Ball tripod heads made in China

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,991
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I was surfing eBay shopping for a ball head for my tripod. I need something that will work with Mamiya RZ, 65mm lens and a prism. Weighs about 7lbs. I saw a new one listed as "Professional Ball Tripod Head With Quick Release Plate!"

    It's Item #: 180594853786

    Has anybody bought one?
     
  2. kauffman v36

    kauffman v36 Member

    Messages:
    279
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Location:
    Miami
    Shooter:
    35mm
    i recently bought a Benro B-1 from ebay for my RZ which i usually use wih the 50mm ULD which is a heay lens and it supports it without a problem, the Benro is from china i believe and is a knock off of benbo but MUCH cheaper, like 88 bucks for the ballhead with plate.
     
  3. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Remember, you get what you pay for.

    Can't find it now, but a time ago someone posted a review of a cheap chinese ball head that included a tear down.
    The head looked very good on the outside, but dissasembly revealed that they had cut corners everywhere they could. Poorly made, using not the best materials.

    But how else do you suppose they can sell them for US$ 40 (including shipping)?

    So worth a try, if you don't expect it to last for as long as you need it.
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,920
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2002
    Shooter:
    35mm
    vanguard makes very good equipment and on ebay can be bought for a lot less than retail
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I have a Giottos ball head that's Chinese and I find it excellent, I particularly like the adjustable friction on the ball and the two spirit levels in it and the interchangeable quick release platforms on top, and they have a 5year warranty. http://www.giottos.com/MH-3.htm IMO if these tripod heads were made in the West they would cost many times more.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  6. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,991
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hey thanks for all the referrals to the different brands. The Benro B1 or Giottos ball heads seems to be a good options. Can't afford anything over $200. I have an old Bogen head that's worn and I hate the head on my Gitzo.
     
  7. matt S

    matt S Member

    Messages:
    24
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Location:
    boston
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    chinese ball heads

    Hello,

    I had a Giottos MH 1303 (and still have, in a drawer) that worked wonderfully, but it was not enough fot my RB67. The camera was just too heavy and the head would creep- or I had to realllly clamp the ball down.

    I tried a Benro ball (B3)- a bit stronger, but feels cheaper than the giottos.

    I have been using the Photo Clam heads for about a year now, I needed a larger head for a 4x5 monorail. Super solid and holds my 4x5 and my mamiya without problems. Well made and works as it should- I got a second, smaller model (pc33) for my second, smaller tripod. Dumbest name ever. Best Chinese made head I have used so far (they may be made in Korea, I really have no idea). Well made and has lasted through a year of abuse from me.

    Still waiting to find a cheap Arca-Swiss on ebay.

    Matt
     
  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,991
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Hi Matt,
    Thanks for your input. I'm in the same boat as you with a heavy RZ and I also have a Sinar F monorail. The Bogen head that came with my tripod is pretty tired. I should bite the bullet and buy a nice ball head. An Arca Swiss would be nice. I have some Swiss photo gear and have never been disappointed. I gotta start saving for one.
     
  9. Chris Nielsen

    Chris Nielsen Member

    Messages:
    490
    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Waikato, New
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got a Benro BH-2 that I use with my RB67 and it works perfectly acceptably. Of course now I need some spare QR plates I'm having issues but other than that no complaints. Cheap and cheerful.
     
  10. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    9,522
    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    Location:
    Washington DC
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Photo Clam heads (agree with you about the name) are actually Korean, not Chinese.
     
  11. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IMO Matt this isn't a fair comparison, the reason the is the model you chose to buy the MH 1303 was a light duty model and wasn't man enough for the job and far too light for the weight of your equipment, what you needed was a 7000 series Giotto head that are made for M/F SLR s and suitable for large format cameras http://www.giottos.com/
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2010
  12. jp498

    jp498 Member

    Messages:
    1,467
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Location:
    Owls Head ME
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got two. One just like it from another seller, one with a different name but otherwise identical. They are very rugged and well worth the asking price. I use it with an adapter on a surveying tripod for my LF cameras and for my optical fusion splicer.
     
  13. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Well... be sure to come back and report as soon as a screw breaks, or something else goes bad, and i'll tell you "i told you so".
    :wink:
     
  14. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    We used to say the same sort of things about Japanese manufactured goods in the fiftys.
     
  15. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Isn't that the truth! I remember my father ragging about Japanese cars back in the 60's ("just junk, etc.") and we were driving a stick shift Mercury Comet. [rolls eyes]. Look at the landscape now in terms of brand reliability.
     
  16. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yup again. I'm still riding a 40 year-old Honda 750 and my car is a 10 year-old Honda CRV which still runs like a top and trouble free with 155,000 mi. on the clock.
     
  17. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Chinese are doing what the Japanese did in the fiftys and getting a foothold at the cheap end of the Western market with cheap goods, it's only a matter of time before they flood the market with high quality manufactured goods as the Japanese did to nearly destroy the German and the British optical industry, motor bike industry, and many others.
     
  18. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

    Messages:
    5,682
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    May well be.
    Doesn't change the fact that you get what you pay for, and that much of the products we buy from China, we buy because they are cheap.
    If you believe they are cheap, because they don't pay their workforce much, and buy their raw materials for next to nothing, you could well be (half) right.
    But if you think they would not be smart enough to ask what they can get away with, you're definitely wrong.
    So if you get a tripod head for $ 40, you get the same quality from China as you would from, say, the U.S.A. At most.

    I'm not (like the one who tested one of those heads and posted the illustrated report on the web - which i wish i could find again..) willing to pay that much and then take the thing apart to reveal what's hiding behind the shiny, well groomed exterior.
    But if anyone of our fellow-APUGers is... I'lll then jump back in right away to say that "i told you so".
    :wink:
     
  19. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Wellll, of late it's not looking so different. Between Toyota's QC partial meltdown and the US automakers' improvements the landscape has changed a lot.
     
  20. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2010
  21. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes, I agree that fairies (I thought you guys called them faeries? oh,well no matter) work cheap. They're not very big so they don't cost much to house and feed. If they get unhappy a little fairy dust changes that. Not so ethical, but hey, business is business.:smile:
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,598
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2005
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There is some racial element in our prejudices, we in the West before WW11 generally believed that little yellow men all wore glasses had poor eyesight and couldn't fight.
    "Faeries" is an archaic spelling of the word, as in Faerie Queene, as it would have been spelled in Shakespear's time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2010
  23. lxdude

    lxdude Member

    Messages:
    6,942
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2009
    Location:
    Redlands, So
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Are fairies a race? I thought they were a different species altogether. Whatever. They are rather cute, flitting about, working their little wings off.