Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?
I bought a SLIK ABLE 300DX last time. I was so happy and glad with its advantages rather than my last Velbon 355 with its limited stand. But I have a questions why most Photographer esp. Professional one use a brand such as Manfrotto and Bogen.
In some case I don't really understand with their term of: Ball, Head, Gadget, etc. Like in my SLIK ABLE 300DX, they do not provide that kind of various type of Balls, Heads, etc. And this rumours make the Photographers interested and enjoyed to 'collect'.....
Could anyone explain or show me some site that explain about those terms. Thanx....!
#1. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 0Philip Basic MemberTue 02-Jul-02 08:55 AM
The reason why a lot of (?) photographers use tripods from Gitzo (yes, IMO you forgot the best), Manfrotto or Bogen, is just because these tripods are … GOOD.
Why do you use an F80? Because it’s a good camera; it is a lot better than a Praktica or a Yashica.
Why do you use Provia 400F? Because it is better/you like it better than AgfaX or KodakY.
I too I started with a low end Velbon, which at that time was enough to support my FT2 + 50mm. Now I use a Gitzo Mountaineer G1548, because it’s one of the few tripods to be stable enough to support my 500mm lens + TC14E.
The ‘better’ tripods are always sold without a head. This allows you to choose the right head for the job you want to do. You are free to take a Gitzo Rationelle 3 when you are into macro, an Arca Swiss B1G when you use big glass for wildlife or birds, or a Wimberly if you do a lot of flight shots. The cheaper tripods don’t allow you to change the head.
Hope this helps.
#2. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 0SzennyBoy Registered since 28th Jan 2002Tue 02-Jul-02 09:20 AM
I think Philip has hit the nail on the head! The main issue why a lot of the more serious snappers use these tripods, namely Gitzo and Manfrotto/Bogen (they are one and the same except that Bogen is what the US call it and Manfrotto is what the rest of the world calls it) as these tripods have been designed for heavy usage at heavy loads and are very stable. That's the name of the game here, stability!
This is especially so when using heavy equipment. The stability of thes tripod is governed by both the overall stiffness of the legs as well as the torsional rigidity of the column. In a lot of the higher-end models you will notice that there are no adjustable central columns (the rack & pinnion or gear-controlled adjustable columns). This is because the higher you raise this column, the more unstable it becomes. All the tripods and the associated ball or pan'n'tilt heads would also have a specific load capacity (say 6kg or 10kg).
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#3. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 2Philip Basic MemberTue 02-Jul-02 12:55 PM
>... In a lot of the higher-end models you will
>notice that there are no adjustable central columns (the
>rack & pinnion or gear-controlled adjustable columns). This
>is because the higher you raise this column, the more
>unstable it becomes.
I consider a tripod with an extended center column to be "stand alone" monopod.
In Fritz Pölking's book "Vogelfotografie" (= Bird photography), you can find the results of a comparision between several ways of supporting a Nikkor 400mm f5.6, which I consider a very light telelens. It goes from handheld, over shoulderstock and monopod to a heavy Gitzo reporter II (sic) (I'd rather consider it as a mid range Gitzo). One of the conclusions is, that when extending the center column for only 15cm, you loose 2 stops (to obtain good sharpness), which gives you the same minimum shutter speed as with a monopod (1/250 second).
If you use a tripod with extended center column, you might as well use a (much lighter) monopod. I think this is one of the reasons heavy tripods don't have a center column (which you can always buy in option).
#4. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 3BJNicholls Charter MemberTue 02-Jul-02 09:33 PM
"I consider a tripod with an extended center column to be "stand alone" monopod."
Not in my experience. This kind of generalization is taking a good, helpful rule of thumb to the ridiculous. My large studio Bogen with a crank-driven center column is more rigid extended than most midweight pods are in any configuration. It's not a tripod I'd use for birding, but then all tools don't measure up well given a very specific ruler.
My Gitzo 1348 with the carbon fiber center column is very solid as well and you don't have to extend the (removable) column much to have it be useful. It's far faster to work with a center column than adjusting three legs a couple of inches each. I find a need to fine tune shooting height often enough that I purchased an expensive center column for the tripod I bought "naked". I won't extend it much if any with my 400mm lens, but that's a minority of my shooting.
If you only care about the stability of long tele lenses on midweight tripods, then you're better off with a beanbag (not a monopod which depends on your technique, poor technique = poor stabilization). If you're using a gimbal mount head so you can have the freedom of movement of a monopod, the center column doesn't matter much anyway.
For my personal situation, the tripod ring on my 80-400 zoom is a much weaker link than any tripod center column. It's flexy like a diving board...
#5. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 4alexbaroes Basic MemberWed 03-Jul-02 03:20 AM
Thanx all.... I really appreciated with all your kindness comments. All this informations I will keep for my further references later on. "Terima Kasih Banyak!!!"
#6. "RE: Heads,Balls,what the heck is that?" | In response to Reply # 3jrp Charter MemberWed 16-Jan-08 12:22 PM
A head is nothing but the mechanical means to allow you to position your camera and lens however you want, without having to move the legs of the tripod.
You may want to pan (turn the camera around its own axis without changing the horizon line), to catch images that can later be "stitched" and form a panorama.
You may want to tilt the lens upwards or downwards
You may want to incline the camera unto a side.
The heavier the camera-lens combination, the more sophisticated the head has to be to set it at a precise position and keep it there.
The more sophisticated a head is, the easiest is to make several movements at a time, as against one at a time (pan, tilt, incline).
If you have the time to set up for a landscape, a three way head is the appropriate and enough for the task.
If you are into sports or the need for quick movements to track wildlife, a ballhead is maybe better for some users.
Heavy ballheads are the preferred heads of professionals as they allow for:
a) precise positioning
b) ease of positioning
c) no movement after setting it
d) one or two knobs to worry about only
e) adjustable friction on the ball.
Below an Arka Swiss B1 Monoball
Attachment#1 (jpg file)
Have a great time :-)
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