I'm slowly getting the hang of stitching and patching the nadir in my panoramas but have found that my current ball head is on the large side. I would prefer to get something a little smaller so that I don't have to patch such a large area. I was looking at the Giottos MH-1004 (http://www.adorama.com/GTBHMI.html). I'm using a NN SPH-1j, D50, Nikkor 10.5. Maximum load is rated for 5lbs which should be enough.
I typically tip the camera down 10¬? to make the nadir smaller, but there's still too much of the ball head in the picture. For those of you using ball heads, which one are you using?