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10-06-2014, 08:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The one thing I dislike about Manfrotto is that they generally don't use Arca-Swiss plates. Once you understand the immense advantage of a standard system, it's hard to look back. So for me Manfrotto is almost never on my list. Also they are often more expensive than equivalent products from other brands.
They do make models without the head though such as the 055 (and others). Arca Swiss is definitely the way to go for quick release attachment plates. You are not stuck with proprietary plates and can source what you need anywhere. The wide array of Arca Swiss accessories is amazing, especially the number of very high quality ball heads from many makers.

On price I agree 100% they are more expensive than the competition. Unless you compare them to something like Gitzo which makes them seem cheap

10-06-2014, 08:22 AM   #17
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My wife bought a Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod with a Davis & Sanford (FLM) Centerball 38 head slightly used for $140, so it can be done. I've seen good older Bogen/Manfrotto tripods go on Craigslist for $70.
10-06-2014, 10:23 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Arca Swiss is definitely the way to go for quick release attachment plates. You are not stuck with proprietary plates and can source what you need anywhere. The wide array of Arca Swiss accessories is amazing, especially the number of very high quality ball heads from many makers.
+1 to that. Cheap ball heads are like throwing your money away. You just may not realize it for a while.

No clue why the Arca-Swiss monoball p0 doesn't get more attention. It is absolutely amazing in design and functionality. Also holds an unbelievable amount of weight.
You can get the inexpensive one and add your own quickrelease system later, if you like: Arca-Swiss Monoball P0 with Panning System 801211 B&H Photo
Or get one with the classic Arca-Swiss quick release built-in: Arca-Swiss Monoball p0 Ballhead with Classic Quick 801-214 B&H.

Other options also: arca-swiss monoball p0 | B&H Photo Video
10-06-2014, 02:27 PM   #19
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Thanks for all the replies!

Unfortunately my budget is a bit tight, so I decided to get a reasonable tripod and upgrade the ball head later on when I've got the funds
Ended up finding a Manfrotto 190 on ebay for 50 bucks, which seemed like a pretty good deal! I should have it soon, and I'll report back on it's sturdiness!

I'll definitely consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatible ball head.

10-06-2014, 02:53 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthur Quote
I'll definitely consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatible ball head.
When you go shopping for a ball head the rule of thumb is that the stated maximum supported weight should be divided in half. A cheap ball head is NOT just not as good as a good one, it is real pain and frustration to work with and potentially dangerous to your gear. A good ball head is a pleasure to use.
10-06-2014, 03:08 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthur Quote
Thanks for all the replies!

Unfortunately my budget is a bit tight, so I decided to get a reasonable tripod and upgrade the ball head later on when I've got the funds
Ended up finding a Manfrotto 190 on ebay for 50 bucks, which seemed like a pretty good deal! I should have it soon, and I'll report back on it's sturdiness!

I'll definitely consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatible ball head.
The price is low, even too low... Was it with or without a head?
10-06-2014, 06:01 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by cheekygeek Quote
No clue why the Arca-Swiss monoball p0 doesn't get more attention.

Sorry for the thread-jack, but the p0 has been on my radar for a while. Obviously it's great for pano's, but you wouldn't have done many macros in the field with it, would you? I'm usually set up on some pretty gnarly terrain, shooting in portrait orientation (no L-bracket as of yet) so am curious how it handles.


10-07-2014, 04:04 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
The price is low, even too low... Was it with or without a head?
It was with a head (a Manfrotto 486RC2) - we'll see how it turns out. I had the fortunate luck of stumbling across this auction as it was not listed / categorized in the tripod section by the seller, which probably contributed to the lower end price.
10-07-2014, 05:36 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthur Quote
It was with a head (a Manfrotto 486RC2) - we'll see how it turns out. I had the fortunate luck of stumbling across this auction as it was not listed / categorized in the tripod section by the seller, which probably contributed to the lower end price.
As I posted, I had this head before. You should easily recover $50 if you were to sell it. By the way, the top of the tripod where the head sits, there is probably a round plate (attached to the tripod), that provides a base for the head to rest on. In order to detach the head, there are 3 set screws underneath that turn up into the base of the head, preventing it from twisting off. Turn these screws back (I took them completely off) in order to twist the head from the mounting bolt.

Also, with someone else holding the camera, figure out how to work the latching mechanism and safety with one hand. Practice a bit before going out - especially in the dark, both mounting and dismounting the body. Don't let the camera body go Spaulding (as in bounce, bounce, bounce on the ground) - my biggest fear. Neck strap around the neck is a good safety measure. One hand for the camera body and the other one for you.

I think that the set was a good acquisition for the price. Also, ensure that the RC2 plate that attaches to the camera comes with it. If not, you can get one off of evilbay for about $10.

Also, always hold the camera body with one hand when working the tension lever, so as to reposition/repoint the camera. There is no friction tension adjustment, so when you release the lever, the top of the head - the clamp, can flop over, possibly with the camera body mounted.

The mounting bolt on the tripod is standard and any other head will just twist easily on.

I hope that this head works much better for you than it did for me. I already had a head that I was very use to and liked - so I immediately saw everything that was different between the two - as a possible flaw. YMMV....

10-07-2014, 06:49 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by cheekygeek Quote
No clue why the Arca-Swiss monoball p0 doesn't get more attention. It is absolutely amazing in design and functionality. Also holds an unbelievable amount of weight.
The easiest explanation for the unpopularity of the P0 is that Arca-Swiss sucks at advertising and marketing. Thing is, the P0 is not terribly unique as an "upside down" ball head (Novoflex had the Magicball 10 years before, and the Acratech GP can be upside-down or right-side-up). The big A-S p0 feature is the geared locking system. Further, those maximum load numbers are fudged all over the place, and no one would ever put that much on a head much less a tripod... so they are generally meaningless.
10-07-2014, 12:18 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
As I posted, I had this head before. You should easily recover $50 if you were to sell it. By the way, the top of the tripod where the head sits, there is probably a round plate (attached to the tripod), that provides a base for the head to rest on. In order to detach the head, there are 3 set screws underneath that turn up into the base of the head, preventing it from twisting off. Turn these screws back (I took them completely off) in order to twist the head from the mounting bolt.

Also, with someone else holding the camera, figure out how to work the latching mechanism and safety with one hand. Practice a bit before going out - especially in the dark, both mounting and dismounting the body. Don't let the camera body go Spaulding (as in bounce, bounce, bounce on the ground) - my biggest fear. Neck strap around the neck is a good safety measure. One hand for the camera body and the other one for you.

I think that the set was a good acquisition for the price. Also, ensure that the RC2 plate that attaches to the camera comes with it. If not, you can get one off of evilbay for about $10.

Also, always hold the camera body with one hand when working the tension lever, so as to reposition/repoint the camera. There is no friction tension adjustment, so when you release the lever, the top of the head - the clamp, can flop over, possibly with the camera body mounted.

The mounting bolt on the tripod is standard and any other head will just twist easily on.

I hope that this head works much better for you than it did for me. I already had a head that I was very use to and liked - so I immediately saw everything that was different between the two - as a possible flaw. YMMV....

Thanks for all the tips!

I'll definitely need to practice around with the latching mechanism and the ball head before going out, messing up and having my camera smash into the ground does not sound pleasant at all. Keeping the neck strap on sounds like a rather good idea.

I believe it should come with the actual plate, otherwise I'll just grab one off of ebay.

I hadn't realized there was no friction tension adjustment - that does sound like it could lead to some unfortunate issues. If it doesn't work out I'll sell it back and get a new one - I was mostly getting this for the legs which appear to have a good reputation.
10-07-2014, 12:46 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthur Quote
Thanks for all the replies!

Unfortunately my budget is a bit tight, so I decided to get a reasonable tripod and upgrade the ball head later on when I've got the funds
Ended up finding a Manfrotto 190 on ebay for 50 bucks, which seemed like a pretty good deal! I should have it soon, and I'll report back on it's sturdiness!

I'll definitely consider getting an Arca-Swiss compatible ball head.
You did fine. If you get into long lenses you will want something beefier, but the 190 is a decent tripod.
I switched to arca swiss a while ago, makes things more compatible and flexible overall.
10-08-2014, 03:38 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by rthur Quote
...I hadn't realized there was no friction tension adjustment - that does sound like it could lead to some unfortunate issues. If it doesn't work out I'll sell it back and get a new one - I was mostly getting this for the legs which appear to have a good reputation.
Don't just send the whole set back - the legs are nice. If you don' like the 486, find a head that you like better, spin the 486 off and put the other one on. Then sell the 486. There are folks that do like it - especially with spotting scopes. This way, someone else get a good price, which effectively pays for your legs.

Wait for the package to arrive, see how you like it, then figure out how you want to proceed.
QuoteOriginally posted by panoguy Quote
The easiest explanation for the unpopularity of the P0 is that Arca-Swiss sucks at advertising and marketing. Thing is, the P0 is not terribly unique as an "upside down" ball head (Novoflex had the Magicball 10 years before, and the Acratech GP can be upside-down or right-side-up). The big A-S p0 feature is the geared locking system. Further, those maximum load numbers are fudged all over the place, and no one would ever put that much on a head much less a tripod... so they are generally meaningless.
Morning Pano,

The P0 is really nice. I have had my GP for several years before the P0 came out. Its a really nice design.


Last edited by interested_observer; 10-08-2014 at 03:46 AM.
10-17-2014, 04:06 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
The P0 is really nice. I have had my GP for several years before the P0 came out. Its a really nice design.

The P0 came out in 2009? I can't remember when the GP was introduced, but it's a more flexible, reversible design. Of course, Novoflex has had the goofy MagicBall available since the 90's (general opinion is that the blue ball kind of sucks in practical use).

Last edited by panoguy; 10-17-2014 at 04:36 PM.
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