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How-to's Accessories Reviews

Markins Integrated Camera Support System

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)


Keywords: ballhead, panorama, birds, jrp

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The vendor Markins is a long-time friend of Nikonians and has supported the community in various ways throughout the years. They are a manufacturer of top class camera support systems and accessories and its ball head models cover the needs for use on a monopod (Q3i), on a traveler tripod (Q3i-Tr) and on a tripod for medium sized focal lengths (M10i for up to 200mm) and for longer lenses (Q20i for over 300mm).

01

Markins ball heads with Quick Turn Knob Clamps
Click for an enlargement

 

Four sizes of ball heads are available, with two types of clamps, the Quick Turn Knob Clamp (shown above) and for the Quick Release Lever Clamp (shown below).

02

Markins ball heads with Quick Release Lever Clamps
Click for an enlargement

 

BIRDS AND VIDEO MODULE

Now, Markins introduced a clever module attachment that can be used on the Q10i and Q10i-Q, the BV-12, and the BV-22 for the Q20i and Q20i-Q. These modules mount on the ball head clamp (dropped on the open channel) and serve to constrain all camera-lens movements except for up and down tilt, allowing for use of the ball head pan capability. This makes Birds in Flight (BIF) photography and Video (hence the denomination BV) an efficient delight. In fact, the BV module replaces the need for an obtrusive Gimbal head or a Sidekick for BIF and for another head for video. 

03

The BV-12 and BV-22 can only be used on i-Type ball heads, M10Qi, M10Q1-Q, M20Qi and M20Qi-Q.

 


PANORAMA CLAMP

To take care of the needs for panorama photography, Markins has added another very special clamp for the purpose: the QR-70P Panorama Clamp.

04

QR-70P Pano Clamp

 

Advantages of this panorama clamp:

  1. There is no need to first level the tripod legs.
  2. There is no need to level the ball head.
  3. There is no need to use the panning base of the ball head.
  4. It has its own integrated panning base for smooth panning.
  5. It has its own bubble level.
  6. With its accessory plate (included) it can be used as a module attachment on top of any ball head of any brand, with an Arca-Swiss type clamp.

You can also buy a Markins ball head with this clamp already installed.

05

Markins ball heads with Panorama Clamp
Click for an enlargement

 

If you already own a Markins i-Type ball head with the knob clamp or the lever clamp, you can either:

a)   Use the Pano Clamp as a module attachment atop your existing clamp, or

b)   Switch the existing clamp for this pano one

 

Clamp switching has been made easy on the Markins i-Type ball heads, by simply unscrewing the clamp and replace it as shown in the image below:

06

Clamp switching made easy on i-Type Markins ball heads

 

To complement the QR-70P clamp, a panning rail is offered, the RP-90. The rail has its own integrated clamp to securely hold the camera for both horizontal and vertical panoramas by its plate or L-Bracket. The rail allows for balancing the camera-lens load on top of the clamp and for adjustments for the non-parallax point from 17 to ~90mm.

07

RP-90 Panorama Rail

 

My choice was to have:

  • A Q20i ball head, for complete ease of mind to shoot with any camera body and with any lens, from ultra-wide angles to the super big guns.
  • With a Knob type clamp that allows me the flexibility to use any brand of Arca-Swiss type plates and L-brackets (often with variations in width and retention slope angle), although I now use all-Markins plates and L-brackets.
  • The BV-22 module attachment for birding, designed for Q10i and Q20i ball heads, unobtrusive module easy to carry in my bag.
  • The Panorama Clamp attached by its own (included) plate to the ball head clamp, because this pano clamp doesn’t take the BV attachment.

08

Complete Markins Integrated Camera Support System

 

By choosing these options and easy to carry modules, I am ready for any and all kinds of photography.

09

Possible configurations
Click for an enlargement

 

In the above shown first three configurations (left to right), to switch from “normal” typical photography to Birding, Video or to Panorama can be accomplished in less than a minute. I only choose the fourth one (switching clamps) before departure, only when on that trip I am not shooting birds, using the pano clamp for all other types of photography.

I’ve been using Markins products since 2002.
I’ve been most happy ever since.
Highly recommended.

Have a great time!

JRP

 

More information on Markins

We have some more articles on Markins that might interest you. There is also a lot of information on ball heads in our Tripods and Camera Support forum.

 

Got a question on Markins or ballheads?

Our experienced photographers can very likely answer your question.

 

Post Question on Markins

 

 

(9 Votes )
Show pages (2 Pages)

Originally written on February 21, 2017

Last updated on January 27, 2021

J. Ramon Palacios J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

San Pedro Garza García, Mexico
Admin, 46140 posts

9 comments

Tom Egel (tegel) on May 6, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Winner of the Best of Nikonians 2018 Annual Photo Contest Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest Winner of the Best of Nikonians Photo Contest 2020 This member has gone beyond technical knowledge to show mastery of the art and science of photo

Thanks for posting. There seem to be two different Markins websites: 1. http://www.markinsamerica.com 2. https://www.markins.us The first one calls it BV-22 (the photos show BV-20) and the second calls it BV-24. I assume these are the same device (they look identical to me). Anyway, the first site was sold out of the combo (Q20i+BV-22), but I was able to order it from the second site. This looks to be a much better solution than the Sidekick (which tends to get left a home a lot due to it's size). Looking forward to trying it out! --Tom

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on March 21, 2017

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Diane, Nope. Amazon has not take over our Photo Pro Shop. Glad to hear you are a very happy user of the Markins ball head for over 15 years, like me ;-)

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on March 21, 2017

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Gerry, Korean New Year Holiday and less items in stock since they are now supplying our customer from the now closed Photo Pro Shop. and you can always oder directly from the factory in Korea.

Diane Abell (zinkadoodle) on March 6, 2017

Interesting article. When I first encountered Nikonians in early 2000-ish, I was very impressed with the Markins line. I had no idea where my photography was going to take me, so I decided to buy the M20 ballhead, because it was capable of holding a good amount of weight, more than I had at the time, but would grow with me as I increased my photography load, with more and larger cameras, lenses, etc. I was not happy with the quick release clamp, so I bought the Really Right Stuff quick lever clamp and attached it to the Markins. It's what I use today. A fabulous setup. In addition, I have added the Wimberley Sidekick, and I cannot imagine living without it. It sits on top of my Gitzo basalt tripod, which I also love. So much better than aluminum, and a considerably less hit to the pocket than carbon fiber. An excellent middle ground. But, I digress..... I mention all this because I read this article, and apparently the M20 is no longer manufactured, and it's replacement also has a quick release lever clamp. Improvements galore. Also, there was a Nikonians store, where I purchased the M20, but it no longer seems to exist, unless I am missing something. Has Amazon taken over the Nikonians store? Just curious, really, because I am not looking to replace the M20, or any of my gear at this point. But again, I've used the M20 for over 15 years, and it has never failed me. It's a great product. Diane

Gerry LoSardo (JerryLoSardo) on March 4, 2017

JRP, Very informative review/article. I already own a Q20 and M10 (very happy with both) and am contemplating a Q20i-BV22 setup. I've already contacted Eric to check on available Markins inventory from the Photo Pro Shop. My concern with Markins items is that Markins North America (supposedly the official distributor for the US that also handles product maintenance) is non-responsive to emails and has been out of stock of nearly everything for quite some time. It just makes me wonder what is going on with that company and who I would go to should I have an issue with a product. So as good as they are, I'm thinking long and hard if I want to invest further in one of their products.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on February 22, 2017

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

Thank you, Ray.

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on February 22, 2017

JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources

(Edited by jrp Wednesday, 22 February 2017 ) Mike, The Photo Pro Shop North America closed its doors on December 15, 2016. That is why there is no link to it anymore. Eric Bowles (ericbowles) has our inventory. You may want to contact him if you are interested in any of these items.

Ray Heslewood (Hessy) on February 21, 2017

Thanks for a very interesting article JRP, now I must spend some more money on photo gear. Regards Ray

User on February 21, 2017

there was a link for the store, where did that do? I like that Markins Q20i, the BV-22 work fine for me, lots of people also like the sidekick, I personaly just don't need both option.

G