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01-02-2010, 11:51 AM   #1
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Ball or pan/tilt?

And I don't want to spend more than $100.

I'm not a heavy tripod user but would like something decent (the more robust the better), I will be putting it on these legs............ MTL9371B Giottos MTL 9371B 3-Section Compact Aluminum Tripod, Maximum Height 63", Supports 22 lbs

01-02-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
And I don't want to spend more than $100.

I'm not a heavy tripod user but would like something decent (the more robust the better), I will be putting it on these legs............ MTL9371B Giottos MTL 9371B 3-Section Compact Aluminum Tripod, Maximum Height 63", Supports 22 lbs

Oh, just for the head, 100 dollars?

To hold what for what purpose?

Someone might have a better bargain, but I noticed in Adorama's little holiday catalog, that you could possibly go even cheaper for a 'brute force and ignorance' solution of sorts: their own 'flashpoint' Arca-style ballheads: (They may not be great. I got one of their Flashpoint Arca plates to grind out to fit the lock of this Amvona dealie I am using for now. The quality was not stellar. A better screw in there and it'd be fine, though. (As for Amvona, I wouldn't pay Amvona's retail/online, may as well have Photoclam, but I got a nice Ebay bargain when you could get those, amid needing to get everything else in the world for my old Canons, and it's actually quite a pleasant thing to work with: I've heard others were not so lucky.)

I presume the heads are of about the same quality. (I think these may be a Benro rebadge, but I also think Amvona rebadges a lot of things) Under the circumstances, and knowing nothing but that you're sticking it on a big tripod anyway, I might go big and cheap for now, not expect it to last forever, and save a little more to get past half-measures in the future. I just happened to notice that their holiday sale on these was pretty nice. Wouldn't be an upgrade for me, so, whatever. But they're there. With tripods, there's always room for something not too precious you can leave in a car or wherever, anyway. This way you could save a few bucks and spend some time figuring out what to spend a little more on. First one's the hardest, that way.

Otherwise, I'd say a 3-way head like Tiltall style can be made nicer for cheaper with less to go wrong, but they're less convenient than the popular 'big balls'

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 01-02-2010 at 01:31 PM.
01-02-2010, 01:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Oh, just for the head, 100 dollars?

To hold what for what purpose?

Someone might have a better bargain, but I noticed in Adorama's little holiday catalog, that you could possibly go even cheaper for a 'brute force and ignorance' solution of sorts: their own 'flashpoint' Arca-style ballheads: (They may not be great. I got one of their Flashpoint Arca plates to grind out to fit the lock of this Amvona dealie I am using for now. The quality was not stellar. A better screw in there and it'd be fine, though. (As for Amvona, I wouldn't pay Amvona's retail/online, may as well have Photoclam, but I got a nice Ebay bargain when you could get those, amid needing to get everything else in the world for my old Canons, and it's actually quite a pleasant thing to work with: I've heard others were not so lucky.)

I presume the heads are of about the same quality. (I think these may be a Benro rebadge, but I also think Amvona rebadges a lot of things) Under the circumstances, and knowing nothing but that you're sticking it on a big tripod anyway, I might go big and cheap for now, not expect it to last forever, and save a little more to get past half-measures in the future.

Otherwise, I'd say a 3-way head like Tiltall style can be made nicer for cheaper with less to go wrong, but they're less convenient than the popular 'big balls'
I will use it for some tele shots using a 400 f5.6 and also a few of my mirror lenses namely a 1000mm MTO. I'm also planning on getting down and dirty with with my Vivitar series one 105 and Tamron 70-200 for some macro work.
So a ball head is the way to go? BTW, I have a K20 if that makes a difference.

Thanks again,
Ray
01-02-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
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It's a bit over $100 ($114) but I would suggest going for the Giottos MH1000 ball head (with QR), I'm very happy with mine.

01-02-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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I'd go with Brit's suggestion (Thought someone might have one) if you want to use long lenses. It'll be worth the extra fifteen. At those kinds of focal lengths, any bit of smoother=happier day for you.
01-02-2010, 02:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for the suggestions!

Just to clairify, a ball head is better than a P&T head?
I have never used a ball head and just wanted to know the pluses and minuses of each unit.

Thanks again,
Ray
01-02-2010, 04:57 PM   #7
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Ball Heads tend to handle the weight better and as a consequence give you more control.

01-02-2010, 05:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
Thanks for the suggestions!

Just to clairify, a ball head is better than a P&T head?
I have never used a ball head and just wanted to know the pluses and minuses of each unit.

Thanks again,
Ray
A ballhead of sufficient quality is a wonderful thing for most purposes.

A ballhead of insufficient quality is... Kind of like one of those bad dreams where nothing quite works out.

If you must go very cheap, the classic 3-way head is a safer bet because the machining is harder to screw up. They are also very nice for fine control once you have the whole tripod set up and leveled: you can lock in one axis that way and change only one at a time. Otherwise, a nice ballhead will pretty much blow one away for convenience.

The now-popular ball-heads with the roughly-ping-pong-ball-sized balls and no protruding handles are popular for a reason. They come in all quality grades, now... Some, not so reliable as others, and there are by-comparison-small variations in features best left for later when you develop your own taste in these things.

I think that if Brit says he's happy with a particular 115 dollar head for long lens work, and it's that close to what you want to spend, you can make book on that, though. I don't do that kind of stuff, and that's where you'd notice the difference most. Me, I cheaped out and got lucky.
01-02-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote


I think that if Brit says he's happy with a particular 115 dollar head for long lens work, and it's that close to what you want to spend, you can make book on that, though. I don't do that kind of stuff, and that's where you'd notice the difference most. Me, I cheaped out and got lucky.
For the price, I don't think you can beat the quality. I'm on my second (I accidentally left the first attached to the tripod on the side of the road in Yosemite).


There are two versions of it BTW, one comes with the QR, one doesn't.
01-02-2010, 05:17 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
For the price, I don't think you can beat the quality. I'm on my second (I accidentally left the first attached to the tripod on the side of the road in Yosemite).


There are two versions of it BTW, one comes with the QR, one doesn't.

That's probably an endorsement. How *is* the QR, there? I'm kind of in a place, myself, where 'Arca type or nothing' is best, but the 'quick' in quick release isn't something I need to be very quick, myself, either.
01-02-2010, 05:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
That's probably an endorsement. How *is* the QR, there? I'm kind of in a place, myself, where 'Arca type or nothing' is best, but the 'quick' in quick release isn't something I need to be very quick, myself, either.
Look it up on their website but basically, one version comes with a mount for the camera (you can add a QR if you want) the other has the QR mount built in. The actual plate is an Arca style but the mount is enclosed so the plate slots in instead of sliding in.
01-02-2010, 05:55 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
Look it up on their website but basically, one version comes with a mount for the camera (you can add a QR if you want) the other has the QR mount built in. The actual plate is an Arca style but the mount is enclosed so the plate slots in instead of sliding in.
Sounds like a happy thing to me,if it's trustworthy.

(This is why I defer to these guys on this stuff, Raybo: if I can't handle it in person, I just wanna bolt things down. Though I find this serves me well. If you don't have a lot of money in general, bolt it down. If you want to cheap out, oversized and simple works. Still, I will be asking these same folks myself when it's time to get reasonably-sized and good. )
01-02-2010, 08:48 PM   #13
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Thanks Ratmagiclady and Gary!

$108 with S&H, I hope I picked a good reseller..........

Giottos MH1000-652 Large Ball Head + Quick Release NEW - eBay (item 200423274340 end time Jan-02-10 19:38:22 PST)
01-02-2010, 08:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raybo Quote
Thanks Ratmagiclady and Gary!

$108 with S&H, I hope I picked a good reseller..........

Giottos MH1000-652 Large Ball Head + Quick Release NEW - eBay (item 200423274340 end time Jan-02-10 19:38:22 PST)
You got a good reseller. I got my K10 from them and was very pleased with the transaction.
01-02-2010, 08:56 PM   #15
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Gary,

I almost forgot to mention, looks like this head was made for the tripod I am getting...both made for 22 lb loads.

Ray
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