Manfrotto Head

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jbylake, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    :biggrin:I just recently ordered a Manfrotto tripod, and the 322RC2 head. The head came early this morning, so I got to do a lot of playing around with it today.

    It's this one: Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 322RC2 Grip Acti | 322RC2 | B&H

    I really am loving this head, especially suprised by the quality (so far) as it's in the low end of the price spectrum.

    Described as a "grip action" head, on various heads sites, the box calles it the "joystick short" model.

    What ever, I thing this thing just absolutely rocks. It's hefty, but is made out of magnesium to keep it light as possibles, but should be no problem tied to my back pack for excursions into the "boonies".

    The pistol grip lever, which locks it in the position you choose, is pretty stiff, but I believe that it will get easier over time. Another great feature is the quck release system. At first it appears to be just the average cantilever type of releas, but it's got a secondary safety pin that you can engage, easily, for added safety.

    The action is smooth and easy, with a dial that you can turn to adjust the tension of the action. However, even being smooth, it has had a tendancy to be a bit jerky a few times, but seemed to self resolve this as the day went on. I believe that this is just the newness of it, and it will work itself in.

    Mounted on the tripod, this camera can be rotated to about any position you could imagine, quickly and easily. One really cool feature is that you can unmount the camera, remove a couple of screws with a supplied allen wrench, and rather have the grip mounted left or right of the camera, you can actually mount it on the top, so that it looks like a "game" joystick with a camera mounted on top.

    To sum up:
    Pro's: It appears to be built like a tank, and manufacturing quality appears great. Very easy to pan, or lock the camera into about any position you could want. The locking grip locks the thing extremely tight and secure, and extra safety feature on the quick release was a nice touch.
    Finally price to quality and feature ratio. I think I paid $120 for mine, low in the spectrum but loaded with features and quality for the money, and apparent build quality.

    Con's: It's only rated for 5 kg (11lbs) load, so those with the super heavy really powerful telephoto's wouldn't be happy with it. It's rated for any thing from point and shoots to medium format.

    If you are interested in this "unique" design, you can see it and read more here: tripods, heads, monopods, light stands, camera supports, lighting supports, professional tripod 322RC2 - HEAVY DUTY GRIP BALL HEAD

    J.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It's hard to go wrong with Manfrotto.
     
  3. Eco

    Eco TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the review of the head, I was actually looking at one today.

    On another note, do the snap things that extend/lock the legs of their tripods ever loosen up over time? I looked at two model at Best Buy and several at my local camera store and all of them are stiff as a boy on his first date.

    Also, does it take a while to level the head and is there any sag with a heavy load?
     
  4. jbylake

    jbylake Dodging the Men in Black Supporting Member

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    I broke a Manfrotto once by abusing it. Never had any problems, otherwise.

    As for your second question, it's very easy to level the head quickly. As for a heavy load, I don't know. That particular head is only rated for 11 pounds. I believe it could handle,more, a lot more, but wouldn't bet an expensive camera on it.

    J.:mrgreen:
     

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