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FAQs - What ball head do you recommend?

Linhof Profi III

The Linhof Profi III appears to be very well made, as its price would suggest.

The Profi III will hold the weight of very large lenses including 600mm f/4, 400mm f/2.8, and 800mm f/5.6 lenses.

The action of the ball-and-socket joint is generally smooth, however, it does exhibit slightly more stick-slip than the best Arca-Swiss B-1 ball heads that we’ve seen. (Stick slip is the slight initial jerk in movement when adjusting the position of the ball-and-socket joint from a static position with tension on the ball.)

The pan bases of this ball head is extremely smooth. The motion is damped by grease which adds to the smooth feel, but could get very stiff in cold weather.

The knob used to tighten the pan base is not captive.

People who own Profi III ball heads are generally very happy with them. If you can afford it, it should be a solid choice. In some ways the Arca-Swiss B-1 is a better performing ball head (less expensive, less stick-slip, and lighter), but it is sometimes hard to find, and the B-1 has been known to have some minor problems that have driven some people to use other heads. The B-1 is a more widely used head, and the vast majority of its users are very happy with it. Arthur Morris now uses the Linhof Profi III. He said that these ball heads are very smooth and, the tension setting is very convenient, and they are trouble-free unlike the Arca-Swiss ball heads.

The Profi III does not come with an Arca-Swiss style quick-release clamp. You can add the Wimberley C-10 clamp to the head ($79.00). In order to do this, you must purchase a ¾” long 3/8-16 set screw from your local hardware store. Unscrew the plastic platform from the top of the Profi III head and screw the ¾” long 3/8-16 set screw into the stem of the ball head. When the set screw is screwed in as far as it will go, there will be enough exposed threads to attach the C-10 Clamp to the head. To keep the clamp from twisting, use the ¼” set screw that comes with the C-10 Clamp.





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