I guess it's been asked before but I didn't get much joy in my search of
so I'd appreciate some help.
I shoot 35mm (Canon EOS 500) and MF (Bronica SQ-B), no outrageous lenses and I use a WLF for the Bronnie so weight is not immense (I think the SQ is a tad under 2kg/5 lbs). However my old Velbon look alike -Hakuba- frightens me to death in the wind when I go to take exposure readings and the Bronica looks as if it's about to take off so I am looking at a good, entry level tripod. I think the Mangotto/Bogen 055 is a good choice (particularly as eye level for me is about 5' 10 - 6', when I use the Canon) but I am having trouble choosing a head. I have only used 3 way heads before but tried a ball head today and liked the way I can move in 3 planes at once, and move the 35mm into portrait with little effort. However the head I looked at had no spirit level and I am the world's worst for horizontals and verticals so I am thinking of a 488 RCO as a head, any views on this? Does anyone think a 3 way would be better ? ( I shoot a bit of everything but mainly landscape/architecture in MF and portrait/wildlife in 35mm, no action shots)
Sorry for the long post, advice gratefully received.
Naturephoto1 has recommended the Markins M20 Head to me as good ball head. I haven't seen one yet, but he seems to like it. I did a google search for it, and it looks like quite a nice head.
If you are 10ft+ tall or are amphibious a Benbo Mk.2 could be handy - I got mine because it was in good condition and going cheap. Handling it is rather harder than dealing with a recalcitrant set of Bagpipes!
I have a Manfrotto 055ProB with a 488RC1 head. I suppose this is the same head as the RC0 with exception of the quick release coupling. Maybe (hopefully) the RC0 offers a bigger contact area between the camera end the head compared to the RC1. The head is rated to take 8 kg, but that's way too optimistic. And that's a very diplomatic way of saying it. The head is reasonable stable for a 35mm with a not too long lens or a lightweight medium format with a normal lens. Your requirements seem to about the same as mine, and I consider the head a bit marginal. I wish I had chosen a bigger head; in the Manfrotto line the 468 seems quite good, but there might very well be other alternatives that gives more stability for the money.
For me the 055ProB works very well, and the 488 head is definitely the weakest link in my setup.
As Robert has commented, 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 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).
Originally Posted by roteague
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.
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