qwertyasdf: This review is only for gearheads.
you could argue that any test of ballheads around 35~40mm diameter would be much better, considering this is where some 80% maybe 90% of Arca-type ball heads sell (my own guesstimate, might be wrong of course).
but this is a nice comparison of different ball head designs and manufacture processes plus some general observations and comparison of those solutions... with some grain of salt but you can extrapolate those to smaller ballheads which are more mainstream and closer to "average user" than pure gearhead...
I kinda disagree on opinion about dual knobs in case of Benro B3. yes, at first it might look confusing, but I've used the smaller sibling ballhead B1 with the same design and the dual knobs come very handy in real life compared to this small integrated screw like i.e. Sirui.
the advantage of dual knob is the ease of adjusting the tension - which is very important when switching from wide angle lens, which requires very little tension, to long telephoto where much stiffer movement is preferred. dual knob allows quick and very easy adjustment of tension. integrated screw is not so easy to use, especially in winter or when operating in uncomfortable setting (swamp)...
it might look confusing for someone deciding on purchase but once you get used to this dual knob system it is actually more convenient and very handy.
I've had Benro B-1 for about 2 years, now have Sirui K-30x for about the same period. with 17-40 up to 300/4 lenses. I still think dual knob is more convenient
Steve Balcombe: I'm very happy for Nikon owners - at last they have a lens which will hopefully equal Canon's 70-200/4L IS.
Of course, many of us on the Canon side have now switched to the equally good and much more versatile 70-300L...
> the 70-300 L is nowhere near the 70-200 f4 L IS opticallyexcuse me? I've had them directly compared (own the 70-300L, friend of mine has 70-200/4 IS) and both are equally good. that coincides with other tests I know.
> especially at the long end where like most 70-300 lenses it is softerwhat long end? 300mm? 70-200 has none such AFAIK. and at 200mm... might be just 2 lenses I compared or the other pairs other testers did... but it nevertheless says both lenses are about as good at 200mm from f/5.0 on.
> the 70-300 L is still a slower variable aperture zoom so I'm not sure why it would be more versatilesome people need longer focal lengths than 200mm. if you want to cover the range 70-300 differently with 70-200 and something - then it's way less versatile. 70-300L has it all in one package. obviously.
marike6: The tripod collar for the Canon EF 70-200 is about the same price so I'm not sure where all the outrage is coming. A matched tripod collar, contrary to several comments below is NOT a $10 item, but a milled aluminium, fitted clamp and foot.
Go check RRS and Kirk collars you'll see they are also $200.
Unless you shoot handheld 99% of the time, it makes sense to get a proper tripod collar. They make switching to vertical much easier, your ballhead won't creep when pointing down as much, and your setup will be less vibration prone.
a decent, metal Canon ring type A replacement from China costs around $25 and works perfectly fine with Canon's 70-200/4's or even the 300/4 (old nonIS version for the record) which is bigger and heavier than this Nikkor 70-200/4.
so, yes, it is not a $10 item (plastic rings sell for this price and they are not good at all, agreed), but let's not pretend $200 is reasonable price. it's an outrage. Nikon ppl will probably have no choice in the beginning but I can hardly see people buying Nikon's genuine tripod rings once good Chinese people figure out how to make those properly - and I thinkg it'll take less than 3 months.
I've paid €150 for Canon's genuine tripod ring C for 70-300L because there was no choice. I still think (almost 2 years later) this price is an outrage and would absolutely, hands down, but a decent chinese ring if such was available back then.
and yes, I'm a regular tripod user, Arca system, L-bracket, etc.