BallHeads -- Which Medium Size Head Would You Recommend?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by jimvanson, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. I'm looking for a mid size ball head & plate system like the RRS BH-40:

    http://www.butzi.net/reviews/rrsbh40.htm

    or the Kirk BH-3:

    http://www.naturephotographers.net/je0202-1.html

    Can anyone comment on them? Does anyone have personal experience with another brand?

    I'm concerned with size & quality -- I don't want a 40 ounce head or one one
    that slips ever so little as I tighten it.

    I'm very hesitant to order one sight unseen as the d**n things cost as much as
    my XTi did :(!

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. the other heads that MUST be on your short list are the Markins Q3 or M10 (depending on loads)

    markinsamerica.com

    The nikonians love them.
     
  3. The head all the previously mentioned ones are measured by is the Arca-Swiss Z1 - why settle for anything else. http://www.calumetphoto.co.uk/locations
     
  4. Sorry wrong link! - http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Arca-Swiss-Monoball-Z1-Ballhead-Review.aspx
     
  5. The Arca Z1 has the only effective tension control, due the out-of-round ball which gets stiffer as it is tilted. At $300, it is the best bargain available amongst the major players.

    A good tripod and good ball head can cost nearly as much as a good lens. However, a tripod will do more for capturing detail than any other accessory, and good equipment will perform reliably for a lifetime.
     
  6. To add more information to my original post -- the maximum load would be a XTi\5D & a 300 F4L IS.

    Has anyone used this?
    http://www.feisol.com/english/CB50D.htm

    Thanks!
     
  7. I have an ArcaSwiss B1 which I love. The Z1 I am sure is top-notch and will FAR exceed your weight requirements. for something smaller look at any of the RRS ball heads.
     
  8. Get the Arca-Swiss Z1, or a used B1 if you prefer, if anyone will let go of theirs. You don't need to lose such a small amount of weight from a ball head. With a clamp, the BH-40 weighs about 5 ounces (140 grams) less than the Z1. Omitting a protective filters from your lenses, giving away loose coins from your pocket or purse, wearing lighter shoes, even skipping one meal because you're too busy shooting, will lose that much.
     
  9. Hello Jim,

    Take a look at the Acratech GV2; it converts to a gimbal mount. I use one with my 300f/4 and I highly recommend it. Weighs only 1lb.
     
  10. Arca-Swiss Z1, hands down "The Best". Costs a little more, but having tried (and eventually rejected) two other brands over the past ten years, no question about it. Superior tension control expecially for the larger/heavier lens.
     
  11. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!
    I got really lucky -- I found a mintish Linhof Profi-II Ball Head with 77mm Top Plate! -- Cheap!
    I know -- it ain't often the words Linhof & cheap can be uttered in the same breath! :)
    The Profi-II is a joy but I'm having problems adapting it's 3/8 inch plate stud to my present 1/4 inch thread female quick connect.
    I'll post more on that later.
    Thanks Again Guys!
     

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