WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

L2obin
Posts: 116
Joined: 18 Oct 2012, 00:56

WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby L2obin » 18 Aug 2013, 23:51

Contact me if you have one for sale.

Walter Glover
Posts: 972
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby Walter Glover » 19 Aug 2013, 06:09

Be Really Sure it will do what you require. I bought one from a chap here when the board first started and I could not get rid of it quickly enough. I have liked Ball Heads for years and have and use several. The RSS BH was the worst I ever encountered. Nicely presented but was not designed at all well either for use with my Linhof MT or with Canon EOS Dslr.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

L2obin
Posts: 116
Joined: 18 Oct 2012, 00:56

Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby L2obin » 19 Aug 2013, 06:58

Could you elaborate Walter? I have been using the bh-55 for years now and I love it...

Walter Glover
Posts: 972
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby Walter Glover » 19 Aug 2013, 07:34

It was the 55 that I had, actually. Different strokes, I guess. I hated it with a passion and you love it. Ain't choice a fabulous thing.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

L2obin
Posts: 116
Joined: 18 Oct 2012, 00:56

Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby L2obin » 19 Aug 2013, 23:19

I am still quite interested in knowing the reasoning for your dislike, and what did you find as an alternative that works better.

Walter Glover
Posts: 972
Joined: 31 Jul 2012, 22:31
Location: Leichhardt, NSW

Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby Walter Glover » 21 Aug 2013, 02:52

I have owned and used a great many ball heads over the years. Most of then have been fine, with small differences in control being about the only element differentiating them. Arca-Swiss (various iterations), Mono-Ball, Foba and Gitzo. What each has in common is a moderately high profile and well separated controls — in many instances levers as oppose d to knobs.

In more recent years I have opted for the Manfrotto geared heads. At one time or another I have had all three. At present I have only the small one. I use the geared heads with both my DSLR kit and my 4x5 Linhof Technika.

The bulk of my 4x5 work happens with the Sinar and for it I use a couple of Sinar Pan/Tilt heads which are superb and function in tandem with the Sinar rail and rail clamp with great functionbality.

The only ball head I have and use at present is a Gitzo Magnesium head with three locking/Tensioning controls, There is a Manfrotto quick plate attached and there is ample room ti get the hand in under the mounted camera to operate the camera release plate without it catching on anything and the lever is at 90º to the optical axis. The Gitzo ball head is my light weight option, set atop a large Gitzo carbon-fibre cine/video tripod I have had about 15 or more years. It is the lightweight option which I have primarily because I have not been able to flog it on Ebay for a price that suits me.

The other tripods I use for are a medium and a heavy Gitzo aluminium. I have come to the determination that there is insufficient mass to carbon fibre to really ensure vibration-free operation — especially in a windy situation.

The RRS ball heads are low-preofile with very pretty knob hardware. I had yearned for the RRS for some time and succumbed to temptation through a deal with someone year when this board started. It grossly disappointed from day one and was gone in a matter of weeks.

The attachment lever was a work of art that operated on the optical axis, very close to the bottom of the camera. Particularly when shooting in the studio I have the DSLR on and off the tripod all the time and it was a bugger — really fiddly. The Linhof is a very poorly designed camera in many ways ..... especially with the placement of the tripod mounting threads. By design, when you mount the camera (with or without plate) the assembly is either very front-heavy and back heavy. This caused great bother with the tensioning system of the RRS and it was difficult to set the tension so that the camera could be moved in steady small increments to set the spirit levels. Clearly the geared head wins out in this regard with the Linhof. The Sinar is a totally different kettle of fish and I would never mount it on any ball head.

All gear is a matter of personal choice. There is no right and wrong. The RRS might be the answer to a maiden's prayer for you, in which case go for it. I could not come to terms with it in the light of my other experiences.

Hope this provides the insight you expected.
Walter Glover

"Photography was not a bastard left by science on the doorstep of art, but a legitimate child of the Western pictorial tradition." —Robert Galassi

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Alastair Moore
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Re: WTB: RSS BH-40 ballhead

Postby Alastair Moore » 21 Aug 2013, 17:12

+1 for geared heads. I use a Manfrotto 410 with my 4x5 and occasionally my 8x10 (which is thankfully not that heavy) and it's a fantastic set up for me. I do have a ball head (a Giottos - Chinese rip-off of the RRS gear but very good) which I've used once with my 4x5. Never again. Far too much hard work and risk. I'd be keen to grab a Manfrotto 405 for my 8x10 - I think it'll be a little more stable.


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