sunway photo xb-44 review
Feb 26, 2012
Head SunwayFoto XB-44
44mm ball with a low center of gravity. Arcaswiss compatible lever type clamp (interchangeable). The headset is slightly heavier than my current Weifeng wth-591 headset. What you loose (or actually gain) on weight you will gain on precision to
Now it's not totally fair to the Weifeng 1 to 1 to compare (it's a ballhead with a lighter smaller 35mm ball). However, the difference is significant. The Weifeng actually can only be used by loosening the ballhead totally (the friction is not even enough to move the camera with friction). This Sunwayfoto ballhead has the ability to be used with some friction (which is applicable to the what weight it carries). The friction level can be predetermined so you decide to loosen the knob exactly friction have the right. Because the friction can be predetermined you don't have to look
for the spot where you have enough friction to move the ballhead. The friction can be set by the screw on the main knob (as seen in the first picture)
The securing of the ball head is also with precision. The Weifeng always had a problem with keeping the qr plate level when you secure the ballhead
This is much less the case with the XB-44, and it is even possible to the level the QR clamp just as you want it. This also may be because of the reduced center of gravity and the relatively short distance between the ball and the qr clamp. Which is significantly shorter than the Weifeng (as seen in the second picture)
The clamp is very good. I had to find out how he works. Firstly, there are three positions. Open, closed and fixed.
The open position is used to allow the qr plate to be put into the clamp.
The closed position ensures that the QR plate cannot be removed from the QR clamp, However it can still be moved (if you have safety stops this is really useful).
The fixed state secures the qr plate in the clamp.
The clamp opening an closing distance can be set (as seen in the pictures above). This makes it possible for the QR clamp to work with other Arcaswiss plates that do not follow the standard that well as they should (I think RRS advices to use knob style clamps if you are going to mix the QR plates).
All in all, this is a good ballhead. It is a joy to use it. However, I find him on the heavy side. I should note that this ballhead is already lighter than most ballheads, i just use a very light ballhead and tripod already, so my opinion might be skewed on this. Hopefully there is a 36 mm version released so that the weight can be brought down even further.
Another downside is that this will not fit fold-able tripods perfectly. Yes it will fit and yes you can fold it, but the placement of the knobs make it a bit picky on how you for the tripod.
For the money you'll get a very compact tripod head. It handles friction well and is very capable of fixing your camera precisely how you want it. Ideally suitable for non fold-able tripods where the measurements need to be kept low. However with care you can also use it on fold-able tripods.
The clamp is really good and i would highly recommend these clamps to people who are still looking for a qr system. There is nothing to say about it other than it does it's job and it does it well, against a price that is better than the competition.