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05-06-2021, 04:58 AM   #16
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Some of the Sirui ball heads have a pan lock screw at the bottom, unlocking it will allow you to rotate the head around without unlocking the ball. Of course if the camera is at a wonky angle, the wonkiness continues as you pan around.

05-06-2021, 05:50 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxxoid Quote
.... Is there any advantage/disadvantage to using a ball head to level the camera? ....
The only disadvantage would be weight distribution on the tripod legs - you won't want the whole assembly to fall over.
05-15-2021, 05:58 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
My Arcratech GXP may be inverted for use as a pano head, but a leveling base is a more robust solution.
That's very clever! Now I'm thinking that this might be done with many ball heads where the clamp is held to the head with a 3/8 screw.
05-15-2021, 10:18 AM - 1 Like   #19
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The other disadvantage of using the ball head upside down as a leveling base, is it only works if the camera stays perfectly level. Adding a leveling base would allow shooting panos tilted up or down.

Thanks,
barondla

05-15-2021, 01:47 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
That's very clever! Now I'm thinking that this might be done with many ball heads where the clamp is held to the head with a 3/8 screw.
If the ball head has a platform for the clamp attachment and if the clamp attaches with bolt into the head, yes!


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05-15-2021, 02:37 PM   #21
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Have you tried a hotshoe bubble level? We use several types in our household but the one I like best is the Jobu version. Solid, all metal, doesn't freeze when it's cold. I use this because doesn't matter if the legs or ballhead isn't level, the camera will always be level.

Canadian website: Dubble Bubble Level

Also available right now at B&H if you are in the U.S.
05-16-2021, 05:55 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by tranq78 Quote
doesn't matter if the legs or ballhead isn't level, the camera will always be level.
Not if you're using the panning base for creating a stitched panorama. The more unlevel the base, the more top and bottom waste when stiching.

---------- Post added 05-16-21 at 09:03 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
The other disadvantage of using the ball head upside down as a leveling base, is it only works if the camera stays perfectly level. Adding a leveling base would allow shooting panos tilted up or down.
Good point. It only works if keeping everything level. Besides, even if all is level, it seems to be trading the inconvenience of leveling the tripod with the inconvenience of uninstalling, flipping and reinstalling the head.

05-17-2021, 08:30 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by rogerstg Quote
it seems to be trading the inconvenience of leveling the tripod with the inconvenience of uninstalling, flipping and reinstalling the head.
I used the Acratech upside down several times and quickly decided it was too much work to uninstall / reverse / reinstall for a pano. And then reverse all that for normal use. The function is clever and useful but just clamping a panning base into the ball head is simpler. Though you have to carry the panning base as well and if weight is an issue that is another item to carry.

My panning base has a male arca-swiss plate threaded onto the bottom and a female arca-swiss clamp on top so its rather quick to add it onto the tripod.
05-17-2021, 09:14 AM   #24
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I just picked up some Artcise AS80C sticks. So far seem like a really good value for very sturdy carbon fiber legs with a built-in leveling base. As far as I can tell, there's no substitute for leveling at the base.

I've paired it with a Leofoto VH-30R 2-way tilt/pan head for my field/landscape kit.

This is basically a Chinese knock off of Thomas Heaton's setup, which is an iFootage Gazelle with an Acratech pan/tilt head, which he settled on after getting sick of ball heads.
05-18-2021, 09:07 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote

My panning base has a male arca-swiss plate threaded onto the bottom and a female arca-swiss clamp on top so its rather quick to add it onto the tripod.
Neat idea to add/remove the leveling base quickly. Why are you constantly changing the leveling base out? Figured I'd just leave it on all the time. Never know when a panorama will present itself.

Thanks,
barondla
05-18-2021, 10:23 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by zjacreman Quote
I just picked up some Artcise AS80C sticks. So far seem like a really good value for very sturdy carbon fiber legs with a built-in leveling base. As far as I can tell, there's no substitute for leveling at the base.

I've paired it with a Leofoto VH-30R 2-way tilt/pan head for my field/landscape kit.

This is basically a Chinese knock off of Thomas Heaton's setup, which is an iFootage Gazelle with an Acratech pan/tilt head, which he settled on after getting sick of ball heads.
Anyone else notice a trend toward decent carbon fiber tripods for little money? I recently picked up a fotopro X-Go Max with ball head for $169 on a daily deal at B&H. I bought it to have a lightweight tripod for hikes. It's surprisingly nice for the money. The last time I bought a cheap carbon fiber tripod ($200 Oben) it was pure garbage. It lasted months before it went in the garbage can. That was years ago. At the time, I said, never again. Now, it looks like you can get a decent product without breaking the bank.
05-18-2021, 10:28 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Why are you constantly changing the leveling base out?
Now that is a good question....... Wish I had a good answer Habit, I guess. Small addition in weight but it isn't much. So, to be honest, no reason I can think of. I'm going to stick it on for a month and see if that provides an answer.

I just shot a real estate gig last week and part of that is shooting the interior of the walls before sheet rock goes on to record utility runs. I set up in the center then rotate to shoot all four walls. I remember having to readjust level for each shot. Having the panning base on would have made that simple. Duh.............
05-21-2021, 08:11 AM   #28
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BH-55 Ball Head | Really Right Stuff

The BH-55 with a panning clamp on top is my setup and I love it. Rock solid and works well as a ball head or leveling base.
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