Author Topic: My Frankenhead  (Read 366 times)

CS

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My Frankenhead
« on: January 13, 2019, 22:47:31 »
I've been looking for a good price for a used monopod tilt head for awhile. I see good setups, but at prices higher than I want to pay. To be fair the ones that I've been looking at offer more than I need. I don't own large telephoto lenses, so I don't need to pay for a setup that supports them. Still I was looking at used in hopes of finding what I wanted, but, used models are scarce plus not on the inexpensive side when they do pop up.

Then I had some concern about friction on the head since I saw a lot of folks complain about the lack of it on the RRS model, claiming that it was basically on or off, lacking the ability to hold the head in place, but nudge it to or fro at will, before a final lock. I dunno how true any of this is, but in the $200 area used for one with a screw clamp, I didn't want to be disappointed.

RRS actually recommends the Manfrotto tilt head for people like me, albeit with one of their clamps. Then in my research I checked out Acratech clamps, and I was favorably impressed with them over the RRS models because of the built in spring loaded stainless steel detent pin that keeps a plate or L-bracket from sliding out of the clamp in the event that the clamp becomes loose.

So, I ordered the Manfrotto 234 head and the Acratech clamp from Amazon. Then I bought a wave washer for the Manfrotto tilt head lock, and now I have all of the friction control that I need for that head. The bottom line for all of the stuff was under $130, brand new, with the Acratech clamp having a 10 yer warranty. I've yet to try this setup out, but I expect to in the coming days.

Carl

CS

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Re: My Frankenhead
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2019, 00:57:35 »
Note to Seapy:

The Acratech screw release clamp has double start threads. They claim that the screws settings are stable, but include the stainless steel detent pin as insurance against the unexpected. Further, their version of the  more expensive lever (quick) release clamps have a lock on the lever. so that it cannot accidentally release. Beyond even that, the Acratech lever (quick) release clamp has a screw that allows you to adjust the jaws of the clamp size amenable to the various sizes of plates and L-brackets from various manufacturers, so that once adjusted to a particular size, the lever clamp needs no further adjustments. Very cool stuff, and a step, beyond RRS, IMO.
Carl

Seapy

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Re: My Frankenhead
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2019, 09:40:40 »
Thanks for that Carl, my purchaes are limited to cheapo Chinese knockoff's.  (To buy the number of top quality dovetail mounts, L brackets and heads I would need would rival the cost of my new D800!)  Some of the dovetail slides are twin start, it's not obvious when ordering which type they are.  Most if not all dovetail mounts have  a detent pin or screw to prevent any tendency to slide off the end of the dovetail mounting.  I think most lever clamps for dovetail mounts and slides are adjustable, but so far as I know they are not generally lockable.

I am still mainly on Manfrotto RC2 quick release clamps and they generally all have a safety lock which auto engages, except some of the earlier ones which you have to engage manually. While I would like to standardise on one or 'tother system but both have their advantages and individual places in my array of photography tools, they seem to work alongside each other reasonably well. For mounting cameras or lenses I actually prefer the Manfrotto RC2 mount, it latches in and positively clicks, a squeeze of the lever confirms it's locked in. I can securely mount a camera on a tripod in the dark with one hand with no worries, I don't think I could do that with a dovetail mount, it's a two handed operation.
Robert C. P.
South Cumbria, UK