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Ballhead/Tripod on a Budget? Try This!

XUBIOSCHOEFF

Cincinnati, US
482 posts

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XUBIOSCHOEFF Registered since 09th Nov 2007
Fri 14-Dec-07 12:00 AM

For anyone out there inquiring about ball heads and tripods without destroying a relationship with the bank or a loved one, you might want to read my opinionated and subjective estimate found below.

I have based most of my selections in lenses and bodies on John Shaw's suggestions in his older books. I got an F4, a 24mm, a 105mm micro, and a 300mm f/2.8. So after reading the online info here and other places, I continued my tradition of. I picked up a STUDIOBALL QR from GRAF. I think it was about $75 less than the used Markins, and has a similarly impressive load capacity.

The ball is massive! I got it a few days ago and tested with the F4 and 300 f/2.8 right away (between 10-12 lbs). It has a variable tension control in addition to the locking knob and panoramic lock.
*The setup does not budge when locking/locked down, while remaining smooth and swift after a quarter turn of the locking knob.
*It comes with the ever popular Arca-Swiss QR mounting.
*It is heavier than the others gaining rave reviews: if you are a WEIGHT-O-CHONDRIAC, then do not get it.
*As to this point, I have used it on an old Manfrotto 3021 leg set and had NO issues with instability whatsoever!
*If you are on a REAL budget, which no Nikonian seems to be . . . at the cost of some weight, you can afford to buy another superb Nikkor or pay your rent!

So, in summary:
I got my whole setup with the 3047 Pan and Tilt (great for all the camera and lens combinations I have used), the tripod legs, and the ballhead for <$300. For about $500, I have to carry about 5 lbs more. I am young, and I am cheap- why else would I be using film and manual focus, right? Either way, I am a complete amateur who produces results better than a lot of those I meet- it might be because it takes me so long to set up a shot (I realize half of them aren't that good by the time I reach for the shutter release). . .

Dan Schoeff
(No Longer Newbie) Nikonian with a lust for information
http://DanielSchoeff.smugmug.com/

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