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Thread: Do you use a ball head or pan head?

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    Ausphotography Regular wideangle's Avatar
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    Do you use a ball head or pan head?

    Hello Everyone

    I was wondering what everyone uses on their tripods? I have a manfrotto setup and a rather old pan head so thought it was time to upgrade. I ended up going with the 488RC2 ball head option and have it on order, so hope its what Im after.

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    Member Echo63's Avatar
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    at this very moment i have a slik panhead on my tripod, and a 488rc2 on my monopod.
    when i go out with the tripod the heads get swapped, so i use the ballhead on both, and the panhead rarely gets used anymore
    Canon 1dmk2N, 350D, 300 (film) Olympus OM2
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    I'm going to be interested to see the replies. I am thinking of a tripod before the year is out & dont really know what to go for in relation to the head.

    I would tend to think that I would be happy with a pan head, but do want to know what all the fuss is about with a ball head

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    I've got an old tripod that has the pan head, can't change it.

    But I'm looking at spending some money at the end of the year, ball head it will be.
    Just an easier range of movement.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have BOTH.. I find the ball head is much faster to adjust, but as you lock it in sometimes you still get a slight bit of movement (using a manfrotto 222 hea). The Pan and tilt head tends to stay put as you lock it in.

    Both are good and i really couldnt say i have a favourite at all!
    Last edited by ricktas; 17-10-2007 at 5:49pm.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Member AmyK's Avatar
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    I have a Velbon Sherpa 600R with a pan and tilt head (don't remember the exact head model).

    I bought it last Friday for $169 from Stallards Camera House, and I'm really happy with it.

    And so far the head on it is going okay for me I haven't any real need to move it quickly, and it doesn't move at all once I lock it into place.

    Canon 400D | 60mm f2.8 | 18-55mm | 75-300mm| 50mm f1.8 | 430EXII | Photoshop CS4
    Helpful & Honest Critique/Advice appreciated

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    I have a Giottos MH5001 pan-tilt head on my Slik Pro 500 DX tripod.

    When trying out a heap of different heads at the camera shop, I preferred the pan-tilt to the ball head.

    Cheers,
    Martin.

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    I prefer using a ballhead, much faster to set up , especially if the ground is sloping or uneven, and only one knob to lock position.
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    Member NSWESP's Avatar
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    I use a Giottos ballhead with a panning base to allow it to swivel for panning or be used as a ball head.
    Angus James,
    Freelance Photojournalist Using:
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    I use the Manfrotto 322RC2 most the time and LOVE it! If you've not had a go, make sure you do, most people i know who have tried one have bought one!

    http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/...d=80|81&idx=83

    Tim
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    http://www.earthairfire.com

    Canon EOS-5D Mark II | 70-200/2.8L IS | 17-40/4L | 100/2.8 Macro | 50/1.8 | 580EX | 420EX |

    Note on critique: Please feel free to rip my pics to shreds - I can take it



  11. #11
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I had a pan head once!!.. but I learned my lesson, and haven't made that mistake ever again!
    Don't get me wrong!! I love pan heads... but only when video-ing now.

    I ended up getting a 488RC ballhead too, but found like Rick, small amounts of movement were a little harder. I wasn't happy(at all! )

    I tried a 468MGRC hydrostatic head, and what a difference!(compared to the 488)
    Infinitesimally minuscule adjustments are made easy, even on the 500mm because the friction control adjustment knob allows you a more fluid adjustment(like on a pan head)

    Damn expensive things though, considering they aren't proper 'Pro grade' heads.. but for me ATM..... it's close enough.

    488 is a good head, depending on your requirements. But I wouldn't use it on a lens that is too long(400mm or more) or too big 70-200mm f/2.8 sized lens. I think it's only pushing the boundary of adequacy for such use, compared to the 468MG series.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    I use Dietmar Nill head on my Dutch Hill tripod or my Manfrotto 190B monopod.
    This is a very tough and stable head ! And I can mount another body on it as well.





    Cheers
    Sar


    D2Hs, D2Hs, D2X, D7000, D800 | AF-S 14-24/2.8 | AF-S 18-300 DX | AF-S 24-70/2.8 | AI-S 50/1.8 | AI-S 105/2.5 | AI-S 105/4 Micro-Nikkor | AF-S 85/1.4 G | AI-S 50-300/4.5 ED | AI-S 180/2.8 ED | AI 80-200/4.5N | AF-S 200-400/4 VR | AF-S 600/4 VR | TC-14EII, TC-17EII, TC-20EIII, Kenko 2x | SB-800+Better Beamer | Tripod Dutch Hill+Dietmar Nill Head


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    I am liking the idea of a ball head. But the reason I post is just to comment to Sar NOP that I have taken photos from the exact spot at Homebush. Its a lovely area.

    Adam
    Using a 7d or a s95
    Advice and Edits welcome
    http://adamrose.wordpress.com/ [/CENTER]

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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamR View Post
    I am liking the idea of a ball head. But the reason I post is just to comment to Sar NOP that I have taken photos from the exact spot at Homebush. Its a lovely area.

    Adam
    Yep, lovely spot !
    If one day you come across the same gears at the same area it'll probably be me...

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    I use the MF488 ball head but I also use a Kirk L bracket for changes between portrait and landscape. Ball heads are great for their ability in single action multiplane movements but when it comes to changing into portrait mode, they suc and for that matter so do pan heads.
    L brackets are the only way to chnage between formats.

    sar NOP or ADam, where abouts at HB Bay are you shooting? I work just up the road (cnr pomeroy st & underwood rd) and I cant quite place the spot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    sar NOP or ADam, where abouts at HB Bay are you shooting? I work just up the road (cnr pomeroy st & underwood rd) and I cant quite place the spot.
    I usually go shooting in Bicentennial park, but the best spots for birds are the wetlands at the northern end of the park and the mudflats of Homebush Bay. There is a boardwalk through the mangroves which leads to a saltmarsh. Many species can be spotted in these areas.

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    Thanks sar, I might have to go for a walk during lunch one day

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    Member LEIGHTON's Avatar
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    In terms of ease of use, which is better? ballheads, pan and tilt, joystick?

  19. #19
    It's all about the Light!
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    3 way pan/tilt has the best control.
    Ball (easier) is better for fast action.

    See: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...ad.php?t=24053
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Ball Heads

    I switched to ball heads a long time ago.
    Great fast setting, specially with new cameras having the leveling indicator on the screen. It has also the standard bubble level on the mount.
    I have a special Manfrotto flash/umbrella QR mount to swap camera, speedlight or brollie!
    Ball heads give precise and quick lighting angles when used on mounted flash or snoots.

    Tip: Those mount stands that come with those speedlights can be mounted on QR Plates! Yay!
    "The greatest camera in the world is the one you hold in your hands when shit happens." ©2007 Raoul Isidro

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