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- ASIN: B01EGKYA96
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (216 customer reviews) Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
Manfrotto 496RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 486RC2
|Price:||$74.50 & FREE Shipping. Details|
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- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Supports up to 13 pounds
- Repositionable locking lever for most comfortable use.
- New ergonomic design.
- New friction control for better control.
- Quick release system features a new style secondary lock.
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Top Customer Reviews
Originally I was going for the 486RC2 but then I found out that this model was replaced by the 496RC2. Main addition is the friction control knob and I gotta tell you this was an awesome addition. The quality of this head and the Manfrotto tripod is outstanding, you do feel the quality components when you touch them. Friction control is great because you can fine tune it depending on the weight of your camera lens.
I was a little worried about not having a separate panning knob like the 498RC2 but the friction control allows me to have just enough friction so I can pan easily with the main knob without changing the vertical alignment of the camera so its a non issue.
Grazie mille Manfrotto per questo produtto, mi piace moltisssimo!!!
Update 01/19: after some use I just want to comment. This ballhead is all I wanted it to be! However, if you do a lot of panoramas do get the 498 model which has a separate panning head. I found out I don't miss one as I don't do a lot of panoramas, plus I have it on top of a Manfrotto 055xprob which is very tall so I don't need to extend the center column. This allows me to loosen the center column nob a little when I need to pan so it serves me as a panning knob. Also you can do it be releasing a little the friction control knob as I stated above.
Even though I read pretty negative reviews claiming that this ball-head is no good for panoramas, I still decided to go for this because it fit my budget and the general reviews were very good.
I would like to let you know that don't get bogged down by the panoramas part. I used my Manfrotto setup (Manfrotto 190XPROB 3 Section Aluminum Pro Tripod) and this ball-head extensively during my recent trip to North-East USA. Produced some really beautiful panoramas of night time New York skyline where each exposure lasted 12 seconds! By the Hudson, the winds were really strong. I guess, this itself proves both the stability of this ball-head and its usability for panoramas.
Definitely, GO FOR IT!
The 496RC2 sports two controls: a large knob to lock the ball/pan and a smaller one to tweak tension or drag. My initial impression was the ball movement and controls felt rough: jerky ball and spongy controls. However, the ball mechanism became smoother under load, delivering reasonable control with light to moderate gear. As a point of comparison, it isn't nearly as smooth as my slightly smaller Gitzo G1177M ball head. I swabbed a wee bit of silicone on the ball with a Q-tip and it helped slightly.
The ball is tiny compared to the housing and I suspect a design of less housing and more ball would yield a smoother ride. Nevertheless, it works okay with my 7D and 15-85 zoom. It settles a bit upon tightening but doesn't creep thereafter when vertical or steeply angled. Big glass users should buy a larger model (054, 055 or 468MG series) as this head is designed for a light prosumer DSLR kit.
Unlike some older Manfrotto ball heads, the 496RC features a double drop slot so you can save a rotation when you flip the rig to vertical.
The QR platform is not as easy to use or as tight closing as my Manfrotto 323 RC2 Rapid Connect Adapter with 200PL-14 Quick Release Plate - Replaces 3299-Black or the prior 486RC2 model. I'm guessing they dumbed the QR down to make their more expensive ball heads look more inviting. They expect you to open both the release and lock levers with a single finger but I found such operation fiddly and uncomfortable. The spring loaded safety lock can be locked open but is not easy to do: pull firmly downwards and twist a half turn. The tiny little lever actually hurts my finger! The spring that snaps the main lever shut works okay but is a little weak compared to the 323 RC2 accessory quick release.
The 496RC2 ain't perfect but is a good product for the money, ideal for weekend warriors with a light DSLR or M4/3 kit. However, the plastic ball does not inspire confidence and I'd prefer a larger and smoother moving metal ball. But for $65 I can't complain much. However, I decided the 496RC2 was not for me and returned it, exchanging it for the Manfrotto MH054M0 Magnesium Ball Head. Yes, it costs two times more but is actually three times better in terms of stability and smoothness. I bought the version without quick release and installed a Hejnar Photo FM496RC2 Arca quick release clamp on it.