Sunday, 17 May 2009

Manfrotto 486RC2 ball head

Manfrotto are very well known for their tripods, I had been using a Manfrotto tripod and a 804RC2 head. The 804RC2 is a traditional 3 way pan tilt head has the three handles and adjustments. Recently while trying to get my camera to point directly up for some star shots at night, I discovered why these types of heads are only for video cameras. I did not understand what the big deal was until I tried a ball head myself and then decided to upgrade. If you have never tried a ball head for photography, you should know that most serious photographers use a ball head.
Here's why, using a ball head on a tripod lets you frame your shots quickly and easily and provides great support for your camera. It has a single locking knob and can do a 360° pan and +90° -90° tilt movement. The the double 90° grooves on each side of the head means switching from landscape to portrait is convenient however you're set up. I checked the manfrotto's product configurator on their web site for ratings for maximum weight and what lenses you use to get a head properly matched to my tripod (A 190XPROB). The 486RC2 is rated to hold up to 6kg. The ball movement is pretty smooth, and the locking mechanism seems strong. The Manfrotto quick release plate is easy to work with, it's easy to screw on to the camera and is simple and quick to release and snap back in place onto the head. It was only $125 form Discount Digital Photographics in North Sydney.

An adage that comes to mind: A mans greatest fear is that when they die, their wife will sell all their stuff for less than what they told her they paid for it :-)

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