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I have the GV2 and it works for me. It doesn't get much love from the ballhead gurus and heavy tripod users though.
Pros for me:
- A decent ballhead for light use that has pseudo-gymbal functionality for when I occasionally need that.
- I have not had to use them but I always hear good things about support and customer service at Acratech.
- It's pretty light. Less than a pound.
Cons for a lot of people (that I can understand and agree with):
- The ball tension knob is a little on the small side and doesn't provide a lot of torque. Since you need to tighten the knob quite a bit to eliminate slippage, the lack of size/torque can become tiresome if you use it a lot.
- Even though the ball tension knob is larger than the base rotation tension knob and the clamp knob, they are similar in feel. I have caught myself on more than one occasion loosening the wrong knob.
- The price. If it was a little lower I think it would get a more respect from the ballhead gurus since it could be argued that you are getting a flexible/compromise ballhead at a lower price. Since it approaches the price of a top-of-the-line "purist" ballhead though (like the RRS BH-40 / BH-55, for example), it makes the comparison a little tougher.
Cons for a lot of people (that seem a little overblown to me):
- The ball is exposed and in theory this could allow dirt to enter and cause premature wear on the ball or cause tightening problems. I guess this might be a problem for a heavy user that is often in dirty/dusty environments. I don't worry about it.
- The gymbal usage is off-center, could cause extra wear on the ball, is not a REAL gymbal head, etc.. It is certainly not a REAL gymbal head but I don't think Acratech intended it to be one. It's for occasional use or when you don't want to carry two heads. The ball has a pin at the bottom that helps support it when in gymbal mode. I think if you used the thing in gymbal mode so much that it broke or had some kind of unusual wear that would be a good indicator that you should have been using a real gymbal head.
As I said, I like mine and it generally does what I need it to do. On the other hand, I'm not an Acratech fanatic nor would I try to convince anyone that it is the best ballhead on the market. I think it is worth considering if the pseudo-gymbal capability is important to you and if your usage is more on the light/moderate side. If pseudo-gymbal is not important to you or you are going to be a heavy user of the head, then I would suggest consideration of the more "pure" ballheads like RRS, Arca Swiss, or Markins.