Do you keep your ballhead on your tripod?

hawkdl2hawkdl2 Posts: 56Member
edited January 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I hope a "what do you do" question isn't to trivial for the forum, but I just invested in a $400 ball head and am wondering if it would be too risky to leave it on my tripod in a simple tripod bag, or no bag, for travel or if I should always remove it and keep it packed in my camera bag when not in use. My previous cheaper BH lived on my tripod but I really didn't care too much about it getting banged up, now I'm beginning to think about it like a medium priced lens!

Comments

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited January 2014
    Not sure what type of ballhead you purchased, but for me personally, they (I have two) are always mounted on my tripod. For travel, I have a bag which is designed for tripod & ballhead combination mount.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    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: 6,030Moderator
    I agree the head is exposed to damage, and because of this I shall get custom tripod bag made with thick padding around and over the top of the head. I do think it is already enough of a faff to set up a tripod without having to mount the head first too, so I think a better bag is the answer.
    Always learning.
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    Mine stays on. I only have one tripod and one ballhead so I can't see the point in taking it off.

    I carry my kit around with no bag and I can tell you my solid metal (markins) ballhead has never received any damage, but it has dished out a bit (you don't want to smack yourself in the jaw with it, trust me).
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    +1 on Golf and Spraynpray. A good bag is needed.

    I also use a ball headcover with a draw string to cover the ball head. Mine is made of leather and I see the new one is made from neoprene. Then I insert into the tripod and attached head into the bag.
    https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/1205?osCsid=g504ui8oqitf56vnjfll1e96e4
    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 |
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,144Member
    edited January 2014
    I try not to use a tripod because of the extra set up work it takes but when I am trying for the most sharpness I can get (usually in landscape photography for me but would also be true if I did a lot of wildlife photography) I not only keep the ball head (or whatever head I am using) on the tripod, I also keep the camera mounted on the tripod and walk around with the camera/tripod rested over my right shoulder (lens pointing down). I take the camera off the tripod to get into the car and drive to a new location (unless I am using a van or station wagon which allows me to lay the combination flat on the floor) but once there the camera goes on the tripod, camera/tripod is slung over my right shoulder and I walk around looking for things to photograph.
    Post edited by donaldejose on
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited January 2014
    If you strap your tripod on the back of a mountain bike; I suggest you remove it and put it the pannier, as they seem to have a habit of working lose, other wise mine stays on
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited January 2014
    I strap my tripod & head on the back of my bike all the time, no problems. (Probably easier on a motorbike vs. mountain bike).

    Quality tripods + heads are designed for professional use and are very durable. As long as you have some sort of cover to prevent fine grit / sand from entering the head, you'll be ok.

    image
    Tripod & head were well protected from the chickens. Click for larger version.

    Above you can see how I strap my Gitzo tripod & Markins head to the bike. This picture was taken in a very remote village in Argentina, near the end of a year long trip through Latin America. This was more protection than usual as I had the good luck of being able to park my bike inside someone's barn. During the trip, tripod & head were exposed to rain, extreme desert heat, snow, hail, blowing sand, multiple crashes… you name it.

    All I used for protection was a $5 nylon stuff sack I bought from REI to cover the head. The tripod legs were left completely exposed for the entire year-long trip with zero problems.
    Post edited by Ade on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    edited January 2014
    The ballhead I have is always on my tripod. I don't put it, or my tripod, in any special bags or anything. I put the tripod in the trunk of my car and go. These devices, tripods and heads are extremely well made, they can handle a lot of abuse. I've dropped mine on rocks while climbing, had it tossed around in the trunk against another tripod and gear, and the head is none the worse for it. Does it have some minor nicks in the paint? Sure. Does it still work just like the day I bought it? Yup.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Gosh, I thought that was my motorcycle....... I used to ride around the race track with my equipment on the back held with a bungee cord.

    As to ball heads....once mounted on a tripod, they stay. I usually have a cover just to prevent mild damage but I try not to drop them (not always easy for the geriatric set) and put them down gently. My heads are held on with a locking screw in all cases to prevent accidental twisting/loosening.
    Msmoto, mod
  • hawkdl2hawkdl2 Posts: 56Member
    +1 on Golf and Spraynpray. A good bag is needed.

    I also use a ball headcover with a draw string to cover the ball head. Mine is made of leather and I see the new one is made from neoprene. Then I insert into the tripod and attached head into the bag.
    https://www.ppsna.com/product_info.php/cPath/21/products_id/1205?osCsid=g504ui8oqitf56vnjfll1e96e4
    Perfect solution for my peace of mind and I happen to have several virtually identical neoprene lens bags I got off of Amazon as a set of 3 for ~$15 a while ago. Anxiety assuaged.

  • hawkdl2hawkdl2 Posts: 56Member
    . My heads are held on with a locking screw in all cases to prevent accidental twisting/loosening.
    Msmoto, how and where do you have the lockscrew?

  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    edited January 2014
    @hawkdl2 Many tripods have a hex head screw on the bottom of the tripod base plate (where the head is fixed) that can be tightened to lock a head in place.
    Post edited by PB_PM on
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    It never comes off. If it doesn't have nicks and dings in it in a few years, I will be embarrassed as it will look like I don't use it.
  • NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
    +1 PB_PM

    This things are built tough, it stays attached on my tripod all the time. I have a tripod bag which can accommodate the combination but I never carry the bag on shoots, only use the tripod bag when storing it at home for long times.

    When I carry the tripod+ballhead in the field, it goes on my backpack which has straps to hold it.
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    I never travel with my ballhead on. why? it makes the whole tripod much smaller. however, when I'm out shooting the ballhead (or gimbal) always stays on the tripod in a ready to use position.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @hawkdl2

    The locking screw comes up from the base of the tripod where possible. Many tripods have this feature in their base.

    If not, then I will use Locktite Blue
    http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/10/15/t_lkr_blue/overview/Loctite-Threadlocker-Blue-242.htm
    on the screw into the head.
    Msmoto, mod
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    Locktite Blue is good stuff. I use it and have friends who have used it and no one has had a ball head come lose.
    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 |
  • HipShotHipShot Posts: 464Member
    I kept a ballhead on my tripod. My model doesn't work well if the lens is too heavy. Might have to upgrade. Currently have a Bogen 3265. https://skydrive.live.com/view.aspx?resid=E0D854E7DCF24E84!1597&cid=e0d854e7dcf24e84&app=WordPdf&wdo=2
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I don't use a bag, pad or anything to save my tripod or ball head.

    I do use a neoprene lens pouch to put over the ball head to protect it from damaging everything else though.

    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...
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    what's a tripod? :)
    How sad - and I thought we would ski the 'Montanas' de Agentina', drink vino in Recoleta and go to see football at Boca Jr's stadium...

    Hermano.

    Through the heart...

    :-B

    My best,

    Mike
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Always on, always ready. Even in Vietnam, I carried a tripod - a small, but heavy one. I'm travelling Europe this June and July with a compact camera with a Gorilla-pod and a Unipod, not much of pods, but something.

    My best,

    Mike
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