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Alternate ball head?
  
 
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #1 · Alternate ball head?


I got a Sirui T-005X here, but when the centre column is removed, the legs don't fold up. Good news is the head is still a standard 1/4-20 screw mount, so can someone recommend to me an alternate, <$100 ballhead that might fit? Key is the base and ball need to be really, really thin. I'm especially hoping that whatever arca clamp I put on it, I can drop into the ball head's notch so that it can go through the space between 2 legs (with the clamp outside the legs) for storage. Doesn't need to be rated for super weight -- probably the heaviest setup I'll use with this is a Zeiss 85/1.4 + 6D, no huge tele lenses or anything.

(What I'm trying to get out of this is a good travel-friendly tripod that folds up to <12" so I can stuff it in a backpack for cycling.)

Thanks!







Sep 19, 2013 at 07:44 PM
snowboardracer
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p.1 #2 · Alternate ball head?


How about the Manfrotto 492? That should hold your 85 and 6D, but not much more.


Sep 19, 2013 at 08:23 PM
PeaktoPeek
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p.1 #3 · Alternate ball head?


I had the RRS BH-25 on my ultralight tripod -- its pretty small. You can get it without an Arca-swiss plate for $90. I have a PhotoClam head now and I really like it, the smallest they have is the PC-30N, but it is just outside your budget at $129.


Sep 19, 2013 at 08:28 PM
binary visions
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p.1 #4 · Alternate ball head?


Ehm, it looks to me like the base plate itself is going to hold the legs apart a bit - right now, they're bumping up against the head, but it appears that you'd only get a few millimeters more clearance if you removed the head entirely. Have you tried that?

A coworker of mine has this same brand (no idea what model) and he can only fold the legs back over the head when using the center column, and extending it out.



Sep 19, 2013 at 10:15 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #5 · Alternate ball head?


You mean the black base plate in the picture right? That part could be changed, if I can find a suitable head I could easily make a smaller base plate out of stainless steel and thread it, I have machine shop access. But yeah thanks for the heads up!

PC-30N is definitely too big.

RRS might work at 1.3" but still really iffy, I'd prefer to keep it under 1.1". it has a piece that sticks out on one side besides the knob which might kill it too. 1 protrusion is fine, could fit between legs, but 2 protrusions at non-adjustable angles might not work.

Manfrotto 492 looks promising but I can't find a technical diagram. Can anyone who has this head tell me what the widest housing diameter is exactly, not including the knob? And is the circular plate at the top removable to leave just a screw, if I say wanted to stick an Arca head on it? This looks pretty promising:
http://www.amazon.com/SUNWAYFOTO-DDC-26-Screw-Compatible-Sunway/dp/B008O2JUV6/ref=sr_1_cc_1?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1379634246&sr=1-1-catcorr&keywords=sunwayfoto+clamp

Thanks!



Sep 19, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Mick Dooley
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p.1 #6 · Alternate ball head?


Surely, a much easier solution is to restore the centre column. The tripod can then be folded, as designed. For normal use you can lower the centre column fully.


Sep 20, 2013 at 10:04 AM
leighton w
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p.1 #7 · Alternate ball head?


Maybe you should consider a Gorillapod instead. Seems ideal for what you want to use it for.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/680973-REG/Joby_GP8_BHEN_Gorillapod_Focus_Ballhead_X_Bundle.html



Sep 20, 2013 at 10:37 AM
peter_n
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p.1 #8 · Alternate ball head?


I use a small Slik SBH-120 ballhead. The ball housing OD is 35.5mm and the panning base is 37mm. I put a Jobu Design A-S compatible clamp on it. It's a sturdy little head.




Sep 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #9 · Alternate ball head?


Mick Dooley wrote:
Surely, a much easier solution is to restore the centre column. The tripod can then be folded, as designed. For normal use you can lower the centre column fully.


That's the flaw with this design (and the similar one from other brands which seem to have all copied each other) -- the centre column doesn't lower. You have to atually unscrew it, and unscrew the head as well, which takes time and isn't the most pleasant of operations especially if you don't have rubberized gloves.

There is a another travel model from Gitzo/Benro/Sirui/Mefoto that *does* have a lowering centre column, but sadly is also bigger overall and folds up to 16" which doesn't fit horizontally in a backpack. I wish they could literally shrink that design by 25%, it would be ideal.



Sep 20, 2013 at 01:47 PM
 

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wuxiekeji
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p.1 #10 · Alternate ball head?


leighton w wrote:
Maybe you should consider a Gorillapod instead. Seems ideal for what you want to use it for.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/680973-REG/Joby_GP8_BHEN_Gorillapod_Focus_Ballhead_X_Bundle.html


Gorillapods don't go high I believe right?
This T-005X I have folds to <12" and goes to 38" without centre column (I have yet to see another tripod, even from Gitzo, that meets this), but unfortunately this doesn't fold without centre column which is the only annoying thing about it.

Edited on Sep 20, 2013 at 02:05 PM · View previous versions



Sep 20, 2013 at 02:02 PM
leighton w
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p.1 #11 · Alternate ball head?


wuxiekeji wrote:
Gorillapods don't go high I believe right?
This T-005X I have folds to <12" and goes to 38" without centre column (I have yet to see another tripod, even from Gitzo, that meets this), but unfortunately this doesn't fold without centre column which is the only annoying thing about it.


That's right, but you can wrap their legs around objects such as fence posts, road signs...etc...etc.



Sep 20, 2013 at 02:04 PM
Mick Dooley
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p.1 #12 · Alternate ball head?


I have the Gitzo 2542t and it needs the centre column fully extended so the legs can fold up neatly around it. The Gitzo head and the Markins q3t sit neatly within the folded legs. Other options are possible like the Induro bh1 but it does stop the legs fully folding.

That is why I suggested restoring the centre column for folding as it moves the head with its knobs etc. out toward the tips of the legs, so minimising the impact on the fold. For normal use just lower the centre column and lock. It will have minimal impact on stability and tripod height.



Sep 20, 2013 at 08:40 PM
Hardcore
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p.1 #13 · Alternate ball head?


I was on the same lines of thinking as Leighton.... though I'd suggest just the joby ballhead. Smal and tapered but not a heavy duty ballhead.


Sep 20, 2013 at 10:27 PM
Craig Gillette
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p.1 #14 · Alternate ball head?


On this Sirui and some of the other recent small folders, the center column doesn't retract. On the Siruis 005x and 025x in CF, the center post is removable which would seem to be an advantage in shooting at low levels and to reduce the usual expected problems of having an extended center column. But they seem to be designed to fold with the column in place and folding back along the post, the width of the head/base ius less an issue than if removed and the head is placed close to the pivot points.


Sep 21, 2013 at 04:28 AM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #15 · Alternate ball head?


Craig Gillette wrote:
On this Sirui and some of the other recent small folders, the center column doesn't retract. On the Siruis 005x and 025x in CF, the center post is removable which would seem to be an advantage in shooting at low levels and to reduce the usual expected problems of having an extended center column. But they seem to be designed to fold with the column in place and folding back along the post, the width of the head/base ius less an issue than if removed and the head is placed close to the pivot points.


Correct, the legs are thinner near the 4th segment where the head rests when the center column is extended.
Problem is it's rather annoying to take off/restore the center column every time you're out in the field, it's a screw mount on both ends of the center column and it takes quite a lot of force sometimes (I had to use a silicone mat to unscrew the center column last time). And 99% of the time I don't need (or want) the center column.

Mick Dooley wrote:
I have the Gitzo 2542t and it needs the centre column fully extended so the legs can fold up neatly around it. The Gitzo head and the Markins q3t sit neatly within the folded legs. Other options are possible like the Induro bh1 but it does stop the legs fully folding.


I looked at Gitzo 2542t but it's folded length is 16+ inches (also way beyond my budget...). I'm really looking to keep it under 12, maybe 13 at most, for this tripod. Any more and it can't go horizontally in my backpack.



Sep 22, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Beni
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p.1 #16 · Alternate ball head?


I know this might sound silly but why not just unscrew the ballhead in the bag and solve all the problems?


Sep 22, 2013 at 06:30 PM
wuxiekeji
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p.1 #17 · Alternate ball head?


Beni wrote:
I know this might sound silly but why not just unscrew the ballhead in the bag and solve all the problems?


Extra step in setup, loose parts to lose when you're hiking. Plus it's kind of hard to keep the ballhead tightened securely too without a good rubber grip to grab it and tighten it...



Sep 26, 2013 at 05:38 PM





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