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  1. #1
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Preferred Tripod Head?

    I have had several tripods over the years all of which had Pan and Tilt heads. I am currently looking to buy a new light-weight tripod. I currently favour the Velbon Ultra Luxi SF for its' sheer compactness.

    I have never had a tripod with a ball and socket head. Can anyone enlighten me as to the advantages of ball and socket tripod heads?

    Bearing in mind I use 35mm SLRs with (occasionally) heavy 'long' lenses is this the way to go? Or should I stick with pan and tilt?


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  2. #2
    ThomHarrop's Avatar
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    I use a Bogen ballhead and love it. I have a big heavy tripod which I use for my Pentax 67 and my 4x5. I like being able to unlock the head and move the camera freely. It allows me to level and orient the camera very quickly. I have to admit though that I once played with an Arca Swiss head in the store and it was heaven. It cost a lot more but it was clearly better engineered. It was silky smooth (although it had no load on it at the time) but I didn't feel it was worth the extra money (several hundred dollars more) for my needs.

  3. #3
    juan's Avatar
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    I'd recommend finding someone with a ball head (regardless of make) and trying it out. It's a personal choice - some people love them. I hate them because if you want to adjust level in one direction, you're quite probably going to lose it in another direction. With a ball head, all directions are in play when the head is loosened.

    The other folks here at work love them for our TV cameras - they set up very quickly. Again, get your hands on one and try it out - you may love it, too.
    juan

  4. #4

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    preferred tripod head

    I use MF & 35, use a small benbo ball head on a small tripod which I keep in the car & Emo multiball on a larger tripod. Biggest advantage is compactness, No handles to snatch & grab on what have you. Quality differs greatly from brand to brand. One to look at is Giottos(sp?) smooth & priced in line w/bogens.
    Some people don't care for BH's because everything loosens up w/one knob. Just takes some getting used to.

  5. #5
    Shesh's Avatar
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    I use a Giottos ball head (MH 1001). I find it very convenient compared to a pan tilt head when it comes to 35mm or 6x6cm. I have used it with lenses upto 300mm f/4. You may want a larger one if you use longer or more heavier lenses (the MH 3000 is really nice). When it comes to LF, I realized last weekend that I would be better off with my pan tilt head.

    That said Arca Swiss make the best ball heads I have seen. What ever route you go, make sure you have the pan bed, tension lever and a locking lever.
    Cheers, Shesh

    Not to know what happened before one was born is always to be a child - Cicero

  6. #6

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    I've always been a ball head user and for my 8x10 i recently bought a manfrotto 488RC4 head. Its lovely.. smooth and locks down solid.
    I also tried the giottos heads and they dont work at all. they didnt even lock down tight, i don't get it, they are rated 20lbs and could hardly carry my 12lbs camera.. so i bought the manfrotto, couldnt be happier.

  7. #7
    Andy K's Avatar
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    I know nothing about 8x10 photography, but from what I have seen the cameras are quite large. Is it a possibility the leverage and not weight had a bearing on the performance of the giotto heads you tried deniz?
    I know one of my P&Ts struggles with my praktica and its' 28-200mm semi-macro lens, not because it is heavy but because it is long and adds additional leverage to the load on the tripod head.


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  8. #8
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Here is a small, lightweight head....

    http://store.yahoo.com/semsons-inc/botcaptripfo.html

    -Mike

  9. #9
    Andy K's Avatar
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    Thanks Mike. Unfortunately all my cameras use film and are therefore incompatable with it!


    -----------My Flickr-----------
    Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.

  10. #10
    bobfowler's Avatar
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    I've used a couple of ball heads but I find that, for 35mm, a pan-tilt head works better for me. I recently picked up a Bogen 3001 with a 3025 3 way head as a light weight 35mm sticks/head combo. For larger stuff, I use a Bogen 3036 tripod with a 3047 head.
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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