Max load: 19kg (41 lbs)
The feisol CB-50H ball head, at $179 is more expensive than the 3402n tripod legs (at $165) :-) Even so, I needed a good ball head that would also have a panning feature, since I take a lot of panoramas. This head seemed perfect. Here is a look.
The knobs need to be 'set up'. The smaller friction knob needs to be set only once - it defines how smoothly your ballhead will move when loose. When you only need the ball-head, use the largest knob. When you need horizontal axis rotation but nothing else, use the middle knob. This takes some getting used to, to set up the relationships between the knobs. Once you get how each knob behaves, you are in business. As you see, the ball head also has that nice brushed CF look and looks very professional.
Here is a look at the mount point for the ballhead.
You need to unscrew the knob to slide in the camera with the QR plate. Feisol provides a safety button which according to feisol, you should press to mount the camera. However, in my experience, that safety button is useless, you can mount the camera without pressing the side button, as the weight of the camera anyway pushes the top button down making the side button redundant. If you have a lighter camera (I have the 20D) it may be useful. Be careful with this knob. If you unscrew it too much it will pop off completely! The first time it happened I got psyched - easy to screw back in, but unnerving. Another look at the ball head with the mount point slid down.
Correction: When you unscrew the clamp, it does not fall off easily. What happens is that one side of the clamp that moves in/out as you loosen/tighten the knob aligns itself to the rest of the clamp resting on two springs. The moving part of the clamp (attached to the knob) is not attached, but is simply resting on the springs. So, if you unscrew too much, the clamp attached to the knob goes too far out and goes out of alignment with the rest of the clamp. You then need to re-align it. It is still attached to the clamp, but out of alignment. It is possible, however, to completely unscrew the long knob screw.
I bought the QP-17750 QR plate along with the ball head. It is worth mentioning that based on specs, the QR plate the CB-50H plate mount is not standard. So you may not be able to use standard QR plates with this ball head. Specs Here
The ball head looks very cool and is easy to use. It may take you some time to figure out how each of the 3 knobs behave relative to each other though. However, this is a one time learning :-) The pan lock is very useful for those who want to shoot panoramas along with ball head convenience. I did not like the fact however, that the mount plate knob can unscrew completely. Feisol should have put in some bolt at the other end that made sure the knob did not come off if you unscrewed it totally. Also, if you are concerned about the non-standard plate mount/size, make sure you verify the specs and if it's for you.
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