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  1. #1
    Graham.b's Avatar
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    Ball or Gear head

    Evening all. What is the most common or user friendly out of these two. I just bought a tri pod and need a head, i do have a Giotto at the mo, nice to use, but my wife has nicked it to go birding with.

    There is a 3 way, geared, fluids, but the gear sounds nice as in you can adjust a little at a time to get that just so position.

    Any thoughts welcomed.

    Graham

  2. #2
    Ole
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    I use ball heads - plural, in heavy and not-so-heavy versions depending on the camera of the day.

    Since I can't remember when I last saw truly flat ground (could have been in Denmark in 1966, or was it 1967?) I find it much easier to use a system which doesn't assume that the tripod is perfectly level.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  3. #3

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    Manfrotto 410 Geared head for architecture (my job), a small ball on the table-top.
    The heaviest Linhof 3-way for 4x5 and 8x10 Sinar P2, want to replace that one for a geared head.

    Geared heads work fast and verry precise, I love them.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Graham.b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    I use ball heads - plural, in heavy and not-so-heavy versions depending on the camera of the day.

    Since I can't remember when I last saw truly flat ground (could have been in Denmark in 1966, or was it 1967?) I find it much easier to use a system which doesn't assume that the tripod is perfectly level.
    Oh i like that, a gem. Ole

    Manfrotto 410 Geared head.

    That is the one i was just looking at, as well a the Giotto ball 1300-657 or the 1301-652. They are all say they are around 5-7kg, i use a minolta 800si and a Bronica RF645 so there is no heavy's going on it. But i would like to all ways have that little X, (would'nt we all).

    Thank you for your input.

    Regards Graham

  5. #5

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    Ball heads are a pain to adjust, but compact.
    A gear head offers most precision, but is bigger.

    What is most user friendly depends on what the user prefers.



    Peter,

    Don't you find that the Sinar (one way) head, combined with the movements (including rotating the bank in the holder) of the Sinar itself already offers all necessary degrees of freedom?

  6. #6

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    Q.G. Yes it does, but the sheer weight and bulk of the Linhof head + the rotating bankholder becomes a bit too much.
    I have been using it on location with a Sinar P2 8x10 with 4x5 back for many years.
    Start to feel my age, unfortunately.
    That is why I want a simpler setup with a standard bankmount and a geared head.

    In order to go lighter I recently bought a Shen Hao 4x5, that will fit nicely onto the 410.
    They say the 410 is a "small" geared head: forget it: it will hold a RB with prism and nice lens with ease (or, or, or).
    In Brazil I use it with D.

    Peter

  7. #7
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    I had a Manfroto 410 geared head which was pleasure to use and a pain to carry and pack. I prefer ballheads. I have a Kirk BH3 and find it to be a great and affordable choice for up to a small 4x5. I tried it with my rickety Kodak 2D 8x10 and it is a bit small for that unless it is well balanced over the head....usable, but only if you are very careful. If I used an 8x10 very often, I'd use the geared head as the ball head is tough to use with a big camera.

  8. #8
    benjiboy's Avatar
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    Giotto 1300-657 Ball Head

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham.b View Post
    Oh i like that, a gem. Ole

    Manfrotto 410 Geared head.

    That is the one i was just looking at, as well a the Giotto ball 1300-657 or the 1301-652. They are all say they are around 5-7kg, i use a minolta 800si and a Bronica RF645 so there is no heavy's going on it. But i would like to all ways have that little X, (would'nt we all).

    Thank you for your input.

    Regards Graham
    I have this ballhead I use on a Manfrotto 055 tripod and can recommend it , I particularly like the variable friction control of the ball so the camera doesn't crash down if you let it go, and the choice of quick relese platforms that fit on the ball so you can buy one that is most suitable for the type of camera you want to use at the time .

    I used to use a manfrotto Super Junior three way head but found it slow and fiddly to use, and decent geared heads are not only usually more expensive than either, but IMHO more suitable for large format cameras.

    I use both 35mm SLRs and Mamiya TLRs, and find that this B/S head to be excellent.
    Last edited by benjiboy; 04-06-2009 at 07:28 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Ben

  9. #9
    Graham.b's Avatar
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    Ben i have ordered both the ball and the gear head, we both need a new head for the coming legs, so to see which works best for each of them.

    Graham

  10. #10
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    I found for my photography Graham the Manfrotto 3D Super Junior Head I suffered with for about twenty years before I replaced it with the Giotto , it was much too slow to adjust, and drove me crazy, I shoot mainly portraits. and by the time I got it adjusted my subjects attention had wandered.
    It depends on what type of work you do the most which head is the most suitable, although I would imagine that a geared head would be more suitable for static subjects .
    Ben

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