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10-27-2015, 05:39 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
I haven't traveled for many years, so don't think I'd be going to any photo store in the future. A shame that the 2 that were here, closed.
Yeah, it seems to take a large city to support a camera store these days. But to test out the difference between a ball head and a pan/tilt you don't need a camera store, just a store that has some tripods. Not necessarily the ones you want, just something you can play with and get a feel for. Heck, our local grocery store used to carry tripods. Target, Best Buy, Wal Mart would all have some to look at. Not ones I would buy most likely but at least you can get a sense of how they work. Just remember what I said about cheap ball heads: they droop and are a real pain. A good one is a joy to use.

10-27-2015, 06:06 PM   #17
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I do know how they work, I have a RedGed RP-3 ball mount, that I'm selling with my monopod. I just wanted to hear what members feel are the best between the two, and why.
10-27-2015, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
I moved from a ball-head to a geared head because of heavy lenses
Even the very best ball heads exhibit long lens droop (to some extent), I still use Ball heads where extreme precision isn't really needed. But I almost exclusively use geared tripod heads in the studio, where I need to re-create every parameter in a shoot, the precision of a geared head is invaluable.

The accuracy isn't just for long lenses, it helps with macro photography. Ever tried doing 1:2 macro photography with a ballhead?


Last edited by Digitalis; 10-28-2015 at 06:39 AM.
10-27-2015, 06:09 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Acratech GP
That's what I am using ... absolutely perfect and ... well manufactured.
Not a cheapie but worth every $$

10-28-2015, 05:44 AM   #20
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For the record, for long lenses I use a RRS FG-02 gimbal, the ballhead I use is a RRS BH-55. For studio work: I use the Arca swiss Cube and Manfrotto 405.
10-31-2015, 05:30 AM   #21
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Isn't the #3126 a video head? I have the Bogen equivalent and I love it for video, but if you're using it for still photography, it lacks the ability to shoot vertical shots. It may be no big thing to you, but for me, that's huge. I still prefer pan/tilt heads for my main tripod, but have started using ballheads on others.
10-31-2015, 05:43 AM   #22
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I now have 2 ballheads, a 36mm and a 44mm, both, not cheap, but excellent. Friction control is the key, also, use a macro rail to balance your camera / lens combo. Both my ballheads can handle macro at 1:1 without any problems, and can handle my 300/2.8. See my tripod solution thread, I should actually update it with my upgrades at some point.

Remember, most cheap tripod heads, either ball or three way, whilst will work, will not be as good as a quality head, the difference is quite startling.

10-31-2015, 08:43 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
Isn't the #3126 a video head? I have the Bogen equivalent and I love it for video, but if you're using it for still photography, it lacks the ability to shoot vertical shots. It may be no big thing to you, but for me, that's huge. I still prefer pan/tilt heads for my main tripod, but have started using ballheads on others.
It probably is; however, I can count on one hand the images I've taken vertically; so it works very well for my type of shooting. So, it's no big thing to me.
10-31-2015, 12:11 PM   #24
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Ok need opinions on these two; still haven't decided on Ball or pan yet:

Manfrotto MHXPRO 3 way pan/tilt (17.6# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head MHXPRO-3W B&H Photo

Manfrotto MHXPRO Ball (22# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL MHXPRO-BHQ2 B&H

Also any opinions on the Fiesol, Induro, Sirui brands. I'm open to better/more suggestions in this price range.

Last edited by csa; 10-31-2015 at 12:23 PM.
10-31-2015, 12:52 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Ok need opinions on these two; still haven't decided on Ball or pan yet:

Manfrotto MHXPRO 3 way pan/tilt (17.6# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head MHXPRO-3W B&H Photo

Manfrotto MHXPRO Ball (22# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL MHXPRO-BHQ2 B&H

Also any opinions on the Fiesol, Induro, Sirui brands. I'm open to better/more suggestions in this price range.
Out of those two I would choose the ball.
Ball is lighter and higher weight rating as well.
10-31-2015, 01:29 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Ok need opinions on these two; still haven't decided on Ball or pan yet:

Manfrotto MHXPRO 3 way pan/tilt (17.6# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-3W 3-Way Pan/Tilt Head MHXPRO-3W B&H Photo

Manfrotto MHXPRO Ball (22# cap.) Manfrotto MHXPRO-BHQ2 XPRO Ball Head with 200PL MHXPRO-BHQ2 B&H

Also any opinions on the Fiesol, Induro, Sirui brands. I'm open to better/more suggestions in this price range.

the MHXPRO-3W was on my short list when I came across a too-good-to-pass-up deal on a used 410 Junior head...
10-31-2015, 03:45 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
410 Junior head
Congratulations, that looks like a nice head; but out of my price range.
10-31-2015, 04:01 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by csa Quote
Congratulations, that looks like a nice head; but out of my price range.

$135, off of eBay....
10-31-2015, 04:11 PM   #29
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Now that is a great deal; but I am reluctant to buy from EBay.
10-31-2015, 04:33 PM   #30
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I have quite a few tripod heads: pan/tilt; ball; one Manfrotto geared; one cradle-style for telephoto.
1) I have used the geared head in the field both for macro and long lenses, but found it heavy and clumsy and prefer one of the pan/tilt heads because I can change the pan, or the tilt, or the leveling without altering the other two
2) as noted, I prefer pan/tilt for field macro, especially a relatively inexpensive Slik unit because it has separate variable friction adjustments for both pan & tilt, but not for the leveling (horizon).
3) for general photography my favorite ball head is a Sirui K10, rated @ 44lb capacity, price under $100. They offer two larger ball heads: K20 (55lb) for $130 and K30 (66lb) for, as I recall, about $150. A friction control is set when you first use the head, and after following the instructions, I found the lock to be extremely smooth and nicely progressive. Sirui makes a very fine ball head, the K10 is very compact and light weight for its rated load.
4) For a big tele, the Manfrotto heavy lens cradle is just as effective as the popular Wimberley gimbal head, but at 1/3 the price.

BTW: If you're looking for a superior tripod, the Manfrotto 055 in its various manifestations (aluminum, carbon fiber, three leg sections, four leg sections, with or without tilting center column) is probably the most highly regarded, highly rated, best like tripod on the market. (I do not own this tripod - I use several tripods but my favorite for general use is also made by Sirui). Gitzo tripods are supposed to be the "elite" and are priced accordingly. I have a Gitzo carbon fiber (their 1st carbon fiber 'pod) but I have never found the twist-locks on the legs entirely reliable. The flip-locks on my big Manfrotto, my little Slik, the Sirui, and the Giotto have been much more reliable against leg-collapse.
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