Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Cameras, Lenses and Shooting gear => Topic started by: Herbc on January 21, 2015, 01:53:05 PM

Title: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 21, 2015, 01:53:05 PM
 The title of the subject line tells all:  I had an Arca Swiss C-1 head, loved the movements, hated the weight.
Vast overkill for my Sony A7x cameras.  I was looking at Bogen and small heads, but have not had good experience with
that brand.  Ideas much appreciated
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 21, 2015, 02:18:44 PM
found and old Lula thread that says Bogen is the way to go, although a quick check is that they weight twice what the Arca does.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: graeme on January 21, 2015, 02:29:49 PM
Manfrotto 410?

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/124665-REG/Manfrotto_410_410_Junior_Geared_Head.html
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Hulyss on January 21, 2015, 03:12:51 PM
I'm just disappointed by Manfrotto at all levels. Maybe Italian alloys for tripods are the same as Italian cars ... Anyway, I've got a tripod, quite expensive, and the leg fixations fully cracked because of cold, magnesium I think.

There is a brand who never disappointed me over the years : Vanguard

Have a look at the Vanguard Alta Pro 253CT, a carbon one, very solid and practical. Can carry 7kg and weight only 1,6kg. Points are in the foot, just need to screw the rubber balls.

(http://i.imgur.com/kXo61Ys.jpg)

For the head, have a look at the Vanguard SBH-300, sliding tray included. Perfect tool for "3 shots pano", very solid, very well made.

(http://www.digixo.com/products/195/271732-big.jpg)

All of this will cost you under 400$, the head alone is around 70$.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: ternst on January 21, 2015, 03:26:41 PM
A small GEARED head would be great - the 410 is kind of large and heavy. I've never seen or heard of any small one, so hoping someone has an idea to help answer the OP, and me too...
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: NancyP on January 21, 2015, 04:11:51 PM
Arca-Swiss D4 series is small and weighs a mere 800 grams, versus AS Cube at 925 grams and Manfrotto 410 at 1,200 grams, and Linhof leveling head at 1,010 grams. Three-axis non-geared 3-axis heads can be a lot lighter, the Manfrotto 056 is a good example at 440 grams, and it is small. I haven't used it, but it ought to be able to hold any mirrorless camera with average size lens (no long telephotos). I like the 410, and used the Hejnarphoto.com replacement platform and Arca-style clamp to convert it to my desired Arca-style QR.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553889-REG/Manfrotto_056_056_3_D_Junior_Head.html
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: graeme on January 22, 2015, 09:47:37 AM
Arca-Swiss D4 series is small and weighs a mere 800 grams, versus AS Cube at 925 grams and Manfrotto 410 at 1,200 grams, and Linhof leveling head at 1,010 grams. Three-axis non-geared 3-axis heads can be a lot lighter, the Manfrotto 056 is a good example at 440 grams, and it is small. I haven't used it, but it ought to be able to hold any mirrorless camera with average size lens (no long telephotos). I like the 410, and used the Hejnarphoto.com replacement platform and Arca-style clamp to convert it to my desired Arca-style QR.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/553889-REG/Manfrotto_056_056_3_D_Junior_Head.html

I have a manfrotto head very similar to the 056 you linked to ( it has levers rather than knobs but otherwise looks identical ). It is lighter than the 410 but it's definitely not as steady and it's not as good for very precise adjustments.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 22, 2015, 11:22:38 AM
many thanks to all- looks like a d4 is the best option.  One of the things about Manfrotto is their god forsaken clamps, which are NOT reliable in all conditions.  I don't trust the AS quick release either.


I have an  AS ballhead, but the geared feature of the d4 may do the trick. $1100 out the window!


Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: NancyP on January 22, 2015, 11:47:03 AM
The Arca-Swiss brand 2 level lever quick release is a bit of a PITA to get used to, but as long as it is adjusted to the appropriate width range, it is a very firm clamp with a reliable two step release. The first step of the release loosens it enough to squeeze the plate forward or back, but you shouldn't be able to slide plate without applying significant pressure. That's good, because the 2-level system invalidates the fail-safe stop screws on the plate/L bracket itself.

I hate Manfrotto QR clamps too, just not solid enough. That's the main reason I replaced the native clamp on the 410 with an aftermarket A-S clamp kit (Hejnarphoto.com , an Illinois machinist).
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: marc aurel on January 22, 2015, 01:11:28 PM
The Arca Swiss D4 is a great compact and relatively lightweight head. But I do not recommend the version with the quick release (called "flip-lock"). It is NOT reliable under all circumstances. It worked for 3 years for me, but then my camera+lens crashed to the floor. The lever didn't lock correctly which I didn't notice. It is hard to detect. I admit that I stressed the system a bit - I walked around with camera and lens on the tripod. But under pressure on a paid job I do things like that. And I prefer a system that is safe even under such conditions. So I recommend the classic version with a screw
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 22, 2015, 04:26:48 PM
The title of the subject line tells all:  I had an Arca Swiss C-1 head, loved the movements, hated the weight.
Vast overkill for my Sony A7x cameras.  I was looking at Bogen and small heads, but have not had good experience with
that brand.  Ideas much appreciated

All in all, I think you will have a hard time finding a geared head with the benefits the C1 has for much less weight.  Hell, my old B1 is 1.75LB and the C1 is only a shade over 2.0 lb!  Especially if you need the 2 other axis to remain constant as you manipulate the 3rd.

I was going to recommend the INDURO PHQ SERIES 5-WAY PANHEADS (http://www.indurogear.com/products/phq-series-5-way-panheads/) which not strictly geared, but provide great movements, but the PHQ-1 (smaller than PHQ-3) comes in at 1.9lb. 

(http://old.indurogear.com/images/videos/Induro_5-way_Head_Demonstration.jpg)

(http://shop.fotopartner.de/WebRoot/Fotopartner/Shops/Fotopartner/4F28/051E/B0F0/442C/270F/4DEB/AE17/1CE7/I_PHQ1_06.jpg)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: leuallen on January 22, 2015, 05:26:54 PM
I have the Manfrotto 210, the D4, and the small Induro. If the weight is acceptable I would go with the Manfrotto converted to an Arca clamp. On advantage it has is that all three axis are geared, the D4 only two. The gearing on the panning rotation is useful for me for panoramics: I determine how many turns it takes to get a 1/3 overlap with the lens in use and use that to quickly pan across the scene. Currently I am using the D4, it is very nice and it should be for the cost. I am just to lazy to take it off and replace with the Manfrotto. Note that weight is not my biggest concern as I work close to the car and don't hike.

The Induro I don't like too much. I don't know how to describe it, but it is not smooth when locking down an adjustment, although it has gotten better with use. When you want to make a slight adjustment and the head is already locked down, it takes so much force to unlock so that the camera position is changed. When locked down the friction holding the lock is sticky and does not release smoothly. The folding handles seem like a good idea but I found them a pain and tightened them so much that they are now like normal handles. The vertical angle in the upward direction is somewhat limited. Sometimes I had to reverse the head (center column in horizontal position) so that down became up to get the shot I wanted.

The most useful accessory for the tripod is the leveling head. I use an Acratech. It is the best I've found. The lightest with the biggest bubble level and smoothest lock down. I've have all the Manfrotto versions to compare it with.

Larry
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: J-KNIGHT on January 23, 2015, 09:53:00 AM
Try the Sunway GH-Pro geared head.  It is not an Arca D4 but works well and is about one third the price.  I purchased it from an Ebay seller in Isreal.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 23, 2015, 10:15:54 AM
The most useful accessory for the tripod is the leveling head. I use an Acratech. It is the best I've found. The lightest with the biggest bubble level and smoothest lock down. I've have all the Manfrotto versions to compare it with.

Larry

Interesting...  I've actually started leaving the leveling base at home.  Since I upgraded from the D300 to the D7100 and now the D810, I usually use the virtual horizon of the camera (available on both D7100 and D810) for leveling and find it as accurate as a bubble level in a leveling base.  Times when I need to level under the camera for multi-image shots I just use a RRS panning Clamp mounted in my regular head.  My old B1 is really old and has the clamp you can't get off.  I don't due excessively critical work where absolute leveling is paramount and the D810 gives me enough pixels to play with as far as composition.

(http://imgsv.imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d800/img/features04/img_06.png)
(http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d800/img/features04/img_07.jpg)

Try the Sunway GH-Pro geared head.  It is not an Arca D4 but works well and is about one third the price.  I purchased it from an Ebay seller in Isreal.

I don't have experience with this head, but use some Sunwayfoto.  Most of my gear is RRS and Sunwayfoto stuff is about 90% the quality for 50% the price.  The GH-Pro is direct homage to the D4.  One thing to know is that the degree scales on their panning clamps run backwards to convention.  Normally we pan from left to right so the scale goes up as you move in that direction.  On Sunwayfoto stuff the scale up when panning right to left...the way they read!

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-keulDFBGZ7E/UYT8OVsykwI/AAAAAAAALAM/ojDWth5F6as/s400/GH-Pro-02.jpg)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: leuallen on January 23, 2015, 05:25:33 PM
Quote
I usually use the virtual horizon of the camera

Not the same thing as having the base level. If the camera is level but not the base, then any panning will give vertical displacement as well as horizontal. I want each control to operate on only one axis, not two. This comes into play for more than panos.

It takes only seconds to level the base so I do it.

Larry
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 23, 2015, 05:59:05 PM
Not the same thing as having the base level. If the camera is level but not the base, then any panning will give vertical displacement as well as horizontal. I want each control to operate on only one axis, not two. This comes into play for more than panos.

It takes only seconds to level the base so I do it.

Larry

And as I said originally, later in the post, when I need the base level under the camera, I use a panning clamp.   And you can still use the Virtual Horizon with the panning clamp because the clamp needs to be level for the camera to be level (assuming the camera, plate and clamp are made properly). Using a leveling base is essentially pointless with a ballhead. I very rarely use the panning base on my Arca Swiss tripod head.

And there is a big benefit to my method.  Assuming you have a geared or other head in which there is a neutral position and you level a base under the head, you have to assume that the camera is level.  With leveling a panning clamp with the camera you know that the camera is level (assuming the virtual level is accurate) and can verify with the level of the clamp.

(http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7346/12315631364_4c464bda25_z.jpg)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: CptZar on January 24, 2015, 03:41:09 AM
Have a look at FLM heads.

http://www.flm-gmbh.de/en/products/tripod-heads/professional-tripod-heads/cb-48ftr/

They have two interesting features:

First you can fix the head so it may be tilted in one direction only. Second you can predial the required friction by number.

http://www.flm-gmbh.de/files/9613/7113/3917/adjustment_knob_of_the_Centerball.pdf

After being unhappy with an RRS BH-40 I was thinking about the Arca D4 too. However the FLM made the race. I use it with a RRS PC-Pro Panning clamp.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 25, 2015, 01:23:00 PM
Hi: I have had no luck finding a sunway GH pro geareded head. Would you mind sending me the link to your Israeli seller?

thanks

Herb
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: bill t. on January 25, 2015, 06:30:14 PM
I'd go for the smallest viscious damped pan and tilt head + bowl mount tripod that would do the job.

I use this Benro (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=1026241&Q=&is=REG&A=details) setup with my 300mm lens + D810, and will never go back to ball heads.  This one has the S8 head, they go down in size to S2.

If you haven't used a leveling bowl, be assured it gives you a lighting fast level with no creep or shift as you tighten it.  You can buy long versions of the camera mount plate that make balancing long lenses easy.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: skimasks on January 25, 2015, 06:46:12 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebesLPubsEM (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebesLPubsEM)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 25, 2015, 09:01:07 PM
I like the look of the Legio Artherium (?), although they don't have a track record.  The Sunway looks like a real AS knockoff.

many thanks for all the replies.  you gotta love this forum.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on January 26, 2015, 12:48:00 AM
I'm interested in the Sunwayfoto GH Pro geared head as well.  It is closely related to the Arca Swiss D4, but what makes it stand out is that it is lighter than the D4.  Lighter weight is the kicker for me---better choice for hiking/travel.  670 grams with a 26 lb load capacity.  That's a lot lighter than my AS Cube. 

Bad news is Sunwayfoto dealer/distributors are completely oblivious to the existence of the GH Pro. Not helpful at all.  That's the frustrating part.

I've had contact with the dealer in Israel who says they will contact me when they get one in stock.  So I wait.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: BartvanderWolf on January 26, 2015, 04:46:58 AM
I'm interested in the Sunwayfoto GH Pro geared head as well.  It is closely related to the Arca Swiss D4, but what makes it stand out is that it is lighter than the D4.  Lighter weight is the kicker for me---better choice for hiking/travel.  670 grams with a 26 lb load capacity.  That's a lot lighter than my AS Cube. 

Bad news is Sunwayfoto dealer/distributors are completely oblivious to the existence of the GH Pro. Not helpful at all.  That's the frustrating part.

Hi Ken,

It's not surprising though, since it isn't even mentioned on the Sunwayfoto.com (http://www.sunwayfoto.com/e_service.aspx) website ...

Maybe it's no longer being made?

Cheers,
Bart
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: heinrichvoelkel on January 26, 2015, 05:50:56 AM
 


I've had contact with the dealer in Israel who says they will contact me when they get one in stock.  So I wait.

ken

Hello Ken, which dealer in Israel did you contact?
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: RomanN. on January 26, 2015, 04:16:13 PM
this KPS T5  head seems to be a very interesting item, but not cheap.
I used till now Monfrotto 410 and it is a very good head and very cheap. When you get a good copy you can not make anything wrong with it.
I ordered now Arca D4 and should come this week. I get D4 because I need a very small set up for traveling, walking or on bike.
Manfrotto is a little bit heavy and bulky for this. When you mostly transport your equpment by car this would be no big problem.
I think Arca D4 is a product without a really competition. I light head for all camerasystems from mirrorless to heavy 8x10 inch.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 26, 2015, 04:51:48 PM
Bad news is Sunwayfoto dealer/distributors are completely oblivious to the existence of the GH Pro. Not helpful at all.  That's the frustrating part.

I've had contact with the dealer in Israel who says they will contact me when they get one in stock.  So I wait.

ken

I've bought Sunwayfoto stuff from OEC Camera (Ebay store) and been very satisfied with price and service.  They are supposedly based in the U.S.  You might contact them.

From the Sunwayfoto.com (http://www.sunwayfoto.com/e_index.aspx) web site.  It's possible Arca Swiss pressured them into not releasing it.  I know they were pissed when the copy of the Photoclam Multiflex C1 Cube appeared on the market.
(http://www.sunwayfoto.com/net/upload/2013-04-27/cf54cced-1cf9-4fca-83e0-035f5c58b40e.jpg)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 26, 2015, 05:46:42 PM
Looks like Sunway has offered it in the past, but their online catalog does not show it.

go figure.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: CptZar on January 27, 2015, 01:24:33 AM
I've bought Sunwayfoto stuff from OEC Camera (Ebay store) and been very satisfied with price and service.  They are supposedly based in the U.S.  You might contact them.

From the Sunwayfoto.com (http://www.sunwayfoto.com/e_index.aspx) web site.  It's possible Arca Swiss pressured them into not releasing it.  I know they were pissed when the copy of the Photoclam Multiflex C1 Cube appeared on the market.
(http://www.sunwayfoto.com/net/upload/2013-04-27/cf54cced-1cf9-4fca-83e0-035f5c58b40e.jpg)

I would be pissed too, if it took me a fortune to invent something and then a Shenzhen based Company would just copy my product 1:1.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 27, 2015, 09:30:35 AM
It's not surprising though, since it isn't even mentioned on the Sunwayfoto.com (http://www.sunwayfoto.com/e_service.aspx) website ...

Maybe it's no longer being made?
The GH Pro does exist and can be purchased. Just for fun, I contacted Sunwayfoto sales (america@sunwayfoto.com) and received an email reply back in less than 24 hours.  I asked "Where can one purchase the GH Pro?  Is it available in the U.S?"

Quote
Hi David,
 
Our US dealer has not yet imported, but you may check with them first.
 
OEC Camera at
oeccam1@gmail.com
 
Do you mind purchasing from other country or China directly? Thanks.
 
Best Regards,
Sunwayfoto
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on January 27, 2015, 10:13:37 AM
IMHO, there is a difference between what Photoclam did with the Multiflex and the Sunwayfoto GH Pro head vis a vis the AS D4.

AFAIK, the Multiflex is an almost exact replica of the AS Cube.  You'd be hard pressed to find any substantial difference other than the accent of customer service. I bought and enjoy the Cube.

I wanted to buy the D4, as I wanted a lighter geared hiking solution with a slimmer profile. If you compare the D4 and the Cube, the weight difference is really minor.  Not a solution for me, since I already have the Cube.

If you look at the specs of the Sunwayfoto GH Pro geared head, it is much lighter than the Cube.  At 670g it's lighter than the D4. It is smaller too.  This is not a 1:1 knock-off.  If (that's a big if) the GH Pro is a solid and smooth performer, I don't see another option in its weight class for a geared head.  It is enough of a weight difference to the Cube for me to consider it.

Our "US Sunwayfoto distributor" was oblivious----and was not helpful to me in their replies.

There may be a high quality American answer on the horizon but its not here yet.  ;)

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: CptZar on January 27, 2015, 12:23:09 PM
If this is not product piracy, then I don't what is. Ordering form China, LoL.



Hi David,
 
Our US dealer has not yet imported, but you may check with them first.
 
OEC Camera at
oeccam1@gmail.com
 
Do you mind purchasing from other country or China directly? Thanks.

 
Best Regards,
Sunwayfoto
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 27, 2015, 02:20:37 PM
If this not product piracy, then I don't what is. Ordering form China, LoL.

Of course, every ballhead is a knockoff of the 1st ballhead.  And, there is a difference between analyzing a product to figure out how it works and reverse engineering the exact specifications and mechanisms of a product.

If you look at the C1 Cube, you can start with a fresh peice of paper and design something that does the same thing.  It might look cosmetically different and use different materials, but fundamentally, it will have the same method of operation.  In fact, the function is specified by the physics.  What made the Cube unique was someone decided to make it, not how it actually functions.

I've been buying from RRS since the time you had to call Brian and Kathy on the phone.  I recently purchased a tripod, panning clamp and D810 L-plate from them.  I also purchased a Sunwayfoto monopod head.  My comment on Sunwayfoto stuff is it 90% of the quality at 50% of the price.  I have no problem with lower priced alternatives where you might trade quality for price.  Generally, their products are similar to others on the market, but not direct copies. Neither their D810 L-Bracket or their Discal panning clamps are copies of RRS stuff. I have not seen either the D4 or the GH Pro to say, they just copied the actual design.  I do believe they probably got the idea to make the GH Pro from seeing a D4 and probably stipped a D4 Down.  But that is pretty standard practice in any product area.

Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: CptZar on January 28, 2015, 02:27:42 AM
Sorry, but if look at the images, I see the same ballhead, not some kind of evolutionary new design. If you see it different,  fine for me.

Cheers

Jan
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: SanderKikkert on January 28, 2015, 04:43:57 AM
Knock-off or not, evolutionary design or not, frankly I don't care and totally agree with the "90% of the quality for 50
% of the price" statement. Besides that I lack the "Really Right Income"  :D

It looks like a great product to me and I'd really want one as a lighter alternative to the 45% heavier Manfrotto 410 Junior.

Yet...they seem not available for sale anywhere I look, almost similar to that very handy L bracket for the Sigma DP Merrills I only found secondhand on the dutch alternative to Craig's list.

So if anyone would know or find out where to get baby, I'm all ears  ;D

Best Regards, Sander

Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 28, 2015, 09:45:06 AM
So if anyone would know or find out where to get baby, I'm all ears  ;D

Best Regards, Sander

Um, Sander, have you tried emailing Sunwayfoto?  Even if you are outside the U.S., contact the US Division (america@sunwayfoto.com) as they have been extremely responsive.  They will try to hook you up, even if the product has to ship to your location directly from China!
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: SanderKikkert on January 28, 2015, 10:33:39 AM
Um, Sander, have you tried emailing Sunwayfoto?  Even if you are outside the U.S., contact the US Division (america@sunwayfoto.com) as they have been extremely responsive.  They will try to hook you up, even if the product has to ship to your location directly from China!

I see, hadn't done that yet, must have misread as from earlier in this topic I thought they were not able to supply, but if they are and if shipment from CN to the Netherlands can be done at reasonable cost and will not lead to big import taxes it may well be the way to go.

Thanks David, I'll give it a go tonight,

Best Regards Sander
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 28, 2015, 10:41:56 AM
Ok, I emailed them and they provided this link:http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-shipping-SUNWAYFOTO-GH-PRO-geared-head-made-for-Gitozo-Manfrotto-benno-tripod/32279007596.html
 
I then ordered the Sunway head, $399 including shipping, so we shall see what is what.  They operate thru this Aliexpress
outfit, which seems reliable.  I have done a lot of business in Asia, and if you use your credit card, you are good to go.  My card company blocked the sale and I had to tell them it was ok. 

Should get it inside of two weeks.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: SanderKikkert on January 28, 2015, 11:03:11 AM
Thanks for that link Herb! I may well order one too, still wondering if to go for the free shipping which has a whopping 15-39 days deliverytime to the Netherlands.

Then again, before I stumbled upon this tread I hadn't heard of this product anyway, good things come to those who wait they say (and the chances it'll "slip through" customs are much much higher compared to UPS or FedEx shipment.

Best Regards, Sander
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on January 28, 2015, 11:21:25 AM
I hope you're right, Herb.

Price listed is $100 less than quoted price from the Israeli dealer.  Might be differences in currency exchange...  Specs for the GH Pro are also slightly different than quoted specs elsewhere, but same photos.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 28, 2015, 02:59:52 PM
they have a no questions asked return policy, with a pretty professional web site, so we will see.  I will post when I get it.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on January 29, 2015, 04:43:24 PM
I hope you're right, Herb.

Price listed is $100 less than quoted price from the Israeli dealer.  Might be differences in currency exchange...  Specs for the GH Pro are also slightly different than quoted specs elsewhere, but same photos.

ken

If Sunwayfoto gave you this link, then I think you can have reasonbale confidence in it.  In fact, the seller is actually listed as:
Sunwayfoto & Sunwayman Authorized Shop
China (Mainland)


However, be advised that AliExpress.com (http://www.aliexpress.com/) is not a single vender.  They are kinda like an Ebay or Amazon Marketplace type setup.  Some vendors good and some not so reputable. 
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on January 29, 2015, 07:27:03 PM
Sounds like they are the famous AliBaba.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 06, 2015, 08:53:08 AM
Here is one from the Israeli Sunwayfoto dealer on ebay:  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sunwayfoto-GH-Pro-Geared-Head-Arca-Swiss-D4-compatible/141566177790?_trksid=p2047675.c100011.m1850&_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIC.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D28772%26meid%3Df307e9f0ef8746ec90e2a75a1b206ae0%26pid%3D100011%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D111591240487

Just listed. They told me they would email me when in stock, but I was impatient and ordered through the China distributor. Mine is on the way---fingers-crossed that it makes it  :) and is also a good light-weight geared head alternative.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on February 06, 2015, 11:29:30 AM
Interesting- I don't have the one I ordered from Ali yet, should be here next week- I paid $399, not what the ebayer is asking.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 06, 2015, 11:35:41 AM
Me too, Herb.  I think currency exchange may be the difference.  I'm hoping mine comes in shortly....
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: SanderKikkert on February 06, 2015, 12:03:11 PM
Ebay = USD 499 Free Shipping, AliExpress  = USD 399 Free Shipping, That's not 'currency exchange'   ;)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Torbjörn Tapani on February 06, 2015, 12:09:19 PM
Please keep us updated. Been looking for that head for a while. Hard to find any info.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on February 06, 2015, 01:23:27 PM
Please keep us updated. Been looking for that head for a while. Hard to find any info.

OEC Camera is the US Distributor for SunwayFoto and they have a large Ebay store!  That would be a direct sale.  The listing in this thread is probably a 3rd party.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ellis Vener on February 06, 2015, 10:51:20 PM
The title of the subject line tells all:  I had an Arca Swiss C-1 head, loved the movements, hated the weight.
Vast overkill for my Sony A7x cameras.  I was looking at Bogen and small heads, but have not had good experience with
that brand.  Ideas much appreciated

Having used both the Induro head mentioned here and owning the Arca-Swiss D4m, (this is the non geared version of the D4) my recommendation is the D4 or the D4M: much smoother action. Small cameras will benefit from the extra smoothness even more that larger D-SLRS do
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 07, 2015, 10:06:33 AM
OEC Camera is the US Distributor for SunwayFoto and they have a large Ebay store!  That would be a direct sale.  The listing in this thread is probably a 3rd party.

Maybe it was just my singular experience (I hope so) but the US distributor for Sunwayfoto was a total waste of my time, was not helpful, with responses that made it clear that they were not interested in spending time to help me. I won't be shopping there at all for anything.
The link I provided above is to the Israeli distributor of Sunwayfoto products.  They were very responsive to my questions. Israelis +1.  US -1.  Chinese Distributor? Seems responsive and had the GH Pro in stock ready to ship. +1  :)

ken

p.s.  By "currency exchange" I mean the value of the US dollar in relation to currency of the vendor. It could be simply free market competition. But it doesn't matter when the bottom line is it's still less expensive.  ;)
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ellis Vener on February 07, 2015, 02:50:42 PM
Out of curiosity, why do you want a geared head?
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 07, 2015, 04:41:28 PM
Out of curiosity, why do you want a geared head?

I can't speak for others, but a geared head gives me both precision and ease to make adjustments quickly on the Phase DF and Cambo WRS.  Can you use any ball head or leveling base to do the exact same thing?  Of course. It's a matter of preference. But for my purposes and from my own personal experience, trying to level a camera in the freezing cold using a mere mortal ball head is difficult for me to do when I am shivering, and trying my best to make adjustments with a steady hand.  The Arca Swiss Cube is stupid expensive yes, but one of the best investments that I have made for my bevy of tripods.  Leveling and making adjustments is child's play even in the coldest of climes.  I've seen the AS D4 and had high hopes but it isn't much smaller in stature or weight than the Cube. I was disappointed.  I'm looking for a smaller lighter geared solution for a lighter tripod combination and the Sunwayfoto GH Pro seems to be the only game in town.  Fingers-crossed. And yes, I'm holding onto the AS Cube too.   :)

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: hiepphotog on February 07, 2015, 11:29:02 PM
I am eagerly waiting for reviews from you guys. I found out about this head today on the Israel store (they do have really cheap offer on the Otii). Anyway, glad that I came across this post. I have the Multiflex myself and it has been a joy for leveling my landscape set-up. It is actually indispensable for a multi-row panoramic head because you definitely want both axes to be leveled. However, from time to time, I missed that quick adjustment of a ball head or going wild with framing on a tripod :D. I was thinking of getting the D4 for the duo-geared-ball action. Found this Sunwayfoto and hope it would be a smooth and durable head. I built my multi-row panoramic head from Sunwayfoto parts and quite happy with the quality.

It's interesting to point out that the KPS geared ballhead came about a year before the Arca D4, I wonder if it actually has a smoother ball rotation action. The D4 is not that smooth.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: ErikKaffehr on February 08, 2015, 04:37:17 AM
Hi,

Here are a few of my reasons:


I have the Arca Swiss D4 and I love it. One thing I miss is gears on horisontal movement.

The way I feel, gears on the head was one of those factors making life really easier. But your mileage may vary.

Best regards
Erik


I can't speak for others, but a geared head gives me both precision and ease to make adjustments quickly on the Phase DF and Cambo WRS.  Can you use any ball head or leveling base to do the exact same thing?  Of course. It's a matter of preference. But for my purposes and from my own personal experience, trying to level a camera in the freezing cold using a mere mortal ball head is difficult for me to do when I am shivering, and trying my best to make adjustments with a steady hand.  The Arca Swiss Cube is stupid expensive yes, but one of the best investments that I have made for my bevy of tripods.  Leveling and making adjustments is child's play even in the coldest of climes.  I've seen the AS D4 and had high hopes but it isn't much smaller in stature or weight than the Cube. I was disappointed.  I'm looking for a smaller lighter geared solution for a lighter tripod combination and the Sunwayfoto GH Pro seems to be the only game in town.  Fingers-crossed. And yes, I'm holding onto the AS Cube too.   :)

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: dwswager on February 08, 2015, 11:43:39 AM
Out of curiosity, why do you want a geared head?

Geared heads are about precision, control and deliberateness.  They are especially nice at high magnifications.

Ball heads are about speed and simplicity.  They work best for situations where precision isn't as critical.

I have to say since I switched to a panning clamp and my cameras incorporated the virtual horizon capability in the viewfinder and live view, I miss geared heads and leveling bases much less.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: hiepphotog on February 08, 2015, 03:02:52 PM
Just a quick heads up, John at OECcamera (US Sunwayfoto distributor) told me that they are waiting for the finalization of the the improved version before importing the GH-Pro.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 08, 2015, 03:12:42 PM
Any mention of what "improvements" were to be made to the GH Pro?

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: hiepphotog on February 08, 2015, 04:05:05 PM
Any mention of what "improvements" were to be made to the GH Pro?

ken

Straight from the horse's mouth:
"Here were the problems with the  latest sample we received. We work very hard to improve the Sunway products and often return an entire batch when there are issues.
When we receive a properly functioning sample from them we will begin selling it. This has been a 2 year (and counting) process.

1. The inability to tilt the head laterally with the top lock knob loose. Two screws have to be loosened slightly so the top platform can tilt by hand. However, after loosening them a drop of blue Loctite needs to be applied on each one, in order to avoid more loosening later on.
2. After the head is mounted on a tripod and loaded with somehow heavy gear, the head top part wobbles slightly up-down no matter how much you tighten the knobs.

Regards, John."

I'm impressed with his quick response. I did ask about the possible asking price but he didn't give me an answer. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 12, 2015, 07:27:43 PM
My Sunwayfoto GH Pro arrived today from my cousins in China.  ;)

It was well-packaged and received in excellent condition. No Coach leather purse/case, but cardboard box with foam will do just fine.  No instructions included but it did have a hex wrench included and a torx wrench---which I can't see where that is needed. And a nice small microfiber cloth.  The head is smaller in profile than the AS Cube and lighter as well.  It is perfect on the RRS TVC-24 tripod legs, whereas the AS Cube was just ever so slightly too heavy for those legs. The AS Cube is perfect on the RRS TVC-33 tripod legs.  Big plus on profile and relatively light weight of the GH Pro.  Knurled knobs are good and easy to adjust but not with the same silky smoothness of the AS Cube. Don Libby and I will be scouting out Lake Tahoe next week, so I'll have the GH Pro on hand to test in the field.

My initial impressions are favorable though not to the extent of being totally impressed. From the short time that I've tinkered with the GH Pro, my impression is that it is a "good" head but not in the same class as the AS Cube which costs about four times as much. Is the US$399 investment for the GH Pro worth it?  Yes, I think so. It's a good tripod head, though probably not quite at the level of much more expensive heads---and that should be expected. Someone mentioned Sunwayfoto as being 90% up to RRS. I don't know about that. How about 85%  ;)  I think it just goes to how show how good the products from AS and RRS are though, rather than how deficient products are from other manufacturers.

I don't think there is a similar product at this size, profile, or weight.  I would love to see what the folks over at RRS could do if they offered a similarly featured geared tripod head.  Until then, I'm happy with the rather nominal investment in the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro.  To be honest, I probably really really don't need this tripod head. I may consider selling the GH Pro later and simply staying with the Cube.

 :) ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 13, 2015, 01:17:13 PM
Ken,

I am very interested to hear your thoughts. How do the two issues that the USA importers reported actually impact the head you got, ie does the head 'lift' with a reasonable DSLR setup, and can you tilt the head laterally with the top lock knob loose?

I like the idea of a D4, but really don't like the weight (or price) as it is only for DSLR use with the T/S lenses.

Many thanks for your thoughts.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: axelbadde on February 13, 2015, 03:32:08 PM
I bought the GH pro in december 2014 from an onlie retailer in sweden: http://www.benrosverige.se/sv/kulleder/sunwayfoto-gh-pro-gear-head.html (http://www.benrosverige.se/sv/kulleder/sunwayfoto-gh-pro-gear-head.html)

I must say i am very happy with it, compact, light, precise and cheap. Would recommend it to anyone who is struggling with the manfrottos, dont knw how it compares with the arcas though.
I use it with an a7r, L bracket and tilt-shift lenses.

/Axel
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 13, 2015, 04:23:54 PM
Hey there Axel,

Thanks for that user feedback. Do you have any comments on the two issues raised by the USA importers? I'd like to give the GH Pro a try but wouldn't want the hassel of 'known' problems.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 15, 2015, 10:13:34 AM
I find it ironic that the US distributor----or at least comments within this thread that are attributed to them, not only acknowledge the existence of the GH-Pro, but also comment on shortcomings to this tripod head?  The US distributor flat out told me this head was NOT in production and NOT available. I made the effort to point out the it appeared the head was indeed in production and available by overseas distributors. The replies I received were "stonewalled" and not helpful to say the least. A complete waste of my time.  Sunwayfoto themselves and the Israeli distributor were very responsive to my questions and pointing me in the right direction.

That being said, I did receive the GH-Pro geared head (the one claimed not in production)  ::)

There is absolutely no problem with lateral movement, or any movements on the head itself.  As to "head lift" or movement on the head itself with camera attached, there may be very slight movement, if you're trying to induce movement. This was on a heavier camera setup and probably not the rig I would be using or choose for this tripod head. Will it work and be "ok" with a heavier camera? Probably yes, as long as you're not in the habit of grabbing the camera and shaking it while you shoot.  ;)  On a smaller camera system, this really isn't an issue.  MIrrorless cameras?  Sony A7r?  No problem whatsoever.  The point to realize here is that the capacity of this geared head is limited---it's not meant to compete against the likes of the Cube or a BH-55. (I also would not be using these on a mirrorless camera either!)  The trade-off is size and weight---much as stability in heavier legs are traded for a smaller set of tripod legs for hiking.

I do like the much larger knurled adjustment knobs on the GH-Pro compared to the relatively small knobs on the Cube.  If you're looking for a lighter weight and inexpensive geared head, and recognize its capacity limitations, this is it, if not for any reason than it's the only game in town. But if you're expecting an AS Cube killer, you will indeed be sorely disappointed.  I will probably also acquire the bigger and heavier KPS T5 geared ball head to compare. It is much more expensive and heavier, but its stated capacity places it more in the realm of the larger AS Cube. I haven't made a decision yet on if the GH-Pro suits my personal needs yet.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 16, 2015, 09:24:50 PM
Thank you very much Ken!

That is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping to garner on the head bearing in mind it isn't something I can check out at the local store.

My use will be 1DS MkIII and 17TS-E, not a huge load and certainly no field camera, but a bit more than the Sony's. The Cube and D4 are just overkill for the job and I really don't want the weight more than anything.

As a last question, how long did it take to get to you, I have stuff currently on order from China that has been 'in transit' for nearly two months already.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: axelbadde on February 17, 2015, 03:23:02 PM
Sorry for the late reply. I have never felt any of that kind of head lift movement. I always carry the head with me in a bag together with a sirui travel tripod and after 3-4 months it still feels like it was new.

/axel
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 17, 2015, 04:52:57 PM
Thank you too Axel,

That is all the positive comments I could hope for, three actual users and they are all happy. Looks like Sunwayfoto have another sale........
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 18, 2015, 09:44:15 AM
I have the 1Ds Mark III---haven't tried it on the GH-Pro, and never intended to either. That being said, I consider the 1DsMarkIII to be a lerger camera, particularly with its built-in battery grip. You may be pushing the limits of this light-weight geared head.  I've used the GH-Pro with a Cambo WRS technical camera and IQ180 with no problems, but this is a lighter rig than a large DSLR. I would think a lighter or small DSLR would not be an issue.  And obviously as the OP was seeking an option for a mirrorless camera, the GH-Pro is more than capable for these types of small lightweight rigs (Sony, M4/3, etc).  I may be selling my GH-Pro as I have become so conditioned to using lever release clamps; the GH-Pro uses a knob on top. Or my son gets a really nice second tripod head for his Sony A7II.  ;D

Shipping from China to CA was just over two weeks or so.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 18, 2015, 10:16:23 AM
Thanks for that follow up Ken. I am still pretty bullish on the idea of the GH Pro, if you decide you are going to sell it then PM me.
Many thanks for all the helpful information from everybody.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on February 23, 2015, 03:33:59 PM
Finally got the Sunway.  I ordered it the last of January, took it almost a month to get here.   Ordered through the Chinese Ali listed in a post in this thread.
 It is just as described.  I have the arca D4 side by side with it, so comparisons are hands on.  The Sunway is somewhat stiffer, although the instructions on the Arca say that it will be stiff for a few uses. The Arca has two spirit levels on the mounting plate, the Sunway has one bubble in the bottom of the Arca style clamp.

The gearing seems to be better on the Arca, but why not for an extra $800?  I am debating on keeping one or the other.  If I decide to sell the Sunway,  I paid $399 for it, which I seem to remember is less than the ebayer.

I will post again when I have had a camera on both.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 23, 2015, 04:08:52 PM
Herbc, if you get a chance I'd be interested in images that show the two heads next to each other for a size comparison.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on February 27, 2015, 12:44:32 PM
Ok, got photos of both.  After messing around with both, I come to the conclusion that the Sunway is the winner.  After an hour or two, it loosened up  nicely, and I see  two differences between it and the Arca (beside the $800 price diff): the Arca has two nice bubble level on the side which can be used after you mount the camera, and the gearing is nicer.

The sunway weighs a bit less, which is also a plus.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: WkDave on February 28, 2015, 02:54:20 PM
I'm considering the GH-Pro as a replacement to the Manfrotto 410 I'm currently using (mainly for size and weight savings). It's rated capacity is significantly more than that of the 410 - yet Ken you don't feel it'd be sturdy for a Canon pro body and TS lenses? Mostly it'd be a gripped 5dmk3 with the likes of a 17tse or 16-35/2.8 mounted - possibly a 70-200/2.8 II (though I haven't found need for that combo yet). Just trying to iron out the perceptions before plunking down the cash.

I'm new and found you guys to be the only ones with experience discussing this head - so pardon my interruption.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on February 28, 2015, 03:37:04 PM
Personal tastes or subjectivity enters the equation here.

Imo, whenever you are trying to lighten the load, for example, a lighter tripod-head combination for hiking----there are inevitable compromises. As nice as a smaller RRS or Gitzo traveler tripod is, it simply can't offer the same stability as a RRS 3 or 4 series or a Gitzo 5 series. The same applies with tripod heads. The GH Pro is lighter than its other geared cousins, and in some cases like the Cube, substantially lighter. If you enter in with the mindset that the much lighter GH-Pro, at a fraction of the cost, should perform at the same level of the AS Cube---you will be sorely disappointed. But if you recognize the limitations of a lighter set-up, you will be fine. I wouldn't be shaking this rig around or expecting the same stability in the wind as a heavier rig.  The weight/size of the camera to be mounted can/will make a difference as well, including subject matter and photography style (how steady are you when the shutter is tripped?). For a smaller camera, such as a mirrorless camera, I don't think these will be issues at all. But as you start loading up a tripod, you do start pushing its limits.

ken

Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Herbc on February 28, 2015, 04:56:47 PM
Dave, I had the Arca C1, found it to be heavy and too fiddly.  The D4 is a very nice alternative if you can justify the cost.  I had no  problems with the Sunday GH, but  I am not using it on my D800E, although I will give that a go soon.
I have stated before, the Arca has noticeably better gearing and fit and finish, but I do not think the Gh would be a problem, especially compared to the other stuff  on the market.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 28, 2015, 06:23:00 PM
I just got my Sunwayfoto GH-Pro and I put it to work immediately with the 1Ds MkIII and the 100mm L Macro for some product shooting. It is exactly what I was looking for and am very happy with the performance.

My other intended use is with the 17mm TS-E and I put that on there too to test it out. It balances better with the 17 than with the 100 even with the Wonderpana on the 17, I might use the 100 with a nodal rail to better balance the setup, but probably not.

So about the mysterious 'lifting' issue. Well this is a geared head and if you grab hold of the camera and wiggle it you will get the intrinsic give as the worm gear and main gear move from one side of their thread groove to the other, does it look bad? I suppose it could if you don't understand the engineering, but at this point I do not believe it impacts the image quality and certainly not for strobe illuminated products. As a former engineer I would venture to say the lateral gearing lock doesn't have a through shaft and allows a touch more movement than it needs to, but again, you have to force it to do it and 'at rest' there is no give or wobble, and zero 'lift' even when forced.

I have no hesitation in recommending it after a days use if you are pragmatic about what you are buying, it is not a $1,200 piece of European high end engineering, it is a very good value solution for many of us looking for a smaller and lighter geared head.

I am a more modest person than many here, I cannot easily justify a D4 in price and as I intend to travel with the GH-Pro I appreciate the size and weight saving, but I'd be dishonest if I didn't acknowledge that the price is the most attractive feature, though it can't be the be all and end all of the purchasing decision, after all if it can't do the job is is worse than useless. If in the longer term I find the GH-Pro isn't the tool for me the only other solution I see for my my specific want list is saving the pennies for that D4.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Bennett on February 28, 2015, 08:44:23 PM
This geared head interests me, but I am having a hard time figuring out just how large, or small, it is. Can you compare it to a ball head, like a BH-55?

I just don't know if it would be way to big for a small travel tripod, or way too small for a Gitzo 3-series systematic. I could see using it for travel work with small cameras if it were small-ish, or on the Gitzo for architectural work if it were biggish.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 28, 2015, 09:22:53 PM
Here is the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro next to the Acratech GP. The Acratech is a superb travel head, indeed I use it most of the time for most things!
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: WkDave on February 28, 2015, 10:53:36 PM
Thank you Ken, Herb and provate - I really appreciate you guys taking the time to share your experiences and respond to our questions. I certainly understand the trade-offs being made between size/weight and stability. The D4 is an option, but the pragmatist in me says if the sunway can meet my needs - then I'd rather go that route. At the same time if the head can't handle the potential 7-8lbs I might throw on top of it then the D4 might be the only option.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on February 28, 2015, 11:40:04 PM
Hi there Dave,

My 1Ds MkIII and 100L Macro is 4lbs, and it works great with that, the 1Ds MkIII and 17TSE with Wonderpana is 5lbs and it actually balances better with that. I don't think I'd want to use it with 8lbs particularly if the setup was unbalanced.

Just for laughs here is the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro with a 300mm f2.8, 1.4X TC, and the 1Ds MkIII at 10.5lbs, the gears get pretty tight but if I was setting it up one time for a composition and leaving it, like for a bird nest situation, I'd use it, but it is well past the optimal load and there is no way I'd use it with that kind of load, even a well balanced one, anything but rarely.

4-5lbs seems fine, but 6-8lbs might be a bit much on a regular basis particularly if it is unbalanced.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Bennett on March 01, 2015, 08:42:45 AM
Thanks for the photos, they really help.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: hiepphotog on March 01, 2015, 09:24:26 PM
...So about the mysterious 'lifting' issue. Well this is a geared head and if you grab hold of the camera and wiggle it you will get the intrinsic give as the worm gear and main gear move from one side of their thread groove to the other, does it look bad?

Isn't it the undesirable backlash? Certainly I don't get that from my Multiflex.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on March 01, 2015, 09:52:48 PM
Yes, it is backlash, I was initially referring to the USA importers comments on quality control issues which mentioned 'lifting'. The GH-Pro, well mine at least, suffers no lifting, though I did find the "two small screws" that any lifting can be adjusted with.

The backlash could be considered an issue, and if I had paid $1,400-$2,000 I would demand none, but this isn't a $1,000+ head and despite the backlash the head holds firm and I have seen no image degradation due to lack of support despite the fact that I am probably using larger than optimal gear setups on it.

I do feel a relatively simple redesign by Sunwayfoto would make the head considerably 'better', as I said the transverse movement lock shaft needs to be a through shaft ,and the actual neck of the head going up to the quick release plate should be built thicker. But even with those comments made, I still think the head is a good option compared to other smaller geared heads and well worth considering by those people looking for something like it, I am happy with mine at this point.

I can well understand this head not suiting many who are used to the Arca Swiss level of quality, and their $1,400 clones, it is a different tool. At $399 I think it is worth a look for people interested, if Sunwayfoto came out with a MkII with my suggestions I'd wholeheartedly recommend it even at $499 and I would upgrade.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: WkDave on March 02, 2015, 01:11:04 PM
Again, thank you for the responses. I'd say for me 99% of the time I'd be using with a gripped Canon 5d3 and t/s lens or 16-35 2.8 ii possibly with a 600 mounted atop it all - which should put it in the 5-6lb range. Only on a rare occasion - I think 1 or 2 have I used a 70-200 on the tripod and that was for an extended portrait session with multiple subjects passing through. So it sounds like it should fit the bill nicely for my purposes - again with the knowledge that it's not a $1200 head, but then again, neither is my 410.

As far as the backlash, is it worse than a Bogen 410? Thanks
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: provatebydesign on March 03, 2015, 01:26:01 PM
Hi Dave,

Yes I would say the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro has more backlash than the Manfrotto/Bogen 410, it also doesn't have the geared pan that the 410 has. I think Sunwayfoto pack the GH-Pro with a huge amount of grease to make it appear smoother geared than it is! The GH-Pro does feel much more compact than the 410 though and it doesn't have that annoying worm gear alignment notch thing going on that the 410 does when you use the quick set dials.

As for the GH-Pro, I can see many people not liking it and it is definitely in need of a bit of a redesign, something I suspect the USA importers know, but I am still happy with mine and have no intention of selling it. Those that do like it I suspect will be the pragmatic few who appreciate the functionality and size/weight along with the price.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: WkDave on March 06, 2015, 12:02:50 PM
Thanks Provate, that's just the type of feedback I was looking for.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: NancyP on March 06, 2015, 01:32:08 PM
Manfrotto has come out with a geared head slightly smaller and lighter than the 410. Of course it uses the annoying Manfrotto plates. I don't know if it will be possible to modify it to use Arca QR system. Some of the body of the new head is made of plastic. With the 410, I bought an adapter, unscrewed the top of the head, took that baseplate off, added the new baseplate with Arca-style clamp.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: hiepphotog on March 12, 2015, 12:39:20 PM
In light of the backlash issue (heck my vintage $50 Geared Duotar has backlash that's why I'm going for a more substantial geared head), I'm thinking of trying out the KPS T5DV head (the lever version). I'm contacting KPS US distributor since they are offering a trial period of sort. This seems to be a good compromise between the GH-Pro and the D4 (half way between the two in term of weight and price).

I love my Multiflex (like the Cube, it's certainly the best geared head for photographic use), but thinking of adding a ballhead for other non-critical stuff and travel. A hybrid might be the answer.
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: Ken Doo on March 13, 2015, 12:54:38 AM
I will be writing a review on the KPS T5DV geared ball head shortly---probably after the Capture Integration in Lake Tahoe workshop next month in April.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: ErikKaffehr on March 13, 2015, 01:33:39 AM
Hi,

That product looks interesting, ball head with geared movements. Here is a link to the product page:

(http://static1.squarespace.com/static/546677dbe4b0f112cf549aca/54c0988fe4b085ef114ee29d/54c09a9ae4b07c001d353fd6/1421908634897/KPS-T5D-Amazon-2014-1227-5-explanation.jpg?format=500w) (http://static1.squarespace.com/static/546677dbe4b0f112cf549aca/54c0988fe4b085ef114ee29d/54c09a9ae4b07c001d353fd6/1421908634897/KPS-T5D-Amazon-2014-1227-5-explanation.jpg?format=500w)

I have the Arca 4D, and I am very satisfied with. Most geared heads I have seen are not geared for pan, and I am sometimes missing geared pan.

Best regards
Erik

I will be writing a review on the KPS T5DV geared ball head shortly---probably after the Capture Integration in Lake Tahoe workshop next month in April.

ken
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: jaime on March 27, 2015, 12:35:35 PM
My GH-Pro arrived yesterday, i have the same backlash so i´m going to return it to the store, i like a lot this head, but the backlash is too much for my way of making pictures, i found it very cheap, just 270€ in Spain
Title: Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
Post by: shadowblade on March 27, 2015, 12:43:36 PM
I use the Arca-Swiss C1 Cube.

Sure, it's big and heavy. But it's rock-solid and very finely adjustable.

I didn't buy the A7r for size - often, the lens that I'm using with it weighs four times as much as the camera itself. I bought it for its image quality, to use it as a digital back with my collection of Canon-mount lenses. The fact that its small doesn't hurt, though, especially when I'm on a combined wildlife and landscape trip and, therefore, also need to bring a pair of Canon bodies with proper AF systems too.