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Old March 30th, 2015, 11:17 AM   #1
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Ball Head?

I am looking to get a ball head that will be able to support my 70-200, 6D and battery grip. Anyone have any experience with these? I am looking for it to go on my slider and the one I currently use struggles to hold all that weight. Any suggestions?

EDIT: I was hoping to get one that's under $100
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Old March 30th, 2015, 04:09 PM   #2
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Re: Ball Head?

Hi Brock.

Lets get the semantics out of the way first.

Do you mean "ball head" designed for a flat topped stills tripod, a la Ball - Heads - Photo Supports - Products | Manfrotto

OR

a half ball head designed to mate with a half bowl video tripod thus: PRO VIDEO HEAD 100 509HD - Pro Video | Manfrotto ?

As the 6D was named as the weapon of choice, I'll take a punt and assume it was the former.

A typical stills ball head has one serious limitation in that the drag/ lock is situated directly under the camera mount. If the load is seriously out of balance an inordinate amount of force is required to keep the unit from sagging.

For long lens shooting they are seriously hard work. Throw in that they have all the pan/ tilt subtlety of a flying mallet, no ability to adjust the COG of the load and little pan/ tilt drag adjustment, it's a pretty poor choice for video work.

The real solution is the full half ball/ half bowl system designed for video with the considerable weight gain that it implies.

If you'd asked this question in the tripod & sticks Forum you might have got other suggestions and you may anyway, but I'll give you my take on a stills head that works pretty good FOR STILLS, I wouldn't (and needn't) use this for video work, though I can see how one could if push came to shove.

Having forsaken video to seriously trim my equipment payload (bad back) I needed to find the fastest, lightest stills support I could without it breaking the bank.

Having on hand one of these: Speed Lock 75 CF - Sachtler (doesn't everyone?) I mated it with one of these: 520BALL 75Mm Bowl With Knob 520BALL - Others | Manfrotto (which I had lying around) and purchased one of these: X-PRO 3-Way Head With Retractable Levers & Friction Controls MHXPRO-3W - 3 Way Adjustable Heads | Manfrotto

The combination is the slickest stills rig I've ever used, though not perfect. The MXPRO has leveling bubbles on all 3 axis but suprisingly NOT a bubble to tell you when the spindle is vertical, which would not be required on a standard stills tripod as you'd adjust the legs till it was near vertical then use the +/- 10 degree adjustment of the tilt/ flip handles to get it perfect.

All this isn't an issue if taking plain stills, however it has ramifications if shooting multi- image mosaics as any pan can introduce an error of anything up to 5 degrees. I got around it by modifying the head to have another bubble mounted on the spindle clamp bolt head which is the pan centre axis of the head.

Works pretty good too.

An added advantage for me was that the QR plate of the MXPRO is the same as the QR plate for my monopod head, so it's simply plug and play.

Good luck with your search!


CS
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Old July 30th, 2015, 12:07 PM   #3
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Re: Ball Head?

I just got one of these and I'm very pleased with it. $99.95 at Amazon SIRUI G-20 36mm Ballhead with Quick Release, 44.1 lbs Load Capacity
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Old July 30th, 2015, 11:43 PM   #4
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Re: Ball Head?

I went overboard but I wanted a quality ball head that uses manfrotto 501 standard video plate. It's superb but pricey.

Manfrotto 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q5 Quick Release

BH (Links)

I use it for lock down tripod shots, slider, and monpod. It's so smooth you think it's a fluid head.
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Old August 10th, 2015, 11:48 PM   #5
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Re: Ball Head?

Man you got the Sirui G 20, its just not available in inida i had to buy the G15 which is decent with 22 lbs capacity and works wonderful.
The Manfrotto plate does fit in nicely into it, as my old combination was the Man 501 + 503 head there were 2 plates that i had now it works nicely
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Old August 12th, 2015, 01:39 AM   #6
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Re: Ball Head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Newcomb View Post
I just got one of these and I'm very pleased with it. $99.95 at Amazon SIRUI G-20 36mm Ballhead with Quick Release, 44.1 lbs Load Capacity
Charles and Vishal,
Do you use this for Video? Are you able to pan smoothly like a quality fluid head?
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Old August 12th, 2015, 12:50 PM   #7
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Re: Ball Head?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabyasachi Patra View Post
Charles and Vishal,
Do you use this for Video? Are you able to pan smoothly like a quality fluid head?
Sabyasachi,

I use it exclusive for video, mostly on DSLR and m4/3 with lens unto 500 f4 L IS II canon.
It does nice work panning working like a quality fluid head should, its built pretty nicely, the main reason for its use is that it makes me more mobile while shooting, as lugging equipment normally restricts our wildlife shots or increases our dependencies on external help which is difficult to get.
I use the Sirui 3204 legs with the Sirui head which makes its light weight, monsoons help me with this gear as we need additional weather covers and other things to carry.
Yes its not the Oconner level , however i suppose its best to use in field when we consider weight for flexibility.
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