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Author Topic: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?  (Read 9109 times)

torger

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Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« on: November 27, 2015, 05:02:52 am »

I have an Arca-Swiss D4 head. A friend of mine is looking to get the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head as a budget alternative. It will hold a Arca-Swiss MF-two camera with sliding back, so pretty heavy gear (3-4 kg).

The purpose is to replace a Manfrotto 410 head which has some play and "backlash" (?) I think people call it when the head is not able to exactly hold position it was set at.

So the question is, is the GH-Pro head up to it, or does it still have issues with play and backlash?

Are there other "play-free" geared head alternatives out there, or is it only the Arca-Swiss D4, Linhof 3D Micro and Arca-Swiss Cube out there? The Photo Clam Multiflex head (straight ripoff of the Cube) I don't really count as it's not really much cheaper than the Cube these days.
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TimoK

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2015, 05:57:19 am »

Have looked at KPS T5? Ken Doo's article
It's sheaper than Arca or Linhof but a little more expensive than Sunway.
in eBay
I just bougth Linhof 3d Micro, but also was very much thinking of KPS.
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torger

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2015, 06:29:13 am »

Thanks for the tip, I've seen the KPS T5 before but I had forgot about it.

In the article about the KPS T5 Ken indicates that the GH-Pro is not really up to the task with heavy cameras, so I guess that leaves the D4, the Cube, Linhof 3D Micro, and this KPS T5 then.

The MF-two needs either support for both narrow and wide arca dovetail (monorail is narrow, base for telescope is wide/normal), or use a extension bracket which is like $170. It seems like the KPS can be reconfigured between the two widths with a hex key, and of course the D4/Cube has the dual-etage classic clamp that can hold both widths without reconfiguring. The Linhof would need the extension bracket, adding some cost.
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torger

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2015, 07:19:53 am »

One thing I don't understand from Ken's article is this:

"Both the AS D4 and GH-Pro exhibit lift inherent in their design and are not as stable as the standard set forth by the Cube."

What is meant with "lift" here? Is it simply that the axis of rotation is inside the head, rather than outside the head close to the center of the camera (like for the cube)? If so then the KPS T5 also has the same problem. I use my D4 with a Techno which is indeed 4 kg or so on the head, and it is indeed notable that the rotation axis is in the head so you need to apply some more power when turning the knobs with the camera tilted a lot, but it's not really a problem. I have not seen any problems with play or losing the set position in the D4 head.

The worry about the GH-Pro is that it wouldn't be a substantial upgrade over the Manfrotto 410 head, except for weight. So I guess the main question is if the head does have issues with play or making minor shifts of position, for example when you slide in the sliding back or otherwise put some mild force on the camera. The 410 has such issues (mine got worse with time), and while you can live with it by constantly compensating it does test your patience.
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torger

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2015, 08:38:49 am »

As no more discussion seems to come to this thread, I can complete it myself with info I've got from elsewhere.

The GH-Pro is okay for light cameras (mirrorless etc), but it's not up for heavier medium format cameras, some say it's worse than the Manfrotto 410. My 410 got so sloppy that it slipped position when I cocked shutter on the tech cam, that was when I had enough and upgraded to an Arca-Swiss D4.

Basically if you want a reasonably light head that's play-free and geared for your heavy camera, there's only the following choices: Arca-Swiss D4, Arca-Swiss Cube, Photo Clam Multiflex, KPS T5, Linhof 3D micro. The KPS T5 is the cheapest, and that is about $770.
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alan_b

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2015, 01:34:38 pm »

The 410 can be tuned up to remove the backlash. 

Remove the rubber knob covers and you'll see set screws.  Loosen these and increase the preload to take up the backlash.  If you have a tap & die set you can chase the threads to clean them up somewhat.  The design is bad in that adjusting the set screws is self-destructive to the knob/preload threads, but I've been using mine for 3 years after tightening up with no more backlash.  I actually sold my cube since I prefer having geared pan w/ the 410.
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torger

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2015, 02:51:54 am »

Great tips! I tried tightening my 410 before but didn't succeed. I'll have a look again.
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stevesanacore

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 06:37:46 pm »

I just picked up a GH-Pro head. It feels very sturdy but the knobs are a bit stiff to turn. I'll report back after using it a while with my impressions. At first setup, it certainly feels sturdy enough for my Sony and Canon bodies. Hopefully the gears will loosen up a bit but still stay firm and precise. I have both of the Manfrotto gear heads and never liked the design or quality, although they do get the job done.
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StarScapes

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 08:54:38 pm »

I just picked up a GH-Pro head. It feels very sturdy but the knobs are a bit stiff to turn. I'll report back after using it a while with my impressions. At first setup, it certainly feels sturdy enough for my Sony and Canon bodies. Hopefully the gears will loosen up a bit but still stay firm and precise. I have both of the Manfrotto gear heads and never liked the design or quality, although they do get the job done.

Any feedback on the GH-Pro?
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stevesanacore

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Re: Experience with the Sunwayfoto GH-Pro head?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2016, 04:20:16 pm »

I am in the midst of having it shipped back to Sunwayfoto because of a wiggle it's developed when everything is tightened down. It's just slight but definitely moves just a bit which can cause an issue if you're shooting multiple shots and want them in perfect register. I hope they can repair it and it's not a design flaw. I love the head, it's so compact and strong, other than this issue. I've been using it with the small wiggle for many jobs because I hate to go back to my Manfrottos. I guess the Arca would be the only alternative if this can't be resolved. There really is no compromise for a gear head so I'd go for the Arca or just go back to a three axis head or a ball.

I'll keep you posted on the results. It's odd but for some reason I can't find the head for sale on their website anymore. If buying a used one, beware of this issue. The warranty is for 6 years and they are very nice about honoring it when I emailed them.
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