Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . .
Counter to the overwhelming (and I am sure deserved) popularity of quality ball heads, I find I am quite happy with my silly three handled monster. I use a Bogen 3236 leg set with a Bogen 3039 p/t head. It is a little over-kill with my F5, but just right for my Pentax 67II. Note: this post is NOT intended to start yet another debate of p/t vs. ball head. However, I am interested in hearing from others who have found happiness with a p/t head. I have a question further on, if the use of p/t heads interests you.
I readily admit that the Bogen Hex plate quick release system leaves a bit to be desired. I am quite familiar with the Really Right Stuff and Kirk products relative to the Arca-Swiss QR system (although I have not used products from either company first hand). I had a brief conversation with Bryan Geyer or RRS today and got the response I expected. "ditch that head and get a B1". Well, sorry Bryan, I am not inclined to do that just yet.
Now (finally) we get to my query. I intend to get a RRS B2 Pro clamp and attach it to one of my numerous hex plates. I will probably do a little machining to both the hex plate and clamp to ensure a tight, no-twist interface. Has anyone else accomplished this? Any caveats? I truly believe that if done carefully and correctly, it will be as steady and secure as is the A-S clamp were part of the head itself. BTW, I am aware of the Kirk hex/A-S adapter, but it does not appeal to me for reasons I won't go into here.
Thanks for any input/feedback.
#1. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0JM Registered since 01st Mar 2007Tue 27-Nov-01 01:52 AM
I also prefer the pan/tilt to a ball head mostly because I find I don't keep my accessories as clean and protected as my bodies and lenses. Since a ball head is most useful when pre-tensioned to allow corretions a dirty ball will affect this tension.
I use the Bogen 3030 with the rectangular QR plate. Altho this is a lighter duty head to the 3039 I like the plate. I to will be doing some tinkering with the plates to acheive anti-twist.
Does the Hex plate allow mounting in all possible positions? I mean can you fit the plate into its mounting socket in any position? I believe a square plate that would mount in both 90degree positions would be handy to add to the flexibility of camera mounting positions for micro and other specalty uses.
As to mating the plates for anti twist the easy way would be to attach them in the position you want without a body then drill thru both plates and install a roll or spring pin. You can also tap the hole and insert a set screw if you would be dismantling the set up. The stuff I'm describing can be seen in a Industrial Supply store or cataloge, Grainger, McMaster Carr for example.
#2. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 1vchong Basic MemberTue 27-Nov-01 04:06 AM
>Does the Hex plate allow mounting in all possible
>positions? I mean can you fit the plate into its
>mounting socket in any position?
Yup -- the hex plate does indeed mount regardless of the "step" in its rotation. I found this feature extremely useful this weekend when I took a 180 degree (horizontal to vertical to horizontal) panoramic of a cathedral's interior.
The film hasn't been developed yet; I'll let you know how it went. I hope it turns out OK!
#3. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0
Just a comment: I use a 3-way head, bogen 3410 (aka manfrotto 329) low profile head. Love the control, love the bubble levels.
Interestingly, Tim Fitzharris (???) who writes for Pop Photo has ball head (Arca-Swiss type) that he had modified to use Bogen/Manfrotto's head type QR. I'll need to check on the issue when I get home.
The B/M Hex QR also has an "architectural plate" with an antitwist plate attached. Would that work.
For $130 for the Kirk Hes/A-S adaptor, I'm not sure I'd be interested.
#4. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0
LAST EDITED ON Nov-28-01 AT 09:59 PM (GMT)
And welcome to Nikonians. Had to laugh at your intro...
Ok, so: "My name is Bo and I am a ball head using Nikonian".
Most guys around here seem to use their p/t heads. Let's see what they have to say.
Bo (Administrator & Nikonian in the Black Forest/Germany)
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#7. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 4Mr67GP Basic MemberThu 29-Nov-01 10:41 PM
Thanks for the warm welcome!
As for my intro, I do kind of feel like its a confession. Most pros seem to gravitate to the A-S B1, and I suspect that in the next year or so I may as well. However, I do not plan to abandon my p/t. When I use my tripod, it is because I am taking care to get the most out of my shots. I do mostly technical/documentary shooting professionally. As others have pointed out, speed is not an issue. I sure dont run very fst with a 15 lb. tripod either!
#5. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0
LAST EDITED ON Nov-29-01 AT 07:47 PM (GMT)
It's too bad you have issues with Kirk, because they have the cleanest solution for your needs. I won't deal with RRS because of their PITA ordering process and Bryan's penchant for running down the competition as a sales technique. Different strokes...
Anyway, I like using a pan/tilt head for video work since it lets me do vertical as well as horizontal pans. Otherwise my ballheads are superior in every way
By the way, if anyone wants to see what the Kirk QR-4 plate is about, look here:
The base is a hex plate to fit big Bogen/Manfrotto heads and the quick release clamp lets you use the superior Arca style plates that are custom made by Kirk and Really Right Stuff (www.rrs.com) for most cameras and lenses with tripod mounts. These plates are very slim and light so that you can leave them permanently mounted on your equipment. This removes one of the hassles that keep many of us from using the tripod as often as we should.
#6. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0
I use a pan/tilt head because I find it easier to make precise adjustments when you only have to work with one axis at a time. It's probably due to my poor hand/eye coordination. I also stop chewing gum when I am making an adjustment. Since I'm usually not in a hurry when using a tripod, the alleged slower functioning of a pan/tilt head has never bothered me.
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#8. "RE: Hi, my name is Jim and I use a pan/tilt head . . ." | In response to Reply # 0
I use a Bogen 3029, and am fairly happy with it. I will upgrade to a ballhead when I have the cash, but for now I am happy with stability. My three handles are not as fast, especially when the tripod is not level. Like I said, I will "upgrade" to a ballhead when I can afford a stable one, but my current setup gives me great pictures, just less easy to use. The next money I spend on cameras will probably be for a tripod as stable as my current one but lighter and easier to use.