FLM makes several sizes of ball heads in the FT series, handling loads from 20kg to 60kg while maintaining a small profile and low weight.
What makes the FT series unique is the tilt lock, which will render the ball head capable of 2D-only movement, front to back, and at any angle you choose to set.
It also features a very interesting friction memory lock function and dampened panning.
I will be uploading a video tomorrow on the FLM Canada website explaining some of the unique features of the FT-series heads.
I bought the biggest, sturdiest ballhead in Cullmann's lineup a few years back, but the main lock knob is starting to strip (won't tighten all the way). I haven't tried to get it serviced; when it finally goes, I'll probably get an Acratech Ultimate. The offerings from RRS are extremely tempting though.
Had the ball heads and they were OK, I now have the geared ones.......I figure if I am getting serious enough to break out the tripod for the shot, why not dial in EXACTLY how I want my camera to take the shot. I could get it close with the ball but was alway messing with it to get it truly into position.......now it's just a matter of slowly moving the dials and admire the control I have.
Something to think about......I think I spent slightly more than a good ball head for the little sized gear head I got. It has been one of those, why the hell haven't I done this about 10 years ago things.
I haven't tried to get it serviced; when it finally goes, I'll probably get an Acratech Ultimate.
I replaced a Markins head with an Acratech Ultimate in January. The Markins was binding and eventually locked up in cold weather and that's not good. The open design of the Acratech looks like a good extreme environment alternative to the traditional ballhead designs, and so far it's worked well. It looks like a piece of surveying equipment but the build quality is excellent.