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  1. #1
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    Question Bogen Manfrotto 804RC2 Head - Stability?

    Hey All,

    I've been using various crappy tripods for a few years, mostly with fine results. My current quick release plate wobbles a bit, however, so now that I'm doing more critical night work, it's become a huge pain. Even in Mirror Up mode on my D700, when I'm working at 200mm, the shutter vibration is visible.

    In short, I need a much more sturdy head, and BH currently has a Bogen 804RC2 ballhead used for cheap. I'm wondering whether it'll be sturdy enough for the aforementioned situation. Anyone have any experience with it?

    Thanks,

    Joey
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  2. #2
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    Well, I can't speak to that particular head... I have the RC4 (I think?) pan and tilt, and the thing is a rock. My experience in general is that the Manfrotto/Bogen stuff is rock solid.
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    I'm new to tripods and just back from the focus show at the nec, i bought a Manfrotto 055 XPRO B and a 322RC2 joystick head, these are so solid and so easy to use, pay as much as you can afford, I was lucky to get a deal for 160 combined (rrp 250 ish)

    just looked at a pic of the head and it looks ok but not as chunky as I'd like
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    804RC2 isn't a ballhead.. I have a 486RC2, which is a ballhead and it's sturdy. If you're set on the 804, even though it's a pan/tilt, i'm sure it'll be solid enough. I played with one at the store and it seems good.

    Last edited by bhop; 03-04-2009 at 11:24 AM.

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    Yeah I have the 486 as well and it is solid. The QR locks in really tight and nice. Though the panhead would be really solid as well. If not more so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jshemuel View Post
    Hey All,

    I've been using various crappy tripods for a few years, mostly with fine results. My current quick release plate wobbles a bit, however, so now that I'm doing more critical night work, it's become a huge pain. Even in Mirror Up mode on my D700, when I'm working at 200mm, the shutter vibration is visible.

    In short, I need a much more sturdy head, and BH currently has a Bogen 804RC2 ballhead used for cheap. I'm wondering whether it'll be sturdy enough for the aforementioned situation. Anyone have any experience with it?

    Thanks,

    Joey
    If you want a pan/tilt head the 804 is decent enough for the weight it supports. (8lbs) The RC2 system is very popular due to the low cost of additional plates and the vast number of places you can pick up on if you need it.

    The one thing you don't indicate is what your price range is. That would help. I personally am not a big fan of the 486RC2 unless you are needing to save weight for something like backpacking. It has no pan feature and while it says it will support 13.2lbs, I have yet to see one with long glass on it that will not have a bit of lens dip once locked into place. Personally I would suggest the 488RC2 head which is rated for 17.5lbs and has a pan feature to it if you want to stay with Manfrotto.

    If however you are looking into a long term investment if this is a piece of equipment that will get a lot of use then I would suggest that you look into ball heads with the arca-swiss quick release system from places like Kirk, RRS, etc. They are going to be more expensive to be sure, but they also are going to have a stability, construction and ease of use that you just can't appreciate until you own/use one. They are heads that will last a lifetime of constant use.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gryphonslair99 View Post
    I personally am not a big fan of the 486RC2 unless you are needing to save weight for something like backpacking. It has no pan feature and while it says it will support 13.2lbs, I have yet to see one with long glass on it that will not have a bit of lens dip once locked into place.


    I'm not sure what you consider a "long lens" but the image I posted above is the Sigma 70-200 and it doesn't move at all.. I do admit, it would be nice to have a pan feature though.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bhop View Post
    I'm not sure what you consider a "long lens" but the image I posted above is the Sigma 70-200 and it doesn't move at all.. I do admit, it would be nice to have a pan feature though.
    That's a long lens as far as the post is concerned. The 486 I tried had a touch of camera dip to it when the ball was locked into place. The 486 compact ball head is just a bit too small for daily use IMO. The 488 provides more loading and more stability plus the pan feature. The 486 head can do the job, I just prefer more loading capacity and stability for general use.

    I will confess after using a 488 for a few years and now having this head, I'm a bit spoiled.
    http://reallyrightstuff.com/ballheads/BH55PRO.gif

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    I've reached the age where my brain went from "You probably shouldn't say that" to "What the hell, let's see what happens."

    Amateurs worry about equipment, professionals worry about time, masters worry about light.


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