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on September 18, 2011
With photography tools you normally save a little money and you unfortunately get what you paid for. I was pleasantly surprised this product breaks that mold. I bought this because it was cheaper than the Gitzo ones which are usually upper two to three hundred dollars. I was expecting it to not be as good and I honestly can honestly say this thing is built like a tank but handles like a sports bike! Easy to adjust all the knobs. The quick release is very sturdy and easy to use. I have used it with my DSLR and a very heavy lens without any shaking or movement issues. I don't think there is any camera lens combo that this couldn't support.

Update Jan 2014:
This guy is still going strong and working well. We don't use it a HUGE amount but fairly often and its still seems just as tough as when we got it.
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on March 12, 2012
I know what your thinking... a ball head for $45?!?!?

I thought the same thing, I don't know if I want to put $3000 worth of equipment on a $45 piece of metal... Well I have quite a collection of tripods and tripod heads and this can compete! The build is amazing. The head has a good feel in your hand, the build is solid and nothing rattles. The tripod plate has like many tripod plates a safety lock so the plate does not slip out on accident.

This tripod has 3 knobs. The knobs are covered with a rubber ring that provides sufficient grip to turn the knob. Each one turns smoothly and effortlessly. This particular head allows you to control the tension of the ball which is nice most of the cheap ball heads only have one control for the ball mechanism. The tension control is good and does its job providing enough tension on the ball to not allow it to slop but the tension control is not as good as some other ballheads I have.

Another feature that this ball head has is a Fluid drag pan control. this was another reason why I purchased it. I just recently built a camera slider for a video i will be doing and wanted a strong ball head that provided a fluid pan so I can pan while the camera is on the slider. This ball head really provided everything I was looking for. Its very fluid and easy to move while on the slider. Its not as easy as a fluid head because it lacks a handle but I didnt want a handle because of the different angles I wanted to achieve on the slider. After a few practice runs on my slider I get extremely fluid video.

I am very happy about my purchase and this tripod head has exceeded my expectations. I thank amazon for their amazing communication and shipping. I was really happy to see Amazon carry this item.
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on February 14, 2012
I bought this unit because it's much cheaper than a comparable Gitzo or Manfrotto unit.
I was pleasantly surprised by the finish and the overall build quality. It is very stable in holding my camera with heavy zoom lens attached. The knobs are conveniently designed and placed. If you have other tripods that doesn't have 3/8 inch screw base, you will need a 3/8 to 1/4 adapter.

NOTE: This unit is NOT compatible with Arca-Swiss type quick release system.
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on May 5, 2012
The two previous reviews influenced my purchase decision. The item was delivered yesterday and I installed it on my Gitzo tripod. I'm an amateur but peripherally worked as a pro while a foreign correspondent for a massive publishing company. Leica, Linholf, Zeitz, Hasselblad gear was piled all around me for 16 years. I appreciate quality and can recognize it.

I had to get on a pro forum to learn how to detach my old Bogen 3047 head. Once that was accomplished the new Ball Head went on in less than a minute. I am impressed with the good engineering and the build. I have yet to use it with a heavy lens on my Nikon D7000, but this piece of gear is well designed. Great fine control of friction on the ball with a larger knob, and simple ball lock with a smaller knob on the other side.

The previous reviewers echoed my suspicion that you get what you paid for. $42 seems a little scary. But, as with them, this Fancier brand ball head is a pleasant surprise. And if, as one of them said, it has a fluid control for panning, then it is nothing short of amazing. No brochure or instructions come in the box. And no source or dealer network who can sell additional quick release mounting plates if needed. Welcome to China! Nice box, though.
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on September 20, 2011
I've owned the Arca-Swiss ball head that this model was copied after for 1/10th of the Arca-Swiss price!

Unfortunately, the quick release bracket is designed such that it will not close enough to grasp an Arca-Swiss standard bracket. This is too bad because everyone else makes their brackets to the standard size.

After considerable work with a file on the aluminum mechanism such that the jaws of the clamp could close tightly onto the Arca Swiss brackets so, I was able to get it to fit my Arca brackets and this is why I gave it two stars.

I've used the ball head extensively for the last couple of months and it loosened up. Further investigation revealed that thee are three philips screws that attach the base plate to the ball head (for panning) and that these had loosened up. It was a simple matter of tightening them and the looseness was removed. I'm not sure why they didn't apply any lock-tite coating to these screws?

For the money, it is an exceptional value and with a little ingenuity an elbow grease, it has become a great asset in my photo gear.
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on May 3, 2013
The only reason for me to purchase this was to use it for panoramic shots (horizontal panning).
Otherwise I already have a pistol-grip ballhead. But I can't do isolated horizontal panning with it.
I have an Olympus OM-D EM-5. Very light camera.
When I received this "Pro Heavy Duty" Fancier ballhead, I was quite surprised.
This thing is quite big and heavy. You don't realize that by looking at to online product pictures.
It weighs 21 oz. So quite some added weight for my 37 oz carbon-fiber tripod...

But the biggest down-side was horizontal movement. It's quite stiff, even when the adjustment screw completely backed off.
If you have a heavy weight D-SLR and a heavier tripod; probably that horizontal friction won't be a show stopper for you.
But for my feather-weight duo of Olympus OM-D and carbon-fiber tripod; I was surely going to be fighting with it all the time.
I didn't need that for my panoramic shots. Being a service guy myself; I jumped in to dismantling it right away.
I'll suggest you to do the same thing (obviously only if you have required DIY skills) :

- On the bottom side; remove 3 black screws.
- Pull that black bottom cover out. You'll also take out a spring.
- Underneath you'll see a soft-white metal plate (looks like some aluminum compound) being held with 6 white screws. Remove them.
- Take out that white metal plate. In the middle of it; you'll see that there is an inner piece from the same metal. So how it works is; the outer disc is fixed and inner disc rides on it as you pan the head. It's so simple and primitive that the manufacturer didn't bother to put a small bearing to ensure smooth-consistent movement. To make it worst; they used some quite tacky lubricant all over. So you are actually fighting against that thick lubricant.
- Using a tissue, completely wipe that lubricant off (only from two inner surfaces where inner and outer discs make contact).
- Now you'll need a can of white lithium grease (buy a can version which is thinner than heavier duty tube versions). Spray some on to a piece of folded tissue paper (do not spray directly on to discs or in to ballhead assy). Now using that tissue; apply that white lithium grease on to same two surfaces that you wiped out the heavier gunk out).
- Put everything back in same order. After putting back 6 white screws - pay attention and pull the inner disc to bottom with your finger (before putting back the black cover that you removed first). As you'll notice; (thanks to it's primitive design) that inner-disc is totally loose in it's place. So you need to manipulate it with your finger (also make sure that it's not angled in the hole - otherwise it'll jam) - before putting back last 3 black screws.

At the end; I have a silky-smooth horizontal movement now.

So all-in-all; it's an OK product (considering what you pay for it).
I checked reviews for so many similar products, before deciding on this one.
For me; it'll serve to it's intended basic purpose.

If you look at to high-end ballheads (Arca-Swiss and what not); they are between $1K - $2K.
One can buy a brand new car for $10K. Talk about perspective...

So unless you are a professional photographer; you can confidently go with this one.
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on January 30, 2013
I was hesitant about buying a $40 ball head, but after reading the reviews here I decided to take the chance, and I am glad I did. This is a surprisingly good quality ball head, nice and solid and doesn't slip at all, even with the relatively heavy 100-400L mounted on it.
review image
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on October 19, 2012
I'm sure the nit-pickers will find something they don't like about this head, but for $40 to me it's perfect. I never realized that you can buy such a massive, solid and dare I say professional-grade ball head for such small amount of money. Sure, the plate is of non-standard size and panning is a bit too stiff for my taste, but what an awesome unit this is otherwise.

Some causal buyers may not quite understand the level of my excitement for this ball head, but to give you an idea imagine considering spending $300+ on something and then finding a comparable item for $40. That's exactly how I feel. As far as I can tell so far, this head is as good as the top-tier heads I've handled and if you are upset that the plate is of non-standard size consider the fact that this whole unit costs less than a premium-brand plate.

I know this may be a problem for people who have to bounce between different tripods/rigs, but for any other user this is as good as it gets.
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on July 20, 2014
A friend told me he acquired a "fluid ball head" but I hadn't used one. The idea intrigued me, especially for video use.

Though this 6664H head has mixed reviews due to inconsistent manufacturing quality, I took a chance and bought one in December, 2012 -- 18 months ago -- and it's still working fine.

I had purchased the Induro CT-214 8X Carbon Tripod 4 Section 61-Inch Max Height 26lb Load and it needed a head. The compact and extremely lightweight CT214 is simply amazing for field or studio still work.

For serious video work, I rely on a much larger and heavier Manfrotto - 504HD,535K - Tripod that pairs a Manfrotto 504HD fluid head sitting on Manfrotto 535 carbon fiber legs. It's much lighter than older video tripods, but the combo is relatively giant and heavy, though it has a 75mm ball head for horizon adjustment and sliding base plate and counterweight springs for better balance.

As camera technology get smaller and lighter, the supporting equipment technologies are becoming lighter and stronger. Aluminum and steel are replaced by carbon fiber and magnesium.

This 6664H head on the Induro CT214 is surprisingly good for video! I first discovered this when I wanted to shoot video with a Nikon D800 at a balloon festival. Who wants to cart around a monster tripod, lenses and a heavy camera body?

I grabbed my "still" tripod/head (the Induro CT214/Fancier 8886H combo) that weighs all of 5.9 lbs, is only 27" long and 5" in diameter in its Induro nylon carrying case.

Amazingly, with a 70-200mm f/2.8 Nikon zoom on the D800 (and with a Brand New Photography & Cinema VF-4 Universal LCD View Finder WITH Extend Bracket loupe on the back of the camera to boot) I found I could actually pan the 6664H smoothly, even without an "official" head and pan handle. I was smoothly tracking ducks swimming in a marina with a doubler on the 70-200.

Yesterday I had to shoot a sporting event at the beach, this time shooting 4K with a Panasonic GH4. The GH4 is even smaller and lighter than the D800 rig and was even easier to pan and carry. The whole thing was a bit over 6 pounds! I carried it all over the beach for five hours. I was able to move rapidly amongst hundreds of people with minimal intrusion.

There are four knobs on the head:

The top one is for locking the Arca Swiss-style plate onto the head. The plate itself has a flip-up lever that allows attachment of the plate to the camera without a screwdriver or coin. It holds firmly. A safety button stops the camera from slipping off the head should you loosen the locking knob. You must positively press the button in while sliding the plate to remove the plate from the head.

Three unmarked knobs on the lower body control the head itself (kind of wish they had labeled their functions, but I can do that):

1. The large knob locks the ball solidly from rotating in its socket.
2. The small lower knob locks the panning motion
3. The small knob opposite the large one controls drag

In operation, I fully loosen both the large locking knob (#1) and the small lower pan lock knob (#2), then snug up the #3 knob to adjust the amount of drag. Panning works amazingly well, especially if you're not zoomed to a long focal length. Simple pans with normal/wide lenses are quite effective.

I realize the fluid movement is achieved via some viscous grease that may fail over time, but the head still works pretty well in my opinion in reasonable temperatures. I have not used it in extreme cold where the grease might become too thick -- but I have used it in very warm temps and it still worked well. The grease has not leaked out at all.

As you can see from the picture, it has a marked base in degrees, should you wish to pan incrementally for time lapse or panorama shots.

No bubble level, but there's one on the Induro and the artificial horizons generated by the D800 and GH4 are great for getting the camera level in a hurry. With the right amount of drag, I just push it into position and it stays for the 15-30 seconds I need for any given video shot.

For such a reasonable price, the 6664H is very hard to beat.
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on July 13, 2014
First and foremost, I need to state that I am not giving this product three stars because of its performance or the way it looks, feels etc.. It would be great if there was an option to forgo stars and replace them with something like a multiple choice answer if choosing to not rate, based on reason. In this instance, I looked up Arca-Swiss type ball heads, and more than one person spoke of this particular head as if it was one. I wish I had researched more, because I found out that it is indeed NOT Arca-Swiss compatible.

That said, for the type of head that it is, it does work quite nicely. I also have a Manfrotto tripod, and plate, which worked very well with it. The build is very nice, and surprisingly stable for the price. If I was in the market for a Manfrotto head, this would be a great choice. But I'm not, and so it is going back. Sorry for the three stars, I was originally going to give it two.. Perhaps if I used it, it would be 4 or 5 stars.

Doug
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