I use a Really Right Stuff BH-55.. I've had everything on it from my Nikon SLR with a 500mm F/4 through to a 4x5 monorail setup on the beach in strong winds... My Manfrotto 055XproB legs are definitely the weak point in the setup. The head feels solid as a rock no matter what I put on it and it just oozes quality. Everything works as it should, its smooth as silk when unlocked then locks down so tight that the 500mm F/4 + D2Xs can be left on it unattended without concern. and even if the SLR body is removed from the lens creating a massive imbalance, the lens still stays exactly where it was locked down..
Cant speak highly enough of the BH-55 although some people find ball heads a bit playful for LF cameras.. I find because of how long I have had the head that It just feels natural to me..
Geoff Roberts wrote:Isn't there a stronger (and heavier) version of the 410 which is also relatively cheap second hand? Otherwise, the Arca Swiss heads are fantastic if budget permits.
There's a strong, heavier and more expensive ($500+) version of the 410! I have considered it. I've got a ball head I used to use on my dslr and mf camera which I should try. Otherwise might have to save up for the 405 if no one has anything else, as I love my 410
I have a spare biggest bugger Gitzo, I am not sure of the type Nr, but I will have a quick look, hang on a moment
OK, back now with 'phone pix, hmm pic loading thing does not want to load from 'puter the type Nr has been cut away on both of them when I had them modified to allow use of a 35mm PC Nikkor - Anyhow, it does take a 10x8" Sinar Norma with lots of extension without wobble - I will be looking at a pair of wooden tripods at the end of this month and if neither of them suit me the spare head will be available