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  1. #1
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    I would like to start using my tripod more and was looking at this to make it easier to use. I read many reviews on this site and others and they all recommend it so I thought I would post it here and see what everyone thinks. I did try one in the store and was very impressed with how easy it operated and how strong a grip it had. What your opinion, Jeff

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Ballhead.html
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    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  2. #2
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Here is my take on the three basic types of heads from another forum, for what it is worth.

    Pan/Tilt head:
    Pros: Easy to adjust in small increments just where you want it, one plane at a time. Sturdy.
    Cons: Cumbersome to adjust. You are making adjustments one plane at a time. Head is cumbersome to haul around.
    Personal Recommendation: Studio work, product shoots, architectural shoot, fine detail/macro shoots.

    Ball Head:
    Pros: Easy to adjust quickly in all planes at once. Smaller in size. Stable, low center of gravity. Compact, easy to haul around.
    Cons: Unless you are willing to pay big money for a top of the line ball head you will likley get a small amount of creep when you lock the ball. A ballhead with a separate friction control knob can help with this issue. Unless you either pay attention or have one with separate friction control it is easy to loosen the ball lock too much and have camera flop unless you are supporting it with the other hand. Ball heads without a separate panning control are hard to use for panorama shots.
    Personal Recommendation: Best all around compromise for a field/general setup. Easier to use and carry for general work.

    Side handle ball head:
    Pros: Easy to adjust quickly and accurately. Stable with general use glass. With add on shutter release it is easy to adjust and shoot without moving your hand away.
    Cons: Not as easy to haul around as a standard ball head. Not designed for bigger glass. Usually no separate panning feature.
    Personal Recommendation: Excellent in studio for portrait type work.


    I have all three types of heads on different legs for different uses. I love my modified 322 head for studio work. It's on a heavy set of studio legs and rarely leaves there. All of my heads are Arca-swill compatible and I added an Arca-swill Quick Release clamp to my 322. In the studio for portraits etc, I love this head as it is very quick to use.

    My general use tripod is equipped with a Really Right Stuff BH-55. It's expensive but holds a ton, very well made, very easy to adjust with no creap at all.

    My pan tilt head sees the least use, but it is nice to have when I need it. General when I am using it I am shooting macro with my camera mounted on a focusing rail on the head.

    Personally I would recommend a decent ball head for general use. Keep in mind you do not have to spend a ton for a decent ball head. Giottos makes some nice looking heads that have a seperate friction control knob and seperate panning controls. They also allow you to chage the quick release system if you choose.

  3. #3
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    I would like to start using my tripod more...
    What are the reasons for not using your current tripod rig?

  4. #4
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    gryphonslair99, Thanks for taking the time to explain the different heads to me. That gives me something to think about.

    Trevor, the reason is that now I have two handles to deal with and I was wanting something a little easier and quicker, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
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  5. #5
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    I have the 322 RC2 and find it quite easy to use and stable. You can adjust the tension.
    I think a pan tilt is better for fine work but mine sits in its box 99% of the time.
    Keep Shooting!

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  6. #6
    Ghost
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    It's too bad there isn't a version that incorporates a panning base. I would seriously consider a ballhead with a panning base as well.

    With either, you still need a free hand to "release" the lock. I can see how it might seem convenient to both "release" and "aim" with one hand. But I'd think if the camera/lens had any amount of weight to it that it wouldn't be too easy to get it positioned perfectly with one hand using that trigger design (you might occasionally use use the other hand to help stabilize the camera when you moved it). Also, you're still going to have to fuss with the tension.

    The weight limit for that head is a little concerning, but it all depends what you'll be putting on top of it.

    Guess I'm not convinced it's worth the slight convenience over a good ballhead.

  7. #7
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Frog
    I have the 322 RC2 and find it quite easy to use and stable. You can adjust the tension.
    I think a pan tilt is better for fine work but mine sits in its box 99% of the time.
    I have been checking my tripod and the gear that raises and lowers the middle section has some broken teeth so I may have to get a tripod also. I was looking at the tripod below at Calagaz Camera in Mobile. Anyone have thoughts about a tripod? I don't want to have to float a loan to get one, Jeff

    http://www.calagaz.com/spec_sheet.html?catalog[name]=PROMASTER%C2%AE-SystemPro-2-Professional-Tripod-tripods&catalog[product_guids][0]=0487bd79-280a-41b4-a73b-cc4f4d683d22
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  8. #8
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Grandpaw - I have the 322RC2 and stopped using it about 2 years ago. Even though it is rated for 11 pounds, it slips too much for my purposes (even with the tensioner turned all the way up). I can't use my 300mm lens at real-world angles without it drifting.

    I recently started using the 488RC0 ball head and it is much better (and cheaper too). The quick release plate is heavy duty and the whole rig will easily support my 500mm. The larger ball allows motion to be much more fluid.

    The 488RC0 will allow you to grow with it longer.

    Spec's for the 488RC0 is HERE.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


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  9. #9
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Your link says product no longer available, Jeff.

    I bought this tripod this year http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/pid/14791 which was a bit beyond my budget but I'm not sorry. I like the individually adjustable legs and the vetical column going to horizontal and it holds my d80 and 18-200 or my 70-300 fine even at 1/2 the horizontal extension. Sometimes I mess my old Sears where you only have to pull one leg to get them all out but not enough to go back.
    Keep Shooting!

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  10. #10
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Grandpaw - I have the 322RC2 and stopped using it about 2 years ago. Even though it is rated for 11 pounds, it slips too much for my purposes (even with the tensioner turned all the way up). I can't use my 300mm lens at real-world angles without it drifting.

    I recently started using the 488RC0 ball head and it is much better (and cheaper too). The quick release plate is heavy duty and the whole rig will easily support my 500mm. The larger ball allows motion to be much more fluid.

    The 488RC0 will allow you to grow with it longer.

    Spec's for the 488RC0 is HERE.
    I am curious, when you say the tennsioner is turned all the way up, are you speaking of the wheel in the handle or the large recessed hex screw in the back of the handle that actually tightens the tension on the ball? If you tighten that one down all the way the ball will not move. The wheel is for fine tension adjustment. Just a thought.

  11. #11
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Ash
    It's too bad there isn't a version that incorporates a panning base. I would seriously consider a ballhead with a panning base as well.

    With either, you still need a free hand to "release" the lock. I can see how it might seem convenient to both "release" and "aim" with one hand. But I'd think if the camera/lens had any amount of weight to it that it wouldn't be too easy to get it positioned perfectly with one hand using that trigger design (you might occasionally use use the other hand to help stabilize the camera when you moved it). Also, you're still going to have to fuss with the tension.

    The weight limit for that head is a little concerning, but it all depends what you'll be putting on top of it.

    Guess I'm not convinced it's worth the slight convenience over a good ballhead.
    This is what I added to my 322 on the bottom to allow for panning. Works nice. I don't often need panning in the studio, but when I do it is nice to have. It also was a perfect fit:
    http://www.feisol.net/feisol-panning...pb70-p-17.html

  12. #12
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Thanks to everyone for all the input that has been offered. This is the combination I am looking at. All comments are welcome, Jeff

    This tripod Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)
    Found here http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055X...outThisProduct

    With this head Manfrotto 488RC2 Midi Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System (3157N)
    Found here http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-488R...8554567&sr=8-3
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
    "I decided years ago I was only going to have two types of days... Very Good Days or just Plain Good Days I just refuse to have Bad Ones!!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

  13. #13
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    I have a set of the 3021XproB legs, predecessor of the 055's you are looking at. Great leg set.

    I have and no longer use the 488 head you are looking at. It is sturdy but I just do not like the lack of a separate friction control knob. Just a suggestion. You might take a look at the Giottos line of heads. Well made, sturdy heads that can be easily modified with different QR systems in the future. Here is one very similar to the 488 with a separate friction control knob, panning feature and supports more weight for the same money.

    http://www.amazon.com/Giottos-MH-100.../dp/B000I6UV1Y

    Giottos site if you are interested: http://www.giottos.com/

  14. #14
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by gryphonslair99
    I have a set of the 3021XproB legs, predecessor of the 055's you are looking at. Great leg set.

    I have and no longer use the 488 head you are looking at. It is sturdy but I just do not like the lack of a separate friction control knob. Just a suggestion. You might take a look at the Giottos line of heads. Well made, sturdy heads that can be easily modified with different QR systems in the future. Here is one very similar to the 488 with a separate friction control knob, panning feature and supports more weight for the same money.

    http://www.amazon.com/Giottos-MH-100.../dp/B000I6UV1Y

    Giottos site if you are interested: http://www.giottos.com/

    Are the Giottos releases the standard Arca-Swiss or do they have their own specs? - TF
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  15. #15
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    Are the Giottos releases the standard Arca-Swiss or do they have their own specs? - TF
    Yes and no. It depends on the QR you order for it. They have some standard configurations or you can go to their site and pick the ball head and QR you want.

    Some of their standard off the shelf configurations are similar to the RC2 etc. Others are Arca-Swiss. If you go to the Giottos link and look at the various ball head and QR plates you can see what all is available. The MH 3300 series appears to be pretty much all Arca-swiss while the other two have various choices. I believe you can actually order about any combo you want.

  16. #16
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    Thanks to everyone for all the input that has been offered. This is the combination I am looking at. All comments are welcome, Jeff

    This tripod Manfrotto 055XPROB Pro Tripod Legs (Black)
    Found here http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-055X...outThisProduct

    With this head Manfrotto 488RC2 Midi Ball Head with RC2 Rapid Connect System (3157N)
    Found here http://www.amazon.com/Manfrotto-488R...8554567&sr=8-3

    This is almost the exact set up I'm using. I have 3021BPro legs, with the 488RC2 head. I really like the combo, BUT if I had it to do over again, I'm not sure I would go with this setup. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy with this set up, but I really think the Arca-Swiss style quick release system is a much better system. Of course it is a much more expensive system to get into, but I think it's designed much better than the Bogen system. It would cost me a small fortune to switch now so for the time being, I'm sticking with what I have.

    A few things I have noticed with this system. My tripod goes to the field with me a lot, and as a result, it gets dirty. I have had to clean my ballhead a few times in order to keep it working properly. Not a big deal. I had something in one of my legs break so there was no resistance in the leg. If I picked up the tripod, that one leg would flop around. Bogan fixed this under warranty for free. With a lot of use, the QR system seems to get warn a bit, and doesn't hold the gear as tight as it should. I have never had anything fall off, but it's not as secure as it was when it was new. Again, Bogan fixed this under warranty for free at the same time they fixed the leg issue.

    Other than those couple of issues, I think it's a pretty good system.
    Mike

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  17. #17
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    I didn't know that buying a new tripod would be this complicated. Will I be able to fit any head with any set of legs that I want and can I get any release system I want as long as I get the matching plate to go with it?

    I am retired and do not have unlimited funds to purchase a tripod with. Please keep your ideas and suggestions coming because I do not want to purchase this but one time and be done with it. The object here is to get as much input as possible before making a decision. Thanks to everyone so far for the helpful information you all have given me and keep it coming,Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  18. #18
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Jeff - buying a set of legs is a highly personal decision (like buying a camera bag) and I think your best bet is to visit a store that has many makes/models in stock for you to handle.

    Besides the cost, what are other factors which are important to you? Weight, travel size, maximum load, maximum height, minimum height, leg locking style?

    Can I ask how you envision you will be using this tripod/head combo the majority of the time and where? Will it be long telephoto support? Long exposure landscapes? Studio? Outdoor group shots? Macro? ...
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  19. #19
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    With a lot of use, the QR system seems to get warn a bit, and doesn't hold the gear as tight as it should. I have never had anything fall off, but it's not as secure as it was when it was new.

    Mike / Jeff - the 488RC2 system uses the 2-system quick release plate which is a lightweight version. I would NOT recommend this combo as the plate and locking mechanism is underrated for the head. My monopod head uses the 2-system QR and it is indeed wearing out.

    Instead, I recommend the 488RC0 system (with the 0-system quick release) which is a much more robust system. And it costs the same.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

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  20. #20
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    Jeff - buying a set of legs is a highly personal decision (like buying a camera bag) and I think your best bet is to visit a store that has many makes/models in stock for you to handle.

    Besides the cost, what are other factors which are important to you? Weight, travel size, maximum load, maximum height, minimum height, leg locking style?

    Can I ask how you envision you will be using this tripod/head combo the majority of the time and where? Will it be long telephoto support? Long exposure landscapes? Studio? Outdoor group shots? Macro? ...
    I really haven't used a tripod that much in the past but would like to start using it much more in the future. I do not hike or walk great distances so weight should not be a problem. The two things I envision using the tripod for are landscapes and buildings with my sigma 10-20 lens and also some zoom shots with my sigma 135-400 zoom or my Nikon 70-300VR of birds orfar off subjects. The only other thing would be night exposures. I haven't tried panos yet but would want the ability in the future. As far as the release I think it would be nice to be able to leave the QR on the camera sometimes without it sticking way out and be in the way. I am really very new to all the options available on the better tripods so any information that you can offer will be very helpful, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
    My Nikon D7000 Tips thread is HERE

    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  21. #21
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    I leave my plate on the camera all the time.
    Keep Shooting!

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  22. #22
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    ...and also some zoom shots with my sigma 135-400 zoom ...
    Everything you have stated with the exception of the one little line above would have made me recommend a smaller, less expensive combo.

    Normally, my recommendation would be to size the equipment for the worst possible combination (135~400mm zoom, birds in your case), I don't want to steer you to getting something that is over-capacity and over-priced for 95% of your shooting. But if you want to buy just one tripod/head combo, you may have to do that.

    For non-telephoto work, I have a really inexpensive combo that I've had for over a decade (Bogen 3001 legs with a 3262 head) which probably cost me less than $80 in current prices. Works like a charm for me and I take it on family vacations and it is my primary indoor rig. But for my 500mm and 1000mm work, my tripod/head for those situations is completely different. Could I use my heavy-duty rig as an all-purpose one? Sure, but the point I'm trying to make is that there is no one perfect combo that will suit all your needs.

    If you still want to pursue getting a combo that will be suitable for your 400mm lens, then consider 4 section legs to get you lower without sacrificing stability. If you shoot birds, sometimes you must point the lens higher than 45 which means you need legs that will take your rig above your head so that the viewfinder swings down to eye level without having to stoop down.

    Lots to consider. Not an easy decision
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  23. #23
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Loupey, I may not be thinking this thing through correctly. I have an older Vivitar V5000 tripod in very good condition that is well built and works fine except some teeth are missing in the gear to crank up the center post. I am 6ft tall and this tripod with a camera on it is eye level with the center section all the way down so in reality I guess the tripod I have will work just fine because it doesn't need to be cranked up any way.

    This tripod that I have will hold any combination of cameras and lenses that I have now and the head is in excellent shape also. The head is a two way till and it would be much easier if it had a ball head on it so maybe that is all that I need for now. Do you still have the 322rc2 grip and if you do do you want to sell it? If you do send me a PM. My intentions are to use the Sigma 135-400mm APO as little as possible, I may just sell it and put the money towards a head for my tripod, Jeff
    Check out my website Here
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    All images posted by me anywhere are Copyrighted by Federal Law and may not be copied or used in ANY FORM without my personal written permission. Jeff Impey
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  24. #24
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by gryphonslair99
    I am curious, when you say the tennsioner is turned all the way up, are you speaking of the wheel in the handle or the large recessed hex screw in the back of the handle that actually tightens the tension on the ball? If you tighten that one down all the way the ball will not move. The wheel is for fine tension adjustment. Just a thought.
    You are absolutely right - I checked into this and made the adjustment and it now has the original locking power.

    Please disregard my previous complaint of the drifting problem with this head.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

    See my website HERE.


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  25. #25
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Manfrotto 322RC2 Grip Action Ballhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Loupey
    You are absolutely right - I checked into this and made the adjustment and it now has the original locking power.

    Please disregard my previous complaint of the drifting problem with this head.
    Would be nice if Manfrotto put a small explanation on the schematic of what that hex head is for wouldn't it??

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