I've decided to get a pan/tilt head, to replace my ball head. I find that with large format (actually a 6 x 9 field camera), it's too difficult to be able to l evel the camera AND finely adjust the composition with a free rotating ball head . I've read various posts on this web site, and most people recommend either th e Arca Swiss B2 (dual control ball head) or the Bogen 3275. Both weigh at least 3 lbs. however. Also the Arca Swiss is very expensive and the Bogen comes with a Bogen, but not Arca Swiss, quick release.
Before I take the plunge, I'm wondering about three other possibilities: (1) a R ies j250 two way head (about $235 and 2 1/2 lbs, without quick relase), (2) a V elbon Magnesium Panhead (PH460) at 1.5 lbs and about $100, (3) a Linhoff UniQuic k Pan Tilt 2.5 lbs, about $342.95, including Linhoff quick relase, and (4) a Lin hoff 3 way levling head (03663), $617.50 about 2 lbs, without a quick release. I can add an Arca Swiss quick release system to any of these tripods, although it would increase the weight by approximateliy 6-8 ounces.
In particular, what do I give up if I go with say, the Ries as opposed to the Ar ca Swiss B2? Any experience with any of these? Which is most suitable for back packing/hiking? My camera, with lens, weighs approximately 6-7 lbs. The longes t lens I'm using is a Nikkor 300M. My tripod is a Gitzo 1228 carbon fiber.
Thanks for the help. Howard.