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Ballhead comparison

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by rebrewer, Sep 1, 2005.

  1. rebrewer


    Aug 1, 2005
    Davis, CA
    Does anyone have experience with both the RRS ballheads and the Markin? I'd be interested in a subjective comparison. I love the RRS stuff, and I've played with the big head as the medium head isn't shipping yet, but I've yet to get my hands on the Markin.


  2. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I had a Markins M10L on my tripod, now it's on my monopod and the BH-55 is on my triopod. The BH-55 is definitely built better, it just oozes quality. No plastic knobs, and it just seems more solid. The M10 is a good ballhead for the money but it's not in the same league. My biggest complaint with it has always been the stupid tension limiter knob that tears your finger nail up when you try to adjust it. On the BH-55 the tension limiter is a separate knob and even has a numeric index. The bigger ball is also nice because it gives you finer control and smaller adjustments over the camera position.

    BTW I wouldn't bother waiting for the BH-40. Based on the specs they released a while back it doesn't look like it's even in the same league as the Markins M10 or Kirk BH-3 despite costing more.
  3. cknight


    May 2, 2005
    Madison, AL
    I have the Markins M10L, but haven't used any other ballheads. So far, I've been pretty pleased with the markins. But I've used it mostly with the wimberly sidekick and haven't had to fool with the tension too much.
  4. Jeff, what about the plates to tie to the lens are they of the same quality, and if you have for example a big lens attached to the ball and you carry your tripod on your shoulder with everything attach will the lens move from the ballhead?

    And second when you lock the ballhead with it stay exactly where you lock it or will it slide a degree or two?

    PS: I am still looking for that perfect ballhead.
  5. I have the Arca Swiss monoball and like it. If I were in the market today I would go with the RRS ball head just based on the quality of all of their gear that I have bought.
  6. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I don't have any experience with Markins plates but I don't think they have anything except generic bottom plats. For the camera body I prefer camera-specific L-Brackets, as well as lens-specific replacement feet when available. Both Kirk and RRS have a good selection of plates and brackets, I've used both and would say they're of similar quality (both top-notch).

    I routinely carry my tripod slung over my shoulder with camera/lens and even flash mounted and have no problems with slipping. Even the M10L can handle that fine although with a big lens you need to make sure you tighten the head down sufficiently.

    I don't think you'll have problems with slipping with either one. The main improvement the larger ball in the BH-55 is that I think it's a bit easier to make small/precise adjustments to the camera position.
  7. Thank you very much Jeff, I ordered a 55 ballhead and the plates from RRS for my 3 lens, I might also buy a locking plate to replace the one on my Manfrotto ballhead. I will let you know what I think after using them.
  8. Jeff, I got my RRS ballhead today, I agree with you it's in a class by itself. The best quality in the 5 differents ballheads i tried so far. When you lock the head you don't need too much pressure and it really stopped where you want.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2005
  9. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Glad you like it. I too find that the knobs seem to work better at clamping things down when you want to. Even the panning base can be locked down quite securely.
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