Started Aug 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
acipriano Regular Member • Posts: 435
Re: RSS BH-55 LR vs PCL vs PCLR

Memory Leak wrote:

acipriano wrote:

Memory Leak wrote:

Memory Leak wrote:

I'd like to ask people who have experience with this ball head regarding their opinion as to which configuration is the best one.

My understanding is that the LR is the standard ball head with the release clamp. The PCL has the panning ability but lacks the clamp and uses a screw. The PCLR on the other hand seems like best of the both worlds with both having a release clamp but also having a panning ability. So in this case PCLR is the best one?

I was reading somewhere that the LR is the easiest one to operate or is it the other way around? Need some more info on this as my google search came up pretty much empty. I did find a few posts here and there about PCL but nothing about PCLR.

Also, while we are on the ball head subject, do you recommend the L plate or the regular plate. This will be used with 5d Mark III.

Do I need separate plates for my lenses as well (i.e. 300 2.8 II)?

First of all, yes, definitely get the L plate. Especially that you are going to be using a PCL. You are probably going to want to shoot your panorama shots with the camera mounted vertically.

I have Canon 5D Mk2. I use the RRS BH-55 with the PCL panning clamp and a nodal slide. It's important to mount the PCL on a ball head so you level the PCL clamp using the ball head instead of trying to level the legs of the tripod. To be absolutely precise and avoid parallax use a nodal slide on the PCL.

BTW I have the lever clamp on the ball head and have the screw clamp on the PCL.

Can I use the L plate with a big lens attached (like 300 2.8)? What if I want to do vertical shots with a lens like that? Also do I need the specific lens plate or can I use the mount that comes with the lens? Are there any advantages other than weight savings to buy a lens mount?

Yes. Your Canon 300mm 2.8 II comes with a collar, you need the plate. Your 300mm is too long to be supported by just the camera on the tripod.

You wont need a body L plate if the lens is mounted using the tripod collar. You'll be able to rotate the lens from horizontal to vertical within the collar. Without the L plate you will be limited on using other lenses on your body. Also be sure that your cable release has an L connector so it will clear the side of the plate when mounted vertically.

So if I understand this correctly, I need a separate plate for each heavy tele lens I use with the tripod plus I need the L plate for the camera.

Are any of these plates nice to haves? So assume I'll be getting BH-55 PCLR, is there anyway for me to just to mount the 5d Mark III as is? I'm trying to understand if the L plate is only for rotating.

Also, why can't just use the tripod mount that's on the 300mm lens? It seems like a big limitation to me that for everything you want to attach to a ballhead, you are stuck with buying a plate which can cost a ton of money (or is it a marketing gimmick?)

We are always a victim of marketing.  At least RRS uses the Swiss-Arca standard unlike others that have a proprietary mounting systems.

You could probably move the collar plate to collars of other long lenses.

Kirk makes plates for Canon that will probably mount on a RRS ball head clamp.  They might be a little less money.

All this is very expensive.  If you go in this direction you will need to prepare yourself for that.  I can assure you it is the best quality you can get.  I've been over to the RRS offices in San Luis Obispo, California.  Great staff and great products.

I never thought I would be spending as much as I have.  I've gone through so may tripods over the years.  They have all been lacking in some way.  When I switched to RRS and Gitzo I was done.

You have a 5DMk3 so you are serious about your hobby/profession.  You should be just as serious with the tripod.

I'm sorry I sound like a salesman.  I'm just a retired old guy that does photography as a hobby.  But I like the good stuff in my later years.  I'm not saving for anyone anymore.

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