Grip-release monopod ball head

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Doug Warner, May 28, 2005.

  1. Doug Warner

    Doug Warner Guest

    I thought I'd run this past the group and see if any one is
    interested.

    I wanted a ballhead that would let me loosen it for adjusting quickly
    without changing my grip and without removing my right hand from the
    camera controls.
    Originally, I thought the Bogen/Manfrotto 3265 grip action head would
    work, but when tilting the camera, it's entire weight swings on a 6"
    axis on the top of the monopod. It just didn't feel secure. Plus, it
    was very heavy, relative to my CF pod.
    Plus, when the camera is tilted to portrait position, the viewfinder
    drops about 13". which means I either had to adjust the monopod or
    bend over.

    So, after some modification, and removing as much metal as possible, I
    came up with this: http://webpages.charter.net/dwarner2/MonoBall.jpg

    My left hand holds the monopod steady, fingers on the lever, and my
    right hand is always on the controls. Adjusting takes just a quick
    squeeze, and the camera's swing axis in only about 2" now. The weight
    with the QR plate hovers between 1.3 and 1.4 lbs on my scale.

    Then, to see if I could lose even more weight, I did the same with the
    new magnesium 322rc2 head, and produced this:
    http://webpages.charter.net/dwarner2/MonoBall2.jpg

    Unfortutately, the new housing was already very light, and didn't have
    much metal that could be removed, so I couldn't remove nearly as much
    weight. (The only magnesium parts are the two shell halves and the
    ball cup.
    The end result was a weight nearly identical to the old one, and it's
    about 2" taller, Still, it does feel nicer in the hand.

    I lost the lever spring while disassembling it once, (cleaned my whole
    garage looking for it), so I have to order a new one. I'll probably
    sell the new one on ebay after I get the spring. Right now, it has a
    temporary smaller spring, which doesn't clamp the ball tightly enough.

    Yes, I tried the 322RC2 in it's intended horizontal position, but it
    was difficult to pick the whole camera / monopod up with it, without
    releasing it and grabbing the pod shaft itself. With the modified
    versions, lifting and moving is simple, and my left hand remains to
    steady the stick (except when zooming)..



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    Doug Warner, May 28, 2005
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