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Thread: Manfrotto Head on Velbon Tripod

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    Manfrotto Head on Velbon Tripod

    Hi I have only ever used 1 tripod and have recently been looking at upgrading my head to something like a Manfrotto 498RC2, I was wondering do I need to update my tripod or are the heads interchangeable between different manufacturers. I currently have a Velbon Sherpa 803R but it can be annoying to work with its current head can I put the Manfrotto head on this.

    Thank You


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    Hi,
    not specifically familiar with the Velbon tripods, but as long as you can unscrew the existing head off the tripod centre column it's highly probable you should be able to fit the Manfrotto head. Typically tripods have either a 1/4" or 3/8" mounting screw universally across all brands and usually come with adapter bush. Just check under the mounting plate (flat part on top of the centre column) there may be 1 or more set screws to secure the head, loosen them before trying to unscrew (anti-clockwise) the head.

    Cheers
    John

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    If you are thinking of upgrading I'd suggest that you consider going for a head that is Arca Swiss compatible.

    The Arca Swiss clamps and plates have much tighter tolerances than the 'frotto stuff.
    Cheers
    Kev

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    Velbon seem to use 1/4" fastening system, so this shouldn't be an issue.
    I suppose it may be questionable as to the actual benefit of doing so tho.

    Quick price reference checks:

    Manfrotto will set you back approx $150 online(not including postage)
    Feisol: CB-40 is approx $140 plus freight, CB-50 is approx $160 plus.

    Ball diameter makes a huge difference to the operation of a ballhead, and in general you want it to be as large as you can justify.
    But at the same time you don't want overkill of the head, relative to the tripod legs themselves either.

    So if you have plans to update the legs to more sturdy forms, then consider a larger ballhead to begin with too.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    Velbon seem to use 1/4" fastening system, so this shouldn't be an issue.
    I suppose it may be questionable as to the actual benefit of doing so tho.

    Quick price reference checks:

    Manfrotto will set you back approx $150 online(not including postage)
    Feisol: CB-40 is approx $140 plus freight, CB-50 is approx $160 plus.

    Ball diameter makes a huge difference to the operation of a ballhead, and in general you want it to be as large as you can justify.
    But at the same time you don't want overkill of the head, relative to the tripod legs themselves either.

    So if you have plans to update the legs to more sturdy forms, then consider a larger ballhead to begin with too.

    Thanks for the detailed replies, after much thought I think I will end up going for a RRS BH-55 and then upgrade the tripod to a Manfrotto 055XPROB not long after.

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    I think you are heading in the right direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
    Thanks for the detailed replies, after much thought I think I will end up going for a RRS BH-55 and then upgrade the tripod to a Manfrotto 055XPROB not long after.
    I would change the 055 tripod for Benro's 3570 series carbon tripods, or better yet, the 4570(bigger brother ... larger tube diameter).

    I have a 055 and it hasn't been used in many years, simply because the carbon gitzo type .. (ie. same as this Benro model) tripods work so much better.
    There's also another Gitzo knockoff brand that also comes from China, but I have never seen them in action properly.

    I have a Gitzo personally, and from what I've seen and experienced with the higher end Benro legs, such as the 3570 series and 4570 series, they're pretty much equal to the Gitzo.
    A few minor detailed differences, but they're not very significant.
    3570 is approx $380, 4570 is approx $480, local prices.

    BH-55 is a top notch piece of kit, in many respects worth the money spent(now that the Aussie dollar is worth something).
    But it's not infallible. I've written up a small piece on it, somewhere in our archives, and I should take the time to revisit the issue I had with it.

    HERE's my story on the issue I had with it.

    Basic rundown of the issue I found with my BH-55 is the way it drops and mis-frames the scene compared to how I want it to be.
    That test was using a 300/2.8 with 1.4xTC over a distance of only 4m, so a large lens was used with a bit of magnification to make for a 'worse case scenario'.
    That was over a year ago, and one of the other issues with the BH-55 from new was that it feels very stiff when it was new.
    I haven't compared it to the other heads I have again since, and now with a year of use, I should .. just to see if it bedded in as I thought(or hoped) it would.
    In use, the BH-55 feels very smooth now and easy to balance a large lens on it with minimal locking force .. I just haven't compared it against the MG468 in the last 12 months.

    If I get an opportunity, I'll update that old thread of mine. I can't exactly remember the results of actual stability tests, and again, if I get a chance I'll see if I can update it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I would change the 055 tripod for Benro's 3570 series carbon tripods, or better yet, the 4570(bigger brother ... larger tube diameter).

    I have a 055 and it hasn't been used in many years, simply because the carbon gitzo type .. (ie. same as this Benro model) tripods work so much better.
    There's also another Gitzo knockoff brand that also comes from China, but I have never seen them in action properly.

    I have a Gitzo personally, and from what I've seen and experienced with the higher end Benro legs, such as the 3570 series and 4570 series, they're pretty much equal to the Gitzo.
    A few minor detailed differences, but they're not very significant.
    3570 is approx $380, 4570 is approx $480, local prices.

    BH-55 is a top notch piece of kit, in many respects worth the money spent(now that the Aussie dollar is worth something).
    But it's not infallible. I've written up a small piece on it, somewhere in our archives, and I should take the time to revisit the issue I had with it.

    HERE's my story on the issue I had with it.

    Basic rundown of the issue I found with my BH-55 is the way it drops and mis-frames the scene compared to how I want it to be.
    That test was using a 300/2.8 with 1.4xTC over a distance of only 4m, so a large lens was used with a bit of magnification to make for a 'worse case scenario'.
    That was over a year ago, and one of the other issues with the BH-55 from new was that it feels very stiff when it was new.
    I haven't compared it to the other heads I have again since, and now with a year of use, I should .. just to see if it bedded in as I thought(or hoped) it would.
    In use, the BH-55 feels very smooth now and easy to balance a large lens on it with minimal locking force .. I just haven't compared it against the MG468 in the last 12 months.

    If I get an opportunity, I'll update that old thread of mine. I can't exactly remember the results of actual stability tests, and again, if I get a chance I'll see if I can update it.
    Thanks for the reply, i'll check them out as well, how does carbon fair in the salt water?

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    carbon in salt water so far is completely immune to any issues(that I've seen, anyhow).

    With the Gitzo's tho, the leg tube tightening screws ingest the water inside the rubber locking grips.
    They're easy enough to pull apart, and you simply wipe them down. Salt can build up inside and you can hear and feel that they become scratchy. No metal parts to rust, but there is a pair of plastic bushes for the carbon tubes to slide within each other. They simply come off, but care just needs to be taken when pulling apart. If you use brute force like I did, the plastic bush halves can snap.
    With patience and deductive disassembly they're actually easier than you think to strip down.
    They don't need grease or any other lube of any kind, and to slide efficiently just need to be clean.

    Even with the one half broken plastic bush, the leg still operates smoothly and without issue.

    Each three leg assembly only takes a couple of minutes to strip to it's basic parts for cleaning.


    ... ie. maintenance is also very simple .... for the patient!

    I'm only assuming that the Benro tripods have a similar system as just about every other aspect of the Benro is so similar to the Gitzo.(I've never personally had a Benro tripod, only the one's I've seen from various friends off AP.

    By comparison the 055 looked a bit too tedious to pull to pieces to clean up .. so I've never bothered.

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