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Author Topic: tripod head bh-55 question  (Read 2209 times)
rolei
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« on: July 01, 2013, 07:07:08 AM »
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I would like to get the reallyrightstuff tripod head bh-55


but as its not sold in the region where i am could you suggest which will be better/you will recommend:



-bh-55  - Full-Size Ballhead with Lever-Release Clamp
-bh-55 Full-Size Ballhead with PCL-1 Panning Clamp
-bh-55 Full-Size Ballhead with B2-Pro II screw-knob clamp



As i cant test it myself which will you suggest and which is best,stable reliable.


Thank you
 
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Rand47
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« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 07:17:23 AM »
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If you need a panning clamp - then a panning clamp it is.  

Other than that, when I went to RRS to buy my BH-55 I fully intended to purchase the manual screw lock clamp. I didn't like the idea of "trusting" a lever clamp.  After discussing w/ RRS staff and trying both, I was convinced the lever clamp was superior.  It is fast and very secure.  

The only caveat is to make certain any existing Arca-type camera & lens plates you may own are compatible w/ the RRS lever clamp.  They can tell you.  To be frank, I like the lever well enough that had I owned any non-compatible camera/lens plates I'd have bought RRS replacements.

Rand
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 07:25:09 AM by Rand47 » Logged
francois
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« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2013, 07:22:45 AM »
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Went with the lever clamp version, many years ago and would still choose it. If I had to use a screw knob clamp, then I would choose the panning clamp. It as the same traditional screw knob. Note that the panning clamp adds quite a bit of weight.
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Francois
rolei
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« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2013, 07:37:51 AM »
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Hi

Thank you for the reply, i dont need a Panning Clamp, but as you have mention as well the lever clamp looks "unreliable", someting that can break or stop working...
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2013, 07:41:03 AM »
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I've used the lever clamp for about 4 years and it has never loosened or lost its bite.
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francois
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« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2013, 08:08:08 AM »
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Hi

Thank you for the reply, i dont need a Panning Clamp, but as you have mention as well the lever clamp looks "unreliable", someting that can break or stop working...

No, it is not. I dropped my tripod and bent the lever (it was left in the open position) but it's very well made, with soft steel and I could easily bent it back without any tool. It was in 2008 and I'm still using it without any issue.
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Francois
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2013, 08:08:30 AM »
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As already mentioned, lever clamps can be potentially incompatible with other plates.

You might want to have a look at my cross reference page: http://www.afximages.com/stuff/arca-plates-xref.html

cheers
afx
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k bennett
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« Reply #7 on: July 01, 2013, 08:29:55 AM »
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I have the BH55 with the lever clamp, and it has been rock solid for five years with everything from a mirrorless camera to a 300/2.8 lens on a 1D series.

I'm perfectly comfortable carrying the tripod/head/camera slung over my shoulder -- well, except with the 300.... Smiley

One advantage for me over the screw clamp is that I can see when it's open or locked just by looking at the lever.
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Rand47
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2013, 08:38:29 AM »
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Hi

Thank you for the reply, i dont need a Panning Clamp, but as you have mention as well the lever clamp looks "unreliable", someting that can break or stop working...

That was my point.  Such devices "seem" less reliable.  What I and the others are actually saying is that the RRS lever clamp is, in fact, VERY strong, VERY reliable, and very user friendly.

Rand

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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2013, 09:07:31 AM »
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I'm in the screw clamp camp.  Nothing can go wrong with a screw clamp.  The screw shaft does stick out a bit, but that makes it easier to use with gloves. The lever can have adjustment issues as reported here.

I also have the PCL-1, which I find very useful in ways other than just making panos.  Fine tuning framing is one.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2013, 09:42:43 AM »
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I had a screw clamp for years, but when I got my BH 55 I opted for the lever clamp, and I would never go back. What I like is the speed of opening or closing, the utter reliability of it under all conditions that I've met, and the instant visual clue as to whether it is locked or not.

With the screw clamp I lost too many photo ops while the light was changing fast.

Eric M.

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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2013, 09:59:56 AM »
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If you do not have L brackets on each of your cameras, the PCL-1 is very useful when shooting verticals. Level the horizon by tilting the camera over and then use the panning clamp to set your desired pitch (fore/aft) angle. Even if you do have L plates on all of your cameras and level horizons are important to you I also find  the panning clamp useful for making compositional/framing horizontal adjustments.

While in general I much prefer screw driven clamps , mostly because they allow me to use plates, rails and bars that are not made by RRS (RRS uses a millimeter wider "dovetail" foot than the Arca-Swiss standard that virtually everyone else uses) as well as knowing that once it is tight it has to be worked at to loosen,  keep in mind that RRS just announced the PC-LR:http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=PC-LR&type=0&eq=&utm_source=June+19%2C+2013+Newsletter&utm_campaign=May+23%2C+2013+Newsletter&utm_medium=email

which is supposed to be stronger...I had enough ongoing problems with the PCL-1 used as a pitch angle clamp that I upgraded the upright portion of my panoramic set up to the PG-02VA. RRS acknowledges that the PCL-1 does not do well as a pitch angle clamp.

...and work with virtually all Arca-Swiss compatible dovetail rail plates except Novoflex and Arca's significantly smaller, skinnier  and lighter SlideFix system.



« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 04:58:07 PM by Ellis Vener » Logged

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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2013, 10:14:19 AM »
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Here's another vote for the lever clamp, if your plates are compatible. I have noticed that with some telephotos where the plate is on the lens, with some bodies, the lever can't swing through its arc without hitting the body. The solution is to flip the clamp around so that the lever is on the other side.

Jim
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Scott O.
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 10:46:30 AM »
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I add my positive thoughts about the BH-55 with the lever clamp. I have the clamps on several different pieces of equipment and have used them for years without any issue. As you have discovered, RRS products are not available anywhere except their offices in San Luis Obispo, CA or mail order/on-line. Just a small inconvenience, but their products are all expensive and worth every penny!
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francois
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« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2013, 05:37:19 AM »
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As you have discovered, RRS products are not available anywhere except their offices in San Luis Obispo, CA or mail order/on-line. Just a small inconvenience, but their products are all expensive and worth every penny!

True but it's still a major step forward from the original owner. He didn't accept credit cards and you couldn't order via an online shop.
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Francois
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« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2013, 06:46:55 AM »
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Ive been using a RRS Lever-Release Clamp for nearly 4 1/2 years. Though my tripod has seen some pretty nasty falls, the clamp has never failed to function perfectly. I also own a PCL-1 Panning Clamp (which I use primarily when intending to stitch several photos together) and have found no real advantage to a screw-knob type clamp. Quite to the contrary, the Lever-Release is much faster as well as being considerably easier to use with gloves. Of course, it does require a RRS (...or Wimberley) plate. Like many, before purchase I had reservations concerning its long-term dependability. Gratefully, they proved to be unfounded.

Best Regards,

Larry
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Conner999
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« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2013, 07:31:23 AM »
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Have the BH55 now with lever clamps - and other vote for the latter same. Secure, fast access and you KNOW at a glance that it's locked.

Have had screw-clamps from RRS and others and you're always checking them - just a 'quick twist' to 'make sure'. Also, some screw clamps from some manufacturers are fine-pitch thread, some not so much. The latter can be a concern as it takes VERY little rotation of the knob to get the clamp loose enough to allow plate release.  Lastly, levers are low profile. Depending usage, some knobs can get in the way in some mounting situations. 
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rolei
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« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2013, 01:28:09 PM »
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Hi

Thank for all the answers!

And which plate would you recommend: the L-plate or standard?
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2013, 02:39:36 PM »
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Hi

Thank for all the answers!

And which plate would you recommend: the L-plate or standard?
L-plate, definitely, unless you always should horizontally and never vertically. The switch with an L-plate is very quick and secure.

Eric M.
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Jim Kasson
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« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2013, 02:59:59 PM »
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And which plate would you recommend: the L-plate or standard?

I use both, depending on the situation. For a few cameras, RRS makes modular L-plates, so you can detach the side plate if you want to. I think that's the best of all possible worlds, if your camera is among the few they support that way.

Jim
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