Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

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Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby brutus123 on Sat May 24, 2008 12:54 pm

Has anyone got a ball head that they use sucessfully on both the pod and the Gorilla zoom?
I have read lots of articles where the Gorilla zoom seems to be used predominantly with a 484 RC ballhead and the monopod with the 234 RC. Can the 484 rc do double duty and how sucessful would the combos be?
Last edited by brutus123 on Sat May 24, 2008 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby gstark on Sat May 24, 2008 1:48 pm

I wouldn't let any sort of DSLR near a Gorillapod.

Except maybe something like a Sony :), where the resulting fall, crash, and ensuing damage would only serve to improve things.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby brutus123 on Sat May 24, 2008 6:15 pm

gstark wrote:I wouldn't let any sort of DSLR near a Gorillapod.

Except maybe something like a Sony :), where the resulting fall, crash, and ensuing damage would only serve to improve things.


I know its not the greatest "tripod" and won't replace the real thing but when you are travelling it is great. Very small and can be bent to fit anywhere in almost any bag or pocket.

I've had a Gorillapod SLR Zoom for a while now and it handles things pretty well and it is rated at 3kgs load. The only time I have had any issue is on a flat slippery surface (in which case the legs can tend to gradually slide out from under). This is easily fixed by a cord or velcro strap around the legs to stop the slide. The velcro also serves as insurance in other situations where you may have doubts and want to make absolutely sure there will not be any movement. But to date here has been no problems.

However, without a QR system I find it is a pain trying to attach the camera directly to the Gorillapod after setting up or trying to set up with the camera already attached. Hence the thought of a ball head with a QR plate. :D
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby aim54x on Sat May 24, 2008 7:48 pm

I cant see any problems with using the same head for both your Gorilla Pod and your monopod. I would probably go for the 484RC2 over the 234RC2 as this will give you more flexibility. The 484 is tiny, so it would be right at home on both these combos.

Have you considered the slightly meatier 486RC2? it is a little bigger, but when after using one last night, I found it very fiddly, but usable. I can only imagine the 484RC2 to be smaller and harder to use comfortably again.

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/bypass/pid/2302?livid=80&lsf=80&child=2 484RC2
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/bypass/pid/2304?livid=80&lsf=80&child=2 486RC2
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2375 234RC2

All of these heads will sit comfortably on top of both a Gorilla Pod SLRZoom and a 680 Monopod and all have decent weight recommendations.

However I am with Gary when it comes to the view on a Gorilla Pod, a SB-800 I would have no problems, but a SLR, I would not risk anything bigger than a D40/40x/60 or EOS400/450
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby gstark on Sat May 24, 2008 8:08 pm

brutus123 wrote:
gstark wrote:I wouldn't let any sort of DSLR near a Gorillapod.

Except maybe something like a Sony :), where the resulting fall, crash, and ensuing damage would only serve to improve things.


I know its not the greatest "tripod" and won't replace the real thing but when you are travelling it is great. Very small and can be bent to fit anywhere in almost any bag or pocket.


"bent" is absolutely the appropriate word to use here, because "bent" is how your camera will end up when you use a Gorillapod as a so-called support for it.

And "bent" is how you will feel when the Gorillapod has failed to do its job.

Just because it works once, or twice, or five or ten times, doesn't make it good. Id you want a lightweight travel tripod, grab a Manfrotto tabletop one. If you want to have something that grips poles and such, grab a manfrotto Superclamp.

And use the Gorillapod for its true purpose in life. Note the pretty colours: they're a big clue.


I've had a Gorillapod SLR Zoom for a while now and it handles things pretty well and it is rated at 3kgs load.


Yep. But be careful to not tread in the marketing; it really leaves a nasty smell.

The only time I have had any issue is on a flat slippery surface (in which case the legs can tend to gradually slide out from under).


I know a girl with the same problem. She's rated at about 45kg though. Somewhat less after a margie or three.

This is easily fixed by a cord or velcro strap around the legs to stop the slide. The velcro also serves as insurance in other situations where you may have doubts and want to make absolutely sure there will not be any movement.


So, you acknowledge that it fails to do the job, yet you defend it. How sweet.

Let me ask you a question: how many times do you want to pay for your gear? The best approach is to just pay the once. Buy what you need: buy stuff that will do the job, no questions asked. The Gorillapod looks pretty. It looks funky. It's great if you have a PHD; don't dare let it near any of my SLRs, because the risk is simply not worth it.

Hence the thought of a ball head with a QR plate. :D


On a gorillapod?

ROTFLMAO!
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby brutus123 on Sat May 24, 2008 10:21 pm

Gary,
Not too worried about the marketing hype/colours etc just as long as it does the job. With the exception of smooth flat surfaces (which I have solved with the strap), it does.

"Let me ask you a question: how many times do you want to pay for your gear? The best approach is to just pay the once. Buy what you need: buy stuff that will do the job, no questions asked. The Gorillapod looks pretty. It looks funky. It's great if you have a PHD; don't dare let it near any of my SLRs, because the risk is simply not worth it."

Seems like someone has had a bad day!!! Or a bad experience with a Gorillapod? Thats OK, I accept and agree with your suggestion that the cost of replacement of my gear far exceeds the price of this bit of support - 100%. Thats also why I have the velcro as insurance. But it does have some redeeming features -it is easily transported, does fit into virtually any bag and does enable steadier shots when travelling (without having to take a whole lot of bits with you) which really is the point of my question!

As I haven't used the Manfrotto tabletop I will check it out. Does it have any type of head attachment?

I'll also check further on the Manfrotto 486RC vs 484RC to use with the monopod. At this stage, I am leaning towards the 486RC.

As a newbie, all options happily considered. Thanks to both of you guys.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby aim54x on Sun May 25, 2008 12:59 am

The Manfrotto table top tripod?
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2605?livid=68&lsf=68&child=3 209
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2211?livid=68&lsf=68&child=3 709

Both appear to have small built in heads that do not have QR plate. I have never considered those, may be useful for travel, but 2kg max load (from Manfrotto) means it wont be too much use for my DSLR.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby adhoc on Sun May 25, 2008 2:47 am

I use the Manfrotto 234RC on my Manfrotto monopod. I find it quick and easy to adjust. The build is excellent and the adjustment knob is very smooth. And its cheap too!
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby shakey on Sun May 25, 2008 3:23 am

I use Markins emile ballhead on gorillapod SLR zoom and benro monopod. Here's a pic
D70, 70-200 VR on gorillathing

Image

When I got mine it only came in one colour :cry:
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby gstark on Sun May 25, 2008 8:39 am

brutus123 wrote:"Let me ask you a question: how many times do you want to pay for your gear? The best approach is to just pay the once. Buy what you need: buy stuff that will do the job, no questions asked. The Gorillapod looks pretty. It looks funky. It's great if you have a PHD; don't dare let it near any of my SLRs, because the risk is simply not worth it."

Seems like someone has had a bad day!!! Or a bad experience with a Gorillapod?


Neither. You have asked for advice; I'm giving it, and with the benefit of more than just a handful of moments behind, under, on top of, and around a camera.

People ask here, frequently, about glass. The advice offered is to buy what they eventually need, first up, because it's far less expensive to pay the PP1800 for a 70-200 first off, just once, rather than PP300, for this lens, then PP1100 for that lens, and then finally PP1800 for the 70-200 that they were advised to buy first up. They can then sell the dregs for around maybe 400 all up; you do the math.

People ask here, frequently, about tripods and heads. The advice offered is to buy what they eventually need, first up, because it's far less expensive to pay the PP1100 for something decent first off, just once, rather than PP290, for this one, then PP700 for that one, and then finally PP1100 for the kit that they were advised to buy first up. The dregs can't really be sold for anything worthwhile, and if they're lucky, they did NOT get a free set of legs when they bought their body at Ted's/Michaels/Fletchers/whomever, and have that body fall and damage itself when those free legs proved to be worth exactly what they cost. I'll, again, permit you to you do the math.

And people ask here, frequently, about camera bodies. Will the 40D be your final body? Do you aspire to a 1D of some ilk? I'll bet you do!

Now, if you happen to be of the opinion that your DSLR is safe when mounted on a Gorillapod, then I'm perfectly happy for you to enjoy your opinion. I will, however, remind you that we are a happy and friendly community, and you therefore have a duty to pass around whatever it is that you're smoking. Play nicely with others, and share. :)

However, we frequently roadtest this sort of shit - all manner of shit - and we come to conclusions about the shit that we play with. Some shit is good shit, and we happily advise people to spend their money on the good shit. Other shit is .... just plain shit. And bad shit ... well, it just smells like shit.

Thats OK, I accept and agree with your suggestion that the cost of replacement of my gear far exceeds the price of this bit of support - 100%. Thats also why I have the velcro as insurance.


And you have totally missed the point! See my comments above: is your 40D going to be your final purchase of a camera body? What happens if/when you buy a bigger or heavier body? At some point, the cutesyness of the gorillapod is going to get on your nerves. More significantly it's going to just bloodywell fail. Hopefully it won't damage something along the way. Or, it will simply no longer meet the needs of your body, because you'll have a heavier body that exceeds its optimistic specifications.

At that point in time, you will again be faced with purchasing a small, lightweight tripod, because your all-singing, all-dancing Gorillapod will need to be confined to a back shelf at home, because it doesn't do the bloody job!

Look beyond today; look beyond tomorrow: look at your needs in three or four years' time. It's way cheaper.

But it does have some redeeming features -it is easily transported, does fit into virtually any bag and does enable steadier shots when travelling (without having to take a whole lot of bits with you) which really is the point of my question!


The Manfrotto comes with a small ballhead and just works. Period.It's smaller. Lighter. Folds smaller. Far sturdier. You're taking all manner of extra bits, by your own admission, to help the gorillapod do its job. Why bother?

As I haven't used the Manfrotto tabletop I will check it out. Does it have any type of head attachment?


See above. It will not disappoint.

As a newbie, all options happily considered. Thanks to both of you guys.


As a newbie, please do listen to the advice offered here. Several of us have in excess of thirty years' experience, and the advice is offered freely. It may not be what you might expect, it may not be what you might like to hear, but it will be good advice.

We have all been through the buy-cheap, pay-many-times scenario, and we have all found that the most expensive way to acquire quality camera equipment is to buy cheap stuff.

You do the math! :)
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby gstark on Sun May 25, 2008 8:52 am

aim54x wrote:The Manfrotto table top tripod?
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2605?livid=68&lsf=68&child=3 209
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2211?livid=68&lsf=68&child=3 709

Both appear to have small built in heads that do not have QR plate. I have never considered those, may be useful for travel, but 2kg max load (from Manfrotto) means it wont be too much use for my DSLR.



These are the ones. The 709B includes the ballhead, and it's a great unit. The 2kg is realistic and conservative; we have successfully mounted a D70 with a 70-200VR on a 709 and it was rock solid. I would happily and comfortably use a 709 under my D300 and 80-400VR.

The Gorillapod's 3kg is pure marketing hype. I wouldn't even consider a D40 safe with a gorillpod under it.

If you're wanting a support for greater weight, but still in need of portability, consider a small beanbag. Seriously. To support heavy weight you need to have substance of some sort. That's pure physics, and you cannot escape that.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby Biggzie on Sun May 25, 2008 1:15 pm

Im with Gary ... Buy good the first time & save the hassles.
My tripod is a Manfrotto that I inherited from my Dad ... well to be honest I was alway flogging it when he was alive. This tripod would have to be at least 30 years old. The Head is starting to fail with the weight of my 500mm and sometimes lets loose, so I dont trust the head when that lens is on anymore, but it is going strong otherwise. (it also doesnt go as low as I like for macro work)
Im in the process of updating right now.
I just bought the 680b with the 234RC mainly to use with my 500mm. I went for the 234 because I only want up & down tilt on my Monopod. Im thinking seriously about the 190Pro or 055Pro Legs with the 488RC head for my replacement tripod to get down low for macro work and Ive been also thinking the 709 legs with the 484RC head would be excellent for macro. (I havent checked to see if the 484 will fit these legs yet)
My other idea is to add a 488RC head onto my Table/Window Clamp to give it more flexability and to add the quick release plate.
Im trying to update what Ive got and fill in the gaps where my gear is lacking at the moment for what I want to do.

I also seriously looked at the Gorillapod, but I just dont trust it. I played with a friends with their PS and found it a pain in the arse to use.
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Re: Ballhead for Manfrotto 680b monopod & Gorillapod SLR Zoom

Postby brutus123 on Sun May 25, 2008 5:15 pm

Thanks guys for the input (particularly you Gary). On reflection and having considered the very good advice provided, I think I'll consign the Gorilla to use with my wife's P&S and check out the Manfrottos at the local store.
I have a bean bag as well, but it has its use and place for certain times as I'm sure you know.

Seems like the 680b with the 234 combo is quite popular as well!

Advice much appreciated.
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