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Author Topic: Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d  (Read 4712 times)

airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« on: November 26, 2007, 02:23:36 pm »

I'm a beginner and am looking to upgrade my camera support in the next bit. For budgetary reasons I want to do it in phases.

I have a 100-400L and a 30D + bg and teleconverter. I don't believe I will get a heavier lens than the 100-400. I can see myself upgrading the body to a 1d mkIII or a 5D, though.

I've started shooting birds but also I have a general nature interest. I do some landscape (Sigma 10-20). When I do macro I usually handhold (bugs). My main purpose is to try my hand at birding.

My current setup is a Slik Pro 340DX (not the greatest but it is light -- I will upgrade that in the new year) with the Manfrotto pistol grip (vertical). I like the quick setup of the pistol grip but when it comes to birds I take the lens off. I cannot pan with that thing.

This is what I have been able to get hand-holding:
http://flickr.com/photos/airchinapilot/2061605784/

For stationary I think upgrading my sticks is my better option. This is what I can get with my original setup:
http://flickr.com/photos/airchinapilot/2061545424/

I am looking into ball heads and have been researching the Markins M-20 and the RRS BH-55. I've read lots of positive comments about the BH-55 but I don't know if I can ever justify spending that kind of money.

I'm intrigued by the Wimberley Sidekick option. Can you mount that on the Markins? I know you can do it on the BH-55. Would it be worthwhile putting any of these on the legs I currently have? If I have to spend a bit more money should I just keep hand holding and save to get a whole new setup?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2007, 02:24:43 pm by airchinapilot »
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matt4626

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 03:28:52 pm »

Take a look at Tom Hogan's Tripod 101.
bythom.com
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2007, 04:40:52 pm »

Quote
Take a look at Tom Hogan's Tripod 101.
bythom.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=156187\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, I have a few times.

But for my specific question about the Markins vs the BH-55. Is that your short form answer for, buy the BH-55?
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007, 12:16:32 pm »

Anyway, I've ordered an Arca Swiss Z1 and quick release plates for my 100-400 and 30D.

Now I need to upgrade my sticks ...

On the off chance someone has an opinion on this: any feelings about the Gitzo 1220? A local seller here has one. I can't find much on Google.
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Bill Chambers

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2007, 12:22:38 pm »

Quote
Anyway, I've ordered an Arca Swiss Z1 and quick release plates for my 100-400 and 30D.

Now I need to upgrade my sticks ...

On the off chance someone has an opinion on this: any feelings about the Gitzo 1220? A local seller here has one. I can't find much on Google.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=157942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I would recommend staying away from the older model Gitzos.  On the other hand, the newer models rock!  The  anti-rotation leg feature on the newer models is wonderful, as are the new gaskets that don't expand and freeze up when wet.  I would recommend looking at the GT2530LSV model.  Equivalent to the older 1325 model.  Very sturdy and should last a lifetime with halfway decent treatment.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2007, 12:24:10 pm by Bill Chambers »
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2007, 01:12:18 pm »

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I would recommend staying away from the older model Gitzos.  On the other hand, the newer models rock!  The  anti-rotation leg feature on the newer models is wonderful, as are the new gaskets that don't expand and freeze up when wet.  I would recommend looking at the GT2530LSV model.  Equivalent to the older 1325 model.  Very sturdy and should last a lifetime with halfway decent treatment.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158173\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Bill. Looks like prices are above $500. Time to save my pennies.
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2007, 02:22:10 pm »

Quote
I would recommend staying away from the older model Gitzos.  On the other hand, the newer models rock!  The  anti-rotation leg feature on the newer models is wonderful, as are the new gaskets that don't expand and freeze up when wet.  I would recommend looking at the GT2530LSV model.  Equivalent to the older 1325 model.  Very sturdy and should last a lifetime with halfway decent treatment.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

According to [a href=\"http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=203]the Naturescape page on it[/url], this model should be used up to 300mm lenses. But the load capacity seems well within my kit (30d + BG + 100-400 + flash) = 7.6lbs / that Gitzo's load capacity is 26.4 lbs))
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Bill Chambers

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2007, 06:14:57 pm »

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According to the Naturescape page on it, this model should be used up to 300mm lenses. But the load capacity seems well within my kit (30d + BG + 100-400 + flash) = 7.6lbs / that Gitzo's load capacity is 26.4 lbs))
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158206\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I apologize.  My typing skills are not the greatest.  The tripod legs I MEANT to type in were the GT3530LSV, not 2530.  Sorry about that.  They will hold most anything you'll ever want to put on them without any hesitation.
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2007, 06:32:16 pm »

Quote
I apologize.  My typing skills are not the greatest.  The tripod legs I MEANT to type in were the GT3530LSV, not 2530.  Sorry about that.  They will hold most anything you'll ever want to put on them without any hesitation.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oh I think you typed it in right. I just searched for it without "LSV". I found it on the same site.

[a href=\"http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=202]http://www.naturescapes.net/store/product.php?productid=202[/url]

Looks good. Thanks for your help.
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DougMorgan

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2007, 10:49:46 pm »

Sorry, guess you already bought one!   Happy shooting...............................
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 12:01:19 am by DougMorgan »
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2007, 01:50:02 am »

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Sorry, guess you already bought one!   Happy shooting...............................
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158306\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I haven't bought anything yet. I have to wait for my bank account to catch up to my research
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CatOne

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2007, 06:58:22 am »

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I haven't bought anything yet. I have to wait for my bank account to catch up to my research
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158335\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, in that case, another strong word for the RRS BH-55.  Worth the $ :-)
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2007, 12:48:19 pm »

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Well, in that case, another strong word for the RRS BH-55.  Worth the $ :-)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158361\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Oh that I've already bought  I got an Arca Swiss Z1.

Now I'm looking for sticks
« Last Edit: December 05, 2007, 12:48:36 pm by airchinapilot »
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airchinapilot

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Advice on Ball head for 100-400 + 30d
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2007, 01:33:07 pm »

I got my Arca Swiss Z1 yesterday (customs dinged me for $70 duty sheesh). I stuck it on my existing sticks (Slik PRO AMT) and wow this is nice. The one thing I really notice right away is how rock solid the QR plate on the head feels when I tighten the ball. Really cuts my vibration down from when I had my 100-400 mounted on the Manfrotto pistol grip 222 and Manfrotto's QR.

Panning is quite smooth. I mean it is already a step up since you couldn't really pan with the pistol grip.

I'm really looking forward to taking this out now.
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