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| p.1 #17 · lubricants for ball heads in cold weather |
I had issues with my Markins heads locking up in the cold and replaced them with an Acratech ballhead. The Acratechs have open designs that allows them to be reliable in tough environments such as severe cold or extreme heat with sand and/or dust. They don't lock up in winter and are basically maintenance-free, if they get clogged up with sand or mud you run them under a faucet. I've had mine for almost a year and no problems so far.
When I bought my Acratech at their outlet (factory) in Pomona, CA this past February, I met the owner (Saturday am). He developed his ball head because when he went up into the high desert (Yucca Tree NP) and it rained, then froze, the other ball heads froze up.
And AFAIK, a ball head should NOT be lubricated. Either the ball or the cup is made from a material that does not require lubrication. A lubricant will be contaminated with dirt/dust, and foul up. Even my entry level Manfrotto single lever BH didn't require lube. I don't think a BH should be lubricated.