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Markins Q-Ball M10

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Reviews Views Date of last review
29 78843 Sep 26, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $348.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.57
9.07
9.7
1817

Specifications:
Markins Q-Ball M10 tripod ball head


 


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victoriae
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Registered: Sep 13, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Pros far out weigh the cons. Simply the best i have ever used
Cons:
All been said, (pan lock etc)

This is the mutts nutts (the best). I do not think it is expensive when compared to other ballheads in the same price bracket and above. I intend to get a 2nd one for my other tripod. I paid a little more for the RED version. Don't hesitate if you are looking for a ballhead in this price range just buy it. I use Gitzo tripods and had a Gitzo head priced almost the same the Markins is vastly superior and much easier to use.

Sep 26, 2010
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1348
Review Date: Oct 8, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Light, very strong, well made A1
Cons:
sometimes the pano lock, but I won't change it for anything.

I have been using this ballhead for over 3 years now. with and without a Wimberley sidekick to use on the 500 f/4L IS and now the 600 f/4L IS.

it does the job no sweat.

JD


Oct 8, 2009
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Esquire08
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Registered: Apr 5, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 625
Review Date: Feb 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Tightens extremely quickly and loosens just as easily, but only when I want it to. Built solid as a rock.
Cons:
Everybody says it--the pano lock. It does not bother me because I do not sling my tripod/ballhead/camera/70-200 f/2.8 IS over my back to walk with it, but I thought I would just confirm that it will move if you put enough force on it--like anything.

Perfect ballhead. I could not ask for more.

Feb 6, 2009
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marokero
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Registered: May 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very compact, strong, versatile, well built.
Cons:
Not inexpensive, but as said so many times before, you really get what you pay for.

For years I had read reviews of this Markins M10, and how awesome it was. I now know these reviews were all correct! The M10 is smaller than what you would expect, having seen the photos on the internet. But it's one tough little ball head! I purchased it without the Markins quick release clamp, instead opting for a RRS lever clamp. I've since retired my 3-way Manfrotto head, which would always shift a little when tightening each axis. The M10 has no such problem. I can't wait to get out there and shoot with this M10!

Nov 21, 2008
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Canonised
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Registered: Dec 11, 2005
Location: Singapore
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent build quality, materials and workmanship. Does what it claims. Consistent performer.
Cons:
Expensive for first time buyer - but - readily buy it again if I lost this ballhead in a heartbeat.

The Markins Q10 is the medium between the Q3 and Q20. It was a hard choice between it and the Q20 because I bought it for a specific purpose. It was to replace a lousy Benro head that I had owned and used for some time. Maybe I am not fair to Benro because it performed well enough when I used my 5D with non L lenses. But when I acquired the 70-200L and the 100-400L, it just could not cope.

I spend many weekends shooting animals at the zoo and with my Gitzo 2350 matched with the Markins, its a marriage made in heaven. The head never failed me and with its sweetspot control, I have a lot of means to keep the lens moving yet keeping it stable.

If I ever acquire a 500L it will come with a Markins Q20. No hesitation. No question. I trust it now implicitly.

BTW - I dropped my tripod and head once with a loud bang. But to my surprise, the head was undamaged apart from a small dent to the plastic knob. It works without any problem. I am now a true Markins believer. There are other great ballheads but Markins does it for me.

Thanks for reading. :-)


Nov 12, 2008
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smopoim86
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Registered: Jan 29, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Nov 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: sturdy, simple, durable
Cons:
it's a little expensive, but is still worth every cent

I bought the M10 after reading about the Markins heads on Nikonians. It took some work to convince myself to spend 350 on a head but I didn't want to slack. I've wasted too much on crap equipment and now I try to get the right product the first time.

As far as use goes, it's a pleasure to use. Once I set the tension to the "sweet spot" for the rig I'm using there is no need to lock it down or loosen it to recompose. I have not used any other of the top tier ballheads (kirk, RRS, ArcaSwiss) but cannot imagine them being any better than the Markins.



Nov 5, 2008
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alex_86
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Registered: Mar 25, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 35
Review Date: Oct 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sleek, and crafted. It looks like someone actually put some effort into manufacturing it
Cons:
Build quality although good is not up to the daily abuse that I am asking it to go through which I would not say is above average with any other full time shooter.

I purchased this mainly to use on my go to tripod, the Gitzo 1227. The head matches up with this tripod beautifully! I found that it supported upt0 to a 70-200 f/2.8 with a D2X with ease. A few times, when in a pinch I even used it with the 300 and 400 2.8's which although was pushing it a LOT it still came through.
With that praise said I have to confess that I will not be buying another Markins head again. The head just is not built to withstand the abuse I put it through. It is terrible in cold weather with it locking up and either not letting you loosen one of the knobs or tighten it.
I also find that the pan base can not be tightened enough and it has shifted on me quite a bit when used on a super-clamp or magic arm as a remote head. I had it tightened to the max with out going to the point where I thought it might start to strip, then mounted it to the front of a camera truck on some truss with a D300 and 17-55 attached. with in 10 minutes of driving it started to shift around and in 15 we were able to make it swing around on the pan base by swerving the truck lightly.
I have since tested other ball heads and have concluded that in this price point there are definitely other options if you are wanting a head that can take more abuse.

The verdict, if you are an amateur who babies there gear then it will be flat out amazing. If you are a pro who uses there gear hard on a regular bases or plans to use it for remotes, look else where.


Oct 4, 2008
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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 508
Review Date: Sep 27, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, very smooth, locks in well. Beautiful piece of equipment that does exactly what it is supposed to. You won't regret buying this.
Cons:



Sep 27, 2008
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capt don
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Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 881
Review Date: Aug 19, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Absolute smoothness of the operation and quality of the product. Holds steady with a minimal adjustment. I've had NO trouble with the paning head adjustment.
Cons:



Aug 19, 2008
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Richard Nye
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Registered: May 30, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 2422
Review Date: Jul 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Beautifully built, nice friction limiting adjustment knob, smooth motion, more compact than most, good weight capacity, intuitive controls, solid feel
Cons:
Bubble level isnít visible with the camera on the quick shoe

I bought a M10L and 2 plates from Nikonians. Iím using them with my 30D, 10-400 lens and Manfrotto 3221 tripod. The M10L and one plate was in stock and came quickly, the 30D plate had to be shipped from Germany (guess thatís what you get when you buy from a NIKON site). A nice surprise was the free neoprene pouch that came with the ballhead.

This is the first ballhead Iíve owned and have nothing to compare it to. The M10L was very intuitive and easy to use. The build quality is exceptional, and the design is classic. There is a lot of adjustment in the main friction adjust knob. It has a very nice feel and will lock up solid if thatís what you want, or can be adjusted so you can move your camera with a fingertip. The small friction adjust knob on the main friction knob sets the lower limit to the friction and works well. Some people have complained that the panning screw wonít completely lock the panning base. I donít have that problem. When I tighten the panning screw finger tight, the panning base is locked solid. I would recommend you use the panning base to pan rather than pan using the ball.

I bought the M10L with the Markins quick shoe. I actually like the quick release knob even though you have to turn it several times to tighten the plate onto the shoe. No big deal. The quick release knob has a nice, rubberized, smooth feel to it. You do have to be conscious that the plate is firmly in the shoe jaws before you take your hands of the camera or your investment will end up on the ground.

Iím just a little puzzled why Markins put the bubble level on the part of the quick release shoe that gets covered by the camera plate. When the camera is mounted you canít see the level (??). I guess the idea is to level the shoe before you mount the camera. This just doesnít make sense. I never use the level, just make sure the camera is plumb using the viewfinder.

Iím very happy with this ballhead, and Iím sure my son, grandson and great grandson will be one day.


Jul 12, 2007
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Sammy Bates
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Registered: Feb 23, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 229
Review Date: Jun 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: LIghtweight, smooth panning, beautiful craftsmanship, design and very comfortable control knobs.
Cons:
None, this ballhead is a dream to use. Well, okay, it wouldn't hurt if they sold it for a little less.

I had never even heard of Markins until I started researching ballheads, but I am very glad that I ran across it. I was intrigued by the design of this ballhead, especially the tension adjustment. I opted for the M10L because I wanted the master knob to be pointing toward me because I hold my camera (Canon 30D) with my left hand and use my right hand to work the camera switches and of course trip the shutter. I think that this arrangement is much better than the standard configuration wherein the knobs are pointing away from you at the front of the head.

The most remarkable feature on the ballhead is the smooth, slick, extremely hard ball, and the overall high quality of the materials and design of the head. I have never seen, or used a better ballhead and I have tried a lot of them. The Markins is a dream to use and its maximum load is ridiculously high (80 lbs, far more than you will ever need, or want). All you have to do is mount the camera on the Arca/Swiss style plate, hold the camera while you set the large knob until it will hold the camera/lens without them moving when you release them, set the tension knob located on the end of the large knob with your thumb until it is tight, and you are all set. The tension is set and the camera is perfectly balanced so that you can move it with one finger and know that it will stop as soon as you stop pushing. (You can set the ballhead tension up in your nice, warm room, or car, before hand, so that when you get to the shoot there are no adjustments necessary, very nice in cold weather.) I use the head in conjunction with an "L" bracket I got from RRS, so I don't actually have to swing the ball over to take vertical images, but I am certain that this ballhead could easily handle the task if you wanted to position the camerta/lens by pushing it into the vertical position. Adjusted correctly for the load configuration, the camera/lens can be easily moved with the touch of your finger until you have positioned it to suit yourselfr, and will then hold the load absolutely rock steady in whatever position you want it to be in.


Jun 4, 2007
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Romulus90
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Registered: Sep 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 525
Review Date: Apr 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: light weight, strength, craftsmanship, controls, size
Cons:
pano lock doesn't quite lock

I replaced an acratech ultimate head with this. I read several reviews which raved about the M10, unfortunately learning only after I purchased the head that the authors were markin's retailers. However, the head is still very impressive. The controls feel very nice and the rubber on the knobs feels great. I don't have anything heavy to put on it (a D200 + 80-200), but it handles my gear nicely.

My one gripe, and it is a big one, is that you almost have to use vice grips to lock the panning base. It is maddening. I like to pan with the ball so the controls (ball tension and panning base knob) stay in the same place. However, if you don't tighten the base enough and try to rotate the camera counter clockwise, the base will slip a little as you pan. Supposedly this is built in by markins, but it is a TERRIBLE design.

The head works and if it wasn't for the one issue I would say it's perfect for me. I am heavily considering switching to a Z1 or BH40.


Apr 21, 2007
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I Simonius
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Registered: Apr 22, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 51
Review Date: Jan 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: LIGHT, good looking, QR CLAMP, adjustable LEVER lock (not knob). It was really the lever control rather than a knob that first attarcted me to it - it's COLD here most of the time, and knobs and cold fingers don't go!
Cons:
Tension control Designed for RH use? Seems so, but might be my inexperience

Thanks for that report quickpix, you have brought up my one gripe about the RSS BH-40, the tension control. I leave it off (virtually).

I might try a Markins later on, comparing to the RRS BH_50 first though, but with my small lenses (currently the 35f1.4 is probably the heaviest) I doubt I ned extra strength. I don't use long lenses nowadays, basically because of the wheight.

My comments on the RRS ( no dedicated section) are that it really is a good looking piece of kit and is light to boot (very important for me). As I have no previous ball head experience it is difficult to comment but Im sure it is an improvement on its predecessors by other manufacturers.

I do prefer the lever lock system but It seems to me that it is designed to be used with the Left hand, (i.e. with the drop slots are to front) but my left hand prefers to hold the camera with my right hand making adjustments inc. tightening ballhead, so I find it awkward to adjust, constantly swapping hands. I cannot get used to setting the camera framing with my right hand at all ( 30 yrs of habit to overcome!)

This is no doubt due to my lack of experience but I thought I'd mention it anyway. I have found that I still fumble a lot ( over six months of use) when adjusting the camera, especially in awkward conditions (like on a wet walkboard halfway across a reed bed ;-)), I found the pan and tilt I had previously much easier to use as it fell more naturally to my hand in these conditions, but also much heavier!

So I would love to be able to swap the lever to the other side or buy a version that had it the other side! RRS are you reading this? :-)

I will almost certanly also buy the RRS bracket for my 5D that allows swinging from landscape to portrait mode without complete readjustments each time.

The RRS quick release plate is someting I could NOT live without.


Jan 19, 2007
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DSOC
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Registered: Jun 14, 2004
Location: China
Posts: 23
Review Date: Jan 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Light weight High loads
Cons:
Not as good as M20

Compact and easy to carry for outing. Only good enought to use up to AFS 300mm F2.8 lens to me. So I have to get the M20 for my AFS 600mm F4. But it is still the best for general use.

Jan 2, 2007
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quickpix
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Registered: Aug 17, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $339.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small size, light weight, ease of use since it has only two control knobs, and extremely high quality.
Cons:
None

After doing an exhaustive research on the internet, I had narrowed my choices between the RRS BH-40 LRII and the Markins M-10. My heaviest setup is a 70-200 2.8, but I didn't want to limit myself for future lenses. I initially purchased the BH-40 thinking that it was better after reading some reviews. Here are my first impressions of the BH-40:

Positives:
- quality of workmanship is excellent (same for M-10)
- solid (same for M-10)
- it has a low profile (but not that much of a difference with the M-10)
- I loved the quick release clamp in comparison to the Markins screw type knob. Spirit level is also located in a logical place instead of underneath the camera body like the Markins version (why?). Also has small lines to help center the camera with the plate where Markins does not have this which is not a big deal but shows that RRS thought of every little aspect.
- Panning base locking knob brake seemed to have a stronger hold on the RRS in comparison to the Markins. Unfortunately I was not able to test this so I was not able to measure the difference.
- Vast selection of RRS accessories (Markins has a limited selection). I eventually kept the L-bracket from RRS since Markins doesn't offer one at this time.
- RRS return policy is excellent with no hassles (not sure with Markins since I kept the product).

Negatives:

- 3 sets of knobs with RRS to control the ball head instead of just two for Markins.
- The big reason why I returned this ballhead and purchased the M10 was because of the tension knobs. The Markins ball heads are leagues ahead of the RRS ones in this aspect. It's due to the design and after a closer look I figured out why. I read on the internet of people talking about the RRS "sticking". They should have clarified it by stating the reason why and what this "sticking" means. The clamp that locks the RRS ball is located at one end and applies a clamping force to only that one end of the ball which is not uniform across the ball. The Markins on the other hand pushes the ball up against the body and applies a uniform clamping force across the entire ball. This most likely is why the techniical data showes that the BH-40 can handle a max load of 18 pounds in comparison to the M-10 which is 90 pounds (I personally would not push it to this level). Because of this design, the RRS is difficult to obtain the desired tension. The tension knobs have an extremely small degree of turn to control the desired tensions. You either have it too loose or too tight, very difficult to obtain somewhere in between. The M10 on the other hand has a larger range of turning before it gets too loose or too tight.

After purchasing the M10 I am convinced that it is the better ball head. However, I highly recommend the RRS quick release clamp with spirit level and the accessories from RRS since they have a better selection.




Dec 2, 2006
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ShadowWalker
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Registered: Jun 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2031
Review Date: Sep 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Engineering, design, strong, silky smooth, everything.
Cons:
Nothing other than the price of course.

Definitely the best ballhead around. I tried the Kirk BH-3 first as most reviews say they are very close in quality and it was almost $100 cheaper. The BH-3 is a great ballhead but I did notice a small amount of slippage/movement due to the weight when I had my 300/4L IS, 1.4tc, and 1D2 on it. Decided to spend the extra dollars (which I should have done in the first place) for the M-10L and am I glad. Wow, what an incredibly designed ballhead. Top notch engineering, very solid and beautifullly finished. Holds my current gear rock solid and I have no doubt it will hold even heavier lenses when/if I should be able to afford them. It's expensive but once you use it you'll realize it is definitely worth it. I also recommend getting the L (left) version as having the controls on the left seems more natural than having them on the right.

Highly recommended.


Sep 18, 2006
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†††



Markins Q-Ball M10

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
29 78843 Sep 26, 2010
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $348.06
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.57
9.07
9.7
1817


Page:  1 · 2  next