Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Great value for money BUT not Arca compatible
on 8 May 2014
This ball head is fantastic value for money (I paid £22.28 from Amazon S.A.R.L). The maximum load capacity of 5KG which is enough for the majority of people on a tight budget. If you need a higher loading capacity, be prepared to pay over 100 approaching 200 GBP for such a head. For this price and loading capacity it is adequate.
The ball head comes with three (3) major controls, a ball head locking clamp knob, an arca swiss dovetail plate clamp knob (and associated press safety release button) and panoramic release knob.
So major features are ball head free orientation and portrait slot (but I would recommend you use an Arca compatible L-plate as to keep the camera body balanced on the center of the tripod rather than move weight to the side for portraits, however, this ballhead is NOT arca compatible, it is wider than arca compatible L-plates), panoramic rotation and camera body/lens plate with safety feature.
I searched the internet for a good ball head on a tight budget, after many reviews including watching reviews on YouTube, I decided on this one. I am very happy with this, it has a good decent weight to it.
You may need a thread adapter if your tripod legs head is not 3/8", some are 1/4" (for example, the Horizon 8115 that I mount 25x100 binoculars on is 1/4" thread) but most photographic tripods should be 3/8" attachment.
Check out Ex-Pro 1/4'' to 3/8'' Threaded Nuts for Tripod, Light Stands and Digital SLR [5 Pack] for appropriate adapters, these are made from STEEL and not Aluminum as others are so should reasonably strong.
NOTE: This ball head is not arca compatible, it is too wide to hold an arca compatible L-plate, which is unfortunate as it is a great little ball head.
This ballhead has a steeper bevel, arca swiss should be about 45 degree angle, this ball head is a steeper angle, also the dovetail on this ball head is 43.4mm wide, an arca swiss is generally 38mm. This ball head has not enough adjustment to tighten to a 38mm arca swiss plate.
If Hahnel make this Arca-Swiss compatible, they have a killer budget product on their hands. It only takes a few angles correct and a few millimeters of tightening. Not much to ask really.
If you need Arca compatiblity (which is something we should all have to get access to a greater range of accessories), Kaavie Full Metal Ball Head with Quick Release Plate and has a similar loading capacity and price.
So why low rating, well, because
1) Not Arca Swiss compatible, to have a head or accessory that is not compatible with todays and future products, screams lock in and ignoring the after market or bad design.