Even though we ARE Nikon lovers,we are NOT affiliated with Nikon Corp. in any way.

We are starting our webinars. First one is on the Nikon Z6ii and Z7ii cameras. More info


Sign up Login
Home Forums Articles Galleries Members Galleries Master Your Vision Galleries 5Contest Categories 5Winners Galleries 5ANPAT Galleries 5 The Winners Editor's Choice Portfolios Recent Photos Search Contest Info Help News Newsletter Join us Renew Membership About us Retrieve password Contact us Contests Vouchers Wiki Apps THE NIKONIAN™ For the press Fundraising Search Help!

How-to's Accessories Reviews

The Markins Integrated Camera Support System – User Review

J. Ramon Palacios (jrp)

Keywords: ball, head, panorama, birding, jrp

Markins is a long-time friend of Nikonians, manufacturer of top class camera support systems and accessories. 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).

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).

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


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. 

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


To read the rest of the article, please log in. This article is available to all Silver, Gold and Platinum Nikonians members. If you are not registered yet, please do so. To discover the world of Nikonians and the advantages of being a registered member, take our short discovery tour.


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

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.