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Archive 2011 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question
  
 
wifi
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I'm trying to decide between the RRS BH-55 and Markins Q10/Q20 ballheads. I've read quite a bit about these two products here and understand one can't really go wrong with either one. Capacity wise, the heaviest gear I will be using is a gripped 5D2 w/RRS L-Bracket and a 300 f/4L (although I would like to have the option to go a little beyond that).

I prefer the design of the clamp to ball inter-locking mount mechanism of the RRS instead of the Locktite and stud of the Markins. But what is paramount to me is the smoothness of the ball, for which I have read that Markins has the advantage.

I am replacing a Giottos MH1300 ballhead, which seems well built for the price, but the issue I have with it is the "stiction" (coefficient of static vs. dynamic friction for those who recall their physics). It's not too bad if I'm using the 300 with a lens collar as the weight is more balanced, but if I use a somewhat heavy lens (e.g.; 24-70 f/2.8) where I must mount the body to the tripod, then fine tuning the position becomes a chore as once I overcome the force to move the ball, the camera then moves too much. There is a tension knob on the MH1300 as with the RRS, but this does not seem to work too well for me.

If both RRS and Markins were equal in their smoothness, then this would be an easy choice for me as the tie-breaker would be my preference for the RRS style clamp mount. So, for those who have used both, can you provide some feedback on the smoothness (for lack of a better term) of the RRS vs. the Markins. Is the Markins noticeably better? And if I do decide to go with Markins, would I be better off with the Q10 or Q20 for the gear listed above?

Thanks



Nov 19, 2011 at 06:42 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I have the Markins M10 and it's very smooth. Your camera would, IMO, dictate a Q20 though.

I've heard/read from a range of folk that the RRS may not be as smooth out of the box but it does get there with use.



Nov 19, 2011 at 07:15 PM
Sven Jeppesen
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


Yes the Markin heads are smooth. But RRS is not bad either. But I think Arca-Swiss is smoother than both of these heads


Nov 19, 2011 at 08:58 PM
Fjellfalck
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I cannot comment on Markins or Arca-Swiss - However I own all the RRS ballheads and a lots of other RRS gear. What I can say is that the BH-55 and all the RRS gear I own are absolutely fantastic. BH-55 is the best ball head I have used. And a lot of pros just prefer RRS BH-55. I'm sure the Markins and Arca-Swiss all are good ball heads too. RRS BH-55 is very very smooth. You will not be disappointed I guarantee!

Fjellfalck



Nov 19, 2011 at 10:28 PM
ecidi
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


Fjellfalck wrote:
I cannot comment on Markins or Arca-Swiss - However I own all the RRS ballheads and a lots of other RRS gear. What I can say is that the BH-55 and all the RRS gear I own are absolutely fantastic. BH-55 is the best ball head I have used. And a lot of pros just prefer RRS BH-55. I'm sure the Markins and Arca-Swiss all are good ball heads too. RRS BH-55 is very very smooth. You will not be disappointed I guarantee!

Fjellfalck


+1



Nov 19, 2011 at 10:31 PM
GroovyGeek
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


The BH-55 is pretty heavy and overkill for 300/4. I personally am not crazy about the low profile RRS design, but you can get used to it.


Nov 20, 2011 at 03:00 AM
Mike K
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


The Markins heads are smoother in ball action, especially with no gear on the head. However, I think the BH55 is smooth enough, especially with heavy gear on the head! The larger diameter ball makes for very gradual, yet very secure tension action.

Now the clamp difference is much more significant, yet if you like the RRS Lever clamp (I do, very much) you will be using it a lot. Since you have an L bracket with the lever clamp its just 2-3 seconds to go from landscape to portrait orientation. Its really fast and easy, and encourages you to experiment with your camera orientation in composition.
You can put a RRS lever clamp onto a Markins head, but then you loose the cross indexing on the RRS equipment which prevents rotation of the Lever Clamp on the ball head stem.

While we are the topic of rotation, the panning band brake on the BH55 is really good; its gradual, smooth and gets really tight when needed (like for removing the head from the tripod). The Markins is like many other heads in that it has essentially a set screw against a center post. It is not as smooth and does not get nearly as tight.
Mike K



Nov 20, 2011 at 04:17 AM
wifi
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


Thanks for all the great feedback folks.

Mike K wrote:
the cross indexing on the RRS equipment which prevents rotation of the Lever Clamp on the ball head stem. Mike K


Yes, this feature of the RRS design just seems better engineered to me.



Nov 20, 2011 at 04:58 AM
JohnJ80
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


The friction control on the Markins is top drawer, This coupled with the smoothness is one of the key characteristics of Markins products.

Besides that, I really would like to see the BH55 put on a diet. It's pretty heavy.

J.



Nov 20, 2011 at 05:15 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I own both those brands. Yes the Markins is a bit smoother in the ball action. They are both very good and the only way to know which you like best is to try them.


Nov 20, 2011 at 08:58 AM
 

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howardm4
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I thought the OP said 500/f4, not 300/f4 (which I have). I think you could get by w/ a Markins Q10 or the RRS 30 or 40. the 55 is probably overkill


Nov 20, 2011 at 12:42 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


wifi wrote:
If both RRS and Markins were equal in their smoothness, then this would be an easy choice for me as the tie-breaker would be my preference for the RRS style clamp mount. So, for those who have used both, can you provide some feedback on the smoothness (for lack of a better term) of the RRS vs. the Markins. Is the Markins noticeably better? And if I do decide to go with Markins, would I be better off with the Q10 or Q20 for the gear listed above?


RRS heads are heavy duty, but definitely not so smooth as Markins or Arca-Swiss. The panning base on the BH-55 is particularly good in handling off axis loads, which may or may nto be important for your usage.

EBH



Nov 20, 2011 at 01:39 PM
rick_reno
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


My Markins drooped a small amount after framing up a shot, so far the RRS has not done this.


Nov 20, 2011 at 03:40 PM
sjms
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


i own an almost 10 year old Markins M10 and 2 RRS (BH55/BH40) heads. i have had my markins sag on more then a few occasions but all that was required was a little extra effort on the knob. the bitching many do about the panning knob is a non issue to me. it is fine the way it works. the RRS heads both required some play time to get to run smoother. they are not nor will they ever be as smooth as the markins as its ball basically is a nicely polished surface. that is both its beauty in its movement and its curse in its locking down. they also do not sag and considerable less tightening reqd to lockit up. my M10 is still in use but it gets nowhere near the action my RRS heads do.
of course there are other opinions that are exactly opposite of mine and they'll always will be.

Edited on Nov 21, 2011 at 03:08 AM · View previous versions



Nov 21, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Digitaldog
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I settled on the Markin M10 because the panning and main knobs are both on the left side. This was a big issue in my decision.


Nov 21, 2011 at 03:06 AM
JohnJ80
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


rick_reno wrote:
My Markins drooped a small amount after framing up a shot, so far the RRS has not done this.


.

My RRS did the same thing when I owned it and the two Markins I own do not.


J.



Nov 21, 2011 at 04:58 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


Ballheads & tripods are really personal. Someone above said try if you can and that's really good advice. I agree with those commenting on the weight of the RRS BH-55, I think it's too heavy for my Gitzo systematic (people laughed at me here for saying that). The panning is smooth on it though. If you fancy the Markins Q20 and the RRS clamp, just buy the Markins without a clamp and buy the clamp for the Markins from RRS. I chose an A-S Z1 over the Markins and the stiction on the Z1 is just amazing. You can get the RRS clamp for the Z1 too.




Nov 23, 2011 at 02:55 PM
matt4626
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


I'm a wide eyed liberal but I still buy "Made In the USA" if it's a close call.


Nov 26, 2011 at 12:17 AM
wifi
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


It would have been great if I could have tried at least one of these two heads out before buying, but I don't know anyone who has either, and the local stores don't carry them.

A BH-55 came up for sale on the B&S forum, so I decided to give that try. As some said, the BH-55 may be overkill for my application, but it is not that much larger than the one I am using now, and I would hope that the 55mm ball would provide smoother movement than the 40mm BH-40.

Matt, I agree. I even don't mind paying a little more if the product is of equal quality.



Nov 26, 2011 at 07:09 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Another RRS vs. Markins Ballhead Question


wifi wrote:
It would have been great if I could have tried at least one of these two heads out before buying, but I don't know anyone who has either, and the local stores don't carry them.

A BH-55 came up for sale on the B&S forum, so I decided to give that try. As some said, the BH-55 may be overkill for my application, but it is not that much larger than the one I am using now, and I would hope that the 55mm ball would provide smoother movement than the 40mm BH-40.

Matt, I agree. I even don't mind paying
...Show more

The BH-55 is larger and stronger than the BH-40. But the ball doesn't have smoother movement. I own both and they are very similar when it comes to that



Nov 27, 2011 at 03:03 PM
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