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  1. #1

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    Pan/Tilt Head suggestions?

    I picked up a Manfrotto 055XPROB set of legs a while back and have decided that I'd like a 3W pan/tilt or geared head. I've never shot sports or action of any type and don't expect I'll be picking that up anytime soon. Most of my shots are close-up, landscape, and some architecture (you can see on my photo site). If I'm using a tripod, then I'm not in a hurry to compose the shot. I've fiddled with a few ballheads and I can see the reason to like them, but they were a PITA to get the last little bit of adjustment right.

    The Manfrotto has a rating of a little over 15 lbs. Right now the heaviest rig I might be using is a Nikon D200 with the MB-D200 battery pack, an SB-800 flash, and a 300mm F4--which comes in at about 6.5 lbs. 95% of the time it would be without the flash or battery pack though. I would also like to use a Pentax 645N or similar MF film camera in the future. The rest of the fleet are my Pentax M series 35mm SLR's and a couple of TLR's.


    I've looked at the Manfrotto 410 and 808RC4, although I like that the 410 can be converted to use A-S plates and clamp. Both of these are fairly heavy and cut down on the overall weight limits quite a bit. The 410's seems to come along used for very good prices here recently.


    Any other suggestions in the $250 or less range?

  2. #2
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    A Gitzo pan-tilt is nice, although not as precise as a geared head. They make a low-profile p/t head that will fit your price range and the gear you want to support with it - I have the 1270 model which will support even large format cameras (I had my 6.5 x 8.5 field camera on it this past weekend and it did just fine). I don't think they're still making the 1270 version, but here's a new equivalent one from Gitzo -
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Pan_Head.html
    Last edited by TheFlyingCamera; 03-27-2013 at 05:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3

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    The advantage of ballheads in that they can be pretty light. Getting a comparable geared or pan/tilt head will be heavier, but it sounds like you want precise control, so something like the 410 is probably going to be a good compromise. There really aren't too many geared head options.

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the replies. The only thing about the 410 is the weight, but for the near future the D200 digital rig would be the heaviest thing that might go on there. I'm not planning on hiking in the mountains or walking for more than a mile or so with it, so weight is not a huge factor. If I start doing any of that I'll get a set of CF legs and a ballhead. One of the reasons I went with the heavier aluminum legs was because of our winds here average around 15-17mph with daily maxes over 20mph most days.

    EDIT: Just picked up cjBecker's 410 he had for sale in the classifieds. Can't wait!
    Last edited by Blooze; 03-27-2013 at 02:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    EASmithV's Avatar
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    I have used those legs and the 410 head with a very heavy 8x10 camera,and it worked better and was more solid than my other manfrotto (pan head)

    the geared head is nice. don't sweat the weight unless your going to get real freaky. build quality is excellent mine had gotten dropped on the head many times (bad assistants, lol!)
    www.EASmithV.com

    "The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera."— Dorothea Lange
    http://www.flickr.com/easmithv/
    RIP Kodachrome

  6. #6
    Slixtiesix's Avatar
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    If you want an extremely good pan/tilt head try the Gitzo G2270M / G2271M / G2272M heads. They only differ in the mounting plate. The 2272 has a quick release. 2271 has screw mounting. The 2270m has screw mounting plus a larger mounting plate so I would recommend this one if you want to use medium format also. They are extremely smooth and precise to operate thanks to fluid technology. I also had a Manfrotto 405 geared head but I preferred the Gitzo 2270M when borrowed from a friend. Very light also. Unfortunately it was a little bit too small for my SL66 so I ended up buying the G1570M. This one is rock solid, but very stiff to operate. I preferred the handling of the G2270M. I think it will suffice for light medium format up to a Hasselblad. The best 3 way head I´ve ever used!

  7. #7

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    Received the 410 today. Great head in great shape! Adjusts plenty fast for any of my needs and feels rock solid.



 

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