RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic

Started Jun 19, 2012 | Discussions
Ivos1
New MemberPosts: 6
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RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
Jun 19, 2012

Considering to buy RRS BH-40 for Gitzo GT3530LS. I see potential issue - the main lock lever on BH-40 is so long, that it exceed the base of the head. When is BH-40 assembled to tripod with bigger base than the head (like GT3530LS), the main lock lever will hit the tripod base. I asked RRS and this is their reply:

"The Main Lock Knob of the BH-40 (and any smaller ballhead from RRS) incorporates a ratcheting mechanism, whereby you can pull the knob away from the housing to disengage the mechanism, reposition the knob, and then let it spring back and continue tightening or loosening. Because it usually only takes ¼ to ½ a turn of the knob to go from fully tight to loose, interference with the platform should not be a common occurrence. The ratcheting can also help avoid the camera and clamp if they are positioned in the path of that knob"

OK, I do understand their reply, but does anybody have experience if this ratcheting is really functional solution for above mentioned issue? Would you recommend to go into RRS BH-40 or better look somewhere else?

Thanks a lot

acipriano
Regular MemberPosts: 431
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to Ivos1, Jun 20, 2012

I have a BH-40 that I originally had mounted on a Manfrotto aluminum tripod. I decided to upgrade to a RRS TVC-33. I wan't thinking that the platform of the TVC-33 would be larger in diameter than the BH-40. I did not like it at all. I did not want to have to pull and reposition the lever to clear the platform. I ended up getting a BH-55 that was a good fit for the TVC-33. Since I also wanted an additional lighter travel tripod, I bought a Gitzo series 1 Traveler and mounted the BH-40 on that.

Bottom line to your question is, I do not recommend using the BH-40 on a tripod with a larger diameter and having to reposition the lever to clear the platform.

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afoton
Contributing MemberPosts: 784Gear list
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to Ivos1, Jun 20, 2012

I have BH-40 on a small tripod with a big base. For me, there is no problem. When I have the lever down on the tripod base, the ball is loose. When locked, the lever is about the height of the ball house.

Another possible issue, is that something hit the tripod base when tilting the ball for portrait. That is of course no problem when using L-plate.

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Peter Herth
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The RRS BH-55
In reply to Ivos1, Jun 21, 2012

is the better match for the 3530 LS. I have that combination and am very happy with it.

Peter

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ReoFlex
New MemberPosts: 12
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to Ivos1, Jul 1, 2013

Ivos1 wrote:

Considering to buy RRS BH-40 for Gitzo GT3530LS. I see potential issue - the main lock lever on BH-40 is so long, that it exceed the base of the head. When is BH-40 assembled to tripod with bigger base than the head (like GT3530LS), the main lock lever will hit the tripod base. I asked RRS and this is their reply:

"The Main Lock Knob of the BH-40 (and any smaller ballhead from RRS) incorporates a ratcheting mechanism, whereby you can pull the knob away from the housing to disengage the mechanism, reposition the knob, and then let it spring back and continue tightening or loosening. Because it usually only takes ¼ to ½ a turn of the knob to go from fully tight to loose, interference with the platform should not be a common occurrence. The ratcheting can also help avoid the camera and clamp if they are positioned in the path of that knob"

OK, I do understand their reply, but does anybody have experience if this ratcheting is really functional solution for above mentioned issue? Would you recommend to go into RRS BH-40 or better look somewhere else?

Thanks a lot

What Gitzo told you works. It is the solution. The ball locking lever can be pulled out of it's housing about 1/2 inch. It is spring loaded. You then rotate the lever to whatever position you want on it's axis. Pull it out, let it spring back in adjusted to your new position and it will lock the ball without bumping into and stopping it's rotation on the Systematic base. Just did it on mine and voila! I just picked up the new series 3 Gitzo Systematic GT3542XLS. Fully extended, with NO wobbly center column, it stands about 6' 6" tall which is great cause I'm 7'6" tall. Kidding. I set up in the woods for wildlife photos, usually on steep or sloping grades and a shorter tripod just doesn't work. I can easily adjust the long legs to the contour of the slope on the Systematic. For regular us I don't have to extend the lowest leg segments which allows me to use the next segment up which is more substantial and steady. With the BH-40 my Canon 5D3 sits atop and is perfectly positioned to my eye without crouching or standing on my toes. I'm actually 6'2" tall. Hope this is helpful to you.

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ReoFlex
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to acipriano, Jul 1, 2013

I do agree that the BH-40 is a little small atop the large Systematics. The BH-55 would likely be the the better ball head for this size tripod. I'll likely order one as well and use the BH-40 on my Gitzo Explorer and also my Manfroto monopod.

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ReoFlex
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to ReoFlex, Jul 1, 2013

I meant to say that what the folks at Really Right Stuff told you was correct. I mistakenly said Gitzo. Oops!

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bravozulu
Contributing MemberPosts: 897Gear list
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Re: RRS BH-40 compatibility to Gitzo systematic
In reply to ReoFlex, Jul 4, 2013

I bought the RRS BH30. It is a compact version, yet has a 15lb capacity. The website mentioned on preference for the 30 over the 40 model is clearance of QR lever when the head is in the drop-down slot.

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