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What tripod head do you use to shoot what?


Chris_L 3 4.0k United Kingdom
10 Jul 2017 8:22PM
I couldn't understand why anyone would pay more than 40 for a ball head until I got one of these

It's amazing. Head and shoulders above the stuff I've previously used. It's so dependable. When it's locked, it's bloody locked, when it's loose I can move it but the weight of my camera can't. I get it now.

Made me wonder what others are using (what do you shoot)? Do you move the head with your camera, with an arm, some other way? I've had a Manfrotto trigger release type of ball head before, very bulky and very heavy though. Started slipping too.

I'm thinking of getting something that has a slower and finer adjustment, for perfectly lining horizons up while looking through the viewfinder.

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AlanPerkins 11 541 England
10 Jul 2017 8:39PM
I use a Manfrotto geared head for macro work. It's great for very precise adjustments. I believe that some landscape photographers also use one - for similar reasons.
Philh04 Plus
12 1.2k United Kingdom
10 Jul 2017 8:59PM
Sirui are becoming a respected make at a reasonable price, like Alan I use a Manfrotto geared head (with a panoramic Arca Swiss adaptor) for macro, landscape and architectural ( architecture with a tilt/shift lens), the geared head is mounted upon a substantial CF 057 tripod, on my gitzo 3 series I use a Kirk BH-1 ball head, solid as a rock and has never let me down in many years of use despite considerable abuse Smile

Along with the ball head I have two sidekick type gimbals, a Custom Brackets basic for smaller lenses and a very sexy Tomahawk for use with my 500, also on both heads I can mount my Macro optical bench setup..

I would like to test some of the Sirui gear as I have heard nothing but good things about the make...
KevinandSeri 3 267 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2017 9:42PM
Manfrotto 502 fluid for XF305
Manffrotto joystick on carbon legs for general stuff
Simple Velbon video head with manfrotto 577 slide plate adapter on MVMXPro500 monopod - video and long lens support when tripod is too obtrusive/lmited space.
JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
10 Jul 2017 10:09PM
I am a collector of tripod heads !

At the moment the Arca Swiss Monoball Z1 Double Pan is the one I am using and it cost considerably more than 40
Using it on a Gitzo Systematic Tripod ( no centre column / swivel arm )

What am I shooting with it .... everything but if I go out specifically to say a Cathedral / Church to do interior / exterior architectural type shots then I take the Arca Swiss D4m head with me.



RoyBoy 13 259 2 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2017 10:53PM
I am confused.
You say "it's amazing", "it's dependable" and "when it's locked it's bloody locked" but you then conclude by saying "I'm thinking of getting something that has a slower and finer adjustment, for perfectly lining horizons up while looking through the viewfinder."
Can't be that great after all if you can't get a straight horizon?
.
JackAllTog Plus
8 4.8k 58 United Kingdom
10 Jul 2017 11:58PM
The ball head that came with my 100 giottos tripod, so long as you keep it adjusted its mostly OK.
Chris_L 3 4.0k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2017 1:30AM

Quote:Can't be that great after all if you can't get a straight horizon?

I can get one, but I want to have a slower, finer control. Rather than move the ball to the correct position by moving the camera in quite large movements I fancy being able to turn a control that slowly and precisely moves things. Like the kind Alan Perkins talks about.

JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
11 Jul 2017 6:55AM
Then the Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head is probably a good option for what you are looking for.

Offerings from Arca Swiss, like the C1 cube or Monoball P0 Hybrid may be over specified for what you want but they do appear to be quite good.

Philh04 Plus
12 1.2k United Kingdom
11 Jul 2017 8:42AM
The Manfrotto 410 geared head is a super piece of kit, very easy to level with the built in spirit level that is accurate (no need to judge through the viewfinder), as I said I use one for macro, landscape and architecture... plus it is not overly expensive and easy to add an adaptor for your chosen QR system...
JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
11 Jul 2017 10:08AM

Quote:The Manfrotto 410 geared head is a super piece of kit

Tempting me to get mine out of retirement for a trip out Smile

It is from early 2000 's but I believe the latest version is lighter, in weight, and a slightly different design but operates in exactly the same way.
11 Jul 2017 9:34PM

Quote: I fancy being able to turn a control that slowly and precisely moves things


Then I'd agree with others saying the 410 geared head - my favourite too...used for everything a tripod is needed for...landscape, still life, macro, architecture, etc... most everything except, obviously hand-held stuff....motor sport etc.. ignoring possible advantages of gimbal head types - birds etc.

Anyway, you'll find larger collar controls, spring loaded, allow very swift swivelling/tilting to a rough position (release, and it's fixed) then a smaller knob allows very fine tinkering thereafter..

Not the cheapest, but to my mind, way more adjustable incrementally than a ball head, and solidly fixed once done...despite the quality of said ball-heads..
LenShepherd 9 3.4k United Kingdom
12 Jul 2017 8:21AM
I have used Gitzo off centre ball heads for macro work for 16 years for the positioning flexibility for low plants etc.
Mine are still working good after 16 years, despite one falling out of the back of a moving vehicle.
With 2 way very smooth large locking knobs fine tune is easy.
They are super expensive, quite heavy, and Gitzo have yet to learn how to make the rubber between the head and camera base score higher than 6 out of 10 Sad

The likely reason behind the question is there are now hundreds of heads, very few camera stores and even fewer with 10 heads in stock so how do you try before you buy?

On a photographic macro course over the weekend several mid price tripods used by others had parts falling off and several were too flimsy to do any good.
I have been looking for a new tripod with flexible arm that weighs less than my present kit at almost any price point and noted on the course the mid price Manfrotto (150 range) were cosmetically failing.
The Gitzo Explorer weigh more than 600 conventional tripods and the leg adjustment locks do not lock tight enough.
"Serious" outdoor macro involves multi-position adjustment of legs and head maybe 20 times a day, carrying the tripod through long grass etc, and whatever tripod is used it has to be much more robust than an average tripod to last 12 months.
I will be lucky to find 20 heads, mainly lower priced, at Digital Splash in October, Dale in Leeds do not carry many heads in stock which leaves me with the challenge of trying before I buy involving at least a 400 mile round trip.
JJGEE 12 7.0k 18 England
12 Jul 2017 9:01AM

Quote:very few camera stores and even fewer with 10 heads in stock so how do you try before you buy?

SImple answer... you cannot Sad

And that applies to quite a lot of equipment, not just tripods / heads.
Possibly visiting, what used to be called Focus On Imaging, in Birmingham is the only chance one has these days !

User_Removed 2 1.0k United Kingdom
13 Jul 2017 10:29AM
Well in fact I have B and S, but the only heads I use on my Gitzos are Gimbals, I have a wimberley mk2 on one and a Benro CF on the other, on rare occasions when I may shoot video I use a manfrotto fluid head, but for sports NOTHING is better than a Gimbal.


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