well, I'm getting older and older.
I started out a wise young man on AP.. many moons ago.. and.. oh! hangon!!
make that BALLHEAD.. not bald head .. anyhow, I started out much wiser and now I feel more like a 'wiseguy'(as the Yanks would say)
I feel as tho I was wiser earlier because all that mattered was getting photos and not stuffing around with why the photos are getting harder to capture. Before now, if the images didn't come out as I hoped, i simply blamed myself and as I searched for cool looking images of stuff I like(and stuff i didn't know I liked until I found it too).. I found more info that I originally intended too(and that unfortunately included info from KR )
And y'all wonder why I sometimes sound confused... I had a tormented upbringing over the past 4-5 years with my intro into digital photography.
When in doubt, simply contradict what you just previously said.. even if it was only in the last paragraph. That's what I call hedging your bets.. you can't really be wrong with that attitude.. hey Ken?
OK, so.. TruBlueBiker in another thread is querying ballheads and stuff, and I have some experience with them. Manfrotto stuff only tho.. none of the reallie goodie goodie stuff that costs more than my car does(yeah! I drive cheap cars too).
So in that thread, I explained to TBB that the Manfrotto MG486 ballhead is not one that I'd recommend. Even tho I'd given it slightly unfavourable review, it's not a bad head.... really!.. main gripe, it's too tall. Easy to operate slightly cumbersome in terms of physical stature.. which means that it has protruding bits that protrude more so than most other ballhead types I've seen.
my biggest gripe recently(for a while actually) was with a specific set of lenses, this ballhead suddenly became a chore to use. I'd take the time to frame the scene as I wanted.. taking great care sometimes to make sure an animals head is in the correct part of the frame and so forth(I can be really really pedantic about framing!!.. worries me in that I'll end up losing shots), but when I framed the scene, lightly holding onto the lens/camera tightened down the ballhead, with the very easy to use lockdown knob.. I would always lose a few millimeters off the top of the frame. So if I wanted a large lizardy looking animal holding onto a tree trunk orientated at about 45° and wanted the tip of her nose pointed towards and about 5cm from one of the top corners, the ballhead would droop just enough to crop out the tip of the nose or some crap. End result would be that I'd have to give myself a bit more leeway by framing unnaturally upwards and trying to estimate how much more I'd need(which was always wrong). In the time it takes to do this properly lizardy looking animal is tired of waiting and moves up 5cm more.. leaving me to redo the entire framing process again!
So I tried to explain some of the problems that comes with this type of gear to TBB, without trying to write an essay where an essay wasn't needed, ie. as a reply in someone elses thread. That's what this thread is for! )
now I gotta tell ya.. I did stuff up tho! Yep!(I usually do tho, so there's no reason to leave AP just yet) but I was rushed.
I incompetently fixed the problem before I thought of the idea on how to display what the problem actually was. That is I pulled the baldhead apart and cleaned it out but I didn't post a pic of the actual scale of the problem(you just have to take my word for it when I explain it).
Due to TBB's ballhead thread, I followed a link to a ballhead manufacturer called acratech, and in one of their products marketing guff they claim no need for dirty grease.. etc, etc.. for the ballhead operation. Which makes perfectly good and sound sense. A ballhead is not a universal joint in a driveshaft of a car, or a wheel bearing.. its not spinning at 5000rpm, it barely moves at all on the whole.. how many times do you physically sin the ballhead around. Yeah, grease makes it nice and smooth to glide smoothly from one point, to another point 1mm to the left.. that's way cool and obviously speaks of ooodles of quality from the manufacturer. Sooth operation should be due to care in details and craftsmanship. Smooth surfaces or appropriate materials on the surfaces should be the reason that the ball moves smoothly.. not Mobil1!!
So I pulled the ballhead as far apart as I dared too.. where my inherent laziness in walking to the next room to get a pair of circlip pliers overpowered my intrinsic curiosity in knowing what was beneath the circlip. I don't care.. and at the time I didn't care.. but what was immediately obvious was the torpid state of the greasy garbage manfrotto uses on this particular ballhead(which looks identical to the crap they also use on their 488 series ballheads too). this one is hard to see tho, as mine is a particular model that uses a rubberglove over the ball so that it doesnt get dirty or cause dirtyness either.
So if a lowly stressed ballhead doesn't need grease, why not clean it off?
That's it! That's all I did and while the ball now moves a lot more freely(maybe the grease became too sticky ) I cleaned it out by spraying liberal and copious amounts of WD-40 and immediately the grippy grease lost it's hold on the ballhead(when lightly loosened). it took almost forever to wipe the WD spray residue off, and that would have been easier had I have removed that large circlip!... and it's now dry enough with just the lightest film of WD remaining
BUT!!! it now locks down tight.
I just mounted the 300/2.8 onto it and it didnt' budge. '
So not only does that goopious gloopy grippy grease cause more friction, but it must also cause slight sloppy slackness too!
Bewdy! Manfrotto stumbled on the only grease known to mankind that lubricates and causes friction at the same time! ... but unfortunately those qualities work against common sense and therefore as the user would want them too.
The friction impedes smooth operation, and the lubrication seems to work against holding the jigger down tight when required!
That's what I wanted! I paid nearly $600(all up, with many plates) to watch the forces of nature opposing each other at the cost of my sanity!
So now the hilarity is over(I'm about to go back and mount the TC's onto the 300mm and see if she's going to hold on for much longer capt'n.
Quick clean was all that it needed.. nay! In fact, a clean is something it shouldn't have needed.. no manfrotto grease is what it really needed!
Whilst I did clean the ballhead, I also cleaned the base out too.. it had the same goop slapped all over the insides. panning was always smooth with a light fluid friction. No complaints there. but no grease was a bad idea in the base. I opted for some copper based grease for the base. Sprayed on and sticky so it doesn't eventually drip out(i hope). smoother than before too.. but it was perfectly workable as it originally was.
herez and couple of pics I just tookcoz you have to take pics of stuff, if you just tested gear!)
mantle clock. In past times, where I framed here(and took reasonably great care in framing too), the ballhead would have dropped severely where the top of the frame would easily have been more in line with the 'scalloped in' embellishment at the top of the clock.(easily!.. maybe even lower). now all I have to do is frame. hold lightly and slowly turn the friction adjustment knob. ballhead is locked down nicely and doesn't droop any more.
oh! and because I cant bring myself to sell the tammy 300/2.8 I like to see 100% crops taken with it. yeah.. it ain't no uber 300/2.8 ED AF-S VR XIXX.. but at 1/10th of the price.. i reckon it does just enough to make it worth holding on too for a while yet.
First of all I'd like to thank Kevin(trublubiker) for his bald head, or ballhead thread.. or whatever!... for posting the question. Which then had me browsing more gear that I probably can't afford(yet) and then thinking about the good ol days before grease was even invented. Well... at first I wondered what prehistoric caveman would have used on his ballhead gear, if petroleum products were thousands of years yet to come.. basically naught!(just like acratech do).
Then of course I started to think how prehistoric and backwards acratech's line of thinking was, which inevitably lead me to conclude that I wanna be a rockstar.. or caveman.. or Fred Flinstone!! ... whatever gets me off this slippery slope I was previously precariously perched upon.
Mounted the TC's to the lens too, and also a massive improvement there too.
that's the 840mm(300mm + 1.4x + 2.0x TC's) version.