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Author Topic: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless  (Read 29959 times)

Herbc

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looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« 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
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Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #1 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.
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Hulyss

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #3 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.



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.



All of this will cost you under 400$, the head alone is around 70$.
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Kind Regards -  Hulyss Bowman | hulyssbowman.com |

ternst

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #4 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...
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NancyP

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #5 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
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graeme

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #6 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.
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Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #7 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!


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NancyP

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #8 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).
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marc aurel

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #9 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
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dwswager

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #10 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 which not strictly geared, but provide great movements, but the PHQ-1 (smaller than PHQ-3) comes in at 1.9lb. 



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leuallen

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #11 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
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J-KNIGHT

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #12 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.
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dwswager

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #13 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.




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!

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leuallen

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #14 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
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dwswager

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #15 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.

« Last Edit: January 23, 2015, 09:32:49 pm by dwswager »
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CptZar

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #16 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.

Herbc

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #17 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
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bill t.

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Re: looking for small geared head for tripod for mirrorless
« Reply #18 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 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.
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