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Thread: My New Markins Q10 Head, and why I chose it.

  1. #1
    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    My New Markins Q10 Head, and why I chose it.

    The decision to get a ballhead was a no brainer. After having had a 3-way pan/tilt head, with three separate adjustments, and three knobs that seemed to catch on everything, it was a lay down misere.

    As my maximum load is around the 2.5 kg mark, I was in the market for a mid range head. If I'm ever lucky enough to be able to acquire that 600mm monster of my dreams, I guess I'll also be lucky enough to be able to afford the gear to mount it on.

    I am in the fortunate position (read that as retired, and watching my pennies) to be able to spend the time to do a fair bit of online research, and in my quest for the 'right head', I did heaps. I checked out every manufacturer I could find, from the long term market leaders to the emerging players from Korea and China.

    As one of my main criteria was a head that was going to last me a very long time, a track record of longevity was a prerequisite. That is in no way a reflection on the newer manufacturers, hell, they all had to start somewhere, I just didn't want to buy from one that didn't quite cut the mustard a year or so down the track.

    Most of the mid range heads matched up fairly closely with the 56mm base plate on the 055CXPRO3, however rated load capacities can be taken with a grain of salt, as there is no industry standard rating system.

    I narrowed my choice down to the RRS BH-40, the Kirk BH-3, the Acratech GV2 and the Markins Q10, none of them cheap, but all very well thought of. These were the ones that had the most positive feedback in the dozens of forums I visited. There were some horror stories about some of the cheaper knock-offs.


    RRS BH-40. A well regarded American manufacturer with a full range of dedicated camera plates and accessories. Maybe just a personal thing, but I tend to avoid levers on heads to minimise the chance of accidental dismount.

    Kirk BH-3. Another top quality product from the USA, with dedicated camera and lens plates, but my requirements were probably somewhere between their BH-3 and their BH-1. The cheapest. Droop mentioned occasionally with gear my size.

    Acratech GV2. Also from the States. I really like the open design of this ballhead as it has little chance of attracting gunk into the ball housing and is easy to clean. Was the second last head I deleted from my list. They offered me a 'special deal', 10% off RRP, on a factory second with cosmetic blemishes only, however one of their retailers were selling the same head, unblemished, for about $10.00 cheaper. They didn't get my business.

    Markins Q10. These heads are made in Korea, and have gained an enviable reputation for quality and performance. They offer a full range of dedicated non-twist camera and lens plates. They are manufactured using top quality materials, and are hard anodised to give long lasting surface protection, as opposed to the powder coated finish used on some of the cheaper offerings. I did not come across one single complaint about droop or slippage, just the odd user who found the panning brake not to their liking. I find it locks quite well, and may only be an issue if your sling your tripod over your shoulder with your camera and big lens at 90 degrees.

    I chose the Markins Q10.

    Markins Q10.jpg

    It says on the box
    Fine Art Quality. Professional "Ball Head"
    I have no argument with that.

    Markins PG32.jpg

    The dedicated camera plate. Note the anti-twist flange.



    It arrived in less than a week, direct from the Markins factory in Korea. They don't have dealers. It was very well packed and as I unwrapped it, I could not help but wonder whether it was going to live up to it's hype.


    My first impression?

    This thing is too damn pretty to mount my camera on. I want to hang it around my neck.

    It seems too small and too light. They must have sent me the Q3 by mistake. Bugger. To be sure, I'll measure it and weigh it, and then contact them to arrange a swap.

    Well cut me down and call me Shorty, this is actually the Q10. Gawd, this thing is never going to support the DA* 300.

    Wrong, again!

    I mounted it on my tripod, looks bloody brilliant, and grabbed the K20D and the 300, to which I'd fitted the lens plate. I'd chosen the screw release clamp over the lever type, because, as mentioned previously, in my mind it eliminates the chance of involuntary release.

    The ball clamp is what Markins call "Bi-Axial Progressive", with a single large lock knob, and an incorporated finger tip operated drag lock. With your camera and lens mounted, you back off both adjustments until the ball is loose, then tighten the main control knob until you find the so called 'sweet spot', the point at which the ball wont sag, but can still be moved. You then use your fingertip on the second adjuster to lock the main knob.

    When composing your shot the ball moves freely without any hint of droop, and when you are ready to shoot, all you need to do is tweak the main knob and the ball is locked, tight! You cant back the tension off with the main knob any further than where you have previously set it. So simple, and highly efficient.

    The clamps and mounting plates are all Acra-Swiss compatible, a big plus if you want to mount something like a Wimberley Sidekick etc. The tolerances on the clamp and plate fitment are what you'd expect from a quality product.

    Here is a link to Markins America, with more info and prettier pictures than the Korean site. http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/category.php?req=1

    Well, I'm off to take some pictures.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Cheers
    Kev

    D600 : D7200 and too much stuff to list

  2. #2
    Member Adrian Fischer's Avatar
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    Thanks for the details Kevin. What style of photography will you be using it for? Landscapes? Im in the market as well as I am also over all the levers on my head getting in the way.
    ______________________________________________

    Adrian Fischer
    Brisbane, Australia

    Gear: Nikon D80, D300, Nikon 35mm f1.8, 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 105mm f2.5, 18-200 VR, 70-200 VR, Sigma 28-70mm f2.8, Sigma 50-500, Tonkina 12-24 f4, SB-600, various YongNuo Strobes, various umbrellas, 6 x 300w studio flashes, various softboxes, reflectors, stands, transmitters and receivers.

  3. #3
    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Hi Adrian,

    My first impressions are that it will suit pretty much any genres.

    I'm delighted with it so far.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    The Commander mikew09's Avatar
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    Thanks Kevin, go info.
    Please be honest with your Critique of my images. I may not always agree, but I will not be offended - CC assists my learning and is always appreciate

    https://mikeathome.smugmug.com/

    Canon 5D3 - Gripped, EF 70-200 L IS 2.8 MkII, , 24-105 L 4 IS MkI, 580 EX II Speedlite, 2x 430 Ex II Speedlite


  5. #5
    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikew09 View Post
    Thanks Kevin, go info.
    Mike, if it helps somebody else make a well considered choice, I'm delighted.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Member sonofcoco's Avatar
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    Nice write-up Kevin!

    I got the Markins Q3-Q ballhead here in Korea about 3 weeks ago and agree wholeheartedly. It's a beautiful looking ball-head! Works very well too, no issues so far with the 70-200mm f4L on the 40D...nor did I expect there to be.

    If anyone is in the market for one of these ball-heads I'd suggest looking on a Korean internet shopping website called G-Market (www.gmarket.com). Picked up my ball-head there for about $60 less than the price indicated by their own website. The website is in Korean, but you can choose an English option which translates at least some of the Korea. Can also search in English with no problems. Am not sure how much postage to Australia is though...postage is reasonable here in Korea however.

  7. #7
    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Thanks sonofcoco.

    I was very tempted by the Q3, particularly at under $AU230 on eBay. I'm sure it would have held my 300 with no issues other than losing a bit of smoothness.

    BTW, I do remember seeing on one of Markin's sites that they will not honour their warranty on heads purchased on eBay.

    Glad you're happy with yours. I can't believe how good mine is, and how I did without it for so long. It inspires confidence.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Member dultim8's Avatar
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    old thread i know but nice write up

  9. #9
    All lines lead to Home ... arnica's Avatar
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    Hey Kev,

    Could I ask whereabouts you got these from?

    Was it from : http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/category.php?req=1
    Regards,
    Phil

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by arnica View Post
    Hey Kev,

    Could I ask whereabouts you got these from?

    Was it from : http://www.markinsamerica.com/MA5/category.php?req=1
    I bought mine direct from Markins in Korea. http://markins.com/4.0/html_en/online.php

    From memory they were marginally cheaper, but prices now look about on a par.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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