Ball heads, in my opinion, are fine for 5x7 and smaller field cameras. I would NOT use a ball head for a monorail camera of any size (a Sinar head would be great, or a geared head for those). I would not use a ball head for an 8x10 or larger of any description, preferring either a pan/tilt or geared head with the larger cameras. I know of what I speak -I have everything from a 5x7/5x12 to whole plate to 11x14 and 14x17 field cameras. I'm only marginally ok with my Gitzo 1525 pan/tilt head under my Canham 14x17, as I think it doesn't have quite large enough a contact patch between the camera and the head. I'm actually thinking of getting a Majestic head to use with it just for the larger contact patch.