I'm thinking of getting the Gitzo G1227 Carbon Tripod and I'm trying to decide between the RRS BH55 ball head with the lever clamp or the Markins M20 ball head. If I were to go the Markins M20 route I was thinking of getting it without the clamp and getting the RSS lever clamp instead. This makes the Markins M20 head about $25 more than the BH55 so the price difference is neglible. The only real difference I can determine from reading specs is that the BH55 will be 861g vs 639g for the Markins M20. Any thoughts? Hope this question hasn't been asked before...I almost feel like I'm starting a Canon vs Nikon or Mac vs PC thread. But since I can't just walk into a store to try them myself this is the next best thing for me
The largest lens I'm planning on getting in the near future is the 300mm f/4.
The G1227 has be discontinued and replaced by the G1257. If you have ever used a Gitzo, the legs can be a trick to deal with. That is gone with the G1257. The new 6X version of the legs do not rotate when opened. A huge advantage.
Yes, they are indeed just as stable - same endurnce and load capacity at a lighter weight but most importantly the legs do not rotate making it significantly easier and quicker to open and close the legs.
- Pradipta Speed is significant and interesting but accuracy is downright fascinating! My Gallery
The only real difference I > can determine from reading specs is that the BH55 will be >861g vs 639g for the Markins M20. Any thoughts?
Danai, aside from the weight difference, there are three other difference between the RRS and a Markins. The main and foremost difference is that the RRS head uses a seperate and distinct graduated knob for tension control compared to Markins using a thumbscrew within the torqueing knob to control tension. Secondly, the RRS head has two cutouts in the ballhead retaining cup versus one in the Markins; and thirdly, the Markins BH-55, although I'm not super sure on this, may have a lower profile than the Markins M-20.
P.S. Perhaps because the Kirk and the RRS similarly use a seperate tension control knob design, as a Kirk ballhead owner, I notice that quite a few of the professionals listed in Kirk's website listed as having used the famous Kirk BH-1, now use the RRS BH-55.
Thanks for pointing out those differences, Kent. I guess the two cutouts doesn't make a difference for me because I plan on getting L plates. As for the lower profile I assume that might help a little in terms of stability as well as packing/travelling length. So the main difference besides weight that would make a differnce for me would be the tension control knob. I'm not sure I understand what its for and what the advantage/disadvantage may be to have it as a seperate knob or the thumbscrew within the torqueing knob.
So the main difference besides >weight that would make a differnce for me would be the >tension control knob. I'm not sure I understand what its for >and what the advantage/disadvantage may be to have it as a >seperate knob or the thumbscrew within the torqueing knob. > >Danai
Danai, as a baseline, Torque control tightens the ballhead to allow for movement or no movement. Tension control fine tunes that adjustment to a ballhead so that you can freely move the ballhead but snuggly enough so that you can take your hands off the equipment and it will not move. There are three schools of thoughts here regarding tension control and they are, a seperate tension control knob like RRS and Kirk; no seperate tension control knob but instead, a tension control screw within the torque knob like Markins and Arca Swiss; and thirdly, no tension contol knob at all like Acratech and some of the less expensive Bogen and Gitzo heads.
In the higher range quality ballheads that are Arca compatible for quick release, and aside from the Acratech's tension control-less design, and the sheer expense, I would venture to say that the real difference in getting one ballhead over another, is how one prefers to manage tension control. From my experience, using the Kirk and the RRS heads, tension control with a seperate tension control knob allows for a lot of graduation in tension control. I haven't used a Markins or Arca Swiss enough to comment on their tension control.
I'm currently looking for a ball head. The Markins is looking favourite currently. I like the look of the RRS BH55 but by the time it found its way to the UK could be very expensive? The Kirk BH-3 also looks like the job and would be slightly cheaper than the Markins. What I like about the Markins is its tension control on the main lock knob. I have a small ball head with seperate tension and lock knobs. Even though they are of different size I'm continually grabbing the wrong one!
I'm guessing whichever ball will be well up to the job?
I have >a small ball head with seperate tension and lock knobs. Even >though they are of different size I'm continually grabbing >the wrong one! > John, I always seem to grab the right one but that is only because on a Kirk, the tension control knob is quite a bit smaller than the torqueing knob and on the opposing side of the torque knob. I also use my ballhead lots so I'm used to it.
Anyways, in case you didn't notice, RRS has solved that "problem" by ingeneously recessing their tension control knob.
When I'm working quickly, I want as few extra knobs in the way as I can. To me, the BH-40 knobs are well done, but not the bigger BH-55. The tension knob is very similar, though smaller, to the main knob and also the pan locking knob.
>When I'm working quickly, I want as few extra knobs in the >way as I can. To me, the BH-40 knobs are well done, but not >the bigger BH-55. The tension knob is very similar, though >smaller, to the main knob and also the pan locking knob.
Bob, I've been thinking about what you have said and I agree, when one is working quickly, the less knobs the better. Even after many years of using a seperate knob for tension control, when I'm working quickly I still grab the torque knob from time to time instead of the tension knob.
Danai, I thought the notches weren't going to come into play with me as well. I had planned to exclusively use L plates. Then I came to a situation where I wanted to use my SB800 with my D70, but not mount it on the hotshoe while the camera is mounted on the tripod.
When I'm taking photos of people I prefer the SB800 mounted externally and use a Stroboframe Pro T to do it. With the Stroboframe attached I couldn't find an L plate which would work, but have a flat plate which will. I am therefore using the notches with this setup.
The notches add more versatility to the head and having dual notches, instead of a single notch is one reason I went with a RRS ballhead (BH-40 LR) The BH-55 has 2 notches as well.
Have a happy and healthy new year.
Ned ----------------------------- There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept. Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)