New Head Required...

spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
edited August 2013 in General Discussions
I thought I would ask you guys for your ideas and experience on this topic.

I love my Slik 800 ball head for its use with panoramic work, but it just doesn't have the holding power I need (which is kinda fundamental I know). I tried various things to improve it, but at the end of the day, it was better but not good enough - it has to go. Recently I bought a new set of legs and while at the shop choosing them, I tried a few heads out of curiosity and realised mine was a little lacking. The two heads that really caught my eye did so for two reasons - performance and price. Let's get this straight now, I have a tiny budget so no RRS or anything over about £200 ($300).

I started to get interested in this change after seeing that the Manfrotto head I saw was apparently Arca compatible (because I want an L bracket) BUT Scoobysmak's video confirmed that it isn't compatible and to really cap it all, it has a silly little tightening screw. The lack of arca compatibility means I have to consider other QD systems and that is a project in itself. I don't know why Manfrotto have to have so many different systems but I have to decide which to use. I liked my Slik's safety catch and locking lever so would like to keep that system in preference to long winded and awkward screws that get lost. Current favourites are 057 series ball head or 486MG Hydrostatic ball head with either the RC4 QD system or the RC2 system. I can shop carefully and get these just within my budget.

Do yous guys have any better ideas? As I said above, I would love Arca, but will look at everything suggested.

Thanks.
Always learning.
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Comments

  • Fargo911Fargo911 Posts: 1Member
    I use an Acratech Ultimate ball head and like it. It is a fairly simple design, plus it is easy to clean if you get any dirt in it. After switching from the Manfrotto quick release system to Arca, I couldn't imagine switching back.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    Hi Fargo911,

    That seems a good head at the price. Couple questions: Are the fixings made so that they can't undo and fall out, and how many full turns from placing camera in the head to the clamp being tight?

    Thx.
    Always learning.
  • scoobysmakscoobysmak Posts: 214Member
    I am honestly surprised that the Q6 plate didn't work or I would not have ordered it. I need to look harder at Manfrotto's website and verify that I didn't order the wrong thing but I don't see why they would have something so close and not work with other arca style plates.

  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    As I have an Induro gimbal and tripod, am impressed with the quality, my suggestion would be the Induro BHD2 for about $180 at B & H. Rated at 39 pounds vs. the Slik 800 rated at 11 pounds.
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    Yeah, I find it hard work trying to understand the layout of the Manfrotto site. I can't believe the poor fit is an error or sloppy manufacture, but it is hard to understand otherwise.

    That Induro sounds great Tommie, I'll have a closer look. Thanks.
    Always learning.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @spraynpray: Now soon are you looking to make your next purchase?
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    Well, that depends on the price I find Ali. If I find one at the right price on ebay, I'd have to pull the trigger immediately but otherwise I'm relaxed about it.

    So far, I like the price/performance of the Induro, but the Manfrotto MH057M0 with the Arca compatible head would also be good as it is available here (UK) but that all depends on what I can find out about Scoobysmak's findings. Why do you ask?
    Always learning.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,268Member
    I was going to suggest the Induro, but Msmoto beat me to it.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • sidewayssideways Posts: 54Member
    edited August 2013
    Hi Fargo911,

    That seems a good head at the price. Couple questions: Are the fixings made so that they can't undo and fall out, and how many full turns from placing camera in the head to the clamp being tight?

    Thx.
    I have the Acratech GP head and can confirm that the Ultimate head is the same in that all the knobs are intentionally captive so that they can't be completely unscrewed and lost by accident. Manufacturer's website "All knobs are secured so they cannot vibrate loose and fall off".

    The acratech clamp can be loosened enough that the photoclam arca plate on my camera will drop in from the top. From fully open to locked takes only a half turn of the clamping knob.
    Post edited by sideways on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    edited August 2013
    Also consider Markins heads and plates (Arca-Swiss compatible), like RRS they have a good set of heads for different needs. In some cases they have class leading load capacities.

    @spraynpray Side note: When I first saw the title of this thread I thought you'd gone crazy. :D
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    Anymore I just don't mess with any heads under a 25lb rating. Manufactures seem to continually over state the rating with sub 20lb heads which is really annoying. Most "Pro" heads the mount can be changed and you don't have to stick with the OEM options for plate mounts.

    The manfrotto head I have (468MGRC5) I can change the mount (which someday I will) but you can find some without the mount for a bit cheaper. I have put over 20lbs on that head and it doesn't move. I just love the thing and it will last for a very long time. What the Hydrostat does is gives you the ability to go from loose (and adjust how loose, loose is) to locked tight in a quarter turn.

    You might check out Acratech a lot of people I talk to really like them and the quality was great. If I ever get another true "travel tripod" set, I will probably go this route.
    Vanguard's products (mid to high level) are actually very nice as well. They look plasticy but are anything but. If I needed a full big head I would probably go this route
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    @spraynpray Side note: When I first saw the title of this thread I thought you'd gone crazy. :D
    Same here; :) at the same time as new head, you might consider some more memory

  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    edited August 2013
    Thanks Guys, some excellent and new ideas for me to consider. I have to rule a couple of them out on grounds of cost of course, but there are other options which may be open to me. One is a private deal with a forum member, then there is the Manfrotto 468MG with Q6, RC4 or RC2 head or the 057 with the same heads. I think my fave is the Induro so far on price/performance grounds but I don't like the screw clamp arrangement or going back to three knobs which have me fiddling about for a while. I guess that is not a real problem though as the plate always goes in the heads the same way round unlike the Slik I have which can go in anywhere round its circumference.

    The quarter turn tightening that Tao speaks of is very appealing. I tried one in the shop and it only needs fingertip tightening too.

    @PB_PM: That was the point of the title - to catch peoples eye and make them smile. @sevencrossing: VERY good idea!
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    edited August 2013
    I have a feeling that I have just found my new head. It is called a '3 Legged Thing Air Hed 2 Evolution 2' It is Arca-Swiss compatible and has a - wait for it - 88lb (40kg) capacity, comes with plate and costs only £179 delivered. It has a very uncluttered look to it and comes in black or blue.

    Hope this link is allowed:

    http://www.3leggedthing.com/airheds/ah2bl.html#sthash.JxzQhK2t.dpuf
    Post edited by spraynpray on
    Always learning.
  • BlinkingeyeBlinkingeye Posts: 21Member
    The last ball head you will ever need purchase, unless you decide to use a huge tele lens on a ball head or a medium format camera is a RRS BH-40 with quick release. Expensive, yes. Worth it, every penny.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @spraynpray

    I could not get the link to work, but B & H has the '3 Legged Thing" tripods and heads. They appear to be interesting and I may try one out. At least the video's are entertaining on the website for '3 Legged Thing'. And, the color of blue is also an interesting point......
    Msmoto, mod
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    I've edited the link now Tommie it should work. :\">

    They are a young company and seem good to deal with so far. I found lots of things to ask them before I purchased it though, so they need to do some more work on their description and images. I wimped out on the blue option in the end and got black with gold rings - I'm already thinking it wasn't such a good idea. To have a different colour to everybody else in the group is a good thing. I'll let you know what it is like on Monday.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Thank you....
    Msmoto, mod
  • autofocusautofocus Posts: 625Member
    Funny this topic comes up. I just bought a set of Induro (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/655205-REG/Induro_471_214_Carbon_8X_CT214_Tripod.html) carbon fibre legs and Sirui K-30x (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822264-REG/Sirui_BSRK30_K_30x_Ball_Head.html) ball head. The sticks I love and the ball head is about a 9 out of 10. The Sirui is a beautiful piece of equipment and the K30 is rated at 66 lbs. I mounted the 80-400mm on the D4 and sure enough, holds at all angles with no problem. The nice thing is it's only $141. The only nit I have with it is the panning tension is either on or off. If you try to adjust the tension it has a slight drag. Other than that it's great. Oh, it is acra style compatible and it's a tension plate so if there are some abnormalities in your QR plate it still works.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,603Member
    Have used a Markins head for five years. They are excellent. I got the middle model and the load capacity is huge. No issues at all.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • NukeNuke Posts: 64Member
    edited August 2013
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,085Moderator
    @Nuke: No it isn't. Read/watch the vid further up the thread - it looks like they tried to give it a USP (click-latch)but failed to get the tolerancing right.
    Always learning.
  • NukeNuke Posts: 64Member
    @Nuke: No it isn't. Read/watch the vid further up the thread - it looks like they tried to give it a USP (click-latch)but failed to get the tolerancing right.
    I see scoobysmak's comment but I don't see where this video is at? This is a shame as I was seriously considering converting my heads.
  • NukeNuke Posts: 64Member
    It's in a different thread; http://forum.nikonrumors.com/discussion/136/arca-swiss-conversions-of-tripod-heads#Item_118
    Thanks! Well that sucks. I'd thought Manfrotto had finally got on the right track. They confuse their own product line with the amount of different plate adapter systems by one mfg.

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