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New FLM ballheads

  
 
sjms
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p.3 #1 · p.3 #1 · New FLM ballheads


smw6230 wrote:
Here is a picture of my old LH-40 (https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1798147/0?keyword=lh-40#16181828). The paddle worked clockwise so if you had it at the 12 o'clock position and angled the arca plate fully backward, the paddle handle and plate would come into contact. What you had to do was grab the paddle, pull it out 1/3 of the way, and re-seat it at 6 or 9 o'clock so that it loosen/tighten before it reached the arca plate.

**Note this problem was with collared lenses**

I didn't like that as I found myself working away from the ball head rather than back towards me . Or to
...Show more

Your leofoto ballhead is/was pretty much a near visual copy of the first generation of the BH40. It was not my favorite design with the dual drop notches but quite usable.

mine works just as well with the collared lenses i own. those being a 120-300/2.8 and a 70-200/2.8

in the end it seems that FLM feels that this particular design is their way to go. not exactly original.



Jul 03, 2023 at 09:18 PM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #2 · p.3 #2 · New FLM ballheads


Hey everyone,
I just stumbled upon this thread. I'm Ari, the USA/Canada distributor for FLM.

The new GX ball heads were not made to save money, we made the switch out of necessity.
FLM Germany, who took over the company from the original Burklin family, had a lot of trouble making the FT-series ball heads starting in 2018. After a few years, by mid-2021, they'd gotten it right, and were making excellent ball heads.

Then, in October of 2022, FLM Germany announced that because of difficulties in finding and keeping skilled labor, they were ceasing production of FT ball heads. The parent company of FLM Germany is involved in making electromagnetic parts, and that is their main moneymaker. So there was no secondary plan in place for ball heads, meaning FLM would have become simply a tripod company had nothing been done. I think that would have sealed the end of our unique little company, so if we were to survive, we had to come up with new ball heads, and make sure that they were at least as good as the FT heads.

Enter FLM China, who have been making the excellent Series II tripods for 5 years now. A lot of work, thought and careful consideration went into designing and making the new GX heads. After almost a year, they're finally available, and having been involved since their conception, I'm personally very proud of them. I think they're even better than the old ball heads in the areas that matter most: stability, creep and vibration dampening. They also happen to be a lot lighter than the FT heads, and you don't need a user manual to use it properly. The memory ring function on the FT heads was lost on about half of our customers, few bothered to read the instructions, so we decided to leave it off the GX heads.

Some will like the GX ball heads, some won't. Hopefully more people will try them out and see for themselves if the GX heads are a good fit for them. They're definitely up to our own standards. They've been selling briskly so far, which suggests that plenty of people are willing to try something new because they know that we care about the essentials, not the window dressing. We've been making ball heads since 1993 and the manufacturing details are shared between FLM Germany, FLM China and FLM USA/Canada, so everything of value from the last 30 years has been passed down to all three sections of the company.

No corners have been cut, no lesser materials have been used, and function comes before form. We've had terrific QC with the Series II tripods, I expect no less with the GX ball head series. We always try to make the best possible product, and the GX heads are no exception. As good as they are, just two days ago we were discussing how we could improve them, so expect some subtle changes in the next 4-6 months.

Yes, the 15˚ Stop knob can be removed, we're working on a cover screw that won't scratch your fingers, so that will be announced soon. If the ball head has a funny shape, lock the ball and then try moving it. That's why it looks that way.

I'll follow this thread from now on, so if you have any questions for me, I'll find them and answer them promptly. Or you can email me through FLM Canada dot com.
Thanks



Sep 15, 2023 at 10:36 PM
sjms
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p.3 #3 · p.3 #3 · New FLM ballheads


good luck with the new line. kind of saw it coming.


Sep 15, 2023 at 11:11 PM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #4 · p.3 #4 · New FLM ballheads


sjms wrote:
good luck with the new line. kind of saw it coming.


Thanks



Sep 15, 2023 at 11:25 PM
Shedugengan
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p.3 #5 · p.3 #5 · New FLM ballheads


I saw reviews on multiple FLM heads and knew what I was getting into with the tension ring when I bought it. I set the tension so that all I needed was a half-turn on the locking knob to go from adjustable to tight. Not hard at all. And easier than these other brands. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that many didn't understand how it worked though.

The feature that sold me on my CB-48F was the lack of shift while tightening the ball (in addition to the strength, etc). This was after trying other well-known brands that, while plenty strong, shifted during lockdown and made precision with my framing difficult. I was close to buying a geared head when I learned about FLM.

It took working at 1:1 with my macro lens to be able to spot any shift. And that was a mere fraction of a mm in the frame at 1:1. I wouldn't have noticed had I not done a meticulous, precise test. The FLM head is close to perfect.

To date, the CB-48F is far and away the best ballhead I've ever used... and I have tried several well-known brands.

My wife needs a ballhead (she is a birder and so far has only used a gimbal head for her scope, and now is getting into other types of photography) and we will get the GX head.



Sep 18, 2023 at 08:38 AM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #6 · p.3 #6 · New FLM ballheads


Shedugengan wrote:
I saw reviews on multiple FLM heads and knew what I was getting into with the tension ring when I bought it. I set the tension so that all I needed was a half-turn on the locking knob to go from adjustable to tight. Not hard at all. And easier than these other brands. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that many didn't understand how it worked though.

The feature that sold me on my CB-48F was the lack of shift while tightening the ball (in addition to the strength, etc). This was after trying other well-known brands that, while plenty
...Show more

Thanks. The F and FT ball heads are/were indeed amazing,
As you say, some people had a hard time using it properly, which I understand. They were also quite complicated to manufacture, which is why there were never any good knockoffs.
I found out about FLM the same way and for the same reasons. I needed a stable ball head for 4x5 macro, and a friend recommended it to me. I discovered it also had a tilt lock function, which helped to level the view camera quickly.

Let me know how the GX compares to the CB-48F with regards to the shift when tightening the friction, or "creep", as it's also known.



Sep 18, 2023 at 08:55 AM
 


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smw6230
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p.3 #7 · p.3 #7 · New FLM ballheads


ATPphoto wrote:
Hey everyone,
I just stumbled upon this thread. I'm Ari, the USA/Canada distributor for FLM.


I purchased my FLM tripod through Ari about 6 months ago. The Man's reputation is well deserved. A completely pleasurable experience and wouldn't hesitate to contact/do business with again.



Sep 18, 2023 at 12:52 PM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #8 · p.3 #8 · New FLM ballheads


Thanks, Steve! Very kind of you to say.
I hope you're still loving the tripod.



Sep 18, 2023 at 01:04 PM
smw6230
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p.3 #9 · p.3 #9 · New FLM ballheads



ATPphoto wrote:
Thanks, Steve! Very kind of you to say.
I hope you're still loving the tripod.


Absolutely on the tripod. Not surprised you figured out who I was.



Sep 18, 2023 at 05:02 PM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #10 · p.3 #10 · New FLM ballheads


smw6230 wrote:
Absolutely on the tripod. Not surprised you figured out who I was.


CP34-L4 II



Sep 18, 2023 at 05:12 PM
Michel85
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p.3 #11 · p.3 #11 · New FLM ballheads


I'm realy confused about FLM. They seem like a good company making quality products but for some reason FLM is not easy to see and purchase in local camera stores in Netherlands (neighbouring country to germany), maybe they should invest in some better marketing and distribution in Europe. They are a bit unknown here.

I read here on this forum about a new GX ballhead, but cannot find any information about the new GX ballheads on the German FLM website. Also link to UK website in thge FLM Germany website doesn't work. No longer a branch / sales representative in UK?





Apr 01, 2024 at 04:54 AM
ATPphoto
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p.3 #12 · p.3 #12 · New FLM ballheads


Michel85 wrote:
I'm realy confused about FLM. They seem like a good company making quality products but for some reason FLM is not easy to see and purchase in local camera stores in Netherlands (neighbouring country to germany), maybe they should invest in some better marketing and distribution in Europe. They are a bit unknown here.

I read here on this forum about a new GX ballhead, but cannot find any information about the new GX ballheads on the German FLM website. Also link to UK website in thge FLM Germany website doesn't work. No longer a branch / sales representative in UK?



If you're in Europe, contact FLM Germany to see if they carry the new GX heads: https://english.flm-gmbh.de
Here's some information on the new heads: https://flmcanada.com/product-category/ball-heads/?currency=USD
And a short YouTube on the subject: https://youtu.be/wFF-LIQZRL4?si=gjh3j0oJ3zI03CF_

We're always trying to get into more stores, but the decision isn't ours, it's up to the store. You can always ask your local store if they can stock it. If they see there's enough demand, they'll try and make room for another brand.

SpeedGraphic UK, which was an FLM retailer, has closed its doors, so there is currently no FLM retailer in the UK.



Apr 02, 2024 at 11:09 AM
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