Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head
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Old 04-25-2017   #1
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Default Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

I have a tilt and pan tripod head coming in a few days. The reason why is that no matter what I do with the ball head it "drifts" every time I try to set the composure of a shot, plus buying a higher end ball head is out of my budget. Any suggestions on the tilt and pan vs ball head stability or have you used both?

Thank you

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Old 04-25-2017   #2
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

I didn't find a major difference in "droop" with one or the other, but the pan and tilt sometimes has a bigger control "handle/knob" that lets you crank down a bit more than some ballhead knobs do. The tighter the better, but too tight is not good either. What you mounting on there that would cause droop, or are you shooting up or down a lot that helps gravity...?
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Old 04-25-2017   #3
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

I don't think the droop or creep is only found in ball heads. I've had cheap tripods with the tilt pan head and they always did what you describe. It got me so frustrated. I finally went ahead and bought a decent tripod, but with a ball head. I don't have the dreaded droop or creep anymore.

The problem is the mechanism itself. The cheaper mechanisms are simply not up to the job. Also you have to buy a tripod and head that is over engineered. You really have to add up the weight of everything you're putting on the tripod. So the weight of the camera, your grip and batteries, you're heaviest lens, your flash and all the accessories you'll use on it. Then whatever that weight is, you have to at least triple it. That's what the head needs to support. Don't buy a tripod or head that will not support at least that tripled amount of weight. If you don't do that, you'll continue to get the creep no natter which head up buy.

The other thing to consider besides creep/droop, is how smooth it is to adjust. I've had heads that were so finicky. I had to almost click it into place, and they would make that creeking sound too. Lol. The ballhead I have now is very smooth. I loosen it, set the camera in position, lock it down, and let go. That's it! Smooth to position, and it stays in place.

Good luck with your new set up!
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Old 04-30-2017   #4
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

Thank you, I agree on triple the weight....I'm mostly using my Nikon D3, which is a tank and my Nikon 105mm 2.8 and an SB900 Speedlight, so it is holding a lot of weight. I have the right tripod, I just have to take the ball head off to use the tilt and pan when I get it. Thanks again for the tips.
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Old 04-30-2017   #5
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

This is my everyday go to head and I have never had a creep issue with it. RRS - BH-55 Ballhead

Yes I know it is expensive, but I have been using it for YEARS and over time it has paid for itself. I don't have any heads sitting around that I a paid for that are unused.

A well engineered head will cost more, but will last a lifetime.
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Old 04-30-2017   #6
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

BH 55 is what I have as well. It's great.
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Old 05-01-2017   #7
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

Nice ball heads... I'll have to buy one down the road if the pan and tilt doesn't work out. I guess for a good ball head generally speaking usually are more expensive than the tripod itself.
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Old 05-01-2017   #8
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

That can often be true. The legs are generally about the material and finish. The design changes little nor does it need to.

With a ball head or any head the design, materials and manufacturing all change.

A good ball head will be as compact as possible while being robust in size. The lower the stem of the ball the lower the plate to the stable portion of the head. This provides more overall stability. Better grade materials with higher tolerances help with the stability and use. Individualized controls help ensure that each dedicated function operates at it's best.
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Old 05-01-2017   #9
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

I use both, and rather large versions, so no droop
or creep. A ball is more compact and portable but
I haven't found it to be faster. The one-lock set up
makes the initial aim-and-point very fast but then
the tweeking of leveling and framing is faster with
the pan tilt, cuz only one aspect moves at a time.

Despite a certain awkwardness from the single
global lock lever, I find the ball better for really
close work ... under a foot away, due to having
only a single axis of motion. Well almost single,
at least all motions occur closer to a single axis
as compared to the pan tilt. This might be cuz
my ball head is large, but my pan-tilt is huge.
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Old 05-01-2017   #10
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Default Re: Tilt and pan vs ball head tripod head

Quote:
Originally Posted by deerpark243 View Post
...no matter what I do with the ball head it "drifts" every time I try to set the composure of a shot...
I had the same problem with ball heads until I tired the Acratech Ultimate Ballhead. However, it was expensive (cost me $228 US for a used one).


Ball Head by Narsuitus, on Flickr


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