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08-06-2015, 09:13 PM   #1
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Arca-Swiss Compatible Ballhead

This week my son accepted a chef position at a 5 star resort up in Sedona. Then through a friend of mine at work, we ran across a 3B/2Ba house (just a dumb luck hallway conversation) that backs up to Oak Creek (same creek but not in Oak Creek Canyon) on 2.5 acres, south of Sedona - that is in a very very dark sky area. The rent is absolutely cheap - as they really just want someone living there, who is reliable & dependable.

He has asked about my old K5, and I am including some lenses (16-45 and my 55-300, probably my Voight 20/f3.5), SD card, an old heavy tripod, external shutter release - but I don't have an extra ballhead for him, but I do have an extra A-S plate that works very well. He has also commandeered my Pana LX-3 for the kitchen.

I am going to have to go looking for a 28/f2.8 for him. He wants to do the Milky Way and star trails, along with landscape shots (day, evening and night). The kid picks up a camera - any camera, and shoots a perfectly composed images that I really need to work at to achieve. He is just a natural at this.

So, what is a reasonably priced A-S comparable ballhead? The heaviest load he will be going with is about 2 pounds (K5 and a 16-45/f4). I have preferences on the other end of the price spectrum, but not down at the inexpensive end (about $100).

I happened across this one, along with the similar ones down at the bottom of the page. Anyone have experience with these? Giottos, LED Science, Smith-Victor, Oben..... Does anyone know of one with a friction control in this price range?
I now have a place to stay for night shooting up there....




Last edited by interested_observer; 08-06-2015 at 09:41 PM.
08-06-2015, 10:34 PM   #2
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I just spent far too long looking at A-S compatible heads (and lots of other kinds, too) to buy a tripod. I hate tripods. I can't make any recommendations, though, because I haven't owned any of them. My advice -- if you can't find a reliable used one (say, off the marketplace, where they rarely appear), go to B&H using Adam's link in the Marketplace section and use their filters. You can select "Ballheads under $100", just like on Jeopardy, and go to town. There are lots of people making them and all but the cheapest claim to have friction adjustments.

B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders

Photography -- Support Equipment -- Tripod Heads. The "filters" are on the left of the screen including for price and features.

Last edited by fredralphfred; 08-06-2015 at 10:36 PM. Reason: Remove quote -- used "quick reply"
08-07-2015, 05:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by interested_observer Quote
So, what is a reasonably priced A-S comparable ballhead?
I really like my Feisol CB-40D:

FEISOL CB-40D Ballhead with QP-144750 Release Plate CB-40D B&H

It has served me well with my medium format stuff (Pentax 645 and Pentax 67 gear) as well as a 4x5 monorail view camera, so it should easily handle the K-5, etc., I would think.
08-07-2015, 06:05 AM   #4
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You can also just use any decent ballhead you can get your hands on with a screw and buy an arca-clamp to put on it for as little as $12...

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