Help! I need an opinion and some advise.
I have a Markins Q3 Emille ball head mounted on a Gitzo balsalt tripod
to which I mount a Nikon D300s with a Nikkor 18-300 lens. Do you think that this is too much stress for the Q3 or should I possibly upgrade to the Q10? Thanks for your help.
#1. "RE: Ball Head" | In response to Reply # 0Replytoken Registered since 08th Mar 2008Thu 08-Nov-12 07:55 PM | edited Sat 10-Nov-12 03:38 PM by Replytoken
A lot of members who post in this forum who own Q3's have loaded them up with gear and have little complaints. Yes, a Q10 or Q20 is a bit beefier, and has a larger sweet spot, but there are not many complaints about Q3's being stressed out by a load similar to what you have described. Are you seeing any signs of concern?
#2. "RE: Ball Head" | In response to Reply # 1Sat 10-Nov-12 12:11 PM
In answer to your question, yes I have a concern. It seems to me that
I have to tighten the "sweet spot" way too much to keep the lens
from sagging when it fully extended. Also, when I have it tightened
this much, it becomes very hard to adjust (move).
#3. "RE: Ball Head" | In response to Reply # 0
The 18-300, 18-200, 70-300 and 24-70 are nose heavy when placed on a ball head. The camera is the attachment point to the ball head, the weight of the lens is in the front especially when zoomed. After setting the sweet spot, you will notice that when you move more than 20 degrees or so off horizontal especially downward you notice the lens beginning to creep within the sweet spot. On a small ball head like the Q3 you will have to progressively tighten the tension to eliminate creep possibly to the point of nearly locking down the head. Several here have used the Q3 with a 70-200 or 300/4 (bigger, heavier) without issue; however, those lenses have a foot that allows them to be better balanced on the head, thus they perform better within the Q3 sweet spot.
The larger the ball head the better equipped it will be to handle nose heavy lenses. So the Q10 will work better than the Q3 and the Q20 better than the Q10. Since you have a series 2 tripod the Q10 would be a good match, however, the Q20 is only about $50 more than the Q10, you could future proof your purchase by going that route and never have to worry about the ball head again.
#4. "RE: Ball Head" | In response to Reply # 0
An alternate solution is to add a long rail and clamp. This would have the same benefit as a collared lens foot in that it would allow you to balance the lens on the ball head. With this configuration your Q3 would perform very well.
Kirk makes a simple long rail, and Markins makes something similar with added support for the lens nose. I believe RRS also makes something similar to the Kirk long rail and clamp. Just be sure the clamp is oriented properly for this configuration.
Even if you upgrade to an M20 your 18-300 will probably still be more difficult to manage in a sweet spot than most lighter lenses and/or lenses that are shorter and don't extend as much, or collared long lenses. I've never handled the 18-300 but I suspect the heavy front element is quite a bit forward at 300mm, where precision is most needed.
In other words, this is an interesting and helpful solution for any ball head and your lens.
my Nikonians gallery.
#5. "RE: Ball Head" | In response to Reply # 4Tue 13-Nov-12 11:46 AM
Thanks to everyone for their replys and information. I appreciate
it very much. After doing a lot of research and studying I have
decided to go with the Q20 ball head. All of the suggestions seem
to indicate that my ball head peoblems will be resolved.
Thanks again, Walli