening, and ergonomically better than the alternatives.

Oh, expensive, too. But that's not a feature.
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Bob Kulon

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francois
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« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2005, 05:30:12 AM »
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This, IMHO, is my long-awaited Acratech killer.
Not for me!

I'm sure the RRS BH-40 is superior in almost every aspect, but I love the Acratech for its simple construction and the way I can easily clean rain, sleet, snow, sand, etc. For those unfriendly conditions, the Acratech rules.

Having not tested the RRS BH-55, I wonder how it compares with the Arca-Swiss B1 under those bad conditions? My B1 locks-up when the ball gets slightly wet (snow and sleet) - pretty often. In normal conditions it only locked twice in 6 years...

Francois
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francois
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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2005, 08:49:51 AM »
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Bernard,
Thanks for sharing your experience! My B1 works well but as soon as humidity comes in, it gets sticky and in bad weather it can get stuck pretty badly. That's why I purchased the Acratech - it's my backup.
If humidity is high enough the B1 can get sticky even at high temperatures (+35°c), .

Looks like a BH-55 might found its way under a Christmas tree  ::

Francois
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Francois
boku
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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2005, 06:35:39 PM »
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This, IMHO, is my long-awaited Acratech killer.
Not for me!

I'm sure the RRS BH-40 is superior in almost every aspect, but I love the Acratech for its simple construction and the way I can easily clean rain, sleet, snow, sand, etc. For those unfriendly conditions, the Acratech rules.

Having not tested the RRS BH-55, I wonder how it compares with the Arca-Swiss B1 under those bad conditions? My B1 locks-up when the ball gets slightly wet (snow and sleet) - pretty often. In normal conditions it only locked twice in 6 years...

Francois
francois - I've used my RRS55 in the rain several times with no problems.
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Bob Kulon

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francois
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 05:12:18 AM »
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I've used my RRS55 in the rain several times with no problems.
Bob,
Don't get me wrong. I've shot with my B1 under pouring rain without problem - provided I keep the ball dry. If it gets wet or even only damp, the whole thing is rendered useless until I dry it. I've experienced this issue just after thunderstorms and by 35°c (95°F) & near 100% humidity.

By the way, my Acratech also shifts when I tighten it. I guess it's a feature.

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I have found the images delivered by my D2X to be significantly sharper when it is mounted on the BH-55. I haven't done any scientific comparison, but the detail I am now getting is just breathtaking compared to what I was getting before.

Bernard,
I've absolutely no doubt about the BH-55 performance. The Acratech is just a lightweight backup for me. The PCL clamp is tempting. I guess I'll have to make more room under the Christmas tree.

Francois
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Francois
francois
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 10:37:35 AM »
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Don't think that you need to be convinced, just showing off.
You're right. What else can I say?      

Your Zao Sanchou photo is breathtaking, congrats. What software do you use for stitching?
Last question: did you order a standard BH-55 (lever or knob) and the PCL clamp? I've seen that the BH-55 PCL is unavailable.

Francois
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Francois
BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2005, 05:49:41 PM »
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Your Zao Sanchou photo is breathtaking, congrats. What software do you use for stitching?
Last question: did you order a standard BH-55 (lever or knob) and the PCL clamp? I've seen that the BH-55 PCL is unavailable.

Francois
Francois,

This one was done with Stitcher 4.0. Stitcher works nicely when the images to be stitched were taken close enough to the nodal point of the lens, which was the case this time thanks to the PCL and the RRS pano rail (forgot the exact type).

I ordered the BH-55 PCL after having waited for it for a few months... it was back ordered the whole time... Actually, I called the guys to order and was lucky enough to be told that they had a new batch of PCL coming in a few days later.

At that time, the limiting factor was the PCL itself, not the BH-55 PCL (which is just a BH-55 to which they assemble the PCL for you).

You might want to try calling them up, they'll probably accept to add your name to a waiting list.

Regards,
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2005, 07:07:43 PM »
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Thanks Bernard, that is very helpful information indeed. Regards, Mark
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francois
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2005, 07:15:16 AM »
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Just finally moving to a ball head now that L brackets are out there for just about everything.....On the rrs, if you get sand or grit in it, how do you clean it?
Download the BH-55 user guide here. There's some care and maintenance info. I don't know if it's relevant for the not-yet-released BH-40, though.

Francois
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Francois
Paul Sumi
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2005, 12:11:03 PM »
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Now for something entirely different from the 5D full frame frenzy.  From the RRS website:

"... the new Really Right Stuff BH-40 ballhead will be available with 2 clamp options (lever-release or screw-knob) or platform. At under 1 pound (440 grams) but with a load capacity of 18 lb/8kg, the BH-40 is the most compact ballhead by far in its class but delivers large-size performance and features.

No phone or web pre-orders are being accepted at this time. Watch our web site for availablity; orders will be accepted when item is in stock. Close this window and click on BH-40 links for technical specifications."

$375 for lever release clamp version; $345 for screw knob clamp.

(Popup blocker must be disabled to see announcement window, click on links on page for details)

http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/ballheads/index.html
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jtank
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« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2005, 04:18:01 AM »
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Bob

I have been thinking of investing in the 55 and the 1325, and would be very interested to hear your views on this. Notice that you're waiting for the RRS 40 to couple with the 1228.

When do you use the 1228 and when do you use the 1325? Given that the RRS 40 isn't all that much smaller/lighter than the RRS 55, why are you considering this one also?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2005, 06:17:58 AM »
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Francois,

I have been using my BH-55 in extremely wet weather here in Japan since I got it, and have never experienced any lock-up problem.

It arrived after the end of the winter, meaning that I have not tested it yet in sub-zero conditions.

Regards,
Bernard
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boku
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« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2005, 06:32:47 PM »
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Bob

I have been thinking of investing in the 55 and the 1325, and would be very interested to hear your views on this. Notice that you're waiting for the RRS 40 to couple with the 1228.

When do you use the 1228 and when do you use the 1325? Given that the RRS 40 isn't all that much smaller/lighter than the RRS 55, why are you considering this one also?
Here's my criteria at present...

1) Airline travel or REALLY long hikes: 1228 & Acratech (soon to be replaced by RRS40. Very light and fits in my suitcase.

2) Everything else (almost always) 1325 and RRS55. Stable like no tommorow.
---------
I am considering moving to the RRS40 from the Acratech because the Acratech drifts as you tighten it. I have to compensate by pre-aiming offset and let it settle on my intended vantage as it tightens. I'd say the drift is about 1-2 degrees. They all do that. It is in the design. The RRS40 and Acratech weigh about the same.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2005, 07:05:54 PM »
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Looks like a BH-55 might found its way under a Christmas tree  ::
Francois,

Yep, I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

I used to use an Acratech too, and actually still have it mounted on my Gitzo 1028 for super light outings.

I have found the images delivered by my D2X to be significantly sharper when it is mounted on the BH-55. I haven't done any scientific comparison, but the detail I am now getting is just breathtaking compared to what I was getting before.

I end up taking the 1227 + BH-55 combo along even for the most demanding treks now...

I have actually bought the PCL version, which I use to do panos, it works great too!

Regards,
Bernard
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troyhouse
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« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2005, 11:12:45 PM »
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Just finally moving to a ball head now that L brackets are out there for just about everything.....On the rrs, if you get sand or grit in it, how do you clean it?
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2005, 10:09:20 AM »
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The PCL clamp is tempting. I guess I'll have to make more room under the Christmas tree.

Francois
Francois,

One quick sample taken with that set-up...

http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=1586175

Don't think that you need to be convinced, just showing off.

a+
Bernard
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2005, 12:46:24 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

I just clicked into your SIG website and saw that gogeous panorama. Let me say first in general I think the visual and technical quality of the images you have posted there is first class. I can see the D2X is performing extremely well in your hands. Re the D2X, does it have an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, or does Nikon use some other approach for dealing with aliasing effects? Do you generally use a tripod for the landscape and architectural work?

On the panorama, I am curious about processing technique:
Do you use Photoshop's panorama stitching tool for stitching the images, or some other software or approach? Also, do you do the curves adjustments (hue, luminosity etc.) on each image before stitching, or do you stitch first and then adjust the integrated composite?

Regards,

Mark
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2005, 06:08:59 PM »
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Hi Bernard,

I just clicked into your SIG website and saw that gogeous panorama. Let me say first in general I think the visual and technical quality of the images you have posted there is first class. I can see the D2X is performing extremely well in your hands. Re the D2X, does it have an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor, or does Nikon use some other approach for dealing with aliasing effects? Do you generally use a tripod for the landscape and architectural work?

On the panorama, I am curious about processing technique:
Do you use Photoshop's panorama stitching tool for stitching the images, or some other software or approach? Also, do you do the curves adjustments (hue, luminosity etc.) on each image before stitching, or do you stitch first and then adjust the integrated composite?

Regards,

Mark
Hi Mark,

Thanks for the nice words.

The D2X does have an anti-aliasing filter, but it seems to be rather weak judging from the shaprness of many shots viewed at 100%. I don't know how they do it, but there are stil very few aliasing problems in the resulting images. I was expecting to see a lot of moire in the "night pray" shot for instance, but I couldn't see any (I didn't check very carefully though).

I nearly always use a tripod for landscape and architecture. I'd say that 90% of the images on Photosig where taken with a tripod.

The post processing of this panorama was done in less than 20 minutes using Nikon Capture to convert the RAW images to jpg, and then Stitcher 4.0 for the stitching itself.

The shooting itself was done in less than 5 minutes from idea to completion (including set up and shooting), which was more the result of the changing conditions...  It had rained very heavily until then, and started to rain again a few minutes later. The key aspects to consider for good stitching are:

- rotate as close as possible to the entrance pupil of the lens,
- shoot in M mode so as to have equal exposure for all the shots (which requires you to find the best average setting for the images you intend to include in the panorama),
- shoot RAW for additional headroom in case something didn't go per the plan,
- have conditions stable enough that the scene will not have changed too much between the shooting of 2 successive images
- shoot in portrait mode so as to have maximum pixel information,

About post-processing. In the present case, I applied some S curve in Nikon Capture for mid-tones contrast improvement, as well as a slight saturation boost, on the left image first, until I achieved what I though was proper. I then used the copy/paste capability of NC to apply the exact same processing to the other 5 images before RAW conversion.

I did some additional modifications (local contrast increase using USM in PS) on the resulting image.

The bottom line is that global modification of the image can be applied before RAW conversion on each image in an identical way, but local corrections, using PS masks for instance, have to be applied on the resulting panorama.

To be completely honnest though, this stitch is not perfect when viewed at 100% on screen, it would take more time to come up with something suitable to an A1 print.

Hope that it helps.

Regards,
Bernard
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francois
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« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2005, 07:11:45 AM »
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Bernard,Thank you for all your information.

Cheers,
Francois
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