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Author Topic: Looking for a Sturdy Ball Head  (Read 3949 times)
leonvick
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« on: December 20, 2005, 06:06:10 PM »
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I'm looking for a sturdier ball head to use with my Mafrotto 441 CF tripod and a Canon 1Ds. By sturdier I mean a head that allows the least amount of vibration to the camera when the setup is less than perfectly stable, such as in the wind. Sometimes the taller heads (Acratech, Manfrotto Proball) seem to oscillate when perturbed. The Novaflex looks appealing because it has a very low CG compared to most of the popular heads. Does anyone here have a Novaflex head or any experience with one? I'd appreciate your advice.
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Leon
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2005, 06:34:30 PM »
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I still have a Novoflex Magic Ball with the Pano plate and use it to mount my offset pano head (Jasper Engineering).  I could never get the friction adjustment to work to my satisfaction, and couldn't get a semi-permanent connection between the head and a QR plate - it kept coming loose - getting lost for about half an hour one time.  I use a 1DMKII and much prefer the Markins M10, which I got after trying the Acratech for about a year.  If I was in the market now, I'd seriously consider the RRS BH45 (or the Markins).
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djgarcia
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2005, 09:12:31 PM »
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I had the same situation with the smaller Magic Ball and just recently ended up getting the Acratech - I also considered the Markins but for whatever reason went with the Acratech and really love it. That thing is rock steady and easy to lock in any position with my 1Ds II and a Zeiss 180/2.8, my biggest lens. There's no shift whatsoever in the worst angles with a smooth tightening. I can't imagine how the Markins could be much better   .

Tim, out of curiosity, what didn't you like about the Acratech? Did I make a mistake here? It was a toss up from the reviews and comments, and I frankly can't remember exactly what it was that made me choose the Acratech.
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Peter Jon White
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2005, 09:31:31 PM »
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The RRS BH-40 is very "squat". I don't think there's a solid ball head that places the camera as low as the BH-40 does. It's very short. And extremely well made.
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2005, 08:17:44 AM »
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Quote
I had the same situation with the smaller Magic Ball and just recently ended up getting the Acratech - I also considered the Markins but for whatever reason went with the Acratech and really love it. That thing is rock steady and easy to lock in any position with my 1Ds II and a Zeiss 180/2.8, my biggest lens. There's no shift whatsoever in the worst angles with a smooth tightening. I can't imagine how the Markins could be much better   .

Tim, out of curiosity, what didn't you like about the Acratech? Did I make a mistake here? It was a toss up from the reviews and comments, and I frankly can't remember exactly what it was that made me choose the Acratech.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=54023\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

didn't like the acratech - no friction control, some noticeable creep (significantly more than the markins) and some awkardness in the range of tilt.  The Markins or BH45 is only a few grams heavier than the acratech.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2005, 11:35:22 AM »
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I'm extremely happy with the new Manfrotto 468MG with an RRS lever QR, very solid and strong, just a bit over a pound and a great combo.
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Slough
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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2005, 12:57:06 PM »
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Quote
I'm looking for a sturdier ball head to use with my Mafrotto 441 CF tripod and a Canon 1Ds. By sturdier I mean a head that allows the least amount of vibration to the camera when the setup is less than perfectly stable, such as in the wind. Sometimes the taller heads (Acratech, Manfrotto Proball) seem to oscillate when perturbed. The Novaflex looks appealing because it has a very low CG compared to most of the popular heads. Does anyone here have a Novaflex head or any experience with one? I'd appreciate your advice.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You could always look at FLM ball heads:

[a href=\"http://www.poelking.com/wbuch2/FLM-Kugelkopf/eeFLM.htm]http://www.poelking.com/wbuch2/FLM-Kugelkopf/eeFLM.htm[/url]

I think the above one is the second largest in the range. In the UK you can get them from Speed Graphic. I'm tempted but I need to know more.

Leif
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leonvick
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« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2005, 05:00:53 PM »
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Thank all of you who responded. What a shame that the Novoflex does not live up to it's potential. The RSS and Markins look pretty good.

But, as long as I'm exploring options for heads, how about a pan/tilt, like the $249.95 (at B&H) Gitzo G-2272M Rationnelle Mk2 Magnesium 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head with Quick Release - Supports 12.2 lb (6 kg)? At 1.5 lbs, the weight is manageable and I feel sure it isn't sloppily made. Or, if not a Gitzo, what other pan/tilt head?
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Leon
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Julian Love
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2005, 10:39:24 AM »
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Here is another vote for the Markins M10. It is relatively light (500g), and holds a 1Ds with 70-200 f/4 rock steady, absolutely no creep when locking it down, in wind etc. Best bit of kit I have bought for years.

I considered the Acrateck and BH-3, but read too many complaints about them creeping when locked down, and the Acratech being hard on the fingers. The M-10 replaces a Linhoff Profi II (kept on uncrewing from the legs, creeped and hurt my fingers!), a Benbo Pro and a Manfrotto (don't remember which one, not one of the new liquid ones, they look pretty good).
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djgarcia
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2005, 05:08:32 PM »
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I believe this is a newer version of the Acratech, as they added the rubber-covered knob option which is excellent in giving great grip with minimal effort, and I haven't experienced any creeping. But I have a feeling any of these will work fine. It's good to have good options.
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