Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Looking for a decent Ball Head with levels

Last response: in Digital Camera
Share
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:45 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi,

Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
to it.
The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

PS: I looked at the 488RC4 Midi Ball Head. Is this piece any good?
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gitzo are the best, Manfrotto are OK (generally heavier than Gitzo for
the same specs). You want the capacity to be at least double of your
heaviest camera - lens combination. Either a Gitzo or Manfrotto ball
head with 5kg or greater capacity should work. How light it will be is
another question.

Tom
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gerhard Beulke wrote:
> Hi,
>
> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
> to it.
> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).
>
> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Cheers
>
> PS: I looked at the 488RC4 Midi Ball Head. Is this piece any good?

Yes, it fits your description of "decent."

Also look at the Velbon PH-273QL
("http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=produ...")

The Velbon is more expensive, but I believe that the ball is metal (I
could be wrong about this), while the Manfratto has a resin ball.

I would probably buy the 488RC0 rather than the 488RC4 as I like the
3049 style of QR plate better than the 3271 style of QR plate.

I have the same leg set, and I need to get a ball head for it, and am
vacillating between the PH-273QL and the 488RC0. I like the Velbon
better, but I'm already invested in 3049 QR plates.

You're right, levels is where it gets tricky!
Related resources
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d635a5e94e1c6149896a2@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
> Hi,
>
> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
> to it.
> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).

Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my Bogen 3021
and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1123613035.184402.98200@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"tomm101" <monego@valley.net> wrote:

> Gitzo are the best, Manfrotto are OK

So you have personally used Linhof, Novoflex, Kaiser, Giotto's, Arca,
Kirk, RRS, Studio Ball, Graf, etc. and after completely testing them you
arrived at this conclusion?

Or you just happened to buy a Gitzo or Manfroto?

--
To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

tomm101 wrote:
> Gitzo are the best, Manfrotto are OK (generally heavier than Gitzo for
> the same specs).

He didn't ask for the best, he asked for a decent one with a level. In
any case, Gitzo are not the best.

Kirk Enterprises' BH-1 (http://www.kirkphoto.com/ballheads.html) is one
of the best ball heads (but no level), ditto for the Graf Studioball
(also no level).

For "decent" with a level, the Manfratto 488RC0 or 488RC4, or the Velbon
PH-273QL are what are available in the U.S..

The Giottos MH 7001 is not quite as good as either of these, but it's
still okay, and very inexpensive, see
"http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=produ..."
I almost bought one of these, but then I realized that they are
distributed in the U.S. by HP Marketing Corp, so I didn't buy it because
I may want to resell the ball head on eBay some day.

Steve
http://digitalslrinfo.com
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

PanHandler wrote:

>> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
>> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens
>> attached to it.
>> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
>> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).
>
> Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my
> Bogen 3021 and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.

I use and like the 329RC4.

<http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?A=detai...;




Rita
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Often the lighter weight ball heads for which the OP seems to be looking do
not have a leveling device. This device:
http://www.kirkphoto.com/accessories.html#bubble
- fits in a hot shoe so may be satisfactory if the hot shoe is not required
for flash. This site has some great ball heads:
http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/
- but the heads with the levels are heavy!
Chuck
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <NA8Ke.8279$p%3.35465@typhoon.sonic.net>,
SMS <scharf.steven@geemail.com> wrote:

> so I didn't buy it because
> I may want to resell the ball head on eBay some day.

Nothing can stop you from selling on Ebay unless YOU decide not to.

--
To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 4:27:48 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 09 Aug 2005 20:44:29 GMT, SMS wrote:

> For "decent" with a level, the Manfratto 488RC0 or 488RC4,
> or the Velbon PH-273QL are what are available in the U.S..

Also available in the US (per the 686 page B&H 35mm SLR Photo
Sourcebook) are a couple of Manfrotto adapters.

> 3502 Ball Camera Leveller
> Weighin 1.4 lbs. and capable of holding 33 lbs. the 3502 provides
> fast levelling for tripods without built-in levels. Fits between the
> center column and head and head and has 10º of adjustment. $69.95

> 303 QTVR Panoramic Head Kit / 303 Plus

These two are quite something else, but both include leveling
bases. The 303 QTVR is $324.95 and the 303 Plus is $379.95.

There's also a 303SPH QVTR Spherical Panoramic Head Kit that's
listed for $514.95. From the too-small photos, I imagine that it
also has a leveling base, but the ad copy doesn't mention this.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 10:10:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Tue, 09 Aug 2005 23:12:32 +0000, C Wright wrote:

> Often the lighter weight ball heads for which the OP seems to be looking do
> not have a leveling device. This device:
> http://www.kirkphoto.com/accessories.html#bubble
> - fits in a hot shoe so may be satisfactory if the hot shoe is not required
> for flash. This site has some great ball heads:
> http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/
> - but the heads with the levels are heavy!
> Chuck
Another solution is to use a small pocket level and level the head (I use
a tripod with pan and tilt head) before putting the camera on it.

--
Neil
Delete delete to reply by email
August 10, 2005 10:14:41 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi

I use the 486rc2 with my 20D and 400F4 L lens and it seems to do the job
very well with one minor annoyance. It tends to sag a fraction after lock
off. This occurs regardless of lens size but given the bucks you pay for it
seems a pretty good all-round choice.

regards

Don

"Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d635a5e94e1c6149896a2@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
> Hi,
>
> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
> to it.
> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).
>
> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Cheers
>
> PS: I looked at the 488RC4 Midi Ball Head. Is this piece any good?
>
>
>
>
>
August 10, 2005 10:28:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

To my last, I noticed you need levels on the head. The 486 doesn't have
that sorry. Still a better option might be the level that you can buy to put
into your flash bracket. No a number of photogs that use these.

regards

Don
"Don" <mackie.don@bigpond.com> wrote in message
news:lXgKe.78147$oJ.78032@news-server.bigpond.net.au...
> Hi
>
> I use the 486rc2 with my 20D and 400F4 L lens and it seems to do the job
> very well with one minor annoyance. It tends to sag a fraction after lock
> off. This occurs regardless of lens size but given the bucks you pay for
> it seems a pretty good all-round choice.
>
> regards
>
> Don
>
> "Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
> news:MPG.1d635a5e94e1c6149896a2@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
>> Hi,
>>
>> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
>> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
>> to it.
>> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
>> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).
>>
>> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>>
>> Cheers
>>
>> PS: I looked at the 488RC4 Midi Ball Head. Is this piece any good?
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>
>
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 3:54:27 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<<lastly if you want the best there are two choices IMHO Arca Swiss B1
and ReallyRightStuff's new ballhead>

I'd like to add my personal endorsement of the Linhof Profi II head as
a superb product that I have used with Medium Format and 500mm lens.
Why a built in level??? You can buy inexpensive little (about 1/2"
diam.) level devices at hardware stores that you can simply place on
top of the camera to verify level, then put it back in your camera bag
next to your CF cards.
Anonymous
August 10, 2005 5:12:15 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Hi Gerhard,

To some this is a very subjective topic and is not to be taken lightly ;-)
anyway, this is my take on it based on my experience

I started out with the 055Pro legs and the 468RC pro head and though it was
a nice little ball head, it just didn't cut the mustard when i wanted
precision eg. take a pic of the full moon, it tended to give a bit. This is
using a D60 and 70-200LIS with and without extenders and ofcourse it didn't
help moving up in the ranks of camera to 1-series.
I also have a little 308RC which is nice and lightweight, to on a tabletop
tripod and monopod, it isn't bad it can hold a canon1-series body and the
70-200LIS, untill you start to angle it beyond level :-)

since then I have had the monster GRAF StudioBall, a giant, but it doesn't
slip and it can hold almost anything...BUT it is very heavy (and forsale
:-) ) lastly if you want the best there are two choices IMHO Arca Swiss B1
and ReallyRightStuff's new ballhead, I have the first but would love to have
the later :-) but you will probably end up paying more for your ballhead and
plates then you did for your camera

When you are looking at ball heads or any other type, you should look for
the Quick release system, which can make a huge difference when you are out
working or just having a good time.

bottomline, look at the type of photography you are doing and how you go
about your photography and in the end of the day it all depends on what it
is worth to you cos you can spend a lot of money on this.

My current setup is like this Gitzo 1548 carbon fiber and Arca Awiss B1 and
Gitzo 2220 Explorer with a Manfrotto 410 or the little 308RC and when all
this isn't enough there is the ReallyRightStuff Pano kit and plates :-)

good luck and remember to have fun

Henrik
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:22:11 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <BF1EA28F.351DF%wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com>, wright9
_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com says...
> Often the lighter weight ball heads for which the OP seems to be looking do
> not have a leveling device. This device:
> http://www.kirkphoto.com/accessories.html#bubble
> - fits in a hot shoe so may be satisfactory if the hot shoe is not required
> for flash. This site has some great ball heads:
> http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/
> - but the heads with the levels are heavy!
> Chuck

Hi Chuck,

Thanks for the reply.
That's exactly the issue I'm facing (light weight Ball Heads don't have
levels built in).

I have the hotshoe level but I'm trying to keep things simple.

Cheers


--

Looking for a dream wedding?
http://www.palmcoveweddings.com/
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:24:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <BF1EA28F.351DF%wright9_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com>, wright9
_nojunk@nojunk_mac.com says...
> Often the lighter weight ball heads for which the OP seems to be looking do
> not have a leveling device. This device:
> http://www.kirkphoto.com/accessories.html#bubble
> - fits in a hot shoe so may be satisfactory if the hot shoe is not required
> for flash. This site has some great ball heads:
> http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/
> - but the heads with the levels are heavy!
> Chuck

The other thing is I very often use the flash in the hotshoe. Where to
put the level now?

--

Looking for a dream wedding?
http://www.palmcoveweddings.com/
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:26:43 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <1123613035.184402.98200@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
monego@valley.net says...
> Gitzo are the best, Manfrotto are OK (generally heavier than Gitzo for
> the same specs). You want the capacity to be at least double of your
> heaviest camera - lens combination. Either a Gitzo or Manfrotto ball
> head with 5kg or greater capacity should work. How light it will be is
> another question.
>
> Tom

Thanks Tom.
The camera and lens together weight already 5Kg.
I would rather go for something which can hold heavier items.

--

Looking for a dream wedding?
http://www.palmcoveweddings.com/
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:34:47 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <iW9Ke.7080$op.4144@bignews4.bellsouth.net>,
panhandler@whiskey.net says...
> Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my Bogen 3021
> and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.

Thank you.
"5.5lb capacity when in the vertical position"
I'm looking for something which can hold a bit heavier stuff.
Otherwise it would be ok.

Cheers
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:34:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d649f73b50074e29896a6@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
> In article <iW9Ke.7080$op.4144@bignews4.bellsouth.net>,
> panhandler@whiskey.net says...
>> Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my Bogen
>> 3021
>> and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.
>
> Thank you.
> "5.5lb capacity when in the vertical position"
> I'm looking for something which can hold a bit heavier stuff.
> Otherwise it would be ok.

Take another look - as I said earlier, I use a heavy combo of equipment with
it. It is capable of easily handling 11 pounds if configured properly - and
that's the key to this head. It can be configured and customized to do what
is needed. I said take a look, not look up the specs. Go to a dealer and
*look* at it.
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:34:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d649f73b50074e29896a6@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
> In article <iW9Ke.7080$op.4144@bignews4.bellsouth.net>,
> panhandler@whiskey.net says...
>> Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my Bogen
>> 3021
>> and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.

Here's a pic of the head in the horizontal configuration:
http://public.fotki.com/PanHandler/miscellaneous/apr_14...
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 3:34:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

Gerhard Beulke wrote:
> In article <iW9Ke.7080$op.4144@bignews4.bellsouth.net>,
> panhandler@whiskey.net says...
>
>>Take a good look at the Bogen/Manfrotto 322RC2. I use it with my Bogen 3021
>>and Canon 20D/100-400L IS, and it does very well.
>
>
> Thank you.
> "5.5lb capacity when in the vertical position"
> I'm looking for something which can hold a bit heavier stuff.

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/cache/offonce/pid/2307?l...
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 7:59:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

You can get a little dual spirit level to fit into your hotshoe and then buy
the ballhead of your choice

Henrik

"Gerhard Beulke" <gcaesar@gmx.net> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d635a5e94e1c6149896a2@news.qld.westnet.com.au...
> Hi,
>
> Could anyone please suggest a decent *light weight* Ball Head which
> would be able to turn around smoothly with a 10D and a 3Kg lens attached
> to it.
> The head should have levels and that's where it gets tricky.
> The legs are 3021BPRO (055PROB/NK25).
>
> Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Cheers
>
> PS: I looked at the 488RC4 Midi Ball Head. Is this piece any good?
>
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 7:59:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In rec.photo.digital Henrik Tived <tived@iinet.net.au> wrote:
: You can get a little dual spirit level to fit into your hotshoe and
: then buy the ballhead of your choice

There may even be a less expensive way to do this. I have seen stick on
bullseye spirit levels in automotive and camping supplies sections of
large depatment stores. They are ment for leveling camping trailers but
would easily work for leveling your camera/tripod. And for the idea
proposed above, a piece of card stock or cardboard cut to the proper size
to fit securely into the hotshoe of your camera would supply a firm base
to stick this level to. And with today's cameras that have very few "flat
and level" surfaces, the hot shoe is about the only surface that should be
specifically level with respect to the plane of the lens.

If you are more concerned with leveling the tripod than the camera, you
might want to make a piece of thin metal that will set between the ball
head mounting and the tripod (fitting over the mounting screw) that will
extend out past the camera body and hold one of these bullseye levels.
This way the tripod would be leveled without being effected by the ball.
And since it would be removable you could move it up to the top of the
ball, beneath the camera, to level the whole system if that is your
desire.

Randy

==========
Randy Berbaum
Champaign, IL
Anonymous
August 11, 2005 7:59:41 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <ddf584$b3r$1@wildfire.prairienet.org>,
Randy Berbaum <rberbaum@bluestem.prairienet.org> wrote:

> I have seen stick on
> bullseye spirit levels

Kaiser makes these and they are available from any camera store.

--
To reply no_ HPMarketing Corp.
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 5:13:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.photography,aus.photo,rec.photo.digital (More info?)

In article <42fb056c$0$32263$5a62ac22@per-qv1-newsreader-
01.iinet.net.au>, tived@iinet.net.au says...
> You can get a little dual spirit level to fit into your hotshoe and then buy
> the ballhead of your choice
>
> Henrik

Hi Henrik,

The problem is I only have one hotshoe and what am I doing when the
flash sits in the hotshoe?
That's the problem.

The camera has no straight line to attach one of these little other
levels.
I think I will go with the Manfrotto 488RC4
http://tinyurl.com/99df4
It's a bit heavy but still a good compromise.
Or are there any negative comments to this head?

Cheers
Anonymous
August 12, 2005 5:13:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 13:13:54 +1000, Gerhard Beulke wrote:

> The problem is I only have one hotshoe and what am I doing
> when the flash sits in the hotshoe?
> That's the problem.

In case you missed my message from several days ago, it mentioned
a Manfrotto tripod accessory that probably works with most brands of
tripods and should do exactly what you're looking for, if you can
justify its cost. It's hard to tell from the small picture, but
appears to fit between the ball head (or center column) and your
camera. More sophisticated panoramic head kits were mentioned, but
I doubt that you'd care to pay $325 to $515 for them when you only
needed a leveller.

> 3502 Ball Camera Leveller
> Weighin 1.4 lbs. and capable of holding 33 lbs. the 3502 provides
> fast levelling for tripods without built-in levels. Fits between the
> center column and head and head and has 10º of adjustment. $69.95

[from:]
Message Date: Tue, 09 Aug 2005 19:28:32 -0400
Message-ID: <c3eif1pjffdvj6s4pqiinm3ij9dlmidn2o@4ax.com>
!