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Manfrotto ballheads: 486RC2 Vs 488RC4

Discussion in 'Tripods, Ball Heads, and Gimbals' started by Kamil, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. Kamil

    Kamil

    152
    Oct 28, 2007
    Oman
    I bought the 055XPROB legs with 486RC2 ball head yesterday. My signature show what gear I currently have and will add the 70-200VR 2.8 soon. My intention is to stay with this price range as I’m a light user when it comes to tripods. I also had a look at 488RC4 but found the RC4 plate bulky. The local dealer doesn't have the 488RC2 so the choice is between the two 2 mentioned.

    I would like to get some input based on my gear on these two particular heads I’ve mentioned and which you would go for and why?
     
  2. Micky

    Micky

    190
    Feb 29, 2008
    Vermont
    I use the 486RC2 on an older Bogen tripod with all my stuff. Even the 200-400 works well, although I don't use the tripod a lot, I have in the past and will continue to use this setup in the future.

    Manfrotto stuff, especially the RC2 stuff is shunned by a lot of people, it is not Arca Swiss, but as such it is less expensive. Personally I cannot afford to move all my stuff to that type of release, the RC2 stuff works great for me.

    I mostly use monopods, as I shoot a lot of sports and my longer lenses all have RC2 plates to work with all my heads. I think they work fine. I feel the Manfrotto stuff is seriously underrated as far as capacity is concerned.

    The RC4 line is obviously bigger and possibly more stable, but I have not found that I needed that for my gear. Where I work they use the RC4 stuff for the video gear, and it works well for that.

    I guess in the end it all depends on what you want/need, for me the RC2 stuff fits nicely.
     
  3. I'm using the 488RC2 :biggrin: Get your stockist to order one in if thats what you're after, or order online somewhere if he won't..


    As for the RC2 plates.... yeah they are shunned by some and until a few months ago I was ging to upgrade to arca swiss all round and Acratech heads... but I didn't.

    I don't use the tripod that much - probably 5% - maybe I should use it more, but I'm playing with 50mm or 85mm lenses and deliberately avoiding the zooms at present.

    I did find the RC2 plates would twist on the body - so I use the Architectural plates now (they have a raised lip to butt up to the body). Body twist is now gone - lens twist is still a problem - I've take to really locking the plate on tight - using pliers to get a good grip :eek: . Seems to have fixed the problem for now. The other twist "point" is the housing - you really have to squeeze the clamp shut to make sure its really locked down. After al that the platform is usually stable enough for my uses.

    RC2 also transfers easily to the monopod - I don't see any RC4 heads for monopods !

    All in all I like the head and plates now, fit my requirements
     
  4. I'm using the 488RC2 ballhead and it works very well for my needs.
     
  5. Kamil

    Kamil

    152
    Oct 28, 2007
    Oman
    Thanks for your input guys. I tried the setup and found it to be good enough especailly taking in to account I am a light user of tripods. I guess I was looking for reassurance from others who do have the same setup.
     
  6. LDB415

    LDB415

    929
    Apr 26, 2008
    Texas
    configurator.manfrotto.com shows the 486rc2 as a correct choice for a balanced system with the 055 tripod and the 488rc4 as an unbalanced system because the head is too heavy duty for that tripod.
     
  7. Doesn't mean it can't/shouldn't be used....just that it's capacity is higher than required given the weight of your camera and lens.
     
  8. LDB415

    LDB415

    929
    Apr 26, 2008
    Texas
    I agree but I think they also mean that if you use the full capacity of the head you will be overloading the tripod and lose some stability that way. Their configurator discusses choices and what they mean. It's a pretty cool tool. They also have one for the Gitzo side of things too.
     
  9. Kamil

    Kamil

    152
    Oct 28, 2007
    Oman
    Tom, what did you mean by this?
    It's just when I tried the RC4 plate I found it a bit too big, but it seems from what I'm hearing that it does give more stability. Also, the 488 head seems to be the preferred over the two so I'll visit the local dealer again today and try the 488RC4.
     
  10. I'm using the 055XPROB and the 488RC4 and am very pleased with it. However, it is my first 'proper' tripod and head so I've nothing else to compare it with.
     
  11. RFCGRAPHICS

    RFCGRAPHICS

    Apr 30, 2005
    I have been using the 488 ballhead for the past 5 years. Its big advantage over the 468 is the independant pan lock. That feature alone justifies the small price difference. I originally purchased the 488 with an RC2 release and never had any problems with light weight glass.

    Another nice thing about the 488 head is the RC2 setup is removable. If you want to change to an acraswiss setup in the future, all you have to do is unscrew the RC2 release and then screw on an acraswiss clamp. I am not sure if you can do this with the 488RC4 or a 468 ballhead

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Kamil

    Kamil

    152
    Oct 28, 2007
    Oman
    I just looked at the 488RC4 and there is an allen screw holding the plate to the ball. That's good to know I have that option.
     
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