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Manfrotto 498RC2 Ball Head with Quick Release Replaces Manfrotto 488RC2
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- Supports up to 17 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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This ball head has been total redesigned for better ease of use. A new design friction control knob allows the photographer to achieve superior control when handling the camera and making micro movements without having to totally lock and unlock the ball head. The knobs have been redesigned to be more ergonomic, easier to handle and more user-friendly. The ergonomic shape allows the user to better lock the ball securely. A repositionable Locking lever allows the user to place it in a comfortable position in order to use it in the most convenient way. Just pull it outwards, put it in the best working position and then release it. This model features a RC2 quick release plate including an additional safety system that prevents the accidental detaching of the camera from the head. The locking lever securely locks the head both in the +90° -90° ball positioning and in the 360° pan movements. With solid aluminum construction, this head is the ideal support for all traditional or digital small or medium format cameras weighing up to 17 pounds. This replaces the Manfrotto 488RC2.
From the Manufacturer
|Larger size, light, with quick release - perfect for advanced amateurs and professionals. With its solid aluminum construction and phenolic resin ball, this head is the ideal support for all traditional or digital small or medium format cameras. It has a single indexed "ratchet" locking knob for 360° pan and +90° -90° tilt movements. |
Equipped with a 200PL quick release camera plate system with a secondary safety catch. Camera plate has 1/4" male thread. Head to tripod attachment is 3/8" female thread.
All aluminum construction and black finish.
|Attachment (top)||1/4" male thread|
|Attachment (bottom) ||3/8" female thread |
|Independent Pan Lock ||No |
|Lateral Tilt ||+90°/-90° head tilt|
|Material ||Aluminum |
|Panoramic Rotation ||360°|
|Plate Type ||200PL |
|Load Capacity ||8 kg • 17.64 lbs|
|Weight||0.61 kg • 1.34 lbs|
|Working Height || 12.5 cm • 4.92 in |
Top customer reviews
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* The friction knob is pretty much useless, as it has too little range of adjustment between being fully tight and completely loose and doesn't stay where it's set.
* I wish that it had some sort of a level (I'll have to get a hot shoe level I guess).
* The bottom plate (where it joins with the tripod) does not have grooves like the other head does, so with enough torque (not even a lot), it can twist free. This is even after tightening the three immobilizing tension screws as much as I dare.
* The pan/pan lock is not as useful as I thought it might be, particularly because there is no built-in level, and I paid more for this feature over the 496RC2, but pretty much never use it.
Save your your money and get the 496RC2 or save up for the MH054M0-Q2.
Four year update: I still have and use this tripod head on my primary tripod. Looking back at my original comments, I still agree with those complaints, but I've gotten used to using it, and I'm at the point where I have no significant negative thoughts about the head. It is well-built and still performs the same as when I got it. For this reason I'm raising it from three to four stars.
Spent some time at a local camera store comparing new ball heads. I was shocked, to say the least, at how expensive ball heads have become. Seriously. I've been a professional photographer for 20+ years and am willing to pay the price when it's warranted. I was pleasantly surprised with this Manfrotto offering. It has nearly all the features I was looking for in a simple, well engineered ball head and didn't break the bank in the process.
I have already invested in the Manfrotto Quick Release plates for my camera bodies and lenses, so not having to change to a new system was a huge plus. It will easily handle the weight of most DSLR camera bodies and lenses. I did some research into the weight limitations of this ballhead and my Canon 5D-Mark III with a 70-200 lens didn't come close to the specified weight limits.
I like that the controls are simple. No acrobatics or third hand required when using this ballhead. There are (3) controls. One is a quick control, to get you in the ball park quickly. The second is a friction control knob. It allows you to adjust the tension on the ball, so the movement changes are loose and quick or slower with some resistance. The third knob is to rotate the base.
The base rotation knob was important to me as I like shooting an occasional panoramic. It's nice getting everything locked down with regard to horizon orientation, vertical and horizontal, then simply pan the camera without loosening up all the controls. But I mainly photograph portraits and this is a nice balance of size, quality and control.
The only negative I can think of is why they even bother to put the degree of rotation reference markings on the base. If the ball head were geared and you could dial in very precisely, the degree you wanted, that would make more sense. It's kind of cool. Makes me feel like my ball head is capable of doing more. Yes, I know it's actually helpful if you're the kind of photographer that liks to take notes about every camera setting.
Another minor complaint is simply the height of the ball head. There is another Manfrotto model that I saw in the photo store, that was a step down from this one. It had less features, but it was an even smaller profile head. Meaning, the space between the base and the actual ball. Not sure why this one is higher, but that's a very minor complaint.
I'm very happy with this ball head and feel it will serve me well for many years. I use my tripod and ball head frequently and it just works. Yes, there are some amazing ball heads out there for $400+ and I'm sure photographers feel justified in purchasing them. That's for another review. But this is a great ball head for the money. A stupid easy purchase, in my opinion.
This ballhead is built like a tank, all magnesium alloy, the quick release plate does come with a loop in the bottom which makes it much more convenient to screw to the base of the camera(dont have to search for a coin !!!) and the QR plate locks in place by just pressing it down and has a mechanism which prevents the QR plate from accidentally releasing. One thing I'm not too thrilled about is that when you unlock the QR plate, the camera just falls forward as its center of gravity is more towards the lens. So please...please...please...hold your camera by its lens AND THEN press the unlock lever or else, you will be looking a spending some serious money on a new lens and/or camera.