Summary: This is my first ball head tripod mount, so I don't have much basis of comparison. Overall though, I'm extremely pleased. PROS: -Solid construction -Easy to find and use adjustment knobs -Multiple bubble levels -Quick release system -Holds a fair amount of weight without problem or sagging (dSLR w/ battery grip + 70-300 telezoom + speedlight) -Easy Portrait orientation CONS: -Fairly heavy -Mounting the camera onto the ball head can be a little tricky at times, you have...
Summary: Great that it has two bubble levels. Is a very strong head that can easily handle my Nikon D80 with 18-105mm lens. Only potential downside is that the product is slightly heavier than another comparable model made by Velbon.
Summary: I use this ball head with my Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod legs. It has excellent build quality and is very stable. I like the separate levers and the spirit levels are convenient. The base plate is large and provides great stability for a larger camera such as my 5D Mark II. My only wish is that the screw for the base plate could be tightened by hand, rather than using a coin or flat tip.
Summary: Got this with the MF3 tripod and it works great. My typical load on this head is a Nikon D40 with a 70-300mm VR lens and this ball head locks it in place. As this was my first ball head I did a lot of research and for the price/performance/quality this is hard to beat.
Summary: The head is used with the A700 DSLR, on the Manfrotto 055XPROB and Gitzo 1320 tripods. Tilt and pan movement is smooth. Installed Bubble levels work fine. Once locked down it is rock solid, even with a 2+lb 70-200 lens. The only negative, as with all less than large ball heads, ie, 490RC4, slight movement on initial lock down with long lens.
Summary: I've been using this head with my Canon 5D and a rather heavy Canon 24-70mm f/2.8, and no problems. Used it a few times with my heavier 100-400mm and no problems holding that up either. All around solid, affordable ball head. Only criticism would be the little bit of play in the nobs when fully tightened, creating the false impression that perhaps the ball or the pan aren't fully secure.