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New tripod head - need advice on what to buy.

Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
24 Oct 2013 12:39PM
Hello all,

I currently use a Giottos MT9180 tripod and use a Manfrotto 460MG head. This is a combination that's done me for the last 7-8 years or so and it's done well but, alas, I'm starting to feel that the tripod head is not as secure as it once was (it's now requiring extra tightening off all of the knobs to make sure things are tight), so it looks like a new tripod head purchase looms on the horizon.

I don't have a huge amount to spend (probably my max would be 100), but can anyone recommend a head, or a few heads, that might be worth checking out? A 3-way pan and tilt head has been great, but would it be worth my while moving over to a ball and socket? Is the latter more secure than the former?

Any advice and hints would be greatly appreciated.


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Ray12 Plus
5 137 1 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2013 12:56PM
Have you considered the Manfrotto pistol grip head, I have had one for years & I find them brilliant.
Consulo 13 840 10 Scotland
24 Oct 2013 1:03PM
It's definitely one I would consider, not really ruling out anything at this point.

Can't edit my comment above but I'd add that at a stretch, 140 is my upper limit.
indemnity 9 334
24 Oct 2013 1:20PM
I use Manfrotto ball head with tensioner both on monopod and tripod. Its supports MF camera lens and digital back without issue.
teepee 15 1.3k England
24 Oct 2013 2:53PM
My review on Amazon

This review is from: Manfrotto Junior Geared Head (Accessory)
"Over the years I have used many different tripods and tried various types of heads. On more than one occasion I've missed the shot through trying to get the framing spot on! You know what I mean, fiddling around with a tripod head that's got a will of it's own. (and it always wins) I tried a ball and socket head but found it frustrating to achieve spot on framing, as when I tightened it I always got some movement. The same thing happens, albeit to a lesser degree when using a pan and tilt, nevertheless you do get movement. Am I to fussy, well having spoken to many other photographers, I don't think so! So I got fed up fighting with my tripod head while the light that you could kill for fades and the air suddenly turns blue! So I've invested in a Manfrotto Junior geared head. What a fabulous piece of kit, spot on framing in an instant! It's a pan and tilt configuration with large circular knobs that let you get rough framing and then you release them and turn the geared slightly smaller knobs for precise framing! It is so quick and easy to use. I have tried it out whilst taking landscape, still life and close-up/macro work and am over the moon. Another positive is the weight it's only very slightly heavier than a conventional pan and tilt head. I just wish that I had purchased one years ago!...............Tony Perryman"
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2013 4:42PM
teepee - do you ever use it with the camera in portrait orientation?
MikeRC Plus
13 3.6k United Kingdom
24 Oct 2013 5:17PM

Quote:Have you considered the Manfrotto pistol grip head, I have had one for years & I find them brilliant.

If Ray is talking about the Manfrotto 322RC2, I have one for sale in the classifieds.
Ray12 Plus
5 137 1 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2013 6:55PM
Yes that is the one I am talking about. When it comes as new is set to right handed the same hand you use for your camera shutter button,
but by simply undoing a couple of screws you can change it to left handed and have the handle you have squeeze at the front, so you control the head with your left hand whilst still being able to keep your right hand on the camera, you can also put the mounting plate on the end of the handle and have it vertical, a great piece of kit, if you don't use a big lense you can get a smaller version
justin c 14 5.0k 36 England
24 Oct 2013 8:10PM
The Giotto's ball heads are very good and worth checking out. They're within your budget too.
derekhansen Plus
9 210 24 United Kingdom
24 Oct 2013 9:03PM

Have you considered the Manfrotto 410 Geared head. I have used one for about 4 years and quite frankly if I never have to replace it I will be happy. Its micro adjustable but every knob has a quick release. I have always found it to be rock solid. Only just outside your budget at around 150.

Just realised that teepee recommended this as well. To answer mikehits question it works equally well in portrait or landscape position.
teepee 15 1.3k England
25 Oct 2013 12:13PM
Works in both portrait and landscape positions!

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