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  1. #11
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
    Well, you can't, at least not new.
    I am not saying that a $100 ballhead is as good as a $300 ballhead, but rather that there is a silly belief that you need the latter to be a photographer and anything less, even if it supports your equipment just fine, is unacceptable. Of course the B1 is better, but I am not about to spend as much on a ballhead as I did on any one of my cameras.

  2. #12
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I agree with you Paul, I hate to say it, call me cheap, but I am going to get the equipment that will do the job for me, name identification don't me nother to me..

    I looked at that thread the other day on the $1500 tripod head and about died laughing and was wondering who was going to buy it? my god, I talked to my Dads Girlfriends Son the other day who runs a very successful machine shop and he just emailed me and said he could produce the same head for about $200 wholesale, man oh man, thats alot of profit!

    Dave

  3. #13

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    I believe that the operative word was "decent" and we'll have to agree to disagree as to what meets that goal. Btw., it really has nothing do with something having to cost more in order to be good. I regularly use the cheapest bogen three way head (about $25 dollars) when I want to travel light, and I'm only using a 35mm or my Rollei TLR. I also have the 3055 bogen ball head, which I dislike, but it can hold a fair load. I used it for a few years. When you consider the unequalled quick release system of the Arca, especially with Really Right Stuff plates, the smoothness, the strength, the tension setting system, and the asymetric ball which increases drag off axis, none of the cheaper ball heads that I've used come close. I haven't used the new RRS ball head, or there's one other new one that I haven't tried. So, while I respect those who disagree, I'll stick to the belief that one can't buy a decent ball head for under $300.

    Btw., I never said that one couldn't be a photographer with anything less, and I don't think that my belief is "silly", as I've given reasons based on 15 years of experience with camera supports. I could be wrong in my opinion, but that's a different matter.

  4. #14
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Last edited by Dave Parker; 01-07-2006 at 07:45 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #15

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    Hi Dave, I respect your opinion, and I'm glad that you found less expensive options that work better for you. I like that too. In fact sometime soon I'll try one of your screens. I hope that it's better than my very expensive Sinar. On the other hand, though, I've often bought cheaper alternatives to the consensus best tool, and regretted it. In particular, I wish that I'd bought a Milwaukee sawzall instead of my black and decker. Sure, mine will still cut through just about anything, but the vibration. Yikes! Likewise, that Kowa 66 system I bought was inexpensive, but I wish that I had never wasted my time with it.

    Another photographic example would be the Bogen tripod that I bought in 1990 for $100. I forget which model. (I still have it, but it's in the basement.) While it can be made to work ok, it's a pain. I had to epoxy the center column because no matter how hard one tightened it down it would still rotate. The tubes and leg locks need to be regularly cleaned, or they'd bind up. ... Still, it could be made to work, but I wouldn't call it "decent" since for me that implies not only being able to do the job, but also being able to do it without regular annoyances.

    Getting back to tripod heads, the best thing to do is try them out for yourself with the equipment you'll be using, as I'm sure Dave will agree. Matching the support system to the camera and intended use are crucially important. For example, if I'm using my Kodak D2 8x10, I'd much rather use my Gitzo Rational Series 5 head than the Arca; and if I'm using my Sinar P, I prefer my Sinar head to anthing else that I've used.

    Dave, just out of curiosity, which less expensive ball heads are just as good of heads as the Arca? I know you only say "support", but that by itself is not enough, or an anvil with a 1/4" screw threaded into it would take the cake. The support, man, the support! If I ever destroy or lose my Arca, I'd like to know what to look into. (I've tried Linhof, Gitzo, Silk, bogen, canon, ries, Sinar, Marshall, and no doubt a few others.)

  6. #16
    Paul Sorensen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
    I believe that the operative word was "decent" and we'll have to agree to disagree as to what meets that goal. Btw., it really has nothing do with something having to cost more in order to be good. I regularly use the cheapest bogen three way head (about $25 dollars) when I want to travel light, and I'm only using a 35mm or my Rollei TLR. I also have the 3055 bogen ball head, which I dislike, but it can hold a fair load. I used it for a few years. When you consider the unequalled quick release system of the Arca, especially with Really Right Stuff plates, the smoothness, the strength, the tension setting system, and the asymetric ball which increases drag off axis, none of the cheaper ball heads that I've used come close. I haven't used the new RRS ball head, or there's one other new one that I haven't tried. So, while I respect those who disagree, I'll stick to the belief that one can't buy a decent ball head for under $300.

    Btw., I never said that one couldn't be a photographer with anything less, and I don't think that my belief is "silly", as I've given reasons based on 15 years of experience with camera supports. I could be wrong in my opinion, but that's a different matter.
    Certainy there is room to disagree about what constitutes "decent." I believe that I do not have to have a head that will hold what a B1 holds when I am shooting what I shoot. I also found that when I started shooting 4X5 I needed more support than a moderately priced ballhead would provide so I got a Bogen 3047, a very basic but sturdy three way head that does the trick and cost me about $30 used. Certainly it would have been nice to have something more, but I prioritized the purchase of the camera and film and I have been happy with the tripod head. When I was only shooting 35mm and 645, I found a $100 Giottos head to work extremely well.

    You may take exception to my statement that there are folks who are silly in their belief about expensive equipment, in this case ballheads, being necessary, but your original response of "Well, you can't, at least not new" didn't add to the discussion of why one item works better than another or what your particular needs are. I saw that response as a simple statment that reinforced exactly what I was stating. I was responding to what you actually said in your first statement, not the more reasoned and fair statement that you made after I had responded. We do disagree about the definition of decent, but I have no problem with that.

  7. #17
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt

    Dave, just out of curiosity, which less expensive ball heads are just as good of heads as the Arca? I know you only say "support", but that by itself is not enough, or an anvil with a 1/4" screw threaded into it would take the cake. The support, man, the support! If I ever destroy or lose my Arca, I'd like to know what to look into. (I've tried Linhof, Gitzo, Silk, bogen, canon, ries, Sinar, Marshall, and no doubt a few others.)
    Preference is a key word here Peter, as it is alway in conversations such as this.

    I have a Canon ball head as I stated, that has all the studiness and adjustments that the Arca has, but because of people not wanting to purchase the model, canon discontinued, not because of quality, but due to low sales based on name identification.

    Really no need to continue this conversation, as it is going to turn out like the infamous digital vs. film threads or the brand vs brand threads..opinions are rampent in the photography industry and you know, every single person THINKS they are right..

    Shoot what you shoot and be happy and I will shoot what I shoot and be happy.

    Talk to you later..

    Dave

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Sorensen
    You may take exception to my statement that there are folks who are silly in their belief about expensive equipment, in this case ballheads, being necessary, but your original response of "Well, you can't, at least not new" didn't add to the discussion of why one item works better than another or what your particular needs are. I saw that response as a simple statment that reinforced exactly what I was stating. I was responding to what you actually said in your first statement, not the more reasoned and fair statement that you made after I had responded. We do disagree about the definition of decent, but I have no problem with that.
    And my original statement was responding to you where you said:

    "As for the reputation issue, I got the same impression. It seemed to me that folks didn't think much of Goittos and pretty kuch scoffed at them. Of course, that might be because they were Arca B1 types who have decided that you can't get a decent ballhead for less than $300."

    The impression you give here is that people who think that you can't get a decent ball head for less than $300 are elitist snobs. I suppose that could be the case, but I've not run into. The people I know who use the Arca use it because it works better for them than other heads they've tried. All of them started with something else and got the Arca out of frustration with their original purchase. My original statement was made as a counter to your dismissive statement. It was meant as a challenge: Name a decent under $300 head. I've not seen someone in this thread give an example of a ball head that one can buy new for less than three hundred dollars that's decent. I'd be happy if someone could. Dave's Canon might've met the bill, but it's no longer made. He can blame snobs for this demise, or maybe Canon did a poor job of marketing. The Canon ball heads that I looked at in the early 90's weren't anywhere near as good as the Arca.

    Btw., I think that I've given some useful info in this thread. I've talked about the pluses and minuses of various heads. And yet for some reason you feel the need to be rude.

  9. #19
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter De Smidt
    And my original statement was responding to you where you said:

    "As for the reputation issue, I got the same impression. It seemed to me that folks didn't think much of Goittos and pretty kuch scoffed at them. Of course, that might be because they were Arca B1 types who have decided that you can't get a decent ballhead for less than $300."

    The impression you give here is that people who think that you can't get a decent ball head for less than $300 are elitist snobs. I suppose that could be the case, but I've not run into. The people I know who use the Arca use it because it works better for them than other heads they've tried. All of them started with something else and got the Arca out of frustration with their original purchase. My original statement was made as a counter to your dismissive statement. It was meant as a challenge: Name a decent under $300 head. I've not seen someone in this thread give an example of a ball head that one can buy new for less than three hundred dollars that's decent. I'd be happy if someone could. Dave's Canon might've met the bill, but it's no longer made. He can blame snobs for this demise, or maybe Canon did a poor job of marketing. The Canon ball heads that I looked at in the early 90's weren't anywhere near as good as the Arca.

    Btw., I think that I've given some useful info in this thread. I've talked about the pluses and minuses of various heads. And yet for some reason you feel the need to be rude.

    Peter,

    When did you ever hear me make the statement about snobs? Are you Trying to get a disagreement going where we will all come out mad...

    Please in the future if you respond to my message, don't be so crass as to assume you can put words in my mouth, I spoke of brand/name identification, never once did I say anything about anybody being a snob, you run into the same problem with other gear as well, I can't tell you the number of times I have been told my $8000.00 Minolta 600mm f/4 lens is junk when I am standing next to a Canon or a Nikon shooter, but my sales figures on stock, magazine as well as gallery images will prove them wrong every single time, I sell just as many images as the next guy..and this with a lens that has been called junk!

    So don't presume, assume or even think you have the right to put words in my mouth.

    Now if you want to, we can in private get into a pissing match about what I think constitutes a photography snob, not that it would solve anything, but at least we would not be boring the rest of the membership with our rhetoric..

    Dave

  10. #20

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    Was looking for Giotto, now it's GITZO!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anupam Basu
    I recently saw a Giottos MT-9160 tripod in my local store and was totally blown away by it. Innovative and rock solid!

    If you don't know it, it's kind of a Gitzo explorer knockoff in its implementation of the lateral arm, but only better - because when you don't need it, it goes straight thru the center like a normal center column. It's a trifle heavy at 6.2 lbs but is rated to support 22!

    I was seriously taken by it and am considering it as I do some macro photography and the Explorer at $250 is out of my range right now. I get by with the Bogen 3001, but at about $140 the Giottos is in the same ballpark.

    Which brings me to the question, if this company is making such an attractive product why don't I ever hear about it or find a review. Is there a flaw I should know about - will the legs fall off in six month, will the screws come loose. If you have any experience with or information about Giottos tripods, please share them with me.

    Thanks,
    -Anupam

    PS: Here is a link at B&H's website .
    FOR SOMEONE WHO'S SHOPPING FOR A GREAT OUTDOOR TRIPOD MY SUGGESTION IS TO GO GITZO OVER GIOTTO IN SPITE OF ADDITIONAL $$$$$
    HERE'S A LINK WHY--http://www.nextag.com/Giotto-MT-8180-Carbon--zz60695153z0z0z3z1zgiotto_tripodzBa6z1--READ-REVIEWS-html

    ALSO I'VE NEVER HEARD OF A GITZO USER HAVING THESE MAJOR TYPE PROBLEMS.

    A LOT OF THE MANUFACTURING GOODS THAT EVOLVE FROM THE FRENCH ARE SUBPAR IN MY EXPERIENCE--RENAULT, GIOTTO ETC. ALTHOUGH IN FAIRNESS I MUST SAY THAT PETZL (FRENCH) CLIMBING GEAR IS VERY GOOD..... LOOKING FOR SOMETHING WELL MADE? GENERALLY ITALIANS AND BRITS MAKE GOOD STUFF. AS BEST I KNOW VELBON IS A U.K. BRAND AND BOGEN/MANFROTTO AND GITZO ARE ITALIAN. PLEASE CORRECT ME IF I'M WRONG.

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