Compact ball heads
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  1. Compact ball heads

    #1

    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?
  2. Re: Compact ball heads

    #2
    Users Country Flag Macro's Avatar
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    I use a Markins M10, but will downsize to a Q3 soon.
    No ballhead for panos, I mount my NN5L directly to my Manfrotto 055MF3.

    David
  3. Re: Compact ball heads

    #3
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    when you mount a panohead or anything that is long or tall, you need a more stable tripod or ballhead. This is because the torque (weight x distance) is proportional to the distance from the pivot point. It is torque that matters, not the weight. This is why lots of people suggest mounting a pano head directly to the tripod, or at least use a over-rated ballhead.
    The MH1004 is not going to work very well.


    nick



    Fanotec
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  4. Re: Compact ball heads

    #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    when you mount a panohead or anything that is long or tall, you need a more stable tripod or ballhead. This is because the torque (weight x distance) is proportional to the distance from the pivot point. It is torque that matters, not the weight. This is why lots of people suggest mounting a pano head directly to the tripod, or at least use a over-rated ballhead.
    The MH1004 is not going to work very well.
    nick
    clearly the shorter the leverage the better ... if you can't cope with mounting directly on the legs than the NN leveller is a good short option.

    I was investigating , the other day, where vibration derives from on my set up.
    A NN3ii and a manfrotto 055 ProB.

    I mounted the camera as usual ,With just the NN3 and legs. then i went to live view withe lens set at 55mm and the 10 x magnification.
    The tripod was set up on a hard tiled floor inside with no draughts.The centre column was locked fully down.

    I then observed what happened to the image when I lightly flicked the near leg of the tripod half way up the top section.
    The vibration was clear to see. First it started to diminish for about a second then it increased for about half a second then started to decrease again.
    some vibration was visible for about four seconds.

    I tried it again after loading the centre columm with a five pound weight, with a very similar result.
    I then did the same but put my finger immediately on the the flicked leg...
    This dampened the vibration much sooner but introduced a somewhat less violent movement of its own.

    In the first instance the vibration waves were clearly running up and down the leg, where they met on the return was indicated by the period of increased vibration.

    I am now interested to find out If some Legs or materials vibrate less or for a shorter time.


    Lead and cast iron are known to dampen vibration, but are clearly unsuitable for tripod legs.
    Carbon fibre has good elastic properties so might vibrate just as much as aluminium.

    I am sure Tripod manufactures are aware of all this but I have never seen it mentioned in their literature... Why should they

    I also experimented with using IS, I found this caused image drift, but had no effect on the vibration.

    Mounting a heavy ball head below the NN3 made matters slightly worse in amplitude but did not seem to extend the duration.


    I could find no evidence that the vibration was in anyway caused or amplified by the NN3 ; as the vibration effect was much the same
    when the camera was mounted on a heavy ball directly on the legs.

    If you are unfortunate enough to suffer vibration it is clearly visible in fine detail in your photograpgs.
  5. Re: Compact ball heads

    #5
    Users Country Flag Macro's Avatar
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    @Terry
    There are limits to stability in any setup. Tapping the legs might excite even the stablest of rigs.

    Do you have rubber feet on your tripod legs? These float everything on a rubber cushion. Try spiked feet.

    With my Manfrotto 055MF3, I only see vibration from mirror slap or wind. For slower shutter speeds where mirror slap/vibration are a problem, use mirror lockup, and release the shutter after the vibration dampens. For winds, try releasing the shutter when the wind cycle goes down. Keep the center column down and locked very tightly.

    David

  6. Re: Compact ball heads

    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macro View Post
    @Terry
    There are limits to stability in any setup. Tapping the legs might excite even the stablest of rigs.

    Do you have rubber feet on your tripod legs? These float everything on a rubber cushion. Try spiked feet.

    With my Manfrotto 055MF3, I only see vibration from mirror slap or wind. For slower shutter speeds where mirror slap/vibration are a problem, use mirror lockup, and release the shutter after the vibration dampens. For winds, try releasing the shutter when the wind cycle goes down. Keep the center column down and locked very tightly.

    David
    I do every one of those things and of course it helps. In future I am going to briefly hold the NN3 to stop the vibration running into the legs, to shorten the period of vibration as I raise the mirror.

    However it would be nice to know how much research has gone into vibration damping and what the best tripods in this respect are.
    I suspect both the thickness and length of the legs have a bearing in the periodicity of the vibration as well as the tension and rigidity of the metal in
    the legs., much like a violin string.
    I am going to compare with my ancient lightweight ash (MPP) tripod. The lower section of the legs are closed alloy tubes and the top section are double ash legs..
  7. Re: Compact ball heads

    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrywoodenpic View Post
    I do every one of those things and of course it helps. In future I am going to briefly hold the NN3 to stop the vibration running into the legs, to shorten the period of vibration as I raise the mirror.

    I am going to compare with my ancient lightweight ash (MPP) tripod. The lower section of the legs are closed alloy tubes and the top section are double ash legs..
    Hi Terry,

    I read somewhere that ash tripod is excellent in damping.

    nick



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  8. Re: Compact ball heads

    #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick fan View Post
    Hi Terry,

    I read somewhere that ash tripod is excellent in damping.

    nick
    Hi Nick
    I checked it and It is a slight improvement. Faster dampening but showed two peaks in the vibration.

    However the tripod though lighter is not so convenient to use, Iit has two section legs that do not adjust so easily, and is also quite long when folded.
    Although it was designed for medium format and their own 5x4 cameras.

    I will look around at other wooden tripod examples to see if there is any benefit.. especially in windy conditions.

    I know my original home made Ash Pan bracket ( single row fixed) had virtually no flex or vibration through it, and though very limited in abilities was incredibly accurate.
    so I know the material has lots of potential on the strength and vibration front, though far less so in adjustability and versatility.



  9. Re: Compact ball heads

    #9

    Join Date: May 2008
    Location: Alberta, Canada, Eh ?
    Posts: 48

    I once built a tripod platform so I could put a Kodak projector on top of a huge tripod I owned. When the slides changed the projected image would wobble left and right. It was terribly unstable. I tied a nylon string to the left and right ends then ran them down to the head's panning lever (forming a triangle). I looped them around the horizontal shaft once and put a small weight on the end of each string to hold tension on the 'loop'. The vibrations were completely GONE.

    Would something as simple as a light cable tied to all three legs with a small weight at the middle provide damping that would work ?
    See also Manfrotto Apron support 166: http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/...sf=107&child=1






    Edmonton, Canada, Eh ?

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