October 30, 2014, 03:15:40 PM

Author Topic: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?  (Read 1189 times)

lastcoyote

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Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« on: August 28, 2014, 04:46:56 PM »
Hi people...

I'm trying to decide whether to buy the Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead.
Anyone have any suggestions for me or experience with these?
I'm in the UK and can buy the Kirk easily here but would have to buy the RRS head from the US and pay for import charges and wait longer for delivery. I've worked out that the cost will be pretty much the same for either option.

Another bit of info is that my camera and lens plates are Kirk plates, but as I understand these will work with RRS.
Canon 5D Mark III | BG-E11 | 24-70 f2.8L II | 70-200 f2.8L IS II | 100 f2.8L IS Macro | 135 f2L | MP-E 65 f2.8 | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT

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Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« on: August 28, 2014, 04:46:56 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2014, 05:11:25 PM »
I have a Kirk Ball Head, I think its a BH1.  They are a fine head.  RRS might be better, but also expensive.  Don't overlook Markins, they are in the top performer group as well.

tolusina

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2014, 05:42:09 PM »
Also look at Acratech's ball heads.
40 on 6

Phenix205

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2014, 06:36:46 PM »
Also consider Arca-Swiss Z1. I have a B1 since 2002, still working great.
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lastcoyote

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2014, 06:31:51 AM »
Thanks for the other brand suggestions guys.
I've kind of already short listed it down though from the big players to either the Kirk or RRS taking in to account my needs and wants etc. Just can't decide which to go for and was wondering if someone had something to say that I'd not considered or was aware of regarding these two.

I've seen one review online say that the Kirk wasn't very smooth, though other reviews contradict that. If I could buy them both locally here in the UK I would and just pick which one I prefer but I have to get the RRS head from the US and deal with import duty etc. so not quite so simple.  :-\
Decisions decisions...
Canon 5D Mark III | BG-E11 | 24-70 f2.8L II | 70-200 f2.8L IS II | 100 f2.8L IS Macro | 135 f2L | MP-E 65 f2.8 | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT

SwampYankee

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2014, 09:19:52 AM »
I did lot of shopping and settled on the the Kirk.  Hard to compare unless you have owned both.  I have never heard a bad word about Kirk or RRS and many pros us them.  I think you are safe either way.  the Kirk will do the job and might be cheaper.  Either one will last forever.  One thought when you buy the head.  You might want to consider purchasing a camera plate that is specifically made for your camera.  I have a 5DIII and I found the custom Kirk plate a better fir than the generic.  The one that comes with the head is just fine, the reason I bought the custom plate is the generic plate used the tripod mounting point on my camera and does not offer a place to screw in my Black Rapid strap.  The custom plates have the extra hole.  If you are using a neck or wrist strap this is not a consideration.  If you are using a strap that uses the tripod lug please consider getting the custom plate.  It should cost about $50 and is well worth it.  BTW you will LOVE having a great ball head.  That and a great tripod is something you will have for life.  never skimp here
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 08:18:33 PM by SwampYankee »
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mackguyver

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 09:47:03 AM »
The RRS is really nice, but given the price, I was somewhat underwhelmed by its performance.  It's a work of art and I love the rounded knobs that don't snag on things, but it's not particularly smooth.  I also haven't had much luck fine-tuning the resistance.  I can get close, but it's not as good as I had expected.  Don't get me wrong, it's a fine product, and one that serves me well, but I certainly see room for improvement.

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2014, 09:47:03 AM »

lastcoyote

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2014, 10:02:14 AM »
I've actually got the custom kirk plates for my 5DIII and 70-200II already thanks SwampYankee. I actually connect my black rapid strap to it with a kirk clamp too. Nice solution.

Maybe I should just stick to Kirk then and get the BH-1 if both ballheads are close in performance.
Canon 5D Mark III | BG-E11 | 24-70 f2.8L II | 70-200 f2.8L IS II | 100 f2.8L IS Macro | 135 f2L | MP-E 65 f2.8 | MT-24EX | 600EX-RT | ST-E3-RT

neuroanatomist

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2014, 10:07:40 AM »
Maybe I should just stick to Kirk then and get the BH-1 if both ballheads are close in performance.

I have the RRS BH-55 LR, a friend has the Kirk BH-1.  They're both excellent and so close in performance that I don't think you can go wrong either way.  The RRS is ~1" shorter.  Personally, I really like the RRS lever clamps, too. 
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NancyP

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2014, 11:03:19 AM »
I love my Arca-Swiss Z1sp. It is one sturdy and well-crafted piece of kit.

Lyle Krannichfeld

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2014, 06:29:42 PM »
Love my RRS BH-40, it's been pretty flawless and is holding up very well around the constant saltwater.
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SwampYankee

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2014, 08:27:00 PM »
I've actually got the custom kirk plates for my 5DIII and 70-200II already thanks SwampYankee. I actually connect my black rapid strap to it with a kirk clamp too. Nice solution.

Maybe I should just stick to Kirk then and get the BH-1 if both ballheads are close in performance.

I'm in the same place.  Quick, cheap suggestion.  Get a wrist strap for your camera.  Since you are using a Black Rapid this thing goes into one of the unused neck strap mounting points.  It also has a detachable clip. Anyway, I really like working with a wrist strap and when you are working with the tripod it gives an extra sense of security when you are moving the camera or changing lenses.  Bonus....dirt cheap....http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/02/19/review-optech-slr-wrist-strap/
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InterMurph

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 10:18:38 PM »
Why the BH-55?  I have the BH-40, and it's more than enough for my 5D Mark III, 70-200mm II IS, and a 2x teleconverter.

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Re: Kirk BH-1 or RRS BH-55 Ballhead?
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2014, 10:18:38 PM »