View Full Version : Ball Head

20-Dec-2008, 08:13
I am looking to get a ball head to use with my Toyo 4x5 monorail camera. I currentley have a bogen486 that I use with my 35 mm kit but this head is not sturdy enough to do well with the LF camera. I was thinking about a Markins head but would like opinions as to what is a good head for LF.

Walter Calahan
20-Dec-2008, 08:26
Ball heads are not the best style heads for LF.

The problems is the camera is so large it is hard to nail leveling. Easier to use a plate style head. You leave the left and right, then the front and back, and the camera is level.

If you really want a ball head, I recommend the heads made by Really Right Stuff. Made extremely well. http://reallyrightstuff.com/ballheads/02.html

Brian Ellis
20-Dec-2008, 08:29
I like ball heads for digital but not for LF. The cameras usually weigh too much to allow for fine adjustments in only one direction with a ball head. I use a Bogen 410 geared head for 4x5 field cameras but there are plenty of pan/tilt heads out there that will work with a heavier monorail camera. For my Deardorff 8x10 (about 13 lbs with lens) my favorite was the Bogen 3057. It's a big, heavy, very solid head and the 4" x 4" quick release plate provides excellent balance and support.

20-Dec-2008, 09:49
[Ball heads are not the best style heads for LF.] hum I use a ball head with my Toyo 45CF and do not have any problems at all , I use a Gitzo -G1276M Love it , Thats just me thu :

Aender Brepsom
20-Dec-2008, 10:00
With a light weight field camera (like my Ebony SW45), I don't have any problems using a ball head. I am very happy with the Arca Swiss Monoball. Actually, I prefer the quick operating style of a ball head. I am probably too lazy to adjust every single dimension separately which is why I abandoned the excellent Manfrotto 405 geared head a long time ago.

Sheldon N
20-Dec-2008, 13:59
I use a Markins M20 ballhead with my Arca Swiss 4x5. If you like ballheads in use, it's a great choice. Very good weight/stability ratio - lighter than the Arca B1 or RRS BH-55 but just as sturdy.

Herb Cunningham
20-Dec-2008, 15:23
Kerry Thalmann just started carrying a different brand of Ball head, I forget the name, but he is at ReallyBigCameras.com

I use an Arca B1 even for my Arca 8x10. My second choice would be Reis on one of their tripods, it is really a matter of personal taste. if you are backpacking, that makes a big difference in your choice.

Peter De Smidt
20-Dec-2008, 15:35
Kerry Thalmann just started carrying a different brand of Ball head, I forget the name, but he is at ReallyBigCameras.com

Photo Clam :).

20-Dec-2008, 15:52
I would personally disagree with those that say ballheads aren't proper for large format cameras... I own several ballheads (Arca Swiss, Giotto, Manfrotto) and panheads (both Manfrotto) and personally prefer ballheads to panheads... at least for use with my Linhof Master Technika (rangefinder on one side serving nicely as a grip and the ergonomic grip on the other side). I believe the best choice is decided by the camera used AND personal preferences.

I personally prefer the Arca B1 over other heads used, but am impressed with the RRS. However, my brother uses a Markin with his wood field camera (he also prefers ballheads to panheads... and owns both). I personally prefer the Markin slightly over the RRS, partly because it's considerably lighter (made of titanium). Should I decide to replace my ballhead (and multiple mounting plates), it would be the Markin.