Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
11-06-2010, 07:24 PM   #1
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 37,357
Lightweight Ball Head Recommendations

Hi,
I recently purchased a Slik Pro 330 DX as a lighter weight alternative to my Giottos MT 9360. At just under $100, the 330 DX is a pretty nice unit except for one thing...I really am having a hard time resonating with the 3-way head that came with the tripod. It is a fairly decent head, but adds significantly to the weight of the package (about 1 lb.), does not fold up easily, and does not work well for my intended use.

Intended use:
  • 35mm film SLR and rangefinder cameras
  • Lenses of moderate weight and dimensions
  • Occasional use with the K10D kit
  • Landscape
  • Flowers
  • Travel
  • Hiking, climbing, XC-skiing, backpacking, etc.
My needs are simple...I want everything...

Requirements:
  • Ball head, single action is fine
  • Light weight (< 9 oz/ 255 gm)
  • Compact
  • Base diameter appropriate for the 330 DX (platform = 40mm)
  • Preference given to non-QR or Arca-Swiss style camera platform
  • 6.6-8.8 lbs/3-4 kg capacity
  • Price < $60 USD
  • Would like to avoid eBay-only brands
Yep, you got it right. My goal was to put together a package for less that $160 USD that is fairly stable and weighs less than 2.5 lbs/1.1 kg. I want 80% of the capability of my Giottos set-up for half the money and about half the weight. Y'all can quite your chuckl'n any time now. I know that this sort of request is posted to this site by noobs at least once a week. The big difference is that I don't want to do it for only $100 and I don't need it to support a K10D with grip and Bigma in gale force winds and I don't need it to come in at under 2 lbs.

The Short List:
  • Velbon QHD-51 (aka PH-353)
  • Giottos MH-1303-210C
  • Giottos MH-1003
  • Giottos MH-1002
  • FLM Standard Ball Head
  • FLM CB-24
  • Adorama Flashpoint F-1
  • Manfrotto Mini Ball Head 494
  • Cullman CB 7.1
Ok...yes, I know, it is sort of a long list and it was based on available spec data on the Web so some things like physical dimensions are a little fuzzy for certain models. Any readers on Pentax Forums have experience with any of the above heads? Any other suggestions?


Steve


(Will be posting a full review of the Slik Pro 330 DX once I get a few hours of use with it...)

11-07-2010, 02:22 AM   #2
Senior Member
Tord's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Gothenburg, aka Göteborg
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 223
The Manfrotto ballhead (which you have in your list!) is an excellent buy - she first used a Cullman similar to the CB 7.1, which we sold second hand, at full price, as it wasn't nearly as easy to use, nor as stable!

For those who don't know it, the Manfrotto 494RC2 is an excellent, single-lever-controlled, ballhead, and incorporates a quick-change plate of about the size you mention, at round about the price you mention. My wife combines hers with a very light, but very stable, GITZO G1157, which is outside your price range. This tripod used to be mine, so she got it for free, gratis and for nothing, so that way it is very much in your price range, although slightly over, weight-wise!
11-08-2010, 07:40 PM   #3
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 37,357
Original Poster
Bump...

Nobody uses cheap/light ballheads?

@Tord. Thanks for your comment. Thanks for the opinion on the Cullmann. The B-M 494 might be a better option.
11-08-2010, 08:26 PM   #4
Senior Member
Itai's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Montreal
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 209
It's about 100g heavier than you asked but it does the job:
Gitzo Series 1 Mag Centre Ball Head Quick Release - centre ball heads

Maybe they have a non-QR version which would be lighter.

- Itai

11-09-2010, 04:53 AM   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Warwickshire, UK
Photos: Albums
Posts: 193
Have a look at Feisol CB-30C - more expensive, but with Arca style QR and friction control. I have the heavier model (CB-50C) and can assure you it's worth the price...
11-12-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 37,357
Original Poster
Well, I ended up ordering the Manfrotto 494 with non-QR head:
Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head 494 B&H Photo Video
I will post my impressions when it gets here.


Steve
11-18-2010, 02:47 PM   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New England
Photos: Albums
Posts: 698
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Bump...

Nobody uses cheap/light ballheads?
I recently bought a Smith-Victor BH5 ($48) but I haven't used it yet, so can't really comment on it, but it is an inexpensive ballhead (especially for being arca-swiss compatible).
11-20-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 37,357
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Well, I ended up ordering the Manfrotto 494 with non-QR head:
Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head 494 B&H Photo Video
I will post my impressions when it gets here.


Steve
So far, so good for the B-M 494. I was using it this afternoon with my KX (film) and it did what I wanted it to. The range of lateral motion is more limited than on competing units, but the double slot helps to mitigate that issue. When locked it is rock solid. My only complaint is that the action is not as smooth as some, but that is typical of B-M resin balls.


Steve

11-20-2010, 06:16 PM   #9
Otis Memorial Pentaxian
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 37,357
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by nater Quote
I recently bought a Smith-Victor BH5 ($48) but I haven't used it yet, so can't really comment on it, but it is an inexpensive ballhead (especially for being arca-swiss compatible).
The SV is a nice head at that price, but twice as heavy as what I needed.


Steve
12-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #10
Veteran Member
sewebster's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 535
I too am looking for a decent but light-ish ballhead... I think I want a twist style locking knob though. I tried out some of the lever ones, but didn't like the feel. The giottos ones look decent, but I can't figure out the differences between the different "lines" (e.g. MH1 MH3 etc.) at all, and there are so many different models...

I might be willing to go up to about 400g. My current heaviest setup is a K200D+DA16-45, but I'd like some room for expansion. I've also found that some of the very small heads don't have as nice a feel, so I'd be willing to go for something a bit bigger if necessary.

Anyway, I'm basically just "thinking out loud" but if anyone has any more input to this thread it'd be nice!
12-22-2010, 04:21 PM   #11
Veteran Member
sewebster's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 535
The Kirk BH3 looks like it might be pretty good, but its a bit heavy, maybe more than a bit at over 500g and fairly expensive. The RRS full size ballhead looks great, but the smaller ones seem a lot different. Maybe I should try some of the lever action versions from different brands.
12-22-2010, 07:04 PM   #12
Veteran Member
sewebster's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 535
The Acratech Ultimate Ballhead is only 450g and less than $300 so that might be nice. They are also the only company I've found to make a k200d anti-twist plate, so I was going to order from them anyway...
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
ball, ball head, dx, giottos, half, head, sort, tripod, usd, weight
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A Compact, Lightweight, Steady Tripod/head? jaieger Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 1 07-27-2010 06:34 PM
Do I need the 804RC2 3-way head with a 408RC2 ball head? apemen Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 1 04-30-2009 09:42 AM
pan-tilt head vs ball head raider Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 9 11-02-2008 09:13 PM
For Sale - Sold: Manfrotto 190 xproB; Ball head 486rc2 and ball head 808rc4 Not Registered Sold Items 6 05-31-2008 06:06 AM
Pan Head, or Ball head? Mike Bokeh Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 48 05-20-2008 08:04 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:03 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top