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.