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Lever Locking Ballhead <$100

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by STR, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    I've got a compact and full size tripod.They have two different types of ballhead and I'm not particularly fond of either. I want to get one standard ballhead for both.

    • I use a GH3, primarily with 12-35, 35-100, 100-300. Something stable enough for the 300 is necessary.
    • I like lever plate locks, because it's quicker and easier to pop the camera off.
    • I have less of a preference for the swivel locks. Knobs or levers, either/or, though it seems the swivel locks are usually the same style as the plate locks.
    • Separate locks for panning and tilt, for panoramas.
    • I don't have a preference for plate style (though something that could be used on a future long lens would be preferred slightly).
    • I think $300 for a lump of lubricated metal is absurd. That is not a dig at you or your own preferences. Might be willing to go above $100 if it was everything I could dream for in a ballhead.

    Thank you for your time and recommendations.
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I have a $300+ lump of lubricated metal, and I have owned or used several lumps of metal that sell for under $100. In the latter category, I think that it may be challenging to find a lever lock release, especially if you want Arca/Swiss compatible plates. If you can handle knobs, then I might suggest some of Sirui's ballheads. They have been my preference for affordable ballheads. They feel quite nice, but when I load up a ballhead with a lot of gear, I still use my Markins because, IMHO, it truly is an amazing lump.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    Hence the whole thread. Arca plates would be nice, but I wouldn't call it a high priority. Main thing is lever release with separate pan/swivel locks. There's at least one Manfrotto I saw on B&H matching my needs, but reviewers complained about the plate design they used.

    In regards to the other response, I hand-hold 99% of my shots (which are often pixel-perfect because the lenses have amazing stabilization) and thus lack the justification and the need for something that's suited for someone using a D800 with a 600mm f/4, or whatever. For something like THAT, an expensive beefy ballhead might make sense (and you've spent so much on equipment that the tripod assembly is a rounding error).
     
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I would concur. The needs of shooting with my Nikon and long glass are very different than my m4/3rd's equipment, and that was why I felt comfortable with my Sirui recommendation. But I do have to admit that my Markins ballhead is an amazingly beautiful piece of industrial design. It may be overkill for some, but I have little patience for bad equipment when I am using a tripod, and it is very well behaved in all kinds of conditions. But, as they say, YMMV. Sorry I unable to recommend any lever release ballheads.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
  7. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    Don't sell yourself too short on buying a support system. For the price you are asking, I think that buying used might be your only option.

    If you want to go with new, you can get an acceptable outfit for between $130 and $175.

    I recommend that you look at what Midwest Photo Exchange has to offer. There stuff is pretty good, reasonable prices and a reputable shop.
    http://mpex.com/bags-tripods/tripods-supports/kits.html
     
  8. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    May 16, 2013
    Already have generic Chinese OEM gear. I'm looking for something a step above that, but a step below pro DSLR gear. Something like the well regarded Sirui gear, just with a lever release. If I can't find that, I'll probably end up with the Sirui,

    I could justify something in that range. Have any specific recommendations?
     
  9. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Fully agree, the worst quick-release design ever invented, and the ball heads aren't all that great either.
     
  11. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I personally like the stuff in the Induro line, so I would start there.