Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Ballhead recommendations  (Read 3651 times)

Jeremy Roussak

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8054
Ballhead recommendations
« on: February 03, 2019, 07:49:07 am »

In a final act of crass stupidity before I left Japan last week, I lost my RRS BH-40 ballhead. I was perfectly happy with it. Before I rush out to order another, I wonder: does anyone have any recommendations for other makes that will accept my RRS L-bracket? I'd very much prefer a lever-operated clamp. I have a 5Ds and the longest lens I'm remotely likely to use is a 100-400, perhaps with a 1.4 converter.

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

Jeremy
Logged

TonyVentourisPhotography

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 381
    • Unlocking Olympus
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2019, 10:00:36 am »

Any brand that has an arca compatible clamp will generally accept the rrs l plates.  Personally, you won’t find anything that feels as nice as the rrs gear in my opinion.  Lots of good options, but rrs always feels just a step above it all...at least in my opinion.  I have several different cheaper ball heads than the rrs, just for around the studio use, but in the field or on location, I always take the rrs.  It feels the most solid and has proven to be the most reliable. 
Logged
Tony
Unlockingolympus.com (ebooks & blog on getting the most from your OMD & Pen)
tonyventourisphotography.com (Commercial Photography)

Two23

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 789
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2019, 10:37:03 am »

I've been using an AcraTech Ultimate ballhead for the past 15 years.  I like it's open design--impossible to jam with snow and ice.  It's never failed me.  I use everything from a tiny Leica IIIc to a vintage 1925 Gundlach Korona 5x7 on it.


Kent in SD
Logged
Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
miserere nobis.

Rand47

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1554
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2019, 07:18:21 pm »

If you’d like to do a total “geek-out” on tripod heads, check out this thread:

https://www.getdpi.com/forum/medium-format-systems-and-digital-backs/58781-great-tripod-head-thread.html

Some folk have serious gear, perhaps in combination with serious issues!  (I may be one of them.  LOL)

Fun read, at least.

Rand
Logged
Rand Scott Adams

stevenfr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 564
    • Steven Friedman Landscape Photography
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2019, 08:05:13 pm »

Arca Swiss D4. Highly recommend it. I just replaced the clamp with the RRS lever clamp.

Jeremy, sorry we missed you in Japan. Last year in Japan I used the Acratech. It did not do so well in the extreme cold with the weight of the Phase One XF. This years trip, no issues with the cold and the D4.

Steven

Jeremy Roussak

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 8054
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2019, 03:35:29 am »

Thanks, all. I'll give it some careful thought.

Jeremy, sorry we missed you in Japan. Last year in Japan I used the Acratech. It did not do so well in the extreme cold with the weight of the Phase One XF. This years trip, no issues with the cold and the D4.

I'm sorry too - your name cropped up in conversation during our lengthy drives between locations. I hope you had fun; we certainly did.

Jeremy
Logged

kers

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2512
    • Pieter Kers
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2019, 06:14:50 am »

I also like my BH-40 ballhead...
Have it over 10 years and use it a lot; got a problem two years ago - send it back to the US and got it repaired for free.
RRS even paid the transport back.
Logged

Arlen

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1115
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2019, 12:31:30 pm »

Arca Swiss D4. Highly recommend it. I just replaced the clamp with the RRS lever clamp.

Steven

Charlie Cramer used the Arca Swiss D4 in the LuLa video with him. He said that it had changed his whole outlook on ball heads, and now couldn't imagine going back to anything else. But as he noted, it also stands out for being very expensive.
Logged

stevenfr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 564
    • Steven Friedman Landscape Photography
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2019, 01:12:29 pm »

Jeremy

We had a great shoot. I am thrilled with the images we got this year versus last year in Hokkaido. We went to some new areas that are less travelled and found some amazing scenes.

We seemed to be a day or so behind your group in location. We were there to shoot landscapes not the wildlife.

Steven




I'm sorry too - your name cropped up in conversation during our lengthy drives between locations. I hope you had fun; we certainly did.

Jeremy

Conner999

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 794
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2019, 08:12:25 am »

Arca Swiss P0.
Logged

tsjanik

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 719
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2019, 02:35:39 pm »

The D4 is great( I got to try Charle Cramer's during a print workshop); but, as noted, it is expensive.  Acratech is nice and light but has difficulty with heavy systems as Steven mentioned, for example it is very difficult to frame macro shots with a 645Z and 120mm macro.  The weight of the lens applies enough torque that creep is inevitable.  I am very happy with an Arca-Swiss Z1,  the aspherical ball is very effective at preventing creep and the head is relatively light.  I would avoid their clamp however, it seems attractive since it is adjustable for slightly different plates, but in practice can be finicky to open.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 02:42:27 pm by tsjanik »
Logged

John R

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3709
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2019, 02:43:13 pm »

Check this site out. It includes some very interesting ballheads.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/coloradotripod/the-worlds-first-titanium-tripod-system?ref=2y2hlk

And if interested in tripods, try this one below. It is supposed to be more vibration resistant due to the weave in the carbon fibre build.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pnW19EdT9SA
« Last Edit: February 15, 2019, 02:48:56 pm by John R »
Logged

david.watson@btinternet.com

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2019, 03:56:32 pm »

Hi

I have just sold my Arca Swiss Cube and RRS TVC34L as they are no longer need since I gave up my Hasselblad MFD kit.  I have just bought a Sunwayfoto Geared Head GH-Pro Mk 2 from Photospecialist in Germany but I imagine it is available in the USA.  The price was 435 Euros shipped and I am really happy - lighter than the AS Cube and just as flexible a geared head and ball head in one with Arca Swiss compatibility.
Logged

alan_b

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 282
    • West Coast Architecture + Interiors Photographer
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2019, 09:51:49 pm »

There's some good analysis and measurements of tripod & head stiffness at https://thecentercolumn.com
Logged

Rand47

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1554
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2019, 11:43:51 am »

There's some good analysis and measurements of tripod & head stiffness at https://thecentercolumn.com

Thanks!  Interesting web site.  I’m glad for people like this that have way too much time on their hands.  LOL 

As an aside, one technique I use in windy conditions is to break out my “screw into the ground” dog tether holder.  I then use my small block and tackle, that I made for the purpose, clipped to the screw and to the hook under the tripod apex platform and snug it down good.  Solid as the proverbial rock, and doesn’t blow around like a camera bag or other pendulum type weight hung from the hook.

Rand
Logged
Rand Scott Adams

luxborealis

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2782
    • luxBorealis.com - photography by Terry McDonald
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2019, 06:02:47 pm »

Hi Jeremy,

I’m enjoying the Benro B2. I’ve had zero problems with it and it handles everything up to my FF Nikon w/ 70-200 f/2.8 or 300 f/4. It probably handles more but that’s all I have to throw at it.

Terry
Logged
Terry McDonald - luxBorealis.com

Eric Brody

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 335
    • http://www.ericbrodyphoto.com
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2019, 01:58:50 am »

There is nothing, nothing, that compares with the Arca D4. I got mine on Charlie's recommendation and have not looked back. All ball heads drift, even the hallowed RRS, and they are quite excellent. I have used an old Arca B1, and still have and occasionally travel with an Acratech, but with the D4, you turn the knob and the camera stays EXACTLY in place, no drift. It is expensive and not super light but, like Charlie, I'd not be without it.
Logged

Conner999

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 794
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2019, 07:57:55 am »

If you really want to go small - the RRS Microball.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1301195-REG/really_right_stuff_bc_18_micro_ball_clamp.html

The sucker is STRONG, very well designed and fits in a shirt pocket. It's rated for 10lbs and while that may not seem like much, I use it with a hassy H5D + HC 210mm  (one of Hassy biggest), which only weighs in at just under 7 lbs soaking wet.

It locks solid with no slop or sag and is smooth. It also only drops 45 deg, so if you forget to lock it, it wont slap into your tripod.
Logged

Lightsmith

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 197
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2019, 03:11:05 pm »

RRS makes some pretty ball heads to be sure. For the ultimate landscape head I bought the Arca-Swiss D4 GP head from Robert White in the UK (not available in the USA). There is nothing better. It is a real treat to be able to do micro adjustments to the tilt of the camera with strong vertical shapes to get the image aligned before the shot is taken instead of fixing it later in Photoshop or other editor.

Like most people I could accept paying $1100 for a top performing tripod but had not appreciated the benefits of a $1,100 for a ball head. It was an oversight on my part that I waited too long to remedy.
Logged

BradSmith

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 716
Re: Ballhead recommendations
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2019, 07:40:42 pm »

Like most people I could accept paying $1100 for a top performing tripod but had not appreciated the benefits of a $1,100 for a ball head.

Sorry, but MOST people aren't carrying $1100 tripods, let alone those tripods with an $1100 head.  Yes, I know that a few are, but I think a very small fraction of even very serious photographers have gone that far.  Those pieces of kit are way, way out there on the price/benefit curve.

Brad
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up