Is RRS Ballhead worth it? VERY MUCH SO!! (pic added)

SRA

Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
3,057
Location
Orem, Utah
Just thinking of upgrading to the Really Right Stuff Ballhead. I have never handled one and was wondering if it is as good as everyone says. Would love to hear from any owners. Thanks in advance.
 
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Joined
Mar 18, 2005
Messages
22,475
Location
Richmond, Va
I have used the Kirk BH-1 and BH-3 and they are good devices. I use the RRS BH-55 now and precision is an understatement when describing this ballhead. I have never handlled a finer ballhead.
 
Joined
Jan 8, 2007
Messages
221
Location
Collierville, Tennessee
It's a machinist dream! The precision is fantastic. Yes, it's really that good. But only you can decide if it's worth the price. Was to me, but hey when it comes to my photography, it's only money. Right??? :confused: :Confused:

I keep on telling myself ....

It's cheaper than a bass boat, it's cheaper than a bass boat, it's cheaper than a bass boat, it's cheaper than a bass boat.:Smart:
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
3,272
Location
Kentucky
RRS BH-55LR is the best machined ballhead I have ever seen. It is in a class by itself for machining and design. Again, this is not what everyone prioritizes as significant, so in the end, only you can decide...
 
R

RForshey

Guest
Best I've ever used, and I've probably used 'em all...
 
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
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667
Location
River Forest, Illinois
Had a BH-55 and I agree that it's the nicest looking ballhead out there. I ended up with a Markins M20 because I felt the M20 was noticeably smoother under tension than the BH-55.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2005
Messages
3,062
Location
Alaska
I have a B-55 PCL (panning clamp). I did have problems with it in the field one time. There is a allen screw in the center of the head. Mine worked itself loose making the head unstable. Fortunately, there was a town 1 hour from where I was that had a hardware store that had an allen wrench that fit. My recommendation to those of you using this head is to carry an allen wrench, and check tightness periodically.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2005
Messages
15,253
Location
Marysville, WA
RRS, Kirk, Markins, Acratech, Arca-Swiss, in my opinion all fantastic and none "inexpensive". Some will say one is "far superior" than another, next person will choose their own favorite. These folks, just like me, are simply spouting our "opinon" and preference. As to "cool factor", I put the RRS and the Acratech right at the top, without a doubt they do look the "coolest", with the Gitzo's being at the other end of the scale :wink:. As to utility, look at the comments in this thread, some different ones, but none really bad.

Bottom line, if you like it, buy it, they all cost too darned much, but then again, what doesn't?

To paraphrase another astute poster ...

It's cheaper than a Lotus Elise, cheaper than an Elise, cheaper than an Elise ..... :biggrin:
 
Joined
May 20, 2005
Messages
9,393
Location
Hazlet Township, NJ USA
I have the RRS BH-55 and love it. Its worth it and the last head you'll ever purchase.

Anthony

My head:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Joined
Oct 24, 2006
Messages
4,870
Location
Valley Forge, PA
I must have researched every ballhead a few months back when I was in the market for a new tripod setup. I ended up getting the RRS BH-55 and don't regret my decision at all. Smooth action, great craftmanship, and rock solid. I'd recomend it highly.
 
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
4,107
Location
Virgnia
I have the RRS BH-55 and love it. Its worth it and the last head you'll ever purchase.

Anthony

My head:
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
This is what I have - a great head - never had a problem. As someone else said - nice piece of machining.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
Before last weekend, I'd never handled a RRS ballhead. However, at the Huntsville gathereing, I was handed one of these big heads. I was asked to check the tension. It was a bit jerky. It seemed to start and stop sporadically. Perhaps this head had been abused, but I can't recommend it. I've got an Arca Swiss B1, and there's simply no comparison. YMMV.
 
R

RForshey

Guest
Before last weekend, I'd never handled a RRS ballhead. However, at the Huntsville gathereing, I was handed one of these big heads. I was asked to check the tension. It was a bit jerky. It seemed to start and stop sporadically. Perhaps this head had been abused, but I can't recommend it. I've got an Arca Swiss B1, and there's simply no comparison. YMMV.
I own and use both heads. The RRS is smoother operating than the B1, and much more ergonomically designed. I am a big fan of the B1 as well, having owned three of them. But the BH-55 whoops it. I really wish it weren't so! All of the head makers have copied the Arca Swiss quick release plates, among many other of their design features. I'd really like to stay with the originators! But alas, in this case a little boutique manufacturer has beat 'em.
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
I own and use both heads. The RRS is smoother operating than the B1, and much more ergonomically designed. I am a big fan of the B1 as well, having owned three of them. But the BH-55 whoops it. I really wish it weren't so! All of the head makers have copied the Arca Swiss quick release plates, among many other of their design features. I'd really like to stay with the originators! But alas, in this case a little boutique manufacturer has beat 'em.
I can't dispute Randy's testimonial - nor will I try. I've never put a camera on one of these heads. I can't give first-hand accounts of the performance. I'm just stating what I noticed from my one and only brief experience with the RRS head.
 

SRA

Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
3,057
Location
Orem, Utah
Order placed

Everyone said the right words, artistic, well machined, last one I will ever need. Thank you all for your advice. The order is now placed. And now for the new Gitzo GT3530LSV tripod.

Stay tuned in the classifieds for the sale of my former Bogen hardware. :Wink:
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2005
Messages
3,272
Location
Kentucky
Everyone said the right words, artistic, well machined, last one I will ever need. Thank you all for your advice. The order is now placed. And now for the new Gitzo GT3530LSV tripod.

Stay tuned in the classifieds for the sale of my former Bogen hardware. :Wink:
Congrats on your ordered BH55LR and Gitzo GT3530LSV tripod. Is this the 6x CF replacement set of legs for the Gitzo 1325?
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
12,515
Location
near Montreal, Canada
Before last weekend, I'd never handled a RRS ballhead. However, at the Huntsville gathereing, I was handed one of these big heads. I was asked to check the tension. It was a bit jerky. It seemed to start and stop sporadically. Perhaps this head had been abused, but I can't recommend it. I've got an Arca Swiss B1, and there's simply no comparison. YMMV.
Hmmmm Mark, this mirrors my observation. I have always admired the RRS BH55 and was glad to see a few at Huntsville. I also found that it was more jerky then what I would have expected. A beautifully crafted piece of work, for sure. I don't doubt the high quality either, but I was surprised that the feeling was less then the buttery smoothness that I am accustomed to.
Like Mark: just my observation.
 
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
446
Location
Central Arkansas
After a lot of agonizing I made the decision to order one last week. I wish I could add actual testimony to this discussion but can't Yet! Unfortunatelly mine hasn't arrived yet. It's due to deliver today and I'm out of town for the weekend. Was really hoping it would arrive yesterday so I could play with it this weekend. Can't wait to get to try it out next week.

After seeing the comments about "less than smooth" several times my decision was made easier when I ran across the comments in the section of the users manual entitled "A Note about Break-in" in the middle column of the first page.
http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/ballheads/BH-55_Manual-Oct2006.pdf

Every ballhead I looked at seems to have some criticism. Markins panning bases don't lock up solid, Arca-Swiss's lock up unexpectedly, etc. Seems much like everything else. All designs have their strong points and weak points. Just try to find the one that gets the best feedback and make your decision. Now I just hope I made the best decision for me because I really would like to buy a ballhead once.
 
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