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Old Oct 17, 2003, 10:27 PM   #1
Shu
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Default Ballhead for tripod

I have a Velobon tripod which I purchased about 4 years
ago and now I wish to purchase a ball head for it. My
question is, can any ball head be used on my tripod or
must I buy a same-brand ball head (which may not be
available.) The t ripod was costly (over 150.00) so I hate
to abandon it. Appreciate your help!

Shu
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Old Oct 17, 2003, 11:47 PM   #2
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Default Any Brand

Any brand will work on it as long as it matches the threads on your tripod. There are ususally only 2 thread sizes used so most Ball/Pan head makers make models for each.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 7:41 AM   #3
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Thank you very much! You saved me a bundle and I enjoyed
your recent photos, as well!

Shu
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 9:03 AM   #4
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Some also make heads which come with both screws, so you can swap between the thread sizes that you need (for arraching to the camera.) (to add info to Kalypso's comments.)

Eric
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 4:35 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ballhead for tripod

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shu
... can any ball head be used on my tripod or
must I buy a same-brand ball head ...
Shu
Almost certainly you can put pretty much any head you want on that set of legs. Figure out how to get your current head off, and you will know for sure.

You have to do that before you get another head anyway.
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 5:28 PM   #6
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the base socket is generally one of two sizes. 3/8-16 coarse or 1/4-20 coarse(adapter available to 3/8-16to convert to the smaller). that is where the tripod legs attach to your head. heads today are standard in the pan and tilt type and will fit your camera (1/4-20). ball heads usually have QR assys on them though they are available with a threaded top. i do suggest a qr type assy. my personal favorite is the arca-swiss type clamp. it offers maximum versatility and clamping. there are adapters that will go on a pan and tilt head. i own 2 ball heads with the same qr assys. good ball heads are not inexpensive. the range is from $30-$400. certain ball offer more than others.

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Old Oct 18, 2003, 8:51 PM   #7
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If you are not going to buy large, heavy lenses, you can get away with a smaller ballhead. Bogen/Manfrotto (and I assume gitzo) make some. I've used a Bogen and found it to be fairly good, but since I use longer lenses (and a spotting scope) they weren't sufficient for my needs.

I completely agree with sjms about quick release (QR) plates. I would consider them basicaly required. The first time you miss a shot because its a procedure to remove the camera, you'll wish you got them. They don't add much to the cost (20 bucks for a plate? Don't know how much a head is that comes with the plate which the QR plate fits into.)

Eric
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Old Oct 18, 2003, 9:12 PM   #8
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Default Quick Release

A quick release plate is a must. Also, look at a larger ball head than you think you need. The smaller ball-heads are fine for (very) lightweight cameras but if you move up to a heavier camera later, you'll be wasting your money. Another consideration might be to make sure your quick release plate will fit any mono-pod you might purchase later...the same brand of mono-pod & ball head ususally works.
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 4:42 PM   #9
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Thanks all for your sage advice! (I got the wrong info
from my local Ritz store.) I pays to ask, I quess. Now,
I can spend a bit more on the ball head, providing I can
find a store that carries them in my area. Shu
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Old Oct 20, 2003, 7:36 PM   #10
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if going to a QR plate system be sure you go with one that can grow as you gear grows. also watch plate systems that are over sized and don't allow you to bag your camera without a problem. the point is put it on and not to take it off again and again. believe me there aren't many. since i use a slr type it is easier and i have commited to one system which is extremely popular with other users and many plate designs are available. these are not inexpensive but it didn't take much to commit because the work better then any other.
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