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Archive 2013 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?
  
 
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


Looking for a better ballhead than the one I have now, this Acratech GV2 has caught my eye. Any happy users out here?

Mike

Edited on Jan 02, 2013 at 02:12 AM · View previous versions



Jan 01, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Eyeball
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


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.



Jan 01, 2013 at 10:18 PM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


Eyeball wrote:
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
...Show more

Phewww that was a mouth full thank you, never had a RRS head but at times I have been tempted. I like the looks of the RRS 55 thinks that's the number but is an overkill for what I have



Jan 01, 2013 at 10:34 PM
godfather
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


The acratech looks like a great head. I used the original version for a few years and it never let me down. I personally think the design is better in dirty conditions because it was so easy to clean.

Any of the acratech, markins Q3 / Q10, RRS 40 / 55 will be a HUGE step up IMO.



Jan 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Jan Brittenson
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


I have the GV2 and it works as advertised - it's a perfectly fine little gimbal/ballhead for a DSLR with a mid-size tele or zoom. I've used it as a gimbal with the Nikon 70-200/2.8 VRII, 300/4, and 80-400 VR lenses. It's also fine as a small portable ballhead, so permits easy switching between wildlife and landscape shooting when out hiking. I'd strongly recommend also getting the leveling base for use as a gimbal; makes setup much quicker than adjusting tripod legs. (Which often sink into sand or shift anyway, requiring occasional adjustment.) It's not a Wimberly (I have one of those as well), but overall it's a fine head. I bring it and the Acra Ultimate when traveling. It's also not a Big ball head (I have a Kirk BH-1 for that) or a substitute for my favorite landscape head, the C1 Cube with an RRS screw clamp and leveling base. But it certainly hits a fine spot on the weight vs price vs utility vs rigidity tradeoff. If something small and light yet useful is what you're looking for I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.



Jan 02, 2013 at 01:01 AM
Kris Reiswig
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


I also have the gv2 and love the lever release. I like their lever release more than the RRS. I currently own both brands. The lock feature on the GV2 is really easy to use and secure. I also enjoy using this ballhead as a gimbal with my longest lens, which is the Canon 100-400. I do a lot of winter photography in very cold temps, so the large knobs and no lube ballhead work great. Have always had the best customer service as well.


Jan 03, 2013 at 03:19 AM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


If I got one I would do the knob release I am not sure but doesn't the lever release take a different plate?


Jan 03, 2013 at 03:38 AM
 

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godfather
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


I would expect the lever release to use the same standardized plate. However, the knob is a single turn version and should be almost as fast.


Jan 03, 2013 at 04:52 AM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


godfather wrote:
I would expect the lever release to use the same standardized plate. However, the knob is a single turn version and should be almost as fast.


After looking I think your right but I think RRS you have to use their plates not 100% sure



Jan 03, 2013 at 04:54 AM
godfather
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


I've only had trouble with two items not locking down in a RRS lever clamp. The first was a markins dual direction plate (think square mount w/ dual channels) and a heavily worn sidekick that I borrowed for a weekend (good condition ones were not a problem). All other plates have worked great in the lever clamp (kirk etc)


Jan 03, 2013 at 02:57 PM
Kris Reiswig
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


The Acratech lever is totally adjustable. I use Kirk & RRS plates after making a very, very small adjustment - one time.


Jan 03, 2013 at 03:47 PM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


After doing a lot of research I think I will go with the RRS 40 wasn't sure about this head until I viewed a Utube video and it looks like a sweet head


Jan 04, 2013 at 03:56 AM
tanglefoot47
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Acratech GV2 any opinons?


Also been looking at the RRS 40 I think the 55 would be an overkill for my gear. But it struck me you never see the RRS heads for sale hmmmm this tells me something


Jan 05, 2013 at 11:36 PM





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