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Thread: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

  1. #1
    WTF?! 400d's Avatar
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    Question Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    A good amount of users on this forum give high praise to the brands like Kirk, RRS, Acratech, Acra Swiss and Markins, I found that the price of the products from these brands are over my range. I love Bogen/Manfrotto's pan/tilt head, but the experience I have from its ballhead - 486RC2 is pretty disappointing. Gitzo makes great tripod of course, but I haven't heard that many praise of its ballhead. There are couple other brands on B&H with products in my affordable range:

    No quick release
    -FLM Centerball 38 FT - Ballhead with 38mm Ball Diameter, with Friction Control and Tilt Function (PTF) - Supports 22 lb (10 kg) $169.95
    -Studioball Miniball with Reversible 1/4"-20 or 3/8"-16 Screw - Supports 15.00 lb (6.80 kg) Miniball with Reversible 1/4"-3/8" $199.95
    -Kaiser Pro Ballhead Medium with Independent Panning Lock - Supports 18 lb (8.2 kg) $209.95
    -Gitzo G-1377M Magnesium Center Ballhead #3 with Independent Panning Lock - Supports 17.50 lb (8 kg) $210.95
    -Foba Superball M-1 Ballhead - Supports 18 lb (8.16 kg) $156.95
    -Foba Mini Superball Ballhead - Supports 15.00 lb (6.80 kg) $234.95

    With quick release
    -Foba Superball M-1 Ballhead with Quick Release (Requires Plate) - Supports 18 lb (8.1 kg) $199.5
    -Feisol CB-50H with Quick Release (Requires Plate) - Supports 41 lb (19kg) $159
    -Studioball Miniball Ballhead (Quick Release) - Supports 15.00 lb (6.80 kg) $239.95

    Foba is made in Switzerland, FLM/Kaiser/Studioball are made in Germany, Gitzo from France with accent, and Feisol is a new Taiwanese company which design and manufacture their own product.
    I own an Omega 4x5, which weights around 8.5lb, I do not intend to use 8x10 in the long run. So my maximum load is less than 13lbs for sure. I will use the ballhead under 30F degree (less than 0C degree)though, which may be a common problem for ballheads.
    I am open to comments from those who own any of the ballhead above. I appreciate the enthusiasm of the proud, happy, and satisfied Kirk/RSS/Acratech/Acra Swiss/Markins owners, but at this moment I ruled out these brands.
    Last edited by 400d; 18-Jul-2006 at 20:22.

  2. #2

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    Thumbs up Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    Foba Superballs are bulletproof! And you know, it's really strange, these ballheads have never really caught on.

    The extreme nature of and how i work dictates being hard on my equipment. Superballs just absorb abuse (rain/snow/mud/horses/kayaks/skiing) no complaints, micrometer precision, fast handling, no lockups, no break downs, what else can i say, there just plain sick!

    Bjorn Rorslett thinks quite highly of them, have a dig thru his site (www.naturfotograf.com).


    David Crossley/Crossley Photography....

  3. #3
    WTF?! 400d's Avatar
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    Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    Quote Originally Posted by David Crossley
    Foba Superballs
    Is it the mini superball or the superball?

    Btw..no1 else?

  4. #4
    Ted Harris's Avatar
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    Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    I use a Foba mini superball with a Toyo AII and a Canham 5x7. It has never failed me. I also use an Acratech and hav never had trouble with it either. I really have no preference, one to the other. Each has its pluses and minuses.

  5. #5

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    Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    Foba Superball, not the mini (decent/not in same league)....


    David Crossley/Crossley Photography....

  6. #6
    WTF?! 400d's Avatar
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    Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    Thanks for responding to this thread. I appreciate it.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Crossley
    Foba Superball, not the mini (decent/not in same league)....
    David Crossley/Crossley Photography....
    Does the lack of Panning lock and friction control caused any inconvenience?

    I may give the superball a shot if no one else used any of the other brands' product and willing to share their thoughts.

    I am sure the Foba has served you guys well. But I am also interested in hearing the other brand's performance..is it like the brands: RSS, Kirk, Markins...are the golden standard for large format now?!
    Last edited by 400d; 26-Jul-2006 at 18:16.

  7. #7
    WTF?! 400d's Avatar
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    Re: Foba, FLM, Studioball, Kaiser, Feisol...ballheads

    Since 99.9% of all other forum members aren't using any of these heads...

    I will go into the enemy base with a FLM then...(loggin into B&H to order a FLM)

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