A big tripod HEAD thread
I have been searching lately for tripods. I bought several. And know now what I will keep. My main tripod will be the FOBA Alfea/alfae. That's a rock solid tripod with the highest possible quality. It will be perfectly capable of Lf as well. So that's a keeper. I might keep a gitzo studex 3 as back up.
Right know I still use the bogen head from my 144b tripod. My camera is a pentax 67 (heavy and big) and will be a smaller monorail or linhof technika in the future. The bogen head is too small and the camera is too heavy.
So I want to get a new head. I searched this forum but could not find any definitive threads on this subject. I hope for suggestions and information on what head to buy. Some of my thoughts:
It must be a top quality thing. A piece of equipment that does not demand my attention because it is well thought trough.
It must carry the pentax 67 easily.
I want it to be SMOOOOOOOTH...
It would be nice that I can also use it for a LF in the near future.
It could be a 3way head, but if everyone here sais a ballhead is easily recommended over a 3way, than I am open for tat as well.
Off course I have seen the gitzo series like the 1570M. Is that the logical choise. Or has Bogen an alternative that's easily as good? Or are there other brands that are even more desirable?
I used to have a bogen 144b as stated before. I bought a gitzo studex3 after that, but I must confess that, thuogh everyione seems to agree on gitzo superiority over bogen, that I was somewhat disappointed with it. The bogen seemed better build and thought trough... Can I expect the same for their heads?
So, gimme some thoughts!!
If you are considering a Ball head, I have recently purchased a Markins M20 which is the larger of the larger Markins ball heads. The smaller and lighter head is the M10. These South Korean heads are well finished with smooth panning and tilting capabilities with rather small size and weight with tremendous holding capabilities. The smaller head has a holding capability of 88 pounds and the larger has a holding capability of 99 pounds. The larger head is perhaps 2/3 the size of my Arca B1 Ball. Both heads are available with and without the Arca Type QR and are available in the R (regular version like the Arca B1) and the L (left which I purchased) version. I purchased the M20 (without the Arca type QR and purchased a Kirk 2 1/2" Arca Type QR with bullseye bubble level) but could have also used the M10 for my backpacking tripod to support my Linhof Technikardan 45S. This head is easily strong enough to support any of my lenses and Linhof Technikardan 45S or even any Leica R series camera and even the Modular Apo Telyt system up to and including the 800mm f 5.6 (had used this set-up on my Arca B1 and the M20 is supposed to be even stronger).
Both heads have been well reviewed. You can read a review at Nikonians at:
These heads can be purchased from Nikonians or from Markins America in British Columbia, Canada.
If you need more information let me know.
I think you are a nature photographer . I assume you work slow. I work slow as well. Is a 3way not better for slow work?
It is not that I consider either one of the two types. I just want to one that will suit me the best. Problem is that their is no big photostore around, so I can not test it myself.
How does a big magnesium 3way head by gitzi (or a different brand??) stand against a good quality big ballhead like the markins suggested or a arca or foba?
If you're only shooting 4x5" and 6x7, the Gitzo G1570M might be overkill (I have one), unless you are using very long lenses or long extensions for macro work. The G1370M should be plenty and the smaller platform will be more compatible with various types of QR plates, if that is of interest to you. An overly large platform can interfere with some camera/lens combinations.
If you want the strength and compact design of a ballhead and the precision of a pan-tilt head, consider the Arca-Swiss B2.
If you have money coming out of your ears, consider the Arca Swiss Cube.
If you don't mind carrying something kind of heavy, the venerable Majestic head is a great value and is rock solid, and fairly affordable on the used market. If you get one that has a clamp-on base, you can get an adapter for a standard 3/8"-16 tripod head mounting screw. The platform is interchangeable.
I use a Manfrotto 3047, which easily handles my Kiev 60, 88CM, 4x5 Speed Graphic, or 5x7 Century. So it should handle the Pentax fine. I prefer to be able to work in one dimension at a time when setting up a shot on a tripod, so have never acquired a ball head. Leveling with a ball head seems too hard. If I need to work faster I go hand held or use a prop or a monopod.
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I work slowly when appropriate. I work quickly when needed. With the Markins heads or an Arca B1 Ball or similar tripod, once the tension is set adjustment is generally not an issue. I even use my Linhof Technikardan 45S and can align and keep lines parallel. The Technikardan does have 4 levels however, and I also align by the grid lines on the ground glass.
Originally Posted by game
I can not really comment about the Gitzo Magnesium heads, though I have seen them, I have never worked with them before.
It is a matter of preference as to which type of head that one prefers. I have worked with an older Gitzo 3 way head. But, I have personally found that I prefer using a good strong ball. I have and have used 5 ball heads. A good strong ball head is generally quicker to operate and lighter than a 3 way head of similar holding power.
It's good to have seen the bogen alternative to the gitzo heads. Does anyone has experience wirth the magnesium gitzo heads like the 1570M or maybe better 1370M?? Are to sturdy and smooth? Simply put, are they good?
I have a gitzo no2 head and a big one that is low profile, I dont like bith of them, The don't move smooth and the 'sticks' to operate tilts and pan are way too long. the arca swiss B2 seems intersting being a sort of hybrid if I understand correctly. More enthousiasts on the b2?
I get the impression most people preferre a ballhead. Is a ballhead handy for 4x5 too? (not weight wise but operating wise)
For pan tilts I see"the bogen 3047, the gitzo 3710M. and no others... Are there more that are recommended?
For ballheads there have been several suggestions. I assume all of them are fine.
Hope to get some more anwers on the questions I bruoght up in this post.
The 1570M is a little stiff if you don't have a big enough camera on it. It's great with a 35mm camera and a 600mm lens, or the 11x14" flatbed, but it can be hard to make fine adjustments with the left to right tilt with a small camera.
I use my B2 for 8x10. And Really Right Stuff (RRS) makes a perfect adapter plate for the Pentax 67. After having used the B2, I would never go back to a 3-way head.
Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
The B2 is quite expensive isn't it?
Is it indeed some hybrid?