Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
05-03-2012, 03:28 PM   #1
Veteran Member
enoxatnep's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The edge of nowhere, Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 467
Manfrotto Junior Geared Head or better ball head?

I've used only a ball head on my one tripod for years now, but I can't stand how it's so difficult to make micro-adjustments without throwing everything else out of whack, esp. with macro. For example, trying to center an object or make it symmetrical, or to make a landscape level. So I've been intrigued for a while now by the Manfrotto 410, which I've seen and actually fiddled around with, and absolutely love its solid precision, but I'm concerned about the extra size; obviously the ball head is far more compact and lightweight.

So should I just get a better quality ball head - and if so, which one - or is the Manfrotto 410 a better bet?

05-03-2012, 03:49 PM - 1 Like   #2
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Indiana
Posts: 170
I too have used a ballhead for almost 20 years,[ a Manfrotto ] I just went thru the same dilema myself, to go geared or a new ballhead. I went with the Manfrotto 468 MGRCO ballhead and have been amazed at the smothness of movement compared to my old head. I was also influenced by the fact I already used those type of quick release plates and have them on everything. So I decided against replacing all my plates. But the new ballhead is just perfect, tension can be set and very smooth to move it around. It has 2 levels on it and a panoramic base,
I can't say enough good about it. I use a Pentax Macro rail for very minor adjustments
This all probably doesn't help you much, but I all I can say is Good Luck.
05-03-2012, 04:47 PM   #3
Veteran Member
enoxatnep's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The edge of nowhere, Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 467
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Old Man Quote
This all probably doesn't help you much, ...
Actually, this is very good information. Thank you! The more info, the better.
05-03-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
rvannatta's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Apiary, Oregon
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,181
I'm really very anti-ball head. It gives you few options for control, but my interest is with extreme long glass. Years ago I spent time time in Ft. Sill Oklahoma
in Artillary school. If you want to hit something, you level up the gun, and then have two adjustments... Azimuth and deflection, or direction and elevation
if you will. You need to get your equpment balanced, and then you can close in on it----either by panning or adjusting the elevation. If you choose a pan head
you can leave the pan loose if you want while adjusting, or if you use a gimbalhead (which have lately become affordable) you can leave them both loose until
you get where you want... and then tighten them without the system taking a header. I suppose if one is using shorter glass the discipline of either up or down or right or left is excessive.

05-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #5
cmohr's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Brisbane. Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,614
I do use a ball head for my macro, but I do use a macro rail that brings the body of the camera backwards from the pivot point of the ball so adjustments are easier, That said, if Macro is your main reason, I think the micro adjustments of a geared head would make life so much easier, and better for shooting in the long run.

05-03-2012, 05:27 PM   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
cpk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Montreal
Posts: 510
I use both Manfrotto ball heads and 410s. If I'm doing architectural photography or anything that requires careful adjustments, the 410 gives the precision of adjustments which a ball head cannot provide. However, it is heavier and slower to use. My carry-around tripods have ball heads on them, although the 410 can replace them if required.
05-03-2012, 06:03 PM   #7
Veteran Member
Clicker's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,241
I've used gear heads for years with a view camera, if that's the speed you shoot at micro adjusting then yes a gear head in your case would be better, if not then try a better ball head find one with separate controls for rotation, (ball locking) *ball friction and ball orientation* like one of Manfrotto's Hydrostat Ball Head

05-03-2012, 08:23 PM   #8
Veteran Member
stormtech's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: In the boonies (NW Penna)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,744
I use both a ball head (Manfrotto 468MG) and a geared head (Manfrotto 410).

What cpk said sums it up well for me also. I use the ball head when down by the river shooting wildlife, and use the geared head when shooting flowers/closeups.

While I have a couple tripods, I have only one that I consider a quality one - the 055XPROB. I like to use that tripod exclusively, so I came up with a solution to accommodate both heads - I bought an extra center stem for the tripod, and mounted the ball head on one and the geared head on the other. Now it takes a matter of 1 button push - slide the center column out, and slide the other in.

I feel I have the best of both worlds with this setup - but I use all my equipment at home 99% of the time so weight/bulk isn't an issue.

To the OP - my answer obviously is to have both and use both!
05-04-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
I have the 410 but use it exclusively for landscapes for which it is superb, for birding and other mobile activities I use a Gimbal - fantastic on a monopod, and for macro a Velbon macro rail.
05-04-2012, 03:33 PM   #10
Veteran Member
enoxatnep's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: The edge of nowhere, Alberta, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 467
Original Poster
Thanks so much for the input, everyone. I'll definitely be checking out the Manfrotto 468MGRC series the next time I make it to my favorite camera store. Then I will decide between that and the 410. Wish I could get both, but maybe in the future.

  • 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, head, manfrotto, tripod
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head with Quick Release (Worldwide) Bob Tuttle Sold Items 0 12-02-2010 11:50 AM
For Sale - Sold: Manfrotto 679B Monopod + Manfrotto 486 RC2 Ball Head (CONUS) loveisageless Sold Items 2 09-07-2010 07:16 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

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:19 AM. | See also:, 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?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]