Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Markins M20 or RRS BH-55?  (Read 11945 times)
pcox
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« on: April 28, 2009, 04:13:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi folks -
I'm in the process of buying a new tripod. For the legs I'm going with the Gitzo 3541XLS, and I'm tossing up between the RRS BH-55 and the M20. I'm looking for feedback from folks who have used either (or both, even better).

For me the Markins seems to have a significant advantage in weight (almost half the weight of the BH-55) with similar load capacity. However, I've seen reports that the Markins pan lock can creep even when fully tightened, specifically with the camera slung over the shoulder (which I do a fair bit).

Heaviest combination I'd be using commonly is a 5D Mk II with the 70-200 f/2.8, although I may invest in a longer prime later.

Another major concern is that the head not move when a load such as the above is off-axis. i.e., if I put the ball in the drop-notch, will the lens droop a fraction when the ball is tightened?

For those who have the M20, do you use the Markins clamp or a RRS clamp?

Cheers,
Peter
Logged

Peter Cox Photography
Photography Workshops in Ireland
Fine Art Landscape Photographs
www.petercox.ie
Tim Gray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2002



WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2009, 07:21:35 AM »
ReplyReply

In general the folks with Markins are happy with that (I'm in that camp) and the folks with the RRS are happy with that.

I'm not sure that going off axis into the notch is "best practice", certainly with collared lenses it's academic, but in any event I'd strongly recommend the RRS L bracket, together with their lever clamp.  It makes switching from portrait to landscape completely painless, with no issues of stability.
Logged
pcox
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 07:44:25 AM »
ReplyReply

Tim -
Thanks for the response. Yes, going off-axis with a collared lens is not necessary, but it is for non-collared lenses and for various reasons I'd rather not use an L bracket. Being a Markins owner, have you had any experience of 'pan lock creep' when carrying the tripod over your shoulder? And have you experienced any drooping of the ball, or have you only ever used L brackets?

Cheers,
Peter

Quote from: Tim Gray
In general the folks with Markins are happy with that (I'm in that camp) and the folks with the RRS are happy with that.

I'm not sure that going off axis into the notch is "best practice", certainly with collared lenses it's academic, but in any event I'd strongly recommend the RRS L bracket, together with their lever clamp.  It makes switching from portrait to landscape completely painless, with no issues of stability.
Logged

Peter Cox Photography
Photography Workshops in Ireland
Fine Art Landscape Photographs
www.petercox.ie
SeanBK
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 510


« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 07:54:57 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: pcox
Tim -
Thanks for the response. Yes, going off-axis with a collared lens is not necessary, but it is for non-collared lenses and for various reasons I'd rather not use an L bracket. Being a Markins owner, have you had any experience of 'pan lock creep' when carrying the tripod over your shoulder? And have you experienced any drooping of the ball, or have you only ever used L brackets?

Cheers,
Peter

I can only speak from my own experience. Which is with BH-55 & L-bracket. Totally smooth operation & NO creep. I have used it with non-collard lenses & used it to pan for car races,.... no sweat. Haven't used Markins.
Logged
bob mccarthy
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 372


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 08:11:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Have used a set of Gitzo legs (1325) with the RRS B55 ballhead for the past 4 years. I frequently carry a Linhof 4x5 Technika with it over my shoulder. Works perfectly, never slips.

Have the RRS L bracket for my D2x and F5 along with the telephoto feet for the major teles (including zooms). All works as it should.

No experience with the Markins.

5 stars.

bob


Logged
Anders_HK
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1001



WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2009, 08:24:06 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

Having gone through one Gitzo and two Foba I settled for the Markins M10 which I have had for four years. I first read of Markins on Nikonians.org many years ago where they had a comparison to RRS and Arca Swiss - if my memory serves me correct. Weight was one important criteria to me. I use the M10 primarily for medium format, also with 300mm lens. You can get by with the M10 for your gear per what sounds, the M10 is lighter weight and also less $ than M20. The Markins is exceptional good. I do not use the pano much, but no problem with it coming loose. On other hand I would be cautious walking with camera on tripod since it might come loose due camera mount break, or hit something.

For tripod I use a Gitzo 3-piece carbon fiber and without telescoping column, all of it for most steady and low weight.

No experience of the RRS ballhead.

Regards
Anders
Logged
Harold Clark
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 190


« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2009, 09:01:10 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: pcox
Hi folks -
I'm in the process of buying a new tripod. For the legs I'm going with the Gitzo 3541XLS, and I'm tossing up between the RRS BH-55 and the M20. I'm looking for feedback from folks who have used either (or both, even better).

For me the Markins seems to have a significant advantage in weight (almost half the weight of the BH-55) with similar load capacity. However, I've seen reports that the Markins pan lock can creep even when fully tightened, specifically with the camera slung over the shoulder (which I do a fair bit).

Heaviest combination I'd be using commonly is a 5D Mk II with the 70-200 f/2.8, although I may invest in a longer prime later.

Another major concern is that the head not move when a load such as the above is off-axis. i.e., if I put the ball in the drop-notch, will the lens droop a fraction when the ball is tightened?

For those who have the M20, do you use the Markins clamp or a RRS clamp?

Cheers,
Peter
Logged
Harold Clark
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 190


« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2009, 09:08:56 AM »
ReplyReply

[quote name='pcox' date='Apr 28 2009, 09:13 AM' post='279564']
Hi folks -
I'm in the process of buying a new tripod. For the legs I'm going with the Gitzo 3541XLS, and I'm tossing up between the RRS BH-55 and the M20. I'm looking for feedback from folks who have used either (or both, even better).

For me the Markins seems to have a significant advantage in weight (almost half the weight of the BH-55) with similar load capacity. However, I've seen reports that the Markins pan lock can creep even when fully tightened, specifically with the camera slung over the shoulder (which I do a fair bit).

Heaviest combination I'd be using commonly is a 5D Mk II with the 70-200 f/2.8, although I may invest in a longer prime later.

Another major concern is that the head not move when a load such as the above is off-axis. i.e., if I put the ball in the drop-notch, will the lens droop a fraction when the ball is tightened?

For those who have the M20, do you use the Markins clamp or a RRS clamp?

Cheers,
Peter


I have used a Markins M10 for a few years, mainly with a 1DS2 with L bracket, sometimes also with the RZ 67. The head is as smooth as silk and locks up very tightly. I haven't tried the BH55, but weight was a concern as I sometimes use the head on a light tripod for travel. I compared the Markins directly with the Acra-tech, and the Markins was a much better choice for me. I couldn't see the benefit of the extra cost and weight of the M20.

Logged
cecelia
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 33


« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2009, 11:42:21 AM »
ReplyReply

I've had a BH-40 and currently use the smallest Markins, the Q3.  I cannot imagine needing a stronger ball head than the Q3, even for a big camera/lens combo.  If you need something bigger, you need the Wimberley.  

My Arca Cube trumps all ball heads if you don't mind carrying it.

-Cecelia

Logged
Sheldon N
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 809


« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2009, 03:47:24 PM »
ReplyReply

I have the Markins M20 and use it with both 4x5 and DSLR gear on a Gitzo 1325. It's a wonderful ballhead, very strong and no creep when locked down. The pan locking knob is smaller in diameter, so if you don't pay attention when you are tightening it or only do it halfheartedly then the panning base can still move. If you make a point of snugging it down then it locks quite firmly.

I routinely carry my tripod over my shoulder with the camera attached, both my 4x5 camera (Arca Swiss) and DSLR and have no issues.
Logged

Tim Gray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2002



WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2009, 05:29:16 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: pcox
Tim -
Thanks for the response. Yes, going off-axis with a collared lens is not necessary, but it is for non-collared lenses and for various reasons I'd rather not use an L bracket. Being a Markins owner, have you had any experience of 'pan lock creep' when carrying the tripod over your shoulder? And have you experienced any drooping of the ball, or have you only ever used L brackets?

Cheers,
Peter

I've never used anything other than an L bracket with the Markins, but have never experienced any creep, as long as I properly tighten everything down.
Logged
Jon Meddings
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 142


« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2009, 06:12:49 PM »
ReplyReply


I have both and use them on a coupld of Gitzo tripods with a Canon 1 series and lenses up to 400 mm.

I have put a RRS panning attachment on top of both ballheads and use a RRS L plate on the cameras/lenses.

With this setup I don't use the drop down notches in either but for what it is worth the RRS has 2 and my Markins only has one. I've found that the Markins M20 has become 'sticky' recently and despite cleaning it I just can't get a smooth action from it. The RRS is perfect despite being in harsher conditions and the ability to feel the nobs simply seems better on it. I know it is subjective but I just like the RRS system better and would not go back to the Markins.
Logged
JeffKohn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1671



WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 28, 2009, 07:26:19 PM »
ReplyReply

I personally can't imagine using a tripod-mounted camera without an L-bracket, but to each his own I guess. It's not just about convenience, but also stability as you want to keep the center of mass over the head rather than hanging off to the side.

I've used a Markins M10 and RRS BH-55. Both are nice, but I don't use either anymore as I prefer a geared head on my larger tripods. I found the BH-55 especially well made, but not terribly smooth as the ball seems to have a bit of inertia. For my smallest/lightest tripod (for long hikes) I now use the new Arca-Swiss P1-S ballhead, which turns the traditional ballhead design upside down. It's compact, quite a bit lighter than the BH-55, and adjustment is very smooth. I also like the ring for tightening as opposed to the BH-55's knobs which tear your fingers up after a while.  The P1's design is well-suited to panos since the panning is built into the clamp above the ball. The only downside to this design is no drop-notch for shooting vertical, but that's what L-Brackets are for. :smile:
Logged

Sheldon N
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 809


« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2009, 07:32:45 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Jon Meddings
With this setup I don't use the drop down notches in either but for what it is worth the RRS has 2 and my Markins only has one. I've found that the Markins M20 has become 'sticky' recently and despite cleaning it I just can't get a smooth action from it.

How are you cleaning it? I've found that a light spray of WD-40 on a rag wiped onto the ballhead then wiped clean does wonders for restoring smooth action to the ballhead and also repels moisture which can make the ballhead sticky/less smooth.
Logged

DaveCurtis
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 460


WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2009, 03:56:01 AM »
ReplyReply

I use the RRS BH-55 on a series 3 Gitzo with the 1DS Mrk3. Great ballhead. Very easy to use and very stable. I would recomend the L-plate with this ballhead due to it's low profile. With the 1DS Mrk3, the body touches the top of the tripod leg when you pan. "off axis" You can of course go "off axis" between the legs which works ok but when you start a panning motion the camera will hit the top of the tripod leg.

Logged

pcox
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 154


WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2009, 03:58:16 AM »
ReplyReply

Thanks all for the responses. Availability has made my decision for me. The European distributor for Markins doesn't have any M20s in stock, nor will they for the next 4-5 weeks. Since it really does seem to be a toss-up as regards quality between that and the BH-55, I'm going to go with that.

I might even get an L-bracket or two (or three).

Cheers,
Peter
Logged

Peter Cox Photography
Photography Workshops in Ireland
Fine Art Landscape Photographs
www.petercox.ie
rethmeier
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 780


WWW
« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2009, 06:20:09 AM »
ReplyReply

There is also the PhotoClam:
They have similar products to the Markins and Arca Swiss.
I currently use the Multiflex(Cube) and the PC-54NS
Very good value for money and excellent built quality.
I did have the BH-55.

http://www.photoclam.com/

Sukue
Assistant Manager
Overseas Marketing Dept.

"A PICTURE IS WORTH A MILLION WORDS" SAY IT WITH Photo Clam
------------------------------------------------------------
Kyung-IL Machinery Co.,Ltd.
#4BA 701Ho, Shiwha Industrial Complex
Sunggok-dong, Danwon-gu, Ansan-City,
South Korea
www.photoclam.com
+82-31-488-9114(Main)
+82-10-9654-9114(English)

Best,
Willem.
Logged

Willem Rethmeier
www.willemrethmeier.com
Sydney Australia
JeffKohn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1671



WWW
« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2009, 10:36:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: rethmeier
There is also the PhotoClam:
They have similar products to the Markins and Arca Swiss.
I currently use the Multiflex(Cube) and the PC-54NS
Very good value for money and excellent built quality.
I did have the BH-55.

http://www.photoclam.com/


Best,
Willem.
So somebody has knocked-off the Arca C1 Cube, interesting. How much are they charging for it. Do you have experience with the Arca-Swiss version to compare build quality and functionality to?

The C1 Cube is a great piece of gear but I do feel that's it's substantially over-priced.
Logged

Aaron Burdick Photography
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


WWW
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2009, 01:04:19 PM »
ReplyReply

I have a Markins head and they are wonderful!  The RRS I hear are also wonderful.  Having to decide between two of the best ball heads out there isn't that hard of a decision.  Both are great.  Buy one and enjoy it!
Logged
Wayne Fox
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2931



WWW
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2009, 01:34:37 PM »
ReplyReply

Another very satisfied user of the BH-55 and RRS L brackets.  L brackets very sturdy and stable, camera much more stable when shooting in portrait orientation.
Logged

Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad