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  • another camera question

    Technically it is a tripod head question but who would open that post! For those of you with some experience shooting through a spotting scope, i am having trouble with drift in my bogen ball head. The angled scope (swaro) is mounted to the head and my video cam or dslr (fuji s3) hangs off the back with the appropriate mounting rings. i know that most people use a point and shoot to digiscope but i like the results with the slr. my question is what type of head should i be using? my instinct is to go to a geared head but i am concerned about weight and if the cantilevered weight will still cause the gears to creep. any thoughts?

  • #2
    Your Bogen ball head is probably not rated to hold the weight of your camera and spotting scope. Solution: Buy a higher quality ball head.

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    • #3
      thanks, i was in the process of doing that when the thought of using the dialed gears to follow moving caribou and such entered my head. didnt know if anyone out there does this kind of thing and knows if a pan head or geared works any better on moving stuff with high magnification. i am concerned not only with drift but the shakes when following stuff that moves. with that in mind would you still use a ball head?

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      • #4
        Yup, Ball heads are the best. At least that is my opinion. Generally the more expensive they are the smoother they are. And usually the higher cost ones will allow you to loosesn a "panning" lock so you can pan the head with out lossening the ball.

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        • #5
          thanks, ill go somewhere to try one with my rig before committing the cash.

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          • #6
            The first thing you should do is throw away your Bogen head. It's worthless. They are probably out there but I just have not seen them. You need an Arca swiss style mount either from Kirk Enterprises or Really Right Stuff, which is my preference. You can go to www.reallyrightstuff.com

            Since you will be switching between an SLR and a spotting scope, you want a ball head with a lever mount. In addition to the ball head, you will need to get a plate specific to your camera and another specific to your spotting scope. Once you've used an arca swiss head, you will wonder why you've used anything else.

            btw, you can pan with a ball head, but if you want to track moving objexts a gibal head may be better. The downside is weight and cost.

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            • #7
              thanks alex, ill check out the link. ive watched your posts in the past, you are pretty much right on imho. thank you.

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              • #8
                alex, really right stuff website is a keeper. I see what you mean about a good ball setup. that bh55 pro looks like the real deal, pricey but last forever. what do you think of the screw vs lever release. I think this is the head i have needed all along.

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                • #9
                  I own a small ball head from Kirk that will easily hold 10 pounds. It has been on a gitzo carbon fiber tripod for the last 4 years and I love it. Not sure what I paid for it but I think it was in the $250 range. It is about 4 inches from the base to the quick release clamp. Very sturdy and smooth head for the money.
                  http://pawprintphotography.com/

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                  • #10
                    snowwolf, thanks for the link, I really like the scenic shot on the home page, nice balance. Looks like film not digital. Looking in Randys camera bag he seems to like the bh55 also. Like you I will have it on the Gitzo carbon fiber unit. Should be a sweet setup. thanks for all your imput.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by presto
                      thanks alex, ill check out the link. ive watched your posts in the past, you are pretty much right on imho. thank you.
                      Thanks for the kind words Presto. The screw knob vs lever question depends on how you plan to use the ball head. If you will be constantly switching what you mount on it, I would go with the lever. If you plan to only change what is mounted every so often, then go with the screw. The downside to the screw is that it sticks out by about an inch and a half while the lever is almost flush against the ballhead.

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                      • #12
                        Alex, lever for me. I will be back and forth with video and still. Thanks again.

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