If you would have asked me last week, “Which ball head should I get for serious landscape photography?”, I would tell you to get the Really Right Stuff BH-55.
That may have just changed.
I noticed a very interesting ball head in an article on luminous-landscape.com, (yeah, the Optimus Prime -looking thing looks cool, but I mean the little one near the end, the Markins look-alike) so I checked it out and was impressed enough to place an order and try it. I had a hard time finding a distributor, but I found one and placed my order.
I received my Photo Clam PC-33NS ball head today, and I’m beyond impressed. Every movement is smoother than the BH-55, and the tension on the ball seems smoother and easier to adjust.
Here’s the skinny:
The BH-55 weights 1.86 pounds(843g), but the PC-33NS weighs 10.9 ounces (310g).
The BH-55 is rated for 50 pounds (23kg), but the PC-33NS is rated for 66 pounds (30kg).
The BH-55 is $415, but the PC-33NS is $179.
Much lighter, much stronger, much smoother, and much much lower cost – what’s not to like? I haven’t gotten it out into the field yet, but so far it’s not looking good for the BH-55. Yeah, I know, I’m shocked too. I could go order the PC-54NS and have a similar-sized replacement, but have a much stronger and smoother ball head for about $80 less. Anyone want to buy a BH-55 with the Pro-II clamp? 🙂 For crying out loud, you could mount the Hubble Telescope on the PC-74NS!! It’s rated for 220 lbs (100kg) for the same price as the BH-55.
What I don’t get is the 33mm ball vs. the 55mm ball. Shouldn’t a larger ball be stronger and smoother?
Anyway, go order one from Kerry right now, and tell him I sent you. I have yet to deal with a nicer photo gear supplier.
You know, I don’t really mean for this blog to become a gear review site, but I’m posting most of my images on my 365 project site lately. I’ll write something better soon, I promise.