RichRMA: I bought a ball head out of China on Ebay that looks a lot like the FLM unit. Has dual ball tensioners/locks and works perfectly. $25.00 and free shipping. Pay $350 for an Acratech ballhead? Not likely.
I am a RRS customer and to offer the point about the more expensive equipment, it has a lot to do with accuracy and repeatability. Saving time in the field and in post especially with clients who have tight timelines along with the accuracy in post work. Now my BH55 did indeed blow up one day in the field; the pin in the locking latch fell out and the entire mechanism exploded leaving me helpless. I did not have a backup. Fortunately it was at the end of the shoot, and with RRS on the west coast and me on the east, I was able to call them and they fedex me one out the next day. That is why it is great to go w/ a company such as RRS and why it is beneficial to build relationships with your photographic companies that you purchase equipment from.
Val Yang: Why did you omit RRS BH-40. Seems to be similar to the ball heads to reviewed.
I too am a RRS customer and with all their attachments for their system I would think that would have qualified them for interesting and unusual ways to manipulate the ball. Their pano system is amazing for its accuracy in stitching images together in post.
paul simon king: why nothing from RRS?
Why is the comment about RRS financially supporting the campaign against gay equality in this thread? It troubles me that if you are serious with your comment that you don't support equality all the way around, why can't a person or a company have and support their own beliefs, which is an assault against freedom of speech and expression. If is to slip your own ideology then I am offended and the comment should be removed from this post.