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Archive 2012 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.
  
 
rprouty
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p.1 #1 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


My wife and I have four tripods, two with RRS BH-55LR Ballheads and two with Wimberley II Gimbals heads. I'm tired of carrying four tripods around.
What I'm considering is buying two RRS B2-LLRII Lever Releases and mounting them on our RRS TVC-34L Tripods and attaching a TH-DVTL-55 on the bottom of each Ballhead and attaching a TH-DVTL-40 on bottom of each Wimberley II. That way we can easily changer back and forth between the ballheads and gimbal heads.

Has anyone here tried or done this?
Anyone have any thoughts about this pro or con?

Thanks

Rod

Here's the links to the RRS parts.

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=B2-LLR-II

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=TH-DVTL-55&type=0

http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=TH-DVTL-40&type=0



Oct 31, 2012 at 09:17 PM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #2 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


That is what we do. But we have the RRS long handle leveling base with quick release. Sure makes it easy on her than trying to unscrew it and re assembly. To much chance of something is going to get buggered up.
http://reallyrightstuff.com/ProductDesc.aspx?code=TA-3-LC-HK&type=4&eq=TA3LCHK&desc=TA-3-LC-HK%3a-Versa-3-LB-with-Clamp-%26-Hook&key=ait

Patrick

Also note: Watch the screw for the dovetail, ours have some loose and planing to put a tiny drop of blue locktite on the thread. Gimble and large lens adds more tourque to lossen it.

Edited on Oct 31, 2012 at 10:11 PM · View previous versions



Oct 31, 2012 at 09:47 PM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #3 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


You can somewhat see it in this image:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1161085

Patrick



Oct 31, 2012 at 10:04 PM
rprouty
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p.1 #4 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


Thanks Patrick.

Rod



Oct 31, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #5 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


I have the Really Right Stuff TH-DVTL-55 on one of my BH-55 ball heads, and also have a short 3/8 inch dovetail plate on my original Wimberley. I then have a lever release clamp on one of my tripods, and the RRS leveling head with lever clamp in my TVC-33. I can then mix and match quickly, and have no issues with strength or stability. I am very glad I went with the system, and can mount on the tripod other properly equiped heads I have, like my three way head. I also can mount things directly on the leveling head, like a long lens with plate, or a macro rail assembly. And my properly equiped panoramic rotating base goes nicely on the leveling base, which can then have either a camera put directly on top, or a ball head to mount the camera on if I need tilt up or down. The hardware for providing the quick relase of heads does add some weight, but I have a lighter tripod with a BH-40 ball head for that need. If I really want a larger tripod for light weight needs, I can convert things back to remove the quick release feature. Of course the negative is just like with most Really Right Stuff products, where the cost can add up kind of fast, but it is simpler and cheaper than your case of having 4 tripods where you really only need 2.

The dovetail fitting should stay on the ball head and not come loose if you tighten the screw properly. I use a long handle hex key to put it on well, but I can still remove it if I need to. I avoid using even the removable Locktite in any amount on something I may want to remove later.

Edited on Nov 01, 2012 at 02:58 AM · View previous versions



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:49 AM
rprouty
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p.1 #6 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


Thanks Roland


Nov 01, 2012 at 02:51 AM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #7 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


I agree Roland that the screw when properly torqued will stay put. And that is what I did, but when you have 1Dmk4 and 600mm lens mounted and you throw the whole system over your shoulder while the lens is offset, there is some torque that can and will unscrew that screw just like using an Allen wrench to loosen. Just saying and it happened to both setups… twice. I don’t like to use thread sealers either to avoid a fight later. I’ll check torque again and see how much stretch is on the thread contacts, last thing I want to do is a strip the threads.
Patrick



Nov 01, 2012 at 03:30 AM
 

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Roland W
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p.1 #8 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


You are very right Patrick that a big lens like a 600mm over the shoulder can develop a lot of torque, and far more than anything I would create with the gear I use. In thinking about the situation of the round dovetail plate on the ball head base, the place where the actual slipping starts is between the plate and the ball head, and once it happens in the correct direction, the screw may still come loose even with Locktite. The extra tight screw clamping of the plate at the center does not necessarily provide enough clamping at the rim of the round dovetail surface. I suggest you consider finding some very thin double stick adhesive tape, and carefully place shaped pieces around the rim of the plate that averages about a half inch wide, to match the outer area of the base of the BH-55 that is not slightly recessed. That will provide a lot of adhesion out near the outer diameter of the plate when the surfaces are clamped together, and should prevent any break away of the plate when in torque.

The only possible negative I can see is that the tape will be a non metal item that will make the whole assembly slightly less rigid. That is why it is important that the selected tape be very thin. I have seen such tape available from industrial suppliers that has very high adhesion, but am not sure about what is available in the general retail market. You could even try the double stick version of ordinary "Scotch Tape", which has less adhesion than a high performance tape, but is quite thin.

Another option is to increase the friction between the metal surfaces. My BH-55 seems to have a matte type finish on the bottom that should help with friction, but the TH-DVTL dovetail plate has a much smoother glossy finish that seems like it would slip fairly easily. If you have a similar situation, you could consider doing some careful sanding on the dovetail plate on its mating surface around the rim to increase friction. I would suggest you make the strokes in the radial direction and try only a minimum amount of sanding. Obviously it will ruin the finish on the plate, but that area is of course completely hidden when the plate is installed.

And I would think that Really Right Stuff should consider a design change that provides a slight recess in the center part of the dovetail plate, and make the finish on top more of a sandblast matte to increase the clamped friction. The BH-55 all ready has a slight recess in the middle, but people use the dovetail on other items also, so adding a slight recess would help for those.



Nov 01, 2012 at 02:08 PM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #9 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


Excellent ideas and suggestions Roland! I can take a closer look. I was even thinking in my head to machine and thread for a small set screw through the dovetail but would have to see what thickness and material in the bottom of the BH55 and the gimbals have. I like the thin tape and/or roughing up the mating surfaces.
Patrick



Nov 01, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Roland W
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p.1 #10 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


If anyone wants to put a setscrew in to the dovetail part, the existing limit stop screw holes could be drilled and tapped through, and the matching setscrew size used. But I would avoid using a set screw because it would push the dovetail plate away from the ball head base at that one point, and thus take the big distributed surface partly out of contact. That could cause real tipping movement between the two items, and noticible loss of lens stability might be the result.

If you were to match the setscrew up with a slight recess hole in the bottom of the head, then it would not need to be real tight, and would not tend to push the parts apart. But there is no way I am altering my BH-55, even if the base is plenty thick. Just not something I would want to do.



Nov 01, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Gyroscope
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p.1 #11 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


I know this won't help you but I solved this problem by not getting a gimbal and using a manfrotto Q5 head instead. This is solid enough to take a 500mm lens and perfectly fine to use when locked into video mode (ie no flop). I have had so much success with this shooting birds and also in Africa I have no desire to get a gimbal. I have an RRS PCL-1 panning clamp fixed permanently to the manfrotto plate then when I want to change from lens mount to camera L-bracket mount I just rotate the clamp around and I'm good to go. Not only do I not need to muck around changing heads I don't need to carry 2 heads.


Nov 01, 2012 at 08:41 PM
rprouty
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p.1 #12 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


I went ahead and bought two RRS B2-LLRII 80mm plates for our two RRS TVC-34Ls, two TH-DVTL-55 dovetails for our BH-55LRs, and two TH-DVTL-40 dovetails for our Wimberley IIs. I was concerned that there may be some play or movement using the Wimberley and my 800mm lens with this set up but it's rock solid. It's really nice that my wife and I can switch back and forth between the Wimberleys and the Ballheads in just a few seconds.
Another thing we did is replace the screw type Wimberley Lens Cradles with RRS Lever Release Lens Cradles.
RRS equipment is expensive but so far everything we have purchased from them has been top notch.



Nov 12, 2012 at 12:34 AM
PV Hiker
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p.1 #13 · Switching between a ballhead and gimbal head.


Rod I call them the Really Expensive Right Stuff and they sure have a lot of our money. I have not been disappointed. Like you, me and the wife can mix and match and it all works together. It made it easy for her. Enjoy your new setup
Patrick



Nov 13, 2012 at 03:52 AM





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