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KPS Research and Design is a Korean company that specializes in small-volume, highly engineered photography equipment. All of these heads come with a pin to constrain motion to a single axis, which KPS calles the GimBall pin, in a playful combination of gimbal and ball head nomenclature. Even without this feature, there are aspects of the G5D that make it a very well designed piece of support equipment. Every head in this series has a hollow ball with four holes punched through Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 along two axesto mate with the two holes on either side of the case of the head when the GimBall pin is inserted.
A stainless steel pin is threaded through the ball and case, acting as an axle for the ball to rotate on a single axis, while the panning base provides a second axis of movement. When the knobs are 90 degrees apart, one leg will invariably hit a knob and stick out when packed up. The degree offset of the KPS design puts both knobs out of the way, and the very slim base also contributes to a compact package on these increasingly common tripod models.
The G5D GimBall head does not disappoint in terms of fit and finish, with a matte black, hard-anodized finish on the case, and a glossy-coated aluminum ball, equally finished in a deep black. In fact, the whole head has a dense and premium feel to it, despite the rather conventional looks. Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 an otherwise conventional design, the G5D has tried and true ergonomics. The degree separation of the these knobs allows for reverse-folding tripod legs to easily close around the head, maintaining its very compact profile, even when stowed.
This arrangement is fairly common because it works well, and limits the need to reach around or take a hand off the camera to adjust things. This means there is no change in the maximum load the head can carry, either with or without the pin in use.
While the GimBall pin is a wonderful and practical idea, it also hinges pun intended on not losing that small steel rod. KPS has added a threaded slot in their D-type quick release to store the pin. KPS also pioneered an ultra slim quick release plate system that relies on clamping their custom Oaken Leaf Polka - Lee Roy Matocha - By Special Request at two inner channels, instead of the outer channels of an arca-type plate.
In a nod to compatibility, KPS provides a way for their M-type clamp the center screw knob platform to be retrofitted to accept arca-type plates. Unfortunately, the very nice V-type lever and cam release is currently only compatible with the KPS slim plates, but a DV release is coming to bring lever-action arca compatibility. Aside from the obvious similarities in size and country of manufacture, the KPS and Markins heads also share an extremely smooth and capable ball motion.
One area where they differ is in the resistance of the main locking knob. The KPS G5D knob gets progressively harder to turn as it approaches a locked state, and seems to have a shorter throw, which means Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 tiny bit less precision for the amount of friction applied to the ball.
When a heavy load of camera equipment is mounted on the G5D, the smoothness does not decrease or become rough and sticky. Even with the GimBall pin installed there is no change in the smooth Anders Börje - Katinka / Vi Segla På Ett Litet Moln (Shellac) of the ball in that axis. Another nice touch is the very smooth and fluid motion of the G5D panning base.
Many heads opt for a very thick and stiff grease on the pan base to allow for slower, more precise pans, but the KPS head moves a little bit faster and easier, with just enough resistance to prevent spinning. Arturo Toscanini And NBC Symphony Orchestra - Sinfonia N.
6 In Si Min., Op. 74, Patetica testing out the GimBall pin, both a smaller mm zoom lens 1. The vertical motion was much stiffer due to the lack of a perfectly balanced lens and camera setup, which required increased friction. Once a smaller lens was used, even without a weight-balancing lens plate, the smoothness of the ball and the pan base worked in concert to provide a very nice pan and tilt head.
While the screw knob on the supplied quick release is very cross-compatible with the varying width of plates from different manufacturers, it has an agonizingly fine thread.
This means 4 to 5 complete revolutions of the knob to go from fully open to accept a plate from aboveto completely locked and secure. Compared to the screw knob action on the other heads in this group, which range from 1.
As mentioned above, the lever action quick release that KPS currently provides as an option is strictly for their own, proprietary slim plates. For those who work quickly or change cameras and lenses frequently, that Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 DV lever release platform cannot come soon enough. Adjusting the position of this large lens required very little effort, even with the substantial amount of friction applied to keep the lens from slipping.
The G5 GimBall showed a Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 amount of sag in between shots taken 30 seconds apart, with an average change of just 0. After the friction knob was turned to lock the ball, there was a relatively minor shift of 3. This says the head can definitely Je Men Sors - Mathieu Johann - Le Bonheur, Ça Fait Mal large loads, but critical framing may not always be preserved on locking.
The panning Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 knob was completely unlocked, then re-locked to hand-tightness. With the ball locked and the tripod braced, a long lens plate was used as Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 lever to torque the panning base. The panning base of the KPS head remained solidly locked, even as the tripod underneath it started to creak.
Once locked, there is little chance of accidentally or intentionally rotating this head. While the controls of the KPS G5D Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 little new ground, operation them with Guernesey - William Sheller - Chemin De Traverse, winter gloves on was occasionally frustrating.
Caution should naturally be Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6 to insure that snow, sand or dust does not build up in either the case holes or Oubliette - Weekend - Jinx (Vinyl, Album) the ball itself, since these are always open to the elements.
While the KPS G5D may look, at first glance, like almost every other basic-black ball head out there, that conventional appearance belies some well-thought out engineering within. On top of that, the simplicity of the GimBall pin provides a very convenient and cost-effective way to turn this high quality ball head into a gimbal-like device or a 2D pan and tilt head.
I appreciate seeing the results of the "sag and lock" test. Shooting a long lens on a fixed target can be most frustrating using an inaccurate or sloppy ball head. My Acratech Ultimate has seem a lot of work in the Slim Keith Smith* - Keep Walking twelve years I am considering to go to a GP ballhead in the next couple of years Thanks for the comparison. Good reviews of alternative ball heads.
I am tempted to buy the Acratech GP to replace my 3 legged thing airhead which I find isn't quite up to level I need now days. At full lock the pan can still slip and it does so easily with a little force. I have had it checked twice and have been told this is how it is by design.
Contrary to the report it does not lock tightly before reaching its end, even when I twist the knob hard till it stops. The ball head itself is silky smooth and gorgeous and it 'does' lock tight well before the Krawl - Weyrd Son - DR6but not so the pan. The look, materials and finish of the ball head are stunning and I am disappointed the about the pan lock situation. I have also issues with the quick release system. It has a screw to lock the plate onto the camera Nikon D and this loosens very quickly.
Sadly it does not have a screw with a ring to allow you to tighten it with your hand, rather you need a screw driver. I would be interested to hear if anyone else who owns this has issues with the pan lock and quick release plate. I own the FLM 43, and as a product photographer I couldn't be more pleased. I don't use most of the features it supplies, but I trust this company to give me a quality product. That's really what it comes down to for most people, trust in the product.
I'm wondering if these pricey bits of tripod icing will yield better images. I've been shooting for almost 50 years under all sorts of conditions and have only found need for the precision that these ball heads provide in the scientific, time-lapse, or possibly panoramic areas.
For most other work, any tripod head that can easily re-adjust and lock securely works for me. With image stabilization, both in-body and in-lens, I'm also lately using tripods less and less. This isn't to disparage those who are regular customers for precision ball heads I'm sure you know what you need, or have been told that you need If you think about it, quality heads and tripods are the only photo products that are a one-time purchase and never replaced by anything significantly better, at least since the introduction of carbon fiber.
Today's state of the art digital camera will be replaced with an upgraded model within 18 months. I've been using the UniqBall 35 for some time, the control for the main ball broke after a few months - possibly my fault, replaced within 48 hours. This is a very positive tendency to test a wider range of equipment, not merely the cameras. I am however somewhat stunned that the testers have not recognized just how It is a ball head and a leveling plate in one, quite extraordinary in practice for panning and tilting.
Ingenious like the legendary Rubic Cube. In my opinion, a special mention would be in place. Correction: I just spotted a special mention for most innovative design in the summary, my fault that I have not spotted it prior to writing this comment. Nothing from Manfrotto or Gitzo, two of the best known tripod makers?
I think you nailed it right there. Maybe I'm being thick here, but I don't quite get your irony. OK, you were reviewing ballheads, NOT tripods. Why didn't they include a Manfrotto ball head? I'd like to find one on the and ball heads in particular. Wonderful combination to work with and very fast and intuitive. It is reasonably priced, very sturdy with lenses that are not too heavy I use it with my, macro and f4.
Have used it on F4S, D2x, and now on my D That's why I'm surprised to see the FLM tested here, as it's just a shrunken version of the Centerball I was happy to see the KPS and Acratech here, and I hope future reviews visits some more of the lesser known brands and interesting designs. I know we'll probably be visiting small ball heads next, but I think we could use one more medium sized shoot out.
That's where there seems to be the most interest. Markins has always been a favorite brand which I was glad to see included here. Did you see the previous ball head review "battle of the titans"? The BH was reviewed there. IMHO ballheads are inferior to orthogonal heads, i. Pan and tilt or gimbal heads, especially in combination with leveling bases.
Mark: any plans to compare orthogonal heads? It depends on what you need to do. And an upside-down ballhead levels for panning in one step without the bulk and weight of a leveling base.
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