Last month I reviewed the Fiesol carbon fiber ballhead. It was a excellent ballhead at a very reasonable cost. This month we are looking at the other extreme in cost on ballheads . The Really Right Stuff BH-55 ballhead. This is a USA made ballhead where no stops were left unturned to make the best of the best. The below photo shows the basic BH-55 as it comes in the box. You can get various configurations in Arca clamping systems but the bullheads themselves are identical.
As you can see the clamping sytem is a knob type to hold Arca style mounting plates. My choose was the BH-55 PCPRO configuration. This configuration changes the clamping system to a horizontally clamp system which allow easier leveling for Pano work ( This will be explaned later). I also choose the knob as the means to tighten or loosen the camera plate. I just feel better about that. They do however offer a quick release lever to do the same thing and many prefer this configuration. See Really Right Stuff for the different options and choose the one that works best for you. http://www.reallyrightstuff.com/Shop/BH-55-Full-Size-Ballhead/BH-55-PCLR-Full-sized-ballhead-with-PC-LR-clamp.html
The ballhead itself is one of the best machined peices of equipment I have seen. It is tough, weather resistant and great looking all at the same time. It can hold 50lb with ease, which means it will hold any photographic equipment you can through at it.
The head will offer 45 degrees of tilt in all directions. And unlike any other head I have ever worked with, It offers 90 degrees in two directions. Most other heads only supply one 90 degree slot.
This give way to additional flexibility you just don't get with other ballheads.
The large machine knob allows a firm grip for tightening the main ball. The smaller knobs, also machined control the horizontal panning as well as adding tension to the main ball. The smallest knob works in concert with the large knob to set a minimum resisitance on the ball joint at all times. This mean when you set up your camera, the head can be adjusted to the camera weight so it won't flop over as you loosen the main knob.
My choice of the pan release clamp gives one additional horizontal control. This is nice because you can level the camera on the clamp and its pans perfectly level without trying to level a three legged tripod. Leveling setups become a breeze.
Once the main head is balance above the ball, bingo instant level all positions of rotation of the head.
All position marks are lazer etched so wear should not be a problem with long term use.
In my view, this is the best ballhead on the market. The cost of this head varies from $355.00 to $595.00 depending on the clamp option picked. My setup was $575.00 as shown.
Check it out and other great products at www.reallyrightstuff.com
We are coming up on our Birding event. Want ot learn how to photograph birds in flight. how to use fill flash on wildlife. Join us for the event below this exciting event.
Review by clicking on the link below for full details
Educate - Inspire - Entertain