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02-15-2016, 01:25 PM   #1
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Tripod head for 645Z

I just acquired a used 645Z and need to make sure it's getting solid support. I'm assuming that my Gitzo GT2543L Mountaineer legs will be adequate but I've got a pretty motley assortment of heads, none of which seems appropriate. I'd welcome suggestions/recommendations.

02-15-2016, 02:23 PM   #2
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Congratulations on the Z, Dave. For heads, I've got you covered:

Battle of the titans: Top ball heads tested: Digital Photography Review

or

What goes around: 6 mid-sized ball heads put to the test: Digital Photography Review

Your legs will be fine with any of the recommended models above. I personally would recommend the Acratech or Novoflex, even though they may have "maximum load ratings" (ugh) of 25lbs or less. Those numbers are meaningless if you get a head like the old Arca-Swiss Z1 which can hold a huge amount, but ends up being so-so in performance at any weight.
02-15-2016, 02:31 PM   #3
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Markins Is Solid

Markins is a little pricey but very stable. Supports my *300, *60-250 and my Sigma 170-500 with ease.
02-15-2016, 02:45 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I just acquired a used 645Z and need to make sure it's getting solid support. I'm assuming that my Gitzo GT2543L Mountaineer legs will be adequate but I've got a pretty motley assortment of heads, none of which seems appropriate. I'd welcome suggestions/recommendations.
Just got the RRS BH-55 ballhead for my Z, top notch precision, highly recommended.

02-15-2016, 03:04 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The Acra Swiss Z1 works well with the 645Z.
02-15-2016, 03:35 PM   #6
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Another vote for the RSS ball head (and plates).
02-15-2016, 03:51 PM - 4 Likes   #7
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FWIW, i switched from a ballhead to a sturdy yet discontinued model Manfrotto 3-way head a few years ago which has become my preference. I prefer more contact between the large bodied 645Z and the QR plate than the arca-style plates can provide, so mine uses much larger plates (Manfrotto RC4).

I am still a fan of the Induro carbon leg set CT414 8x which has gotten a workout in my rig and proving to be tough. Rated for 55lbs load, this is not overkill with a MF rig and big glass once you also hang a 25lb bag to the center column for extra stability. Keep that in mind when choosing a leg set.

I love the look and feel of that RRS 55 ballhead and was gonna buy it until i read about their hateful political tendencies, and quite frankly, my money can go elsewhere.
02-15-2016, 04:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
I love the look and feel of that RRS 55 ballhead and was gonna buy it until i read about their hateful political tendencies,
Wow that is intolerant because they support marriage between a man and women. Best to keep your politics off the forum.

02-15-2016, 04:58 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
Induro carbon leg set CT414 8x

Slightly off topic, but you can find the 4-piece version of this tripod heavily discounted at B&H and Amazon right now--$299, I think. (You're responsible for getting it to the top of the hill, though...)
02-15-2016, 05:29 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheDocAUS Quote
Wow that is intolerant because they support marriage between a man and women. Best to keep your politics off the forum.
Well, how about their intolerance? OT, of course, but I'm glad to know about this, personally.

---------- Post added 02-15-16 at 07:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
I just acquired a used 645Z and need to make sure it's getting solid support. I'm assuming that my Gitzo GT2543L Mountaineer legs will be adequate but I've got a pretty motley assortment of heads, none of which seems appropriate. I'd welcome suggestions/recommendations.
My vote (and I voted with my money) goes to 2 heads: the Acratech---there are several that would suit. Mine is extremely solid. The other is one I bought for studio work, fine arts repro: Manfrotto 410 geared head. I may start using this one in the field soon. The only knock on the Manfrotto are the eccentric, non-Arca plates. Dumb.
02-15-2016, 06:36 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheDocAUS Quote
Wow that is intolerant because they support marriage between a man and women. Best to keep your politics off the forum.
happy to, but i'm actually glad i read about it on a photo forum so that could contribute to my decision to avoid RRS.
the end

---------- Post added 02-15-2016 at 05:38 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Slightly off topic, but you can find the 4-piece version of this tripod heavily discounted at B&H and Amazon right now--$299, I think. (You're responsible for getting it to the top of the hill, though...)
$499 on amazon and that is much less than i paid. good deal.

_____ oh, i do see something for $299, that is a different model and shorter, but still looks like a good deal!

Last edited by mikeSF; 02-15-2016 at 06:47 PM.
02-15-2016, 06:51 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Mike, it was actually the new "Grand Stealth Series"--same legs, I think, with flat plate:
Induro GIT404L Grand Series 4 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod
02-15-2016, 07:01 PM   #13
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Thanks for the feed-back, folks. I think I'm inclined toward the Acratech--I like the simplicity and "open architecture."
02-15-2016, 07:35 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
My vote (and I voted with my money) goes to 2 heads: the Acratech---there are several that would suit. Mine is extremely solid. The other is one I bought for studio work, fine arts repro: Manfrotto 410 geared head. I may start using this one in the field soon. The only knock on the Manfrotto are the eccentric, non-Arca plates. Dumb.
Regardingthe Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head, I converted the QR plate with HenjarPhoto'sExtended PlateWith F63 Clamp for 410 Gear Head. The clamp is Arca-Swiss compatible andthe clamp center is located on Manfrotto 410 camera/lensmount axis and it is the same as the head panning base. When the head is pannedboth the head and camera/lens rotate around the same axis—convenient andadvantageous. The original Manfrotto 410PL QR plate was proprietary and simply inconvenient.
02-15-2016, 07:50 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by CreationBear Quote
Mike, it was actually the new "Grand Stealth Series"--same legs, I think, with flat plate:
Induro GIT404L Grand Series 4 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod
That does look good. At 59" Max length, it is quite a bit shorter than the 77" max extension of the 414...is that completely a function of the lack of a center column, or are the legs shorter?? May be worth having as a back up
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